3 March 2020 – Today, the Jo Cox Foundation (opens in a new window) and Baroness Sugg, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, announced the first 18 recipients of the Jo Cox Memorial Grants (JCMG).
In March 2018, the Department for International Development (DFID) paid tribute to MP Jo Cox and launched the Jo Cox Memorial Grants – a one-off £10 million funding opportunity as part of UK Aid Direct – to support organisations working all over the world on two themes:
Theme 1: Empowering women: grants that will empower women to tackle the complex political, social and economic disadvantages they face.
Theme 2: Preventing identity-based violence: grants that will strengthen the ability of communities to predict and prevent identity-based violence including mass atrocities. This will be done by enabling early warnings of increased tension leading to actions that prevent further escalation and ultimately better protect communities from the threat of violence.
At a special launch event, announcements were hosted by grant holder Women for Women International (link to charity’s website) and contributions on the importance of this work from Jo’s sister and Ambassador to the Jo Cox Foundation Kim Leadbeater were made. Other grant holders – Zimbabwe Educational Trust; International Centre for Integration and Cohesion (ICIC); and Minority Rights Group International – also shared details of their projects.
The event offered insights into the work that will take place in 13 countries supporting some of the poorest and most marginalised, over the next three years in Jo’s name.
Further details on all Jo Cox Memorial Grant holders can be found below, organised alphabetically by organisation’s name and by theme.
African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) (link to charity’s website): Data-Driven advocacy by women-led civil society in Africa (especially Kenya and Uganda)
This project pursues change by helping women-led civil society across Africa – but especially in Kenya and Uganda – secure more and better data, on the lived realities of girls and women. And having the power, capability and resilience to use that data and evidence to influence real changes in law, policies and budget allocations that will improve gender equality.
The work in Kenya, in partnership with implementing partner GROOTS, looks at data being used to pursue policy and budget changes on sexual and reproductive health and rights services, increase public and political participation by women, and on influencing gender responsive public infrastructure at county and national levels.
In Uganda, through FOWODE (link to charity’s website), data will be used to seek policy and budget changes on sexual and reproductive health and right services, increase public and political participation by women, influence gender responsive government plans, budgets and policies for education, and engage women in legislating for gender equality.
The project also strengthens capacity and understanding of data-driven policy advocacy across FEMNET’s network members in eight countries across Africa.
This project will focus on advocacy and economic inclusion of family carers of people with disabilities and mental health needs (80% women) at both a community and civil society level. Community facilitators and carer representatives (93% women) will be trained, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively engage with carers and help meet their social and economic needs, and to work alongside local government and agencies, so they can access rights for carers. Carers will receive peer to peer support through groups, engage in new livelihoods compatible with caring responsibilities, increase their household incomes and be empowered to advocate for their rights and inclusion in society.
Child and Adolescent Resource Centre (CARC): Buhera Intergrated Recovery Action (BIRA) Project (Zimbabwe)
This project will challenge inequality by working with small groups of women in Zimbabwe, encouraging them to participate in activities to generate their own incomes, and empowering them to participate in economic decisions in their own home.
CBM (Christian Blind Mission UK) (link to charity’s website): Break the cycle: empowerment to combat violence against women/girls with disabilities in Nigeria
This project looks to support women and girls with disabilities in Nigeria. Working with these women, the project will look to put a stop to the violence and poverty they face, helping to support them to be heard and giving them more control and options for their futures.
Commonwealth Local Government Forum (link to charity’s website): Connecting the dots: local action for women’s political and economic empowerment in Southern Africa (Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe)
This project is looking to strengthen gender-responsive service delivery in Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This will be done through establishing and strengthening networks linked to the ComWLG Network (link out to website) and through the mentoring of young women leaders over the next two years. These leaders will advocate for women’s equal representation in local government, and for extending and strengthening the centres of excellence model. A network of women entrepreneurs will also be formed.
Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) (link to charity’s website): Women’s empowerment and leadership project (WELP) (Uganda)
This project will harness the power of women through grassroots organising and promoting economic self-reliance as a catalyst for participation in leadership and governance in five rural districts of Uganda. Male champions will also reach out to men so that deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes are tackled; so often obstacles to women’s empowerment.
Promote Mifumi Project: MIFUMI Women’s Network (Uganda)
This project is aimed at enhancing the participation of marginalised communities and individuals to contribute meaningfully towards an improved and strengthened policy environment in Uganda. The organisation will bring community mobilisation and movement building tactics to the heart of things, to activate communities and rejuvenate their resolve to participate in building a fairer society for themselves.
Womankind Worldwide (link to charity’s website): Participation and voice for excluded women in Nepal (PAVE)
Women who experience multiple levels of discrimination through inequality, powerlessness and exclusion because of gender, caste and marital status will be included in this project which will improve: participation, leadership and influence in decision-making in local and provincial level governance for women. To sustain this change, the women’s movement will raise awareness of community members to support women’s participation and leadership in five districts of Province 7 in Nepal.
Women for Women International – UK (link to charity’s website): Empowering the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) women to break poverty cycles, achieve self-reliance, and realise their rights
This project aims to improve the social and economic empowerment of marginalised women in South Kivu’s communities. Marginalised women will be trained on rights, vocational and business skills; male leaders will be engaged as women’s rights advocates, mobilising community members (secondary beneficiaries); and three civil society organisations will be strengthened to lead a local advocacy alliance, opening a community dialogue, action and accountability space on violence against women and girls and land rights.
Women’s Empowerment Link (link to charity’s website): Increasing access to police services for women and girl survivors of violence in Kenya
This project aims to prevent, respond to and eventually end violence against women and girls at the national level in Kenya, and particularly in the counties of Nakuru, Kisumu and Nairobi by 2020. This will be achieved by increasing the effectiveness of policies and national action plans, and the accountability systems of the police.
Zimbabwe Educational Trust (link to charity’s website): Empowering women in Zimbabwe through education, vocational training and holistic support
This project will run a nine-month education, vocational training and life skills course for particularly disadvantaged young women in Harare, Zimbabwe through the Rafiki Girls Centre. The course finishes with students having work placements with an employer in that sector. For example, teaching students work in nurseries, nursing students work in hospitals, and hospitality students work in hotels. The centre will economically empower these vulnerable women, by helping to build their skills and experience, so they can go on to access education or employment opportunities and live self-sufficiently.
Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) (link to charity’s website): Prevention of identity-based violence: the role of national committees in the Great Lakes Region of Africa
The project aims to build stability in the Great Lakes region. National Committees will be expanded and consolidated through active online education and civil society, and government officials will be trained in identity-based violence prevention efforts.
Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights (link to charity’s website): Strengthening civil society early warning and advocacy on identity-based violence in South Sudan
This project aims to establish a civilian-led, early warning network to alert communities in South Sudan to impending violence. It notifies national and international stakeholders – like the UN, the African Union and the East African Inter-governmental Authority – on the development of identity-based violence in South Sudan, to allow for the coordination of effective local, national and international responses.
International Centre for Integration and Cohesion (ICIC) (link to charity’s website): The Synergy Hub: tackling violence and building communities in Mosul (Iraq)
The Synergy Hub looks to build the capacities of civil society organisations in northern Iraq to better challenge and combat gender-based violence and sectarianism. It will also implement micro-financed programmes which are aimed at reducing and recognising the drivers of identity-based violence in their communities.
Internews Europe (link to charity’s website): Support to women’s networks to lead conflict prevention in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Through this project, Internews and their partners Cadre Permanent de Concertation de la Femme Congolaise and Union Congolaise des Femmes de Médias, are strengthening women-led civil society in the prevention of conflict. Through prevention and community dialogue activities, this £1 million, 24-month project is creating innovative early-warning conflict prevention systems that will impact the lives of millions of people in the DRC.
Minority Rights Group International (link to charity’s website): Networks for peace: preventing and resolving conflicts through early warning mechanisms in Africa
Climate change is making conflicts between peoples in Africa worse due to the competition for ever scarcer resources (water, grazing, land). This project supports communities to establish locally owned early warning mechanisms and to trigger interventions as tensions rise, to prevent violent conflicts.
Peace Direct (link to charity’s website): Strengthening networks to prevent and respond to violence
This project aims to reduce the risk of identity-based violence in Burundi and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It will do this by strengthening civil society network, increasing their capacity, supporting them to monitor and respond to violence. It will also provide duty bearers nationally and internationally (including the UK government) with data and recommendations for meaningful and comprehensive preventive action against identity-based violence (IBV).
South Sudan Youth and Development Organisation (link to charity’s website): Combatting identity-based violence in South Sudan
This project aims to mitigate and prevent identity-based violence in civilian camps in South Sudan, as well as in refugee camps in Uganda. This will be achieved by strengthening the capacity, skills and knowledge of local leaders, the South Sudan Youth and Development Organisation (SSYPADO) and its networks, to enable them to implement effective inter- and intra- community peace-building initiatives, and generate and share lesson learning about what initiatives work in which conditions.
We will be sharing news of the impact that the Jo Cox Memorial grant holders are having in their countries, over the coming months. To keep up to date, do follow us on Twitter (opens in a new window) / Facebook (opens in a new window).