U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund, U.S. Embassy Lilongwe

The U. S. Embassy Lilongwe at the U. S. Department of State (DOS) announces this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the U. S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Fund.

The SSH fund was established in Malawi in 1966 to help improve the basic economic and social conditions of Malawians

credit: Flickr

at the local community and village level.

Grants for up to $8,000 U. S. Dollars (USD) each of Financial Year (FY) 2020 Economic Support Funds (ESF) will be awarded to projects that increase fundamental education and marketable skills in the Malawian people or that expand entrepreneurial knowledge and opportunity, pending availability of funds.

Projects that address needs within disadvantaged or marginalized populations are encouraged.

The period of performance is twelve (12) months.

Funding authority rests in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended.

The goal of U. S. assistance is to help create a peaceful, prosperous, and secure future for the people of Malawi.

Economic growth is essential to that goal and Malawi can reach its potential through entrepreneurship and the creation of opportunities for investment and trade.

This program seeks to fund small but important projects that will expand education opportunity for education and marketable job skills.

It will also support the creation or expansion of community business endeavors.

The program is structured to encourage communities to be self-reliant and undertake similar activities on their own in the future.

All projects are community-based, initiated locally, administered at the local level, and include significant community contributions in cash, labor, or materials.

Over the past 50 years, the SSH fund has disbursed over $6 million to 1,463 projects covering all 28 Districts in Malawi.

Projects funded have included classroom blocks, under-five clinics, pregnant mothers waiting shelters, school libraries, girls’ hostels, installation of biogas digesters, eco-stove production, and provision of clean and safe drinking water through boreholes and shallow wells.

Related Programs

General Department of State Assistance

U.S. Department of State

Agency: Department of State

Office: U.S. Mission to Malawi

Estimated Funding: $60,000

Who's Eligible

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:
U.S. Ambassadors' Special Self-Help Fund Notice of Funding Opportunity download site

Additional Information of Eligibility:
All citizens of Malawi representing a civilian, religious, social, community development, special interest, disability, or advocacy group or organization may request funding for a community activity.

To qualify, an applicant must be an organized, motivated group with a real need, and the proposed project must be feasible and based on the socio-economic context of the local community.

In addition, an applicant must demonstrate that it has adequate internal controls and financial monitoring procedures in place, and strong ties to and support from the local community and local governmental bodies.

Full Opportunity Web Address:


Agency Email Description:

Agency Email:

Date Posted:

Application Due Date:

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The World Bank’s Development Marketplace, a competitive grants program, has provided $1.4 million grants to 12 social enterprises in the northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram for development activities and capacity building investments.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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