Small Grant projects

A list of past Small Grant projects that have been funded by our Grant Scheme:

The Liberia-based Committee for Peace and Development Advocacy (COPDA), a non-governmental organisation that undertakes activities that impact on the lives of under-served communities, received a grant to fund activities under the Increasing Transparency and Local Participation in Natural Resources Management Project. The project aims to promote effective natural resources management by building the capacity of community resource monitoring teams in mining communities in Liberia to closely monitor and report on the activities of concession companies. The project, co-funded by the US-based National Endowment for Democracy and the American Jewish World Service, is being implemented and managed by AAA Alumnus Jenkins Flahwor, Program Director at COPDA.

Computers for Schools Uganda (CfSU), a non-governmental organisation that is committed to improving the quality of the education in Ugandan schools, received a grant to improve literacy levels in English language in primary schools through digital story telling. The activity builds on an existing teacher training intervention on innovative methodologies of teaching and learning by developing and making digital content available. This one-year project will also train primary school teachers in the use of the new materials. The project is co-funded by the Edukans Foundation and led by Alumna Grace Baguma, co-founder of CfSU.

Mozambican Alumnus Cristiano Macuamule received a grant to acquire research skills at the Australian National University in Canberra to enable him to successfully complete his doctoral studies in Biochemistry, while also gaining valuable knowledge of and experience in malariology, which will be transferred to Stellenbosch University in South Africa and ultimately to Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique.

Malawian Alumnus Samson Ngutwa, who is currently working for the Office of the President and Cabinet as an Assistant Director of Cabinet Services in Malawi, received a grant to conduct a feasibility study on energy use and starting a firewood business in the urban and peri-urban areas of Lilongwe, Malawi. The study will inform the design of a subsequent project on alternative energy solutions that will, in turn, help mitigate rampant deforestation in peri-urban areas near Lilongwe. The project is being implemented in collaboration with the US-based University of California Davis, a co-funder of this project, and Likuni Girls’ Secondary School in Malawi. The project is also supported by the United States Embassy in Malawi.

Swazi Alumnus Earnest Simelane, who works in Swaziland’s Ministry of Education and Training, received a grant to participate in an exchange program provided by the Namibian Qualifications Authority. In connection with technical and vocational education and training (TVET) reform and the establishment of a similar quality assurance body in Swaziland, the exchange program sought to build capacity in quality assurance, the accreditation of training providers and assessors, and conducting national assessments.

Community Action Against Injustice (CAAI) is a Nigerian non-governmental organisation that provides human rights and socio-economic support to women, children and persons with disabilities. CAAI received a grant in the amount of AUD8,314 to strengthen the capacity of community women to generate an income and contribute to the welfare of their families in Osun State, Nigeria. The project will provide vocational and entrepreneurial skills training and micro-credit to 10 selected community women from three suburban communities within the state to establish a viable income-generating businesses for self-reliance and independent living. Eni Ayeni, the founder and Programme Coordinator for CAAI, received an Africa Fellowship to study Organisational and Employee Development at the University of Queensland in 2012 .

Montfort Special Needs Education College is a faith-based organisation established in 1964. It provides education to students with learning difficulties, as well as hearing and visual impairments. The College seeks to provide accessible, equitable and relevant education to all learners with special educational needs in Malawi, and is currently implementing a project whereby teachers from nearby schools are being trained in inclusive education. Through the Australia Awards grant of AUD9,332, the college will roll out the inclusive education project to the entire district of Chiradzulu. The project will provide specialised materials and train mainstream primary school teachers to obtain a basic knowledge of inclusive education to develop their skills in managing and teaching learners with special education needs. Betty Chipiliro works at the College and is the Material Production Project Manager for this project. She studied a Master of Special Education at the University of Newcastle, completing her studies in 2010.

Ugandan Alumna, Harriet Muyinza, received a grant in the amount of AUD3,500 to implement a project that seeks to promote an integrated pest management package for maize in two Ugandan districts in order to reduce post-harvest losses and increase household food security and income. Through this project, farmers will gain knowledge on grain storage technologies and use the technologies to store their maize for longer periods without loss in stored grain quality. The families of an estimated 200 maize farmers are expected to benefit directly from the project. Harriet received an Africa Fellowship to study Post-harvest Management of Maize, Rice and Legumes at Sydney University in 2012.

Liberian Alumnus, Charles Gaye, a training officer in Liberia’s Ministry of Education, received a grant in the amount of AUD5,000 to improve the knowledge and skills of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) teachers in basic internet/computer literacy. TVET teachers will be trained on how to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) in teaching and learning, and to use ICT to support student-centred, inquiry-driven teaching and learning activities. Charles was awarded an Africa Fellowship in 2012 to study TVET Teachers Skills Upgrade at the Chisholm Institute.

Kenyan Alumnus, Josphert Kimatu, a lecturer at the South Eastern University College, was awarded a grant in the amount of AUD4,650 to conduct research that will identify the most Aflatoxin-resistant local maize varieties. This will enable him to advise farmers as to the best maize varieties. Maize Aflatoxin defence is crucial in the overall goal of food security in the South Eastern region of Kenya, where over 200 people died of Aflatoxin contamination in 2004. The research will be conducted in collaboration with the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute, and is expected to contribute towards food security and safety. Josphert received an African Fellowship in 2012 to study Post-harvest Management of Maize, Rice and Legume at Sydney University.

The Department of Mines in the Ministry of Mining in Malawi received a grant of AUD7,174.29 to start a project aimed at raising awareness among key stakeholders of the potential benefits of mining to development and overall economic growth. The project seeks to increase positive perceptions about mining in Malawi through a series of activities, including awareness-raising and training workshops, video conferences and outreach to the media through newspaper, radio and television adverts. Australia Awards Alumnus, Cassius Chiwambo and Burnett Msika, who received an Africa Fellowship to study mining-related courses in 2011 and 2012, are involved in project implementation. Note that this grant is currently on hold due to an ongoing fraud investigation.

The Agricultural Research and Extension Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture in Mauritius was awarded a grant of AUD10,000 to initiate a project to decrease mortality and enhance the productivity of goats in Mauritius for higher income-earning potential. The activity is expected to boost the goat sector by improving herd size and animal performance. Investigations have revealed that the goat sector is faced with a major constraint: high mortality rate among goats, in particular, at a young age. Devika Saddul, a 2012 Africa Fellowship Alumnus, will join other Alumni who also work at the Ministry to implement this research project.

Alumni Viamé D’Almeida, a 2012 Post-Doctoral Fellow, received a grant in the amount of AUD4,482 to support infrastructure rehabilitation improvements in Lilicope Junior College, a community-based secondary school initiative located 50 km north of Lome, the capital of Togo. The college is built on straw and wood. The rooms expose pupils and teachers to rain and heat. During rainy season, it is very difficult to conduct lessons and pupils often cannot attend classes. The project will provide better educational infrastructure to improve access to education to students in the community. Approximately 200 students and 10 teachers are expected to benefit.

Ugandan Alumnus, Kyokwijuka Besigiroha Gad, received a grant in the amount of AUD5,000 to implement a project that will train technical and vocational education and training (TVET) instructors on modern techniques of welding gas. The project will introduce modern techniques of welding using gas technology by training 20 instructors from five technical colleges to implement the teaching of gas welding in 56 technical institutes. By building capacity in this field, the project will support access to employment opportunities to Ugandan youth benefiting from TVET. Kyokwijuka received an Africa Fellowship in 2012 to study TVET Teachers Skills Upgrade at the Chisholm Institute.

Cameroonian Alumnus, Abongha Maurice Chiabi, received a grant of AUD2,614 to support the implementation of a project on Micronutrients for Better Health. The project aims to alleviate micronutrient deficiency among children aged six to 59 months and pregnant or lactating women. This is one of the leading causes of mortality among children of this age in Cameroon. Activities will include sensitisation and distribution of micronutrients to target schools, health units and households of target children in three subdivisions and four districts in Cameroon. Abongha completed an Africa Fellowship in Organisational and Employee Development in 2012 at the University of Queensland.

Ugandan Alumna, Pamela Bakkabulindi, was awarded a grant of AUD5,000 to start up a project on e-health. The project will deliver e-health services to Ugandans through the “Ask the Dr” initiative, using short message services (SMS), Facebook and email. A team of three well-trained medical doctors will promptly respond to medical queries, thus reaching people who, for various reasons, are unable to access medical information. This innovative project is reportedly the first of its kind in Uganda, and aims to help reduce the incidence and prevalence of common diseases in the country. Pamela completed a Master of International Public Health at the University of Sydney in 2012 .

The Central Veterinary Research Institute, which is responsible for animal disease research and control in Zambia, received a grant in the amount of AUD8,826 through Alumnus Maureen Ziba. The grant will fund Newcastle disease research aimed at combating outbreaks of this disease. In Zambia, small-scale farmers and rural households are mainly affected by such outbreaks, which usually wipe out most of the chickens that are vulnerable to the infection. The research will provide insights into the specific disease strains of the virus affecting village chickens and will inform prevention measures. Maureen completed a Master of Biotechnology at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2012.

Kenyan Alumnus Daniel Gikaara received a grant in the amount of AUD5,000 to implement a project that will develop training resources (books, manuals, technical bulletins and brochures) for dissemination and the capacity building of agricultural extension staff and smallholder flower growers on good agricultural practices for selected flower crops. Floriculture is a key export industry in Kenya, although low productivity and prices among smallholder farmers growing summer flowers remain major challenges. This project will assist in improving the standards of flowers for local and export markets. Daniel completed a Master of Horticulture at the University of Queensland in 2003.

Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS), a non-governmental organisation operating in Zambia, received a grant of AUD8,338 through Harriet Miyato to build the capacity of Parent Community School Committee members to understand issues that affect a girl child and children with disabilities. The objective of the project is to increase the participation and retention of girls and vulnerable children in targeted community schools in Kapiri Mposhi, a small town located in Zambia’s Central Province. Training will include topics such as children’s rights and the dangers of early marriage. This project supplements an ongoing related activity. Through its impactful work, ZOCS supports 524 community schools in 38 districts with an estimated population of 117, 000 learners. Harriet, who is the Executive Director at ZOCS, completed a Master of Education at Deakin University in 1995 on a scholarship funded by the Australian Government.

The Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI) in Mauritius received a grant in the amount of AUD10,000 through Babita Dussoruth to implement a project that seeks to develop banana puree, an innovative product to reduce banana wastage. Apart from increasing the range of products, this project will help to recover bananas that may have lost their marketing value due to cyclone damage or blemished bananas that are otherwise wasted. The Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is currently engaged in similar work and its support of this project will be useful in developing guidelines for making the puree from unmarketable or surplus bananas. The research team from FAREI will test the puree in food making. Babita completed a Master of Horticultural Studies at the University of Queensland in 1997.

The Kitebi Teenage Centre in Uganda received a grant of AUD9,990 to carry out a project aimed at promoting family planning in Kampala, its suburbs and slum areas of Wankulukuku-Kabowa Parish, Lubaga Division. Uganda faces high population rates and the project seeks to assist in reversing this trend. Specifically, the project will build the capacity of 15 community health workers in responsive family planning service promotion, produce and distribute printed materials, and film a 20-minute screenplay on the value of family planning. It is hoped that the project will benefit slum community dwellers, especially women of reproductive age and children, with increased access to and utilisation of family planning services. Hasahya Alice Agnes Nankwanga, who completed an Africa Fellowship on Maternal Neonatal and Child Health at the University of Queensland in 2013, is involved in this project.

Esther Mwikali Nzomo, who graduated from the University of Queensland in 2013 with a Master of Agribusiness, received a grant in the amount of AUD2,557 to implement a project that will introduce green grams to farmers in Taita Taveta County in Kenya as a means of diversifying into a viable drought-resistant crop. It has been established that green grams can do well in arid areas and fetch good prices in the market. Specifically, the project aims to improve food security and famer income by promoting the production and commercialisation of green grams through capacity building on production and post-harvest management, as well as the creation of markets and financial linkages.

Tonang Zebaze Arnaud received a grant in the amount of AUD5,000 to implement a mining site rehabilitation project in the Adamaoua region of Cameroon. The project will sensitise artisanal miners, mining communities, and local and traditional authorities to the importance of rehabilitating abandoned mining sites and adopting measures for the sustainable exploitation of mineral resources in these villages. The awareness campaigns will be held in public places such as schools, chiefdoms, market and mine sites. The project will also pass on messaging around the need to send children to school. In these communities, children abandon school to work in the mining sites. Tonang completed an Africa Fellowship course in Geospatial Information Systems at James Cook University in 2013.

George Nyongesa Mondoh from Kenya received AUD5,000 in funding from the Small Grants Scheme to develop an on-farm rapid diagnostic kit for viruses that cause maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND). MLND causes a loss of crop yield (up to 90%) and subsequently economic losses to maize farmers and the Kenyan Government. Losses arising from MLND are a threat to attaining food security, especially in Kenya where maize is a staple food. In addition to developing the kit, the project will train agricultural extension officers and other relevant stakeholders on its use. The kit, expected to be adopted by farmers, will enable the detection of MLND infection and thus reduce yield losses. George obtained a Master of (Plant) Biotechnology from the University of Adelaide in 2013.

Alumnus Bartholomew Sey received a grant in the amount of AUD4,312 to contribute to tackling the issue of the high rate of post-harvest losses in Ghana, which is a major issue in this country, as in many other countries on the continent. The project will train 400 farmers on the post-harvest handling of maize in the Kwahu South District of Ghana and introduce them to the super grain bag to reduce post-harvest losses. This is a water-resistant and gas-tight storage solution for a vast range of dry agricultural commodities. It is also an eco-friendly and pesticide-free product that preserves the quality and germination capacity of stored grains. The training will target 20 different communities where maize is cultivated on a large scale with problems of post-harvest losses. It will include both farmers and farmer-based organisations. Bartholomew completed an Africa Post-Doctoral Fellowship course on Post-harvest Management of Maize, Rice and Legumes at the University of Sydney in 2012.

Eight grants were awarded for the establishment of the following associations:

  • Australia Alumni Association of Uganda (A3-U)
  • Mozambique-Australia Alumni Association (AMEA)
  • Australia Awards Alumni Association for Madagascar (A4-Mada)
  • Cameroon Australia Alumni Association (CAM3A)
  • Botswana Australia Alumni Association
  • Sierra Leone-Australia Alumni Association
  • Malawi-Australia Alumni Association
  • Zambia-Australia Alumni Association (ZAAA)

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