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Self Help Fund

Ambassador's Self Help Fund

If you have a good idea how to improve life in your community, the U.S. Embassy may be able to help!  Since 2011, the U.S. Embassy has granted over USD $420,000 to 40 different community-based projects throughout Botswana.  

The Ambassador's Special Self-Help Fund provides grants to assist small-scale community development projects that improve basic economic or social conditions at the village level.  The objective is to encourage self-reliance within local communities, and to demonstrate the U.S. Government's interest in the welfare and social development of Botswana.   Projects must include significant community contribution and/or involvement and lead to ongoing, self-sustaining activities.    

Priority Areas

What issue would you like to address in your community?  There are many worthy causes and although we wish we could fund all projects, unfortunately we can’t.  Preference for Self-Help Funding is given to projects focused on one or more of the following areas:

  • Community-based natural resource management
  • Income generation and small business creation
  • Social services (to assist vulnerable or at-risk populations)
  • Youth development and recreation

Grant Guidelines

Interested in applying?  Here are a few things you should know:

  • Individuals, businesses and government entities do not qualify. Applicants must be non-governmental, non-profit or community-based organizations registered for at least one year.
  • Self-help funding cannot pay for operating costs, salaries, training, vehicles or computers.
  • The maximum grant amount is $25,000, but typically ranges from $5,000 to $15,000.
  • Grantees must complete their projects within 12 months of signing the agreement.
  • Applications are accepted year-round, and funding is generally distributed May through August of each year.   
  • Applicants must provide a plan describing how they will accomplish the project.  Successful applicants are required to document their work and submit receipts for grant-funded purchases. 
  • Recipient organizations must demonstrate their commitment by either contributing to the project financially, or providing labor or supplies to carry out the project.



  • Do you have questions or want to submit an application?  Please contact us at:

    U.S. Embassy Gaborone

    Self-Help Coordinator
    P.O. Box 90
    Gaborone, Botswana



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