2022: Claudia Pamela Chavarría Machado

The 2022 GRÓ GEST March 8 Fund was awarded to Claudia Pamela Chavarría Machado, GEST alumna of 2021 for the project Community response to access to the right of women to live free from violence in Mexico City. Ms. Machado is a Research and Development Coordinator with Iniciativa Ciudadana y Desarrollo (INCIDE) Social in Mexico City.

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is one of Mexico's most prevalent types of violence and in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic the number of reports increased. The response from the justice system has failed to provide safe and efficient solutions, and the services and programs for victims and survivors of IPV have been unable to consider the efficiency of working with communities.

Ms. Machado’s project proposes to place victims' needs in the center and building a community-based response (CBR) while aiming for structural changes. The project will

  • Initiate actions with the participation of local communities by promoting the integration of a committee that addresses the issue of IPV, called Committee to access to the right of women to live free from violence in Mexico City. The committee will promote the demands of IPV victims and survivors and promote the implementation of concrete actions.
  • Provide capacity-building alternatives and gather data to begin to transform a generic response to IPV to an intersectional one.
  • Build a 10-months safe learning space in Mexico City for promoting literacy in access to social services, financial services, legal and non-legal alternatives to protect oneself and/or get out of violent relationships.

CBR is a welcome new approach to facing the urgent increment and isolation of victims and survivors of IPV, with the goal not only to provide options for women to exit violent relationships but also to be a part of a transformative process where communities engage and participate in working together to change the reality of violence as something normal.

The project relates directly to GEST priorities, especially SDG 5 and SDG 16. It is built on a nuanced legal analysis and considers the aftermath of COVID-19 and the shifting landscape of violence that has come with it. Instead of sticking with older models, the project builds on cutting edge work to introduce a comprehensive overhaul of Mexico City’s response to intimate partner violence by supporting victims while addressing both the roots and causes of violence. The proposed project’s survivor-cantered approach brings together intersectionality, feminist legal theory and education to better address this pressing issue

2020: Chinenye Anekwe

The 2020 8 March Alumni Fund was awarded to Chinenye Anekwe, GEST alumna of 2018. Ms. Anekwe is a Development Specialist at Solar Sisters, an NGO that has helped kickstart more than 5.000 women on clean energy entrepreneurs and continues to deliver clean energy directly to homes in rural African communities.

Ms. Anekwe received the grant for the project "Business Booster Programme for 100 Rural Women Energy Entrepreneurs." The grant will fund community sensitization programmes for 100 Solar Sister Entrepreneurs in each of the 25 states where the organisation operates. The project aims to support 100 participants to double their local clean energy business enterprises through targeted activities conducted to improve their capacity, expand their customer base and increase their market visibility. The grant will enable the Solar Sister Entrepreneurs to create additional impact by funding community-based market awareness and sensitization campaigns, as well as provide marketing materials that will build awareness of gender-inclusive business, increase the uptake of clean energy conversion, and provide enhanced economic opportunity to women entrepreneurs.

The project relates directly to GEST priorities and the proposal displayed a convincing connection to beneficiaries and their needs, as well as how project activities would lead directly to proposed outcomes. Moreover, the project activities reflected realistically in both the timeline and the budget, and it was clear from the proposal that Ms. Anekwe was unequivocally in charge of the coordination of the project, with strong support from the Country Director and Training Manager of her organisation.