Development Grants

Our Scholars are creating the changes they want to see in their communities and society. The Community Development Grant program helps them to do this, providing them with capital to start or expand their own community projects and businesses. 

Community Development Grants are open exclusively to WMI Graduate Scholars and provide the opportunity to start or significantly expand a community-based organization, non-governmental organization, business, or community service project.  All graduate scholars are eligible to apply for a Seed Grant of up to 1000 USD. Upon Successful implementation of the Seed Grant, scholars can work in-depth with WMI staff to develop expansion strategies and apply for a Growth Grant of up to 5000 USD. Previous Seed Grants have supported primary and secondary education programs, health programs, youth employment initiatives, agricultural development projects, and peace and conflict resolution programs.

Igniting Change Around the World

We are proud to announce that we have awarded 75 community development grants to WMI scholars from 17 countries since 2016! Our graduate scholars are making great strides in their communities and world. Here is where transformation is taking place.

Seed Grant Awardee Spotlight


Mawien, a medical doctor, identified the need to prevent maternal morbidity and mortality through early diagnosis and appropriate treatment/ early referral of the most fetal hypertensive disorders in pregnancy amongst pregnant women in Lou Ariik village through his work at the University of Bahr el Ghazal- Medical School. He believes that quality health care during prenatal, perinatal and postnatal are important interventions for preventing maternal and new-born mortality and morbidity.

Safe motherhood principle emphasizes that every pregnant woman should be in position to carry a healthy pregnancy and safely deliver a healthy baby at the end of her pregnancy.  It is also an important social and economic investment and as well a matter of human rights and social justice that leverages on the fact that every pregnancy faces risk that could potentially be low or high. However, statistics in Africa show that the risk of a pregnant woman dying of hypertensive disorder is one in 16.

In the last two years, Dr. Mawien and other doctors at the clinic observed that women die due to complications of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia that is diagnosed late.  The Enhancing Safe Motherhood project reached 200 pregnant women and girls to sensitize them on the dangers of hypertension in pregnancy and screened them for the same.  One thousand resource materials with health information were also distributed to the community of Lou Arik village. The aim was to reduce the number of at risk pregnant women and girls in the community.

Dr. Mawien will continue implementing the project with the aim of reducing the maternal morbidity rate for women and girls in his community.  


Meet Some of Our 
Community Development
Seed Grant Awardees

Grace Tiwari

Beekeeping Enterprise Project

Abdul Koroma

Community-led WASH Project
Sierra Leone


She is a Super Women


Capacity Enhancement Training of Local Humanitarian Organizations

Lisa Dennis

Greenwich Town Homework Center


Jean Aime Musabyemungu

Give Them a Chance - Bring Back Their Dignity Project

Meet Isabela in Uganda. She is helping young women become successful entrepreneurs. Support scholars like Isabela today!