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 53 community development grants 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


Judith believes that “education is the bedrock to economic and social development.” As a Graduate Scholar with a degree in education from the University of Cape Coast she began her national volunteer service as a primary school teacher in a remote village.

As a new teacher she saw very quickly that the brightest students would not be able to advance academically without extra support. Even with many efforts and advancements made by various governments to provide accessible education the system can still fail a child.

In Ghana there is free compulsory universal basic education, meals during school hours and capitation grants for basic schools. However, Judith witnessed that “…some parents cannot afford for their children’s basic necessities such as uniforms, exercise books, school bags, pencils and pens for their effective learning at school.”

Without notebooks and pencils a student cannot take notes. Without notes a student cannot study. And without a backpack in the rainy season, any and all academic materials are soiled.

The Basic School Supply Assistance Project directly empowered 40 primary school beneficiaries in four remote villages. The forty students all received a tailored school uniform (for some it was their first), a school bag, 10 exercise books, and pencils. The school supplies directly reduced the financial burden felt by families with little to no income and lifted the heavy emotional toll that students felt on a daily basis for being without. During continued visits to each school, Judith and a team of volunteer educators met one-on-one with beneficiaries and hosted school-wide motivational speeches.

Judith plans to continue working with this group of students and aid them in progressing with their studies.

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!