Clarification of Help & Shelter funding
We write in relation to the UN press release on the meetings of the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on 10 July 2012, at which the Guyana Government’s periodic reports were presented and discussed.
We understand that the release may contain a number of inaccuracies, but pending the issue of the verbatim report, we wish to clarify for the benefit of our funders, potential funders and the general public that while Help & Shelter’s shelter for abused and trafficked women and their children is fully funded by the government (and would not be open but for government support), Help & Shelter as a whole is not.
The following extract from a recent request for support sent to private sector companies is an accurate statement of our current situation:
‘Our ability to fulfill our mandate [by providing free face-to-face, hotline and court-support counselling and referral services to survivors of violence and a place of safety for abused and trafficked women and their children; by raising awareness of the issue of violence and the need to adopt non-violent means of communication and dispute resolution through our public education work, and by working towards the enactment and then effective implementation of relevant laws and policies through advocacy and networking] is dependent on a combination of government support (which includes free use of the premises that house our crisis service, donation of the land on which the shelter was built (with a government-supported grant) and an annual subvention that now covers most of the shelter operating costs), project funding, fundraising activities (scavenger hunts, tea parties, dinners etc.) and donations in cash or kind from commercial enterprises and individuals.
Due to a number of factors, including the small number of donor agencies that will fund NGOs in Guyana; the fact that as we are not a women’s organisation we are ineligible to apply for women’s funds; the general reduction in aid funding; the requirement for cash co-funding by many donors; substantial exchange rate losses on our child protection and counselling-based projects…and the exclusion of coverage for overheads and recurrent costs from most project funding, we are in urgent need of support in order to be able to continue our desperately needed work.’
For Help & Shelter