May 11, 2012
I have been a member of the Non Profits Organization, the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, a Project Grant funding body based in New York, with members across the globe, who volunteer their time and services towards its vision and mission, to empower women in the grassroots section of society, underprivileged, victims of conflict zones, disease and poverty. Applications for grants start coming in through the post or through our website from the month of May until end August. The two tier system both in the application, and reading/reviewing the grant applications is spread thereafter until the end of March the next year.With our funds not exceeding 150,000 dollars for disbursement, we are not a huge grant providing organization, but the $7500 we give at the maximum to any of the grantees provides the kick start for the women-based organization get going into programs towards literacy and computer education, providing water and toilets for girls in schools, animal husbandry, kitchen gardens, skill learning for self employment for teenage girls, empowering women through knowing their legal rights in countries where patriarchal laws deny them rights towards inheritance or maintenance after divorce although their government's conbstitution would have these rights in the llaw courts. Ignorance proves to be a great stumbling block for women in several developing countries across the world.For the Grant Readers which I was for several early years at VGIF, it was a self-education for myself, getting to know the plight of women in countries of which I knew very little inspite of various advanced degrees at the University.Reading over a 100 applications is a long and slow process , very intense in concentration is required to do justice to each application, and then when your work is done and you post your reviews, you wait anxiously to await the Board's final verdict after a marathon 3 days of discussions at the AGM in April in New York.I have travelled from India to New York to be present at these Project Grants Committees Review sessions when the reading from several members from across the world is assessed for its value, and taken seriously for a Yes or No.The satisfaction on the final day of the Board meeting when the final 20 or so Grants make the Grade to receive the Funds is one of great satisfaction, when over the years one's grading and reviewing also mproves in its quality, and you find more and more of your own selected applicants having received the Final Grant money that will give them the power to improve their lives towards a better future. Monitoring the grantees over the years through Site visits by VGIF members who are travelling through that region gives us the Feed back to our own insight of having chosen a deserving group of women who just need that slight help forwards to give them an edge to a better dignity in life.For the VGIF member nothing could give greater satisfaction than that little information that in some corner of the world women and children are doing well through their reading and approving a Grant Application. VIVA VGIF!!
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?