Melton Foundation Grants: Looking back at a decade of grassroots impact investing
Since its inception, the Melton Foundation’s Grants Program has translated small ideas of social impact into functional local and global projects led by Melton Fellows. Over the last decade, these Global Citizenship initiatives which received funding and support through our grants program have touched hearts, minds, and lives everywhere. Read on to delve into the rich archive of projects accomplished by our global, intercultural community of Melton Fellows over the past ten years!
What is the Melton Foundation’s Grants Program?
At the Melton Foundation, we are committed to supporting young leaders to realize their potential towards building an equitable, sustainable, and peaceful world. of driving social change. Year-round, we offer grants to Melton Fellows based on an impact-oriented evaluation process to allocate funds that serve as a crucial financial backbone, while helping shape and refine the desired end result, which can be monitored and supported going forward. The projects can be based in any part of the world, as long as it is spearheaded by one of our Fellows, we are eager to support it.
With our grants, we encourage collaboration across domains, regions, and backgrounds in pursuit of leveraging Global Citizenship practice to advance the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Melton Foundation Grants have benefitted over 100 Melton Fellows in the previous decade, and through them 100+ communities in the most diverse world location, in some occasions sharing their learnings, in other occasions embarking on community-based impact projects, in other cases, showcasing unique local approaches with a global audience: the scope and nature of each grant project were as unique as the change that they have sparked, but every single project is one drop of water into the ocean of global citizenship practices, cultivating deep collaborations for powerful actions.
Over the years, Melton Fellows have carried out projects around the planet and created an impressive array of projects which have revolutionized lives everywhere. Below, we showcase some of the outstanding ones:
- Women Work Wonders (Lagos, Nigeria)
Set in motion by Ranjini Rao HS from Bengaluru, Women Work Wonders seeks to unleash the talent and potential in women who have remained bereft of employment by providing them with the necessary tools and resources. The project follows a multifaceted approach that integrates mental health counseling and professional mentorship into the training program. By creating a robust local network, Women Work Wonders continues to bring the aspirations of low and middle-class women to life.
- Training Civil Society Leaders in Global Citizenship (Bogota, Colombia)
During the International Civil Society Week, probably one of the world’s most relevant platforms for civil society, our Fellows led the way in highlighting the role of Global Citizenship to herald in an era of sustainability, equality, and diversity. A collective effort by seven Melton Fellows, they organized a dynamic, interactive workshop to practice valuable lessons of global citizenship and connect civil society leaders from around the world to exchange their views, ideas, and practical insights on global issues affecting an interconnected world. Click here for more!
- Meeting Refugees Half Way (Croatia)
Melton Fellow Leo Schwarz from Jena, Germany epitomized the best of humanity in the midst of a catastrophe. During the refugee crisis of 2016, a month-long crowdfunding campaign supported by the Melton Foundation helped Leo raise €2,500. As a result, thousands of blankets, clothes, food, and other essentials were distributed amongst the refugees, giving them some much-needed comfort and hope amidst privations and uncertainty. Read more about this inspiring feat here!
- Project Narratives (India)
Stitching together narratives that capture the impact of a border conflict on the residing population is never easy. However, this did not deter four of our Fellows, Pooja Channaveerappa, Marleen Haupt, Nickhil Sharma, and Julian Klauke to talk to the affected people and highlight the brighter side of things. Project Narratives: Stories from India and Pakistan sifts through experiences as told by the people themselves to bring out the humanity inherent in relationships, fraught with conflicts or otherwise.
- Mutual Building (Jena, Germany & Temuco, Chile)
“If you are a part of the Melton Foundation, you don’t have excuses. Just do it!” – Cristina Mardones
The solution to eliminating conflict between people from different backgrounds lies in unearthing the cultural and historical linkages between supposedly distinct identities and bridging them through shared learning and experiences. A brainchild of Cristina Mardones and Mareike Dietz, this project embarked to do just that. What ensued was a three-week-long exchange of students from schools in Jena and the Araucanía region in Chile. By employing innovative methodologies, this project made a strong case for solidarity and mutual respect to bring about global integration.
- Esencia Mapuche (Temuco, Chile)
The Mapuche people, one of the few remaining indigenous communities of Chile, are often portrayed by the media in a stereotypical fashion. May Garces, Melton Fellow from Temuco in southern Chile, along with photojournalist Brittany Peterson, embarked on Esencia Mapuche in 2012 to explore the Mapuche culture from an alternative lens. The project went on to garner widespread attention including exhibitions in hospitals, art galleries, and high schools, and even appearances on the Chilean National Television.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, other notable projects which received grants are :
- Badili Zone Library Project (Claris Nadini, Kenya) – Community education infrastructure for vulnerable students
- Care Packages Project (May Garces, Chile) – Support for vulnerable families during the 2020 Pandemic
- Life Lifters Storytelling Project (Cynthia Muhonja, Kenya) – Leadership training for unprivileged girls
- Project Raincatcher (Mandeep Singh, India) – Introducing rainwater harvesting to remote arid areas in rural India
- Eco-Challenge (Eva Junge, Germany) – Getting people to act on what they know about climate change
- Project Narratives (Julian Kauke, Germany/Cornelia Blum, Israel) – Recording videos narrated by people affected by conflict with the aim of fostering empathy and understanding
- Vagina Monologues (Eva Junge, Peru) – Placing a spotlight on female sexuality
- Mutual Building at Easter Island (Cristina Mardones, Easter Island) – Empower lesser-privileged students through intercultural learning and global integration
- PUNCH: Art Empowered Exhibit ( May Garces, Chile) – Promoting Peace Through Art
A new era for Melton Foundation Grants
With the beginning of the new year 2021, The Melton Foundation has revamped the Grants program in keeping up with innovations and a changing social landscape. We have updated our monitoring and evaluation metrics in order to allocate and follow up on our grants in an improved manner with higher efficacy. We continue to welcome Melton Fellows and their teams to transform grassroots ideas into sustainable projects in their communities, and apply for a grant to crusade for the SDGs and Global Citizenship!