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SDOP disburses more than $240,000 to 13 self-help projects in the U.S.

February 7, 2012

Rally

Vamos Unidos, an SDOP-funded group of New York street artists, rally for immigrant rights. —Photo courtesy of Vamos Unidos

SAN ANTONIO, Texas

The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP) has approved grants totaling $244,400 to 13 self-help projects in the United States.

The money is from the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. 

A wide array of projects received funding, including :

  • A community center in the New Orleans area hardest hit by Hurrican Katrina that will offer computer training, job skills training, mentoring among peers and job searches
  • A cooperative restaurant business in Albuquerque, N.M. that provides employment and capacity building for a group of ex-offenders who were having difficulty finding employment to
  • A project focused on the creation and sustenance of a training and development center for refugees and other immigrants in Santa Fe, N.M. through the use of sewing, weaving, micro- enterprise and English as a second language and skills training.

SDOP enables members and non-members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to form partnerships with economically poor, oppressed and disadvantaged people in order to help them achieve self-sufficiency.

Grants were approved at SDOP’s Jan. 19-21 national committee meeting here.

The complete list of projects and grants:

  • M's Southern Style, Columbus, Ohio, $16,000 ― A cooperative restaurant business that provides employment and capacity building for a group of ex-offenders who were having difficulty finding employment.
  • Positive Action for Education/Global Community Support, St. Louis, Mo., $18,000 – A group of 15 mostly African immigrants from Togo, Congo, Senegal, and Mali specializing in hair braiding,  international clothes sewing and jewelry, and vocational training.
  • Lanvale Towers/Canal Tenant Associations, Baltimore, Md., $20,000 – This group of residents most of whom lack a high school diploma or computer skills have come together to organize around a project focused on a High School Diploma/G.E.D. and computer literacy program.
  •  Vamos Unidos, New York City, $20,000 – An organization of street vendors from across New York City will use the funding to increase its members’ participation in immigrants’ rights organizing and leadership development through coalition work.  
  • Crossroads Associates, Allentown, Pa., $10,400 – Crossroads Drop in Center is a project of Crossroads Associates.  It is a place where those who are homeless and/or marginalized meet three days per week for lunch, for a safe space, to read, for listening, for information and referral services and for a sense of belonging.
  • Darlington Group, Hartsville, S.C., $20,000 – A group of residents of Darlington County SC have come together to address social justice issues in the local schools, government and workplaces. They are receiving training on how to negotiate with authority figures.
  • A Community Voice, New Orleans, La., $20,000 – The project is a community center centrally located among the East New Orleans neighborhoods of the 7th, 8th  and 9th Wards and Gentilly. The center will offer computer training, job skills training, mentoring among peers and job searches.
  • Fighting for our future and Youth for Change, Orlando, Fla., $20,000 – The project seeks to empower youth through leadership development training that engages them to become agents of change in their communities by identifying community issues and working together with peers, community leaders, and policy makers to find and implement solutions.
  • West Georgia Farmers’ Cooperative, Hamilton, Ga., $20,000 – Re-development of the West Georgia Farmers Cooperative and its fruit & vegetable production and marketing program that focuses on cooperative production, processing and distribution of local foods.
  • Tenemos que Reclamar y Unidos Salvar la Tierra (We have to reclaim and together save the land), South Central Los Angeles, Calif., $20,000 – This Cooperative project is dedicated to building the economic and political power of the residents of South Central Los Angeles including creating land trusts in the face of underemployment and gentrification as downtown LA spreads south and a local university expands and raises the price of housing.
  • Women’s Global Pathways New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M., $20,000 – This project will use the SDOP grant to create and sustain a training and development center for refugees and other immigrants in Albuquerque, New Mexico-through the use of sewing, weaving, micro- enterprise and English as a second language and skills training.
  • Somos Un Pueblo Unido (Immigrants Worker’s Rights Project), Santa Fe, N.M., $20,000 – The Immigrant Worker’s Rights Project is led by immigrant workers and their families in Santa Fe.  Through this project, Latino workers learn and inform others about labor protections and remedies; organize workplace committees to develop collective strategies for better working conditions, and acquire leadership skills in order to engage in local and national campaigns advancing economic justice and worker’s rights.
  • Oregon Rural Action, Ontario, Ore., $20,000 – Local families work in the local garden to prepare for planting, growing and processing food. They attend classes and share with the local Food Banks and Pantries.

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