WHEAT Trust is a national women's fund committed to grassroots women's empowerment for community development through skills training. WHEAT awards grants to individual women and women led community based organisations (CBOs/CSOs) to ensure active participation of women in the development of their respective communities. In our 2007 Strategic Planning session we discovered a need to recognise a sector of women that we have excluded in our criteria. This is the young woman from the age of 18 who have matriculated with no tertiary education and have no means of furthering their studies.
The summary of WHEAT Trust activities to the process of CBOs capacity building involves: Facilitation, Coordination, Ongoing Assessment/Impact measurement and technical Support where necessary.
WHEAT Trust believes that giving access to training and strengthening initiatives that can improve the livelihoods of the poor. The betterment of the local communities can influence the level of economic, social and environmental status of the country through the building and nurturing of these small initiatives. Women as committed agents of social change have to be the first members of the civil society to be better equipped with skills and knowledge/information to deal with the numerous challenges that are facing the communities; and WHEAT Trust is committed to this call.
Appropriate capacity building relevant to the needs of the people is the means to the liberation of the minds of the people concerned. If that process is done cautiously the people can get encouraged to thinking independently and feel a sense of worth. To achieve this purpose all South Africans must commit to it. In other words: those who have must feel free to give to those that do not have; to share with those that are less fortunate; motivate those that have low self-esteem etc, without feeling responsible for them or obliged to do so. This is an old understanding to the factors that influence sustainable development, the connectedness of the people.
WHEAT Trust is trying to bring back this old approach of a giving culture. A culture of giving acknowledges that the well-being of individuals is inextricably linked to the well-being of others. Promoting a culture of giving embraces and enhances the culture of sharing, and that no individuals live in isolation. By promoting a culture of giving the society also encourages the poor to give (poor philanthropist), be it time or anything that they can also give and not to act as recipients always.
WHEAT Trust promotes a culture of giving through supporting South African grassroots women's leadership initiatives to build local communities through grantmaking for skills development.
WHEAT Trust was established to:
Establish a women's fund to which individual women and community groups can apply for grants in support of their training needs
To build up and manage sustainable funding for the women's fund in ways which promote the culture of giving amongst individuals, organizations and communities to assist in the growth and development of the community initiatives (seed funding)
To unleash the potential of women so that they can be contributors to the economy
VALUES & PRINCIPLES
WHEAT Trust is a feminist organisation committed to women's empowerment through skills training. The operations of this fund are governed by: trust, accountability, honesty, loyalty, respect, understanding of women's issues and struggles for equitable treatment of all women, men and children irrespective of social status.
To give grants to community based organisations initiated and led by grassroots women in all nine provinces of South Africa.
To work out a five to ten year Fundraising plan to sustain the Grantmaking program and continue supporting grassroots community based organisations.
To provide seed funding to new initiatives that demonstrates commitment to community development.
To equip women with skills that will assist them in eradicating poverty
To award grants to individual women and community groups to meet their training needs in support of grassroots community initiatives;
To raise awareness of the importance of a culture of giving amongst South Africans;
To network with organizations with similar objectives in order to maximize collective efforts in support of grassroots women's leadership development;
To create a sustainable organization through careful financial management and personnel planning. To establish and manage a sustainable women's fund by mobilizing funds from mainly inside South Africa
To empower young women in fields of science and technology and those previously dominated by males through partnerships with organisations with similar objectives
Women’s Hope Education and Training Trust (WHEAT) is a national women’s fund started by South African women educators, development professionals, academics, scholars, researchers and activists in 1998. They were responding to the critical need of grassroots women’s leadership to deepen and sustain the newly won democratic dispensation in South Africa.
WHEAT Trust is committed to community capacity building in community based organisations (CBOs/CSOs) through the empowerment of women to lead the development process. Our priority is to promote women leadership access to information, knowledge and skills in order to enhance and nurture their skills.
Women’s development is still key to the socio-economic development of South Africa, and that can only happen if all South Africans work together. There is a need for South Africans to be encouraged to support local women's initiatives and so promote and enhance the culture of giving in the country.
WHEAT Trust supports all young initiatives led by women (not benefiting women necessarily but giving them access to skills development and information) from diverse socio-economic, cultural, environmental, socio-political and all other fields.
Our observations over the years reflect that social problems are increasing with the escalation of unemployment, poverty, hunger, increasing violence against women, femicide and HIV/AIDS.
There are more cases of domestic violence and abuse (women abuse, rape, child molestation, women and child trafficking etc); HIV/AIDS; home-based care skills; substance abuse: counselling and coping skills; poverty and hunger-coping and survival strategies to name a few. The small initiatives like vegetable gardens that women engage into cannot be counted as poverty alleviation but may be seen as coping skills which need to be nurtured, grown and built onto poverty eradication strategies.