Special Self-Help Program

The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) program is a grass-roots assistance program that allows U.S. embassies to respond quickly to local requests for small community-based development projects. The purpose of the Special Self-Help Program is to support communities through modest grants that would positively impact on communities. The SSH program was first initiated in Togo in 1964 and had gradually developed to become one of the most visible and successful assistance programs in Africa.  The SSH philosophy is to help communities ready to help themselves.

Any legal person or organization / group / community development association may request funding for a public utility or community activity, approved by the competent Bissau-Guinean authorities.

The project must be submitted by an organized group, motivated, who has a real need, and has already had to deal with communities. The project should be feasible based on the socio-economic context and include the necessary information and documentation indicated on the form.

Interested organizations can obtain an application from the Office of Self Help or download it here: Special Self-Help Fund Application (PDF 213 KB). The organization may also send its own drafted project provide that all needed information in the SSH application were answered in their proposal.

The applicant should fill the form carefully with special emphasis on the following critical aspects of the proposed project:

  • Objectives, impacts and key activities
  • Implementation strategy
  • Monitoring mechanisms
  • Itemized budget

The application should be sent to:

Special Self-Help Coordinator
U.S. Embassy, Dakar
Route des Almadies
B.P. 49, Dakar, Senegal
Tel: (221) 33-879-4668 (direct line)
Tel: (221) 33-879-4000 (standard)
Fax: 221-33.879.4100
E-mail: SelfHelpS@state.gov

Please download and read the Self-Help Fund Application Guidelines (PDF 502 KB) for Senegal before completing the Special Self Help Fund Application (PDF 213 KB) form. These same guidelines are applicable for Guinea-Bissau.

The U.S. Embassy accepts grant applications for the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program throughout the year.  Funding decisions and grant awards are made as money is available throughout the year.

Applicants interested in being considered for the next round of funding for the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program are encouraged to submit their application by the close of business on July 31. 2020 at 13:00.