- The criteria for selecting projects for Break the Chains and Stop the Pain grants are as follows:The purpose of the proposed project shall address violence against women and girls. The project may serve at-risk women and/or girls; it may serve women and/or girls who are survivors of violence; it may educate and empower communities to minister to survivors of violence, or empower communities to engage in anti-violence efforts. The proposed project must be related to an American Baptist 501(c)(3) organization (i.e., an ABC church, an ABC region).
- The proposed project must be new. The Break the Chains grants are intended to be “start-up” funds that encourage new ministries that address violence against women and girls.
- The proposed project must have plans for continued funding from other sources.
AB Women’s Ministries began its new Break the Chains and Stop the Pain initiative in 2011 to address oppression of women and girls worldwide. Virginia Holmstrom, executive director of American Baptist Women’s Ministries, said, “Oppression of women and girls comes in many forms. Some girls never get to go to school. Maternal healthcare is substandard in many parts of the world. Patriarchal systems in government and society exclude women. Rape is increasingly used as a weapon of war. Domestic violence happens behind closed doors in our communities and congregations. Because of the immensity of the oppression issue, we’re focusing in 2011-2014 on violence.”
Holmstrom noted that Break the Chains and Stop the Pain follows AB Women’s Ministries earlier focus on sex trafficking. “We had just completed a 3-year mission project and saw the wide-spread impact of the project. We had raised over $480,000 for Break the Chains: Slavery in the 21st Century, and had awarded grants to twenty ministries, half in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, and half overseas, that were engaged in prevention, advocacy, or victim care related to sex trafficking. Our board asked, ‘Why stop now?’ Out of that momentum, Break the Chains and Stop the Pain was born.
Submission guidelines and grant application forms for Break the Chains and Stop the Pain are available from AB Women’s Ministries Break the Chains website at www.abwmbreakthechains.org. The application deadline for the 2012 granting cycle is April 30, 2012. Grants will be awarded in December 2012.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.