8 DC organizations get African Community Grant Awards from mayor’s office

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced several local organizations Wednesday that are receiving grants for their work with the African community.

A total of $70,000 is going to eight organizations in the form of African Community Grant Awards.

Leonce Byimana of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition said they had their $7,000 grant renewed.

“This money comes at a good time, because during the pandemic, 60% of our clients lost their jobs,” Byimana said.

He said the funds will go toward the organization’s career development services to help immigrants find jobs based on their previous experience and education.

“We’re actually helping D.C. to fill out positions that were not filled out before because we have people with diverse educations, backgrounds, experiences and languages,” Byimana said.

Joan Hodges-Wu, founder and executive director of AsylumWorks said they received $6,000 from Mayor Bowser’s African Community Grant Awards.

“This grant will allow us to provide our holistic suite of services to help the clients that we work with get back on their feet and rebuild their lives,” Hodges-Wu said.

She said the pandemic has made it more difficult to help those in need and this money will give them a boost.

“When the Diaspora is struggling, you know, our clients feel that on an even deeper level, because the places they normally would reach out for help, just are not responsive.”

Bowser said that the Fiscal Year 2022 grants fulfill the focus of the budget, which is an emphasis on equity and the need to protect our community’s most vulnerable residents.

“I am proud to support these community-based organizations that have demonstrated their commitment to providing Washington D.C.’s African residents culturally and linguistically tailored services and programs,” Bowser said. “These programs support our African residents with the tools they need to be able to have a fair shot across all 8 wards.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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