Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program

Our Small Grants Program

The 2016 Small Grants Program offered by the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in South Africa is now closed.

Please watch this space for information on our 2017 program.

University of Cape Town – Thethani Debating League

Debate coaching workshops and tournaments

Stanford Talisman

Visit by this musical group to South Africa

South Africa Washington-Internship Program

Debriefing weekend for SAWIP Team after its seven-month leadership development program in S.A. and the U.S.

University of the Western Cape

University of Missouri-University of Western Cape theater production on Miriam Makeba, Mama Africa

Sol Plaatje University

Emerging student leaders program

Sharing Without Shame

“Breaking the Silence” drug awareness campaign

Spark International Changemakers

Entrepreneurship accelerator program

Tshwane University of Technology

Solar car project

New Dawn Foundation

SA Spelling Spark


Big History project

Gay SA Radio

Official launch of station

University of Pretoria Centre for Human Rights

Moot Court competition

Grahamstown Foundation

U.S. participation in SciFest Africa in Grahamstown, including a U.S. Embassy Science Fellow, and related outreach activities, January-March, 2015.

U.S. visit and in-country travel by SciFest Africa Director to attend in Washington D.C. the NASA-convened LAUNCH partners project review and strategic planning meetings to support the transfer of the LAUNCH model to Africa.

Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy (CANRAD)

Visit by an American hip-hop artist to engage with youth and emerging artists in Port Elizabeth, promoting dialogue and debate, and encouraging self-expression, social cohesion, and civic activism.

Step Afrika! and iKapa Dance Theatre

Step camp program for at-risk youth around Cape Town, teaching leadership skills, teamwork, & innovation through dance, June-July 2015.

National Arts Festival

U.S. participation in the 2015 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, July, 2015, including jazz and classical music performances, and theatrical productions.

University of the Western Cape

Joint U. Western Cape/U. Missouri/Robben Island Museum project to create an Apartheid-era archive for public dissemination & research.

Friends of Central Library

To modernize the American Corner at Cape Town Central Library, creating a new space to provide programs and cutting edge technology to a young, entrepreneurial audience; staffing and programming for the modernized Corner.

Highway Africa, Rhodes University

Visit by U.S. journalist to give a joint keynote address at the Highway Africa Conference in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa in August, 2015.

Innovate South Africa

Coding workshops for female students at the American Corner at Cape Town Central Library.

Children’s Radio Foundation

Series of journalism workshops at the American Corner in Cape Town, focusing on gender identity issues.

Battery Dance Company and iKapa Dance Theatre

Launch South Africa’s first international dance festival, the Cape Town International Dance Festival: Town & Township, December-November, 2015; conduct Dancing to Connect workshops for  at least 100 boys and girls from at-risk environments in Cape Town.

PeacePlayers International – South Africa

Professional and leadership development programs; 26th City-Wide basketball tournament.

World Federation of Science Journalists

Virtual Ebola reporting workshop for journalists throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Bloemfontein City Orchestra Trust

Visit by American pianist, including performance at The American Concert at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein in March, 2015.

Kwamahlobo Games

Develop and elevate soccer skills for upcoming players in Soweto that do not have access to other developmental support.

Music Academy of Gauteng

Live performance of jazz music at the Joburg Theatre in April, 2015.

Play Africa Group NPC

Represent South Africa at the Emerging Children’s Museum pre-conference and InterActivity 2015 at the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis in May, 2015.

Centre for Development & Enterprise

Visit by American education expert to work with officials from the Department of Education, universities and civil society on initial teacher education, in September 2015.

Wits Radio Academy

Participation of a U.S. speaker at the Wits Radio Academy Radio Days Africa conference, July, 2015.


Coordinate STEM mentorship for schoolgirls in rural Africa with five South African schoolgirls who participated in the State Department “WiSci” STEAM (STEM plus Art & Design) camp in Rwanda during summer 2015.

Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, University of the Free State

Exhibition of “Separate is not Equal: The Struggle against Segregated Schooling in America” at the UFS Qwaqwa campus, August-September, 2015.

Olive Tree Theatre

Fourth annual Women in Theatre Festival to be held in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, September-December, 2015.

Generation Earth

Youth summit on climate change and food security in Africa ahead of COP21 Paris.

Field Band Foundation

Leadership workshop for project officers, November 2015.

Market Theatre Foundation

International Jazz Day program, April, 2015 to promote peace, justice and unity among people through jazz.

Theatrical production celebrating the life and work of Maya Angelou, September 2015.

The Building Isinthu Trust

TEDxTableMountain: Journeys of Excellence, Cape Town, May 2015.

Vuyani Dance Theatre

Artistic director’s residency at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC, June-July 2015.

Performance at an Alvin Ailey Dance Theater reception, Pretoria, September 2015.

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation

Outreach to local youth, artists and community groups through activities aimed at building cultural bridges and fostering mutual understanding, September 2015.


Five-day Robotics Holiday Club program for high school students in Mamelodi, July 2015.


Monthly programs at the Mae Jemison Science Reading Room in Mamelodi East.

Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy

Massive Open Online Courses, leadership development workshops, and robotics and coding programs that encourage Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education and careers at the American Corner Pretoria.

University of Texas at Austin

Four- day regional GIST Startup Boot Camp in South Africa, to empower young science and technology innovators and entrepreneurs through on-the-ground training and mentoring.

Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa

Grants competition for alumni of the Young African Leaders Initiative.

Afrika Leadership Development Institute

Two-day “TechCamp South Africa: Grassroots Leadership” in October 2015 for 60Young African Leadership Initiative Network delegates, focusing on good governance-elections, human rights, and climate change, followed by two post-TechCamp activities.

National Arts Festival

Participation of the Chicago Children’s Choir at the 40th National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, July 2014.

Market Theatre Foundation

Training for over thirty talented youth  from disadvantaged communities at the Market Laboratory’s Drama School, April-September, 2014, in conjunction with a special theatrical production celebrating twenty years of democracy in South Africa.


Monthly programs at the Mae Jemison Science Reading Room in Mamelodi East.

South African Institute of International Affairs

Participation of U.S. economics expert at a SAIIA-hosted South African roundtable event, “Restoring Multilateral Trade Cooperation”, in Johannesburg, June, 2014, giving a keynote address on mega-regionals and what they mean for outsiders.


Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy workshops in Johannesburg and Pretoria, featuring the executive director of PFLAG National.

University of Pretoria

Expansion of the Mae Jemison Science Reading Room on the university’s campus in Mamelodi East.

Vuyani Dance Theatre

Participation by fourteen members of Vuyani Dance Theatre in the 2014 Fall for Dance festival in New York City, October, 2014.

African Conservation Trust

Raising awareness of the increasing poaching and trafficking of rhinos and other wildlife in South Africa, including participation by a U.S. speaker at the World Youth Rhino Summit at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, September 2014.

Brightest Young Minds

Develop a strong cohort of Young African Leadership Initiative Mandela Washington Fellows over the next five years.

South Africa-Washington International Program

Community engagement activities with youth in underserved communities in the Western Cape and Gauteng, September 2014-June 2015.

NIROX Foundation Trust

Residency for two U.S. artists at NIROX in Gauteng.

enke: Make Your Mark

Expansion project for the U.S. Embassy Youth Council/Young African Leaders Network, in two Pretoria townships.

JNF Walter Sisulu Environmental Center

Extend the indigenous garden at the Mae Jemison Science Corner, and establish a twin garden at a nearby secondary school in Mamelodi East.

Market Theatre Foundation

Ketekang musical production, making it possible for underprivileged youth to attend the show.

Zwakala Festival, designed to encourage and highlight the work of community theatre groups and give their productions a chance to be staged professionally at the Market Theatre.

National Community Radio Forum

Conference on media freedom.


Global Mentoring Walk, to create awareness around women’s leadership.

Wits Radio Academy

Two U.S. speakers for “Jo’burg Radio Days” conference in July 2014.

Mphebatho Cultural Museum

Exhibit “Separate Is Not Equal: The Struggle Against Segregated Schooling in America”, September 2014-March 2015.

Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa

Year-long series of interventions and activities to provide development support to women entrepreneurs in the growth phase of running a business.

National Children’s Theatre Trust

Educational theatre programs for schools in Gauteng.

Grahamstown Foundation

U.S. participation in SciFest Africa in Grahamstown.

South African Association for Jazz Education

Series of public performances, master classes and jazz events in and around Cape Town in June, 2104.

University of the Western Cape

Collaboration with the University of Missouri and the Robben Island Museum to set up an archive of apartheid-era research materials.

Cape Town Opera Company

Opportunity for young South African student singers to participate in music calls, rehearsals and performances of an American-composed opera as part of their degree program.

Highway Africa Centre

U.S. speaker participation at the Highway Africa conference in September 2014.