top of page
Grassroots Fund 

About Zishaye Grassroots Fund

Zishaye is one of the funds managed by the CivFund. It is a local fund that cultivates, manages and provides responsive, flexible and accessible grantmaking and accompaniment to civil society through transparent and accountable processes. Zishaye seeks to ignite conversations, dreams, opportunities and change for effective civic engagement.




  • The environmental and climate crisis is one of the principal threats to life on the planet for present and future generations. Global warming and ecosystem destruction threaten the production of nutritious food, access to water, housing and health, all of which are essential to live a life with dignity.

  • The people and communities who most suffer the consequences of eco-destruction and climate-related impacts are those who are already most vulnerable and marginalized.

  • Our livelihoods depend on land, water and other natural resources. At CivFund we acknowledge the need to preserve that which preserves us, and we do this by adopting a climate justice perspective.

  • Community efforts leading to an increase in the protection of land and other natural resource rights. We know that rural communities’ land rights are essential to healthy ecosystems and increased resilience to climate change.

  • Elevating the rights of rural women to own and access natural resources. In most cases, women are the most affected due to discriminatory social norms, attitudes, customs and traditions that are not in favor of women.

  • Strengthening the realization of indigenous people’s rights to own and access their land in situations where governments and large corporations are contesting their ownership.

  • Strengthening collective action on climate justice work at the grassroots. For many rural communities, access to natural resources such as land is a precursor to many other human rights such as the right to food, property, shelter and life.

  • A chance of a safe climate for future generations where those who did the least to contribute to climate change have a voice in define the solution.

  • Grassroots that are empowered enough to defend their natural resource rights including land, water and forestry resources.

Our motivation: Why Climate Justice?

What we support

Our aspirations

Zishaye Grassroots Fund Values

Represented in the acronym ‘DARE TO’, the focus of our work is grounded in the following values:




We value our common humanity and treat others with respect, guided by the Ubuntu Philosophy: I am because we are.

We are bold, original, resilient, challenge dominant narratives and are willing to take risks and chart new paths.





We are dependable, transparent and accountable.

We believe in just and equal access to opportunities and resources, and space for civil society in its diversity





Our processes are clear and straight forward. We adhere to the strictest and highest standards of accountability.

We are hopeful and confident about the future and in our shared abilities to shape the future.



bottom of page