The Dympna Meaney Fund.

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The Dympna Meaney Women’s Leadership Development Fund was set up to connect women leaders from the global south with skills building opportunities to strengthen their contribution to global human rights

Dympna Meaney (1957—1991) was a global solidarity activist based in Dublin, Ireland, whose work was infused by passion for equality and social justice. She inspired and empowered all those who came in contact with her.



Details of the 2018 funding round are yet to be announced

Her untimely death on 10 December 1991 in a cycle accident in Dublin robbed us of a great champion in the fight for gender equality and human rights. Through the Dympna Meaney Women’s Leadership Development Fund, friends and former colleagues, aim to ensure Dympna’s vision for justice and solidarity lives on.

We are a micro philanthropic effort and provide bursaries to women leaders from the global south who are working to promote human rights and equality.

The Dympna Meaney Women’s Leadership Development Fund exists to connect women leaders from Latin America, Africa and Asia with skills building opportunities to strengthen their contribution to global human rights.


Our objectives in setting up this fund:

  • to provide bursaries to facilitate participation in skills building opportunities for women in Latin America, Africa and Asia to enhance their contribution to the field of human rights.
  • to identify and disseminate information regarding skills building opportunities locally, regionally and internationally for southern
    women activists.
  • to connect rights-building women leaders with each other to strengthen our collective effort for a just world.

Donate now to the fund.

Any donation large of small will be welcome. If you are a tax payer and you can donate €21 per month or a total of €250 in a year then we will be able to claim back tax credits and make your donation go further.  All donations will be used solely for bursaries.

  • By Direct Debit. Please fill in the Direct Debit form right here, complete your bank details and send it to: Comhlámh, 12 Parliament St, Dublin 2, Ireland.
  • You can now also set up direct debit using the GoCardless links below. Click here to donate €21 every month and here to donate €250 in each year in one go.
  • By using PayPal. Just insert the appropriate amount.
  • By Cheque: Please post your cheque, draft or postal order, made payable to “Comhlámh” with an accompanying note clearly marking it out for the Dympna Meaney Fund to Comhlámh, 12 Parliament St, Dublin 2, Ireland
  • By Bank Transfer: Please arrange to transfer the appropriate amount with the reference Dympna Meaney Fund to Comhlámh IBAN IE77IPBS99061080009753 BIC IPBSIE2D, Permanent TSB Grafton Street 70, Dublin 2.




Our 2017 Funding Round.

This year the Dympna Meaney Women’s Leadership Development  Group received 7 applications from all over the world, and our steering committee reviewed and scored these. The quality of the submissions was excellent and the competition stiff!  Over 2017 we provided three bursaries totaling €7026.00 as follows:


Ms Shuburna Chodbury.

Ms Shuburna Chodbury, a human rights activist working in Bangladesh received €3000.00 to participate in a training course entitled “Community Driven Impact Assessment” at the COADY International Institute in Canada.  In Shuburna’s own words:

 “The journey with me in Coady Institute was awesome. I really loved and enjoyed the facilitation of the course. I only spent three weeks in Coady but it has a long impact on my heart. I enrolled in the course of citizen led accountability: strategies and tools. The content of the course is Good Governance and how citizen can be active.  Various simulations; exercise, group work and plenary session has been used to clear the concept which was amazing.


I also found interesting to share the experiences, ideas and case studies of different participants across different continent of the world. The most significant learning was good governance and citizen led accountability tools especially community score cards (CSC), Citizen Report Card and Community based monitoring. In my organization I will use accountability tools especially CSC to improve the quality of services of health facilities of rural Bangladesh.


The concept of good governance can be used of persuasion while working with government.  I already prepared presentation on the content and shared the knowledge with my fellow colleagues.   I also like to thank and say special gratitude to Dympna Leadership Women Bursary Fund to give me such an opportunity to participate in the training.”

We renewed our support in 2017 for two groups which we funded in 2016 and we believe by doing so we are deepening our impact, and strengthening the capacity of these groups with our ongoing solidarity.

The Development Education Network of Liberia received our largest grant of €3026.00 for their project entitled: Strengthening the knowledge and skills of local women leaders on Gender Based Violence, it’s health implications and the sustainable development Goals.  DEN – L continues to work with displaced and migrant women in Liberia to strengthen their understanding and advocacy skills regarding their rights, and the international and local laws which can be invoked to protect those rights.

Finally, The Asociacion para el desarrollo integral de la mujer (APADIEM) received €1000.00 for their work with migrant women in Nicaragua in which they provided three seminars to 20 local leaders to raise awareness of the vulnerabilities of the female migrants, and to ensure leaders are aware of the rights, particular challenges and protections available in the Central American region.”


Our 2016 Funding Round

In 2016 Dympna Meaney Women’s Leadership Development Fund Bursaries where presented to.

Judith Ondara


Judith Ondara received a bursary of €2,407. Judith is working with the Kenyan NGO, ‘Fruits of Hope and Development Initiative’ in Kissi.  Judith coordinates    training activities while also counselling women who are victims of gender violence and participates through advocacy to prevent the practice of Female Genital   Mutilation which is prevalent locally.  Her bursary funded her to attend a training on Gender Based Violence held in Arusha, Tanzania in June. The training was for advocates on prevention of  gender based violence  against women and girls who are victims of displacement  resulting from conflicts.

Alexina Biyaki Mabeya


Alexina Biyaki Mabeya is a human rights activist with an extensive track record in gender and human rights programming, also from Kenya, and she received €2,100 to attend a comprehensive 11 day training programme on Gender Violence in Conflict and Post Conflict situations. The conference is hosted by the Kajuluminto Foundation based in Nyansiongo, Kenya and will take place in October.

Apadeim, the Association for the Holistic Development of Women.


Apadeim, the Association for the Holistic Development of Women, based in Nicaragua, received €3,000 for a programme of work with local female leaders to raise     awareness of the rights and risks associated with migration  in Nicaragua, specifically in the municipality of El Viejo, Chinandego. For both women and children the main risks  are physical and sexual abuse. Photo: Carmen Lopez, is from the rural community of La Chorrera and she is one of      the leaders who will be participating in the training

Development Education Network – Liberia, (DEN – L)


Development Education Network – Liberia, (DEN – L) is a non partisan, non religious non sectarian NGO and a long term development actor in Liberia.  DEN – L received a bursary of €2,650 to support their innovative 3 day programme of work with 30 local leaders providing information and training on gender based violence. The women leaders will have space to reflect on GBV in relation to their experiences and develop strategies to address the major gender issues in Bong County, Liberia.

Photo:  Dorothy Tooman, Director of DEN-L.

Lucy Anale from Bugiri, Uganda.


Lucy Anale from Bugiri, Uganda, received a bursary of €3,000 to attend the training programme on Gender Violence in Conflict and Post Conflict situations hosted by the Kajuluminto Foundation in Kenya. Lucy currently works as a community based nurse in northern Uganda (Soroti region) treating women and children victims of  violence perpetrated by the Lord’s Resistance Army



Our 2015 Funding Round.


In 2015 a subcommittee of our Board reviewed more than 20 applications to the Fund and agreed to award bursaries totaling €10,150.73 to a group of very exciting and creative human rights activists from across Africa and India. The learning opportunities were big and ambitious in some cases, and targeted and local in others. What they all had in common was the pursuit of new leadership skills for a group of women activists working on human rights with young people.

Jenna Lee Strugnell, from South Africa was awarded a bursary of €2333.10 from the Fund. Jenna Lee has a background in psychology and is a community worker currently working with young people, including those who live and work on the street, and orphans living in care homes. Her focus is on Gender Related Violence using a Narrative Therapy approach. Narrative Therapy makes use of storytelling to promote healing. Jenna has been funded by the Dympna Meaney Women’s Leadership Development Fund to participate in a mentorship programme with a global expert in Narrative Therapy and to attend two training workshops in South Africa this year to build her skills.

Jacklina Longer from Sudan works with GOAL South Sudan in remote Twic County where she works with women’s literacy and business development groups. Jacklina received €1960.00 to undertake a study visit and see first hand the income generating and livelihoods work that GOAL Uganda is doing with young women entrepreneurs. As part of her study visit Jacklina visited women’s groups in Northern Uganda and studied village savings and loans groups in eastern Uganda. One outcome of the visit was Jacklina’s improved confidence in coaching women in the development of business strategies and governance for micro businesses.

Veronica Sapalo is the Executive Director of ‘The Platform for Women in Action’ which is a network of women’s organisations in Angola. Veronica received a bursary of €2731.50 to travel to and attend the Summer School on Transitional Justice, hosted by Ulster University from 22 June – 26 June. According to Veronica participation in this course strengthened her knowledge and capacity in the fields of International Law and conflict related violence against women, including knowledge on investigations and reparations, which is a critical issue facing post war Angola. Veronica also used the opportunity to share and compare perspectives on the Angolan experience during and after the civil war, in particular regarding transitional justice and violence against women.

Martha Yigezu, Mebrat Yosef and Zehara Seid, all of whom work with Concern Worldwide in Ethiopia, received a total of €1200.00 to participate in a 3 day leadership development course in Addis Ababa in Sept. 2015. The workshop explored the critical elements of leadership for women in business and community organizations. The practical sessions aimed to support participants in acquiring skills every leader needs to understand the unwritten rules of corporate cultures; emulate successful leaders; self advocate; find that balance between life and work and identify and implement transformative leadership techniques to negotiate conflicts.

Swati Chakraborty, from Kolkata India received a bursary of €1925.00. Swati works as a Protection Officer with GOAL India. She conducted research among sex workers with children under 5 years old in one of the largest and most densely populated red light districts of Asia. Her research revealed that sex workers lack maternal and child health related services, and consequently face substantial risk of unplanned pregnancies, a very high rate of repeated abortions and woefully inadequate antenatal care. Swati received a bursary to present the findings of her research, entitled “When sex workers are also mothers” at the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference in Chicago, USA from November 9-14, 2015.


Meet some of the people we have funded!



Pictured left to right: Martha Yigezu, Mebrat Yosef and Zehara Seid.

The Dympna Meaney Women’s Leadership Skills Development Bursary has supported three development activists from Ethiopia in accessing training in Leadership Skills.


Read more >>> 




This is Jacklina Longer.  She is the Programme Manager Assistant for the REFLECT Programme in GOAL South Sudan, Twic County.

Comhlámh is very proud to announce that Jacklina is among three woman to benefit from the Dympna Meaney Women’s Leadership Development Fund in Ethiopia.


Read more >>> 





Veronica 3


Veronica Sapalo is the Executive Director of ‘The Platform for Women in Action’ which is a network of women’s organisations in Angola.

Veronica has been funded by the Dympna Meaney Women’s Leadership Development Fund to travel to and attend the Summer School on Transitional Justice, 2015

Read more about her here.


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