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Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund for the Republic of Congo


The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund (SSH) assists Congolese community groups to develop lasting, self-sustaining projects that benefit entire communities.  SSH grants in the Republic of Congo have contributed to agricultural modernization, economic development, combatting gender-based violence, improving sanitation, empowering women, improving learning conditions, and expanding access to clean water, health services, and education.  Each year, the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund supports approximately five to ten projects with grants typically between $5-7,000.

Grants from this program are awarded to non-governmental organizations and community groups to carry out small development projects.  The goal of this program is to encourage community involvement and the use of local resources and expertise to improve basic economic and social conditions of the local community.


Length of performance period:  12 months

Number of awards anticipated:  Multiple awards will be granted.

Total available funding:  Awards may range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000.  The Embassy reserves the right to award less or more than the funds described in the absence of worthy applications or under such other circumstances as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. government.

Type of Funding:  Economic Support Funds under the Foreign Assistance Act

Application deadline:  August 24, 2018

Anticipated project start date:  October 1, 2018

Funding Instrument Type:  Fixed Amount

Project Performance Period:  Proposed project should be completed in 12 months or less

This notice is subject to availability of funding.



Local Congolese not-for-profit/non-governmental organizations working on community development and capacity-building projects are eligible to apply for this award.  Preference will be given to projects that advance the goals of diversifying the economy, empowering women and youth, and expanding English language capability.

U.S. Embassy Brazzaville encourages applications from first-time applicants, and from organizations located in all parts of the Republic of Congo.


Applicants may submit their applications through Grants.gov, or send applications directly to the Embassy point-of-contact by email or in person.

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms:
  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)
  1. Summary Page: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, project title, project period-proposed start and end date, and brief description of the purpose of the project.
  1. Proposal: The proposal should contain sufficiently detailed information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do.
  1. Supporting Documentation:
  • DUNS Number and SAM.gov Registration**
  • Budget and budget justification narrative
  • Letters of support from project partners or official permission letters, if required for project activities
  • A list of the organization’s members with their names, titles, and contact details
  • Directions and a map showing the location of your project from the nearest town, if applicable
  • Details of all the project bank accounts
  • Any other supporting documentation deemed necessary

**Note:  U.S. Embassy Brazzaville urges prospective applicants to immediately  confirm that their organization has a current Unique Entity Identifier (Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS) number), and that registration in the SAM.gov system is in a current/active status prior to your organization’s application submission.  Please see the attached addendum, “Registration Steps for Foreign Organizations to Receive U.S. Assistance,” for instructions on how to complete all the necessary procedures (DUNS, NCAGE, SAM.gov, and Grants.gov).  Contact the Embassy’s Grants Officer Representative, Landry Koufoundila, with any questions.


A review committee will meet to determine selected projects in September 2018 using pre-established criteria to assess the merits of each proposal, which include the following:

  • Alignment with SSH program eligibility criteria
  • Feasibility of project design
  • Impact on target group
  • Organizational capacity
  • Sustainability/financial self-reliance
  • Past performance
  • Alignment with Embassy Brazzaville’s mission objective to support diversification of the economy and improvement of the business climate, empower women and youth, and promote English language capability.

If selected, your group will be notified in August and representatives from your group will be invited to attend a workshop, sign an agreement contract, and participate in an awards ceremony. Funds will be available several weeks thereafter.


If you have questions or are ready to submit your application, please contact U.S. Embassy Brazzaville’s Grants Officer Representative, Landry Koufoundila, at +242 06 612 2000, or by email at CongoGrants@state.gov.


Registration Steps for Foreign Organizations to Receive U.S. Assistance

Important Note:  Organizations physically located OUTSIDE of the U.S. and territories and wishing to conduct business (contracts/grants) with the U.S. Government must FIRST request a NCAGE Code, followed by a DUNS Number and then complete registration process in SAM.gov.  Applicants must complete these steps prior to registering on Grants.gov.

Please follow these steps in order to complete the necessary registrations to apply for and receive U.S. government assistance:

CAGE/NCAGE Registration

NCAGE Codes are required for all foreign entities prior to starting a SAM registration. PLEASE NOTE:  The organization’s name, address, and email information must match what you used to request your Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS Number) Please ensure that alphabets, numerical characters, symbols, etc. and spacing is the same in both systems during the registration process.. Otherwise, you will receive error messages when applying for the NCAGE code.  Organizations can submit a request for an NCAGE Code using the NCAGE Request Tool at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf (PDF 1,033 KB).  Detailed instructions are posted at that site.  For additional information, please call 1-269-961-4623 or send an email message to NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil.

NCAGE registrations for overseas organizations can take up to 10 days (or more) to finalize once a request has been received.  Please plan accordingly.

Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS Number)

All applicant organizations (foreign and domestic) must obtain a DUNS number.  Foreign organizations that do not have a Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS number) will need to go to the Dun & Bradstreet website at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/CCRSearch.do?val=1 to start the process for obtaining a DUNS number.  If further assistance is required, please email:
SAMHelp@dnb.com.  NOTE:  The organization’s name, address, and email information used to request the NCAGE Code must match what is used to request your Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS Number). Please ensure that alphabets, numerical characters, symbols, etc. and spacing is the same in both systems during the registration process.

SAM.gov Registration

SAM.gov registration is required of all applicants prior to registering with www.grants.gov. Applicant organizations can obtain assistance for SAM.gov registration by using the following link:  https://www.fsd.gov or by calling 1-866-606-8220 (U.S. calls)/or 1-324-206-7828 (international calls).  PLEASE NOTE:  The organization’s name, address, and email  information used to request your organization’s Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS number) and the NCAGE Code must match what is used to request the SAM.gov validation Please ensure that alphabets, numerical characters, symbols, and spacing is the same in both systems during the registration process. Otherwise, you will receive error messages when registering in SAM.gov.

Foreign organizations must have a DUNS number and an NCAGE code prior to completing the SAM.gov registration process.  Please follow the above listed instructions to obtain each. 

Please note: If your organization is registered with SAM.gov and your status is NOT listed as ACTIVE, you will need to update your registration prior to submitting an application through www.grants.gov. SAM.gov requires ALL organizations (foreign and domestic) to register on an ANNUAL basis.

Grants.gov Registration

In order to apply for a grant on Grants.gov, your organization must complete the Grants.gov registration process. Registration can take between three-five business days or as long as two weeks if all steps are not completed in a timely manner.   Please log into http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html to obtain complete instructions on the registration process.

Foreign Registrants:  Please ensure that you have obtained an NCAGE code, a DUNS number, and an “ACTIVE” status in SAM.gov prior to registering in Grants.gov.

Those who wish to  apply for the Ambassador’s Self-Help  funds should complete the forms

SF424_2_1-V2.1 (PDF 265 KB), SF424A-V1.0 (PDF 322 KB) and SF424B-V1.1 (PDF 115 KB) and send them to congogrants@state.gov.