by Mary Jane N. Real and Virisila Buadromo

The Plantitas

In a real garden, we confess, we’re not much of gardeners. But we were part of the collective that seeded Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights Asia and the Pacific (UAF A&P). We toiled like the burgeoning urban plantitas or literally “plant aunties” that took to raising mini-gardens in pots and bottles, or minuscule backyards or balconies at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. …


Thank you for your care and generosity

In memorium: Tatiana Cordero Velásquez

By Mary Jane Real and Virisila Buadromo

For the lover of humming birds and tropical flowers, this collage tribute was put together by Devi Leiper O’Malley, UAF A&P Board member

“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” — John Steinbeck

On 13 April 2021, the Urgent Action Funds lost a key pillar of their sisterhood. Tatiana Cordero Velásquez, the Executive Director of Urgent Action Fund — Latin America & Caribbean, passed away due to complications while undergoing medical treatment. In her passing, we lost an activist, scholar, mother, who had a unique ability to bring spiritual care into feminist practice

As Tatiana joins the ancestral world…


We look back at a tough past year through the lens of organisational landmarks and learning.

A illustration showing four joyful female figures holding hands and moving in celebratory circles.
A illustration showing four joyful female figures holding hands and moving in celebratory circles.
Artist: Vidushi Yadav

In early 2019, we wrote this;

“2018 was a year that saw virulent backlash against human rights defenders across Asia and the Pacific, and coincidentally, it was also the first year of operations for us at UAF A&P. The need for strengthening the resilience of movements to bounce back from risks becomes imperative now more than ever.”

It rings true in 2021 as well, as we enter the fourth year of our operations. The risks facing women and non-binary activists and defenders of Asia…


Mary Jane N. Real, Co-Lead, Urgent Action Fund Asia & Pacific

A person & a child tend to a green, flowery field. Three patterned cloths on a line billow in the wind as the sun shines.
A person & a child tend to a green, flowery field. Three patterned cloths on a line billow in the wind as the sun shines.
This blog post speaks about how tools that we developed for our ‘Enabling Defenders’ programme took a life of its own when activists and networks devised varied uses for it, rooted in their own specific contexts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sent us careening into the unknown. We face it with much anxiety and dread because what is not known or not certain drives us beyond the limits of our comfort zones. Many of us long for a return to ‘normalcy’, a continuation of the past as we know it, rather than take advantage of this break from the past, and recast new futures.

This encounter with uncertainty lies at the heart of our social experiment to create more sustainable forms of protection and support for…


An illustration showing four persons. One is holding a child. Two have their arms around each other and are facing away.
An illustration showing four persons. One is holding a child. Two have their arms around each other and are facing away.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has taken hold, testimonies from the UAF A&P grantee network have revealed that women, especially women workers involved in the informal sector, and women human rights defenders (WHRDs) have been dealing with a wide intersection of burdens every day.

Many of these challenges were brought on by the restrictions announced by countries in the region as responses to the pandemic, and many aggravated existing problems. “The health crisis is seen by the administration as a security problem foremost, as opposed to being primarily a public health emergency,” said an activist organisation from South East Asia.

Voices…


Image courtesy: Vidushi Yadav

Dear friends,

The lockdown, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, has affected not just our physical well-being, but also our emotional security. To cope with this crisis, UAF A&P has put together a COVID-19 plan. It is based on the Emergent Learning framework, which we have adopted as integral to our learning system, to help us brace with the uncertainties we face in our individual and collective contexts. …


Its a new year and a new decade! We stride into 2020 as a two-year old niche grant-making regional fund working across Asia and the Pacific with women and non-binary human rights activists. Over the last two years, we have provided grants amounting to US$350,000 to activists and networks across countries of Asia and the Pacific. These grants have come at a time of reckoning for several activists and organisations.

There is a massive humanitarian crisis across both these regions which transcend borders and cultural differences. Authoritarianism across several countries we work in has resulted in innumerable human rights violations…


People’s Voice for Peace Source: Creative Commons

Field notes from Sri Lanka

May 2019 marks a decade since the end of the Sri Lanka civil war, that as per UN official records, led to the deaths of over 40,000 Tamils in the final offensive of 2009 alone. As a niche fund working to support frontline women and non-binary human rights defenders across Asia and the Pacific, UAF A&P has been trying to improve our grantmaking by organising consultations with activists and grassroots organisations and networks. This blog shares our learnings from conversations we had with activists in Sri Lanka in December 2018. …


2018 was a year that saw virulent backlash against human rights defenders across Asia and the Pacific, and coincidentally, it was also the first year of operations for us at UAF A&P. The need for strengthening the resilience of movements to bounce back from risks becomes imperative now more than ever. As a small, new player in the philanthropic circle, we explored strategies to innovately make grants, and mobilise different kinds of resources that could grow adaptive capacities for the resilience of the activists and movements we work with.

Grantmaking centred on empathy and a feminist ethics of care. In…

Urgent Action Fund Asia & Pacific

A regional women’s human rights and feminist fund that protects, strengthens and sustains women and non-binary human rights defenders in Asia and the Pacific

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