Webs of Safety and Care - 15 June to 31 July 2022 (extended)

What is Webs of Safety and Care and why is it important?

UAF A&P’s Enabling Defenders Programme through its Webs of Safety and Care Grant (WSC Grant) intends to support women and non-binary organisations and their networks with resources to create community-based structures and resources through which they are able to build and strengthen their responses to  risks and threats they face. We recognize that it is essential for defenders to  seek respite, wellbeing and connection from a feminist and politicized lens. Such opportunities are few, especially in the Asia and Pacific region. Further, there are not enough opportunities for defenders to learn from each other and share their wisdom, grounded in their own knowledge and traditions, about how to care for and protect themselves and their communities. There are insufficient resources for local communities to build their own sustainable and effective responses.

The “Webs of Safety and Care” framework looks at safety and care of activists and defenders in a holistic way.  This means the framework looks at women and non-binary defenders as activists and defenders as well as recognising any other roles or identities they may hold. For this, it has identified four specific lenses under which overall risks and threat faced by defenders may be categorised: health and well-being, legal and political protection, economic viability and sustainable livelihood, and social and cultural support.

The different lenses allows activists and defenders to reflect on their lives beyond their identity as an activist and defender only and that how their other identities also impact on their safety, care and well-being. An example of how this framework has allowed an assessment of risk and support provided can be seen here.

WSC Grants seek to provide women and non-binary human rights defenders with sustained access to resources to support their holistic movement infrastructure for collective care, deepening their resilience, wellbeing and safety, that would sustain their lives and their long-term social change work.

What do the WSC Grant support?

With a WSC Grant, women and non-binary defenders and activists, their communities or networks can carry out following towards developing sustained safety and care structures: –


  • Assess holistic risks and threats, and safety and care needs – Grantees can conduct an overall assessment of risk and threats they face as an individual or as part of a movement. They can also assess the existing structures that can support them in times of crisis. If needed, UAF A&P will support by providing tools that can be adapted as required as well as technical accompaniment in analysing the needs and designing required structures.


    • A grantee in Nepal used the grant to conduct a-two day assessment of risks and threats faced by women human rights defenders working on land-rights. They identified that major risks faced by the defenders were lack of health and well-being support for activists, lack of social-cultural support including from their families as well as risks to their livelihood. Following this assessment, they identified developing sustainable livelihood structures for activists and defenders can mitigate the risks they are facing and are now working towards that.


  • Build – Expand or deepen existing efforts activists and their networks may have put in place including well being and safety for defenders and communities. This can include enhancing the skills of defenders and create networks of skilled defenders to address risks and threats they regularly face, such as primary digital security trainers, skilled peer psycho-social counsellors or network of pro-bono lawyers


    • Using the grant, a network of women human rights defenders in South East Asia trained women and non-binary defenders in their networks to develop their skill as psycho-social counsellors. This will help create network of skilled counsellors among the peer defenders who will be able to support and identify psycho-social needs of their peers.


  • Create – New structures that help defenders / communities in building resilience or prioritizing rest and rejuvenation; provide holistic well-being and care for defenders’ and communities; Example of this can be creating sustainable safe spaces for women and non-binary defenders that can be accessed when they are facing threats or when they need respite from their day to day activism work.     


    • A grantee from Indonesia received UAF A&P Resourcing Resilience Grant to start a beauty salon operated by transgenders activists. This space which was sustained through the earning as a beauty salon was created to use as a safe space for transgenders community to come together. Similar initiatives can be supported under WSC grant, provided it is based on holistic assessment of safety and care.


  • Connect – Grantees are able to share learnings, ideas and experiences within their own across movements on promoting resilience, well being and collective care. Examples include workshops or convenings with our defenders on normalising conversations on mental health and well-being.


    • Grantee in Sri Lanka used WSC grant to create a learning and sharing spaces of individual and collective care practices, fear and hopes for their movements and used the space to map out overall safety and care issues faced by the network and their movement.

Who is eligible to apply?

Women and non-binary activists and defender, their network and communities can propose initiative that:

  • include complete assessment of safety and care or is based on such assessment that have previously been conducted. The documentation of the holistic safety and care assessment may be required.
  • have clear link between the safety and care needs identified and how the proposed initiative will address them.
  • Have clear strategy of how the initiative will be implemented and what is expected as an outcome that is towards building or strengthening websFfra of safety and care for women and non-binary activists and defenders or their organsiations or networks.
  • that must be led/conducted by organisations, collectives and networks led by women and non-binary human rights defenders.
  • The initiatives as well as the organisations and networks must be supported by networks of human rights, women’s rights and other related networks at local or national levels. This includes UAF A&P network of Advisors and other partners.

What is the Grant Process and timeline?

  • Applications sought through invitation: previous grantees and other partners; recommended by Advisors. [Period of 4weeks]
  • Processing of application: This will include verification process through our Advisors and other trusted partners as well as their recommendations. [maximum of 4 weeks period since the application deadline]      
  • Decision by UAF A&P Working Group: approximately 6 weeks from the application deadline

Grant amount – up to USD 10,000 per grant is provided to those applications that have conducted complete safety and care analysis. The proposed plan to address the risks and threats is based on this analysis.

Grant amount up to USD 5000 per grant is provided to organisations and networks that are proposing to conduct a complete safety and care assessment of their organisation/ network or communities.

How to apply for WSC Grant?

  • If you meet the grant criteria, please create a profile with a protonmail account.
  • If you do not have a protonmail account, you can create a free account.
  • Please fill out all the relevant detail in the application form
  • Click “Submit and lock” (upper right)

Are male defenders (who work with human rights organisations) eligible for this grant or not?

UAF A&P’s mandate is to offer emergency grants and resilience support to only women and non-binary human rights defenders across countries of Asia and the Pacific.

Do you have any recommended procedures or consultants to conduct a holistic assessment?

We require the holistic assessment to explore all aspects of safety and care for women and non-binary activists and defenders including: health and well-being support, legal and political support, sustainable livelihoods; and social and cultural support. If you are looking for a tool to help your organisation conduct this assessment, we can offer you one that we co-developed with communities in Asia. You do NOT have to use the same tool - you can adapt this in any way useful to your organisation or community, or develop a completely different one that speaks to your context.


Is it possible to apply for the $10,000 grant if our proposal includes safety and care analysis, but also tries to develop further programs?

If you have not done the holistic needs assessment yet, you are eligible to apply only for conducting the assessment, for which we offer up to US$ 5000.

Can I apply as an individual not representing any organization?

Webs of Safety and Care grant are specifically for organisations and networks led by women and/or non-binary activists and defenders, our other grants, such as Security and Well Being grants and Resourcing Resilience grants cater to individuals as well as organisations too.

We are not registered. Will UAF be able to fund us still?

Yes. Organisations and network not formally registered but those which are recognised by communities they work with and for are eligible to apply.

Can we apply for psychotherapy services to set up psychotherapy services via video Webinar sessions?

For addressing immediate security and well-being needs for women and non-binary activists and defenders, please check out our Security and Well-being grants here

Can we apply for education activities for girls who are out of school via online learning for high school education?

UAF A&P grants are specifically to support women and non-binary human rights defenders facing risk due to their work. Our mandate does not cover grants for activities that represent core programme work of non-profit organisations or community-based organisations

We have to find someone to conduct needs assessment. Do you know someone who can do the assessment?

Defenders and their organisations/network can do their own needs assessment. There is no set format or tool for how this assessment. Your organization can choose to do it in whichever form or manner that you collectively choose. However, if you need an assessment tool and technical support on how to use if, we can offer you the one we developed with communities in Asia. Please write to us to access it.

If we have not done assessment and if we apply for an assessment now, then how we can get the other 10 K grant? will we still have time to apply for the initiative?

If you have not done the assessment, you can apply only for US$ 5000 in this grant cycle to do the assessment.

I want to get the technical support from you for conducting Risk Assessment.

Defenders and their organisations/network can do their own needs assessment. There is no set format or tool for how this assessment. Your organization can choose to do it in whichever form or manner that you collectively choose. However, if you need an assessment tool and technical support on how to use if, we can offer you the one we developed with communities in Asia. Please write to us to access it.

If our organization is applying for SECURITY AND WELL-BEING GRANTS for two of our staff under threat, can we also apply for the Webs of Safety at the same time as an organization?

If you have already applied for an SWB grant for an individual activists/ defenders, your organisation can still apply for a WSC grant. Please indicate which application is currently open.

Can we apply assess on the risk of all our needy victims of violence and other beneficiaries. Can we apply for this?

UAF A&P grants, including this WSC grants are specifically for providing safety, care and protection of women and non-binary activists only. Therefore it is important that the beneficiaries of the risk assessment are women and/or non-binary human rights defenders.

What does the tool look like?

Please email us at wscgrant@uafanp.org if you would like to access the tool we have developed together with communities of women and non-binary defenders of Asia. Please note, you DO NOT have to use this tool, if you find any other tool more accessible, and relevant to your context, we encourage you to use that to conduct your risk assessment. You are also free to adapt this tool to your context and cultural relevance.

If we haven't done the assessment, what we can propose for the assessment? In the application itself there are various questions for organization those who didn't make the assessment, can you please refer to the application questions how to response?

If you are applying for needs assessment, you do not have to respond to questions under section IV. While responding to the section III, please make sure to cover the following:

  • Explain who are you doing the assessment with and for? Is this with the women and non-binary activist and defenders?
  • Explain about the activists and defenders - what are the human rights work they do? how are they related with your organisation? what are the kind of risks and threats do you see they are facing?
  • How do you define holistic safety and care assessment? and what elements will be included in this assessment?
  • What will be your process of conducting the assessment? If you have a tool you will be using, can you attach it?
  • What is your timeline for conducting this assessment?

Are there any specific financial requirements?

For reporting, we have developed a report back mechanism that includes a narrative report and a listing of financial expenditure. We do not usually require you to submit receipts for each expense, unless we notice discrepancies or mismatch. 

Webs of Safety and Care | A Visual Guide


Download the WSC Grants Guide here

The Webs of Safety and Care | The Graphic Narrative

The documented story of one of our first grantees in the Webs of Safety and Care programme was converted into a graphic narrative to illustrate how women and non-binary activists and defender communities weave webs of safety and care. These webs of interdependence are founded in relationships of trust and community bonds. 

This graphic narrative is an attempt to help women and non-binary human rights activists and defenders realise the interconnectedness of the situations, contexts and/or  players that support their resistance and resilience

The contexts and specifics of this grantee story has been anonymised to ensure security and confidentiality of the group that worked on building webs of safety and care for this woman human rights defenders. 

Read on:



UAF A&P WSC grants do not support:
  • Proposals that are not based on the holistic assessment of safety and care needs.

  • Short term safety and well-being measures. This support can be assessed through out security and well-being grant.

  • Cis-gender male* led groups/ organisations.

  • Regular programmatic areas of the organisations and networks including advocacy, capacity-building, service providing or other regular work.

  • Activities or projects for humanitarian crises or natural disasters.

  • Activities or projects focused on development aid or charity assistance.

  • Regular operating budgets and/or bridge funding (to fill a funding gap).

* Cisgender Males are individuals who identify as male and who were assigned male at birth.

Frequently Asked Questions