The Spark Fund invests in youth-led and youth-focused groups tackling injustice and inequality, driving transformational change, and building a more inclusive post-pandemic world by harnessing the power of digital technologies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened inequalities across the globe and created an opening for change. We believe that transformation is the key to post-crisis growth and sustainability. The world needs new solutions to address existing problems, and young people should be drivers and decision-makers in this change.

The Spark Fund is an innovative, participatory fund that provides youth-led and youth-focused groups with financial support and capacity development, enabling them to experiment, collaborate, and learn using digital technologies.

Global Fund for Children and the Avast Foundation established the Spark Fund based on their shared commitment to empowering the next generation to promote human rights in the digital age.

This initiative champions youth-led social change worldwide by:

  • Putting key decisions in the hands of young people through a participatory grantmaking process. Youth panelists will make funding decisions using an innovative technology platform, and a global steering group that includes young people from GFC’s Youth Leadership Council and Avast Foundation’s Youth Leadership Board will provide strategic oversight.
  • Investing in youth-led efforts to disrupt social inequities and tackle injustice. Flexible funds and capacity development will enable youth-led and youth-focused groups to take risks and innovate.
  • Strengthening networks for advocacy, movement building, and learning by uniting youth-led and youth-focused groups, increasing their capacity to influence long-term systemic change.

Additional partners Shared Nation and Catch22 are providing research support and technology development during the initial phases of the Spark Fund.

We are seeking additional funders. If you would like to support this initiative, please contact Christine Burkhart.

Read the Spark Fund FAQs.

 

Spark Fund Partners

FEMINISMD
Chișinău, Moldova

Feminismd raises awareness about gender equality issues. By utilizing its social media platforms and organizing in-person and online events, the organization informs teenagers in Moldova about gender equality and social justice issues and empowers them to combat these problems.

FRONTLINE YOUTH NETWORK
Berd, Armenia

Frontline Youth Network (FYN) is a community of young people who connect and empower other young people from rural and borderline communities in Armenia. Working at the grassroots level, FYN’s mission is to advance youth activism, engage people on the frontlines, and advocate for sustainable peace.

HAVASAR EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
Yerevan, Armenia

Havasar Educational Foundation is a youth-led organization focused on improving access to inclusive education for children with disabilities. Havasar has created a mobile educational app that contains accessible lessons for children with visual, hearing, or intellectual disabilities.

INITIATIVE FOR SOCIAL CHANGES
Tbilisi, Georgia

Initiative for Social Changes (ISC) promotes and advocates for sustainable positive changes for the welfare and protection of social groups in vulnerable circumstances. The organization’s priority areas are child protection and welfare; gender equality and women’s rights; and youth empowerment.

INVISIBLE LABOR
Tbilisi, Georgia

Invisible Labor is a youth-led volunteer organization that promotes reproductive health and rights for women. The organization’s efforts are focused on alleviating period poverty, improving access to hygienic facilities and low-cost or free menstrual hygiene products, and increasing workplace protections.

NGO PHAROS
Ceadîr-Lunga, Moldova

NGO Pharos is a youth-led organization that trains other young people on how to work with local authorities so they can raise awareness about issues affecting youth. The organization also empowers young people to implement their own projects.

QUEER SISTA PLATFORM
Yerevan, Armenia

Queer Sista Platform is a queer feminist organization working with and for LGBTQ+ people. The platform hosts different queer initiatives and creates a safe space for self-expression, as well as for collective, peer, and professional support.

YOUTH CENTRE STUDEM
Bălți, Moldova

STUDEM is a youth center led and managed by a group of elected young people, and its priority is to increase civic engagement among youth. STUDEM also works to foster media literacy through partnerships with media institutions.

YOUTH FOR PUBLIC HEALTH
Tbilisi, Georgia

Youth for Public Health improves access to educational resources for young people in rural areas and supports and strengthens youth development. The organization is launching a mobile classroom that delivers on-site and in-person programs using specially designed equipment with interactive educational resources and a mobile cinema.

The Spark Fund also has three partner organizations in Ukraine. For their safety, GFC is not naming the Ukrainian organizations.

Applications for the youth panels, as well as grant applications for youth-led and youth-focused groups and organizations, are now closed. Stay tuned for more information about the Spark Fund partners in the Americas, South Asia, and Southern Africa. You can find more information about the Spark Fund here

Header photo: Participants engage in an Ashanti Perú workshop. © Estrella Vivanco-Stevenson / Ashanti Perú

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November 3, 2021
The Spark Fund is harnessing the power of digital technology to invest in youth-led and youth-focused groups tackling injustice and inequality around the world.

Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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