Global Fund for Children commits to youth-led climate resilience fund at Clinton Global Initiative

September 20, 2022 | GFC & Partner Updates, Press Releases

The Spark Fund: Youth-Led Climate Resilience initiative will empower youth-led climate action and disrupt the trend of underinvestment in youth-led climate work.

September 20, 2022 – WASHINGTON, DC, and LONDON – Today, Global Fund for Children (GFC) commits to resourcing youth-led climate resilience initiatives in communities around the world that are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change.

GFC President and CEO John Hecklinger announced the commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative 2022 Meeting in New York, which convenes global and emerging leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

“Children and young people are among the most impacted by climate change, but despite developing innovative solutions and calling worldwide attention to this issue, they are often excluded from efforts to address it,” Hecklinger said. “Through this youth-led climate resilience fund, GFC and its partners will ensure young people have the resources and support they need to address the impacts of climate change, both within their local communities and around the world.”

GFC’s commitment is an expansion of the Spark Fund, a participatory fund that provides youth-led and youth-focused groups with financial support and capacity development, enabling them to experiment, collaborate, and learn. The Spark Fund, which was established by GFC and the Avast Foundation, has empowered youth panels in the Americas, Europe and Eurasia, South Asia, and Southern Africa to design grantmaking criteria and award funding to 56 organizations disrupting social inequities and tackling injustice.

John Hecklinger and Chelsea Clinton

GFC President and CEO John Hecklinger posing for a photo with Chelsea Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative 2022 Meeting in New York. © Clinton Global Initiative

Through the Spark Fund: Youth-Led Climate Resilience initiative, GFC and its partners will place key decisions in the hands of young people in support of youth-led climate action work around the globe. GFC will recruit three regional panels of young people aged 16 to 35 in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Southern Africa, and these panels will design the grantmaking process in their regions.

The youth panels will award grants to a cohort of 50 to 60 youth-led climate action efforts that are addressing community-level resilience and adaptation work. The Spark Fund will also provide the selected organizations with capacity development, leadership training, and networking opportunities.

GFC is seeking additional funders for this initiative. If you would like to support this initiative, please contact Christine Burkhart.



Global Fund for Children partners to build a world where all children and youth enjoy equal resources and opportunities in society and live free from violence, discrimination, and exploitation. To that end, GFC invests in innovative local organizations, helping them deepen their impact and develop their capacity for social change. Together, GFC and its partners advance the rights of children and youth facing poverty and injustice and equip them with the tools and skills to reach their full potential. Since 1997, GFC has invested $51 million in more than 900 organizations, reaching more than 11 million children and youth worldwide.


The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global and emerging leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI works with partners to drive action through its unique model. Rather than directly implementing projects, CGI facilitates action by helping members connect, collaborate, and develop Commitments to Action — new, specific, and measurable plans that address global challenges. Through CGI, the community has made more than 3,700 Commitments to Action that have made a difference in the lives of more than 435 million people in more than 180 countries.

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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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