The Spark Fund, a partnership between Global Fund for Children and the Avast Foundation, 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 Spark Fund launched in the fall of 2021, and the first round of funding was focused on youth-led and youth-focused groups in Europe and Eurasia. Between February and May 2022, a group of ten panelists aged 18-30 from African countries designed and led the grantmaking process in this region. Using an innovative technology platform developed with Shared Nation, they selected 16 organizations in Lesotho, Namibia, and Zimbabwe to receive Spark Fund grants.
Regional youth panels also met earlier this year to select Spark Fund grantees in the Americas and South Asia – stay tuned for more information about the new Spark Fund partners in these regions!
Meet the new Southern Africa Spark Fund partners:
African Pathfinder Leaders Initiative (APLI Namibia) develops and mobilizes young changemakers, innovators, and leaders in diverse fields across Namibia. Through its fellowship program, APLI Namibia provides opportunities for young people to cultivate skills in community development, entrepreneurship, and other areas that they can use to contribute to their local communities.
Audacious Leaders Network empowers youth in Lesotho to create social movements that address injustices and protect young people in vulnerable circumstances. The organization fosters critical thinking and leadership skills and encourages youth to become social changemakers in their communities.
The Butterfly Sanctuary Organisation is a youth-led group comprised of girls and young mothers in Maseru, Lesotho, that seeks to empower marginalized girls within schools and the wider community. The organization provides girls with sexual and reproductive health information; offers trainings in vocational skills and girls’ rights; and increases girls’ access to services and opportunities.
Do It For The Kids (DIFTK) is a youth-led organization that supports underprivileged children in Zimbabwe and raises awareness about the challenges they face. DIFTK provides support to orphans and orphanages; supplies girls with sanitary pads so they are able to attend school; and increases access to books for children with disabilities.
Healing Wound Association (HWA) provides hope and support to young people with mental health issues in Namibia. The organization offers psychosocial support, counseling, and targeted wellness programs that enable youth to learn more about themselves and identify their goals.
Mosepele Foundation Development Forum is a youth-led organization that supports young people experiencing mental health issues, substance abuse issues, and unplanned pregnancies, helping them to access financial, medical, and social support.
National Youth Sports Development Platform is a youth-led organization in Namibia that empowers young people in underprivileged communities through sports, fostering community development through physical and recreational activities.
NomadPads Lesotho is a youth-led group fighting to end period poverty and shame in Lesotho and helping girls to build their confidence. The organization offers menstrual education workshops and podcasts and manufactures reusable sanitary pads for girls in the community.
Patsimeredu Edutainment Trust initiates change through the performing arts, using social impact theater to increase awareness of the issues impacting youth. The organization conducts research on issues affecting local communities, incorporates this information into theater productions, and presents plays followed by post-performance discussions.
Shift Space is a gaming-oriented organization that seeks to sustainably address issues in society through educational games. The organization also provides mentoring to young people.
Spark R.E.A.D empowers girls and women in marginalized rural and urban communities in Zimbabwe. The organization advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights; offers entrepreneurship trainings and social enterprises; and combats harmful practices including gender-based violence and child marriage.
TWEENS Project empowers young people at the Tongogara Refugee Camp to thrive academically and reach their full potential. The organization provides youth with access to resources including textbooks, computers, and study space; offers tutoring; and holds informational sessions to inform young people about educational opportunities including scholarships.
Women First Self-Help Program Lesotho supports young women entrepreneurs to promote women’s empowerment, gender equality, and poverty reduction. The organization provides trainings in business and entrepreneurship; jewelry-making; and other skills to empower young women to become self-reliant and support their families.
Writers Space Africa is a youth-led organization in Lesotho that publishes books for youth as a way to help young writers achieve their dreams. The organization also hosts debates for young people, including students, so they can deepen their knowledge of the issues that affect them.
Young Africa Intellectual Group is a youth-led organization that provides mental health support to young people. The organization educates youth about online safety; provides counseling and referrals; and offers digital skills training.
Zvavahera Transformational Youth Club advocates for the needs of children and youth in rural communities and empowers them to have a voice in development efforts. The organization provides livelihoods training to young people and facilitates games and educational trips to help them boost their self-confidence.
Header image: Young women participating in a Women First Self-Help Program Lesotho program. © Women First Self-Help Program Lesotho
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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