Communities around the world are already experiencing the effects of climate change, which disproportionately impacts children and youth. At the same time, young activists have taken a leading role in driving climate change solutions in their local communities and around the world.
GFC provides flexible funding and capacity development to community-based organizations in Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, India, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, and Thailand that educate children and youth about sustainability; promote climate change mitigation measures; and carry out projects that protect the environment while contributing to the economic wellbeing of local families.
Climate change has also emerged as an important focus for the Spark Fund, a youth-led participatory grantmaking initiative in which young panelists from around the world design and lead the grantmaking process in their region. Through the Spark Fund pilot program, youth panels in the Americas and South Asia have chosen to support youth-led and youth-focused organizations in Colombia, Mexico, Pakistan, and Peru that are promoting sustainable agriculture and the conservation of natural resources; addressing the impacts of climate change on marginalized communities; and educating young people about climate action.
In early 2023, GFC launched a Spark Fund round to support youth-led climate action in Southeast Asia. This two-year initiative fuels youth-led climate resilience efforts in Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
A panel of youth activists aged 18 to 29 will lead the fund’s design and implementation. They will select a cohort of ten to 15 youth-led initiatives addressing community-level climate resilience and adaptation and award them with grants ranging from $10,000 to $15,000.
Our climate-focused local partners are addressing the impacts of climate change, promoting sustainability, and empowering a new generation of environmental activists and leaders. Here are a few examples of their work:
With GFC’s support, our partner Onda Solidária in Brazil has created an educational center focused on sustainability. The Vila dos Sonhos (Village of Dreams) center in the state of Minas Gerais provides young people with opportunities to play outside, learn about sustainability and clean energy, plant trees, and advocate for environmental protection.
“We encourage and open opportunities for children and young people to connect with nature, experience and learn where the water comes from, the importance of planting trees, the contrast between cattle fields/deforested areas and forests, and sustainable ways of living,” said Ricardo Calçado, the founder of Onda Solidária. “We believe in working together – uniting people – and through doing so, we are forming new leaders, new activists, to make a difference.”
In India, GFC partner Faith Foundation is working with Indigenous communities in the northeastern state of Meghalaya to promote sustainable agricultural practices. Faith Foundation helps local families create biodiversity gardens to grow food that is climate-resistant and nutrient-dense and that can be sold to generate income for their homes. Through biodiversity walks with women leaders from the community, Faith Foundation also engages young people in conversations about sustainability and teaches them to find wild herbs.
In Thailand, Thai Child Development Foundation (TCDF) promotes sustainability and organic farming while also providing learning opportunities for youth with disabilities. Through TCDF’s occupational training center in Chumphon Province, young people learn organic farming, generating income for themselves and sustaining the nonprofit organization. Some of the students are able to use these skills outside the training center to help support their families.
“Everything we do is always about sustainability, not just growing our own food, but also to be independent in your home, in your own village,” said TCDF Executive Director Rosalie Tieges.
In Mexico, Colectivo Kokopelli Tlalli, a group of young environmental activists, combats food insecurity and strengthens sustainable agricultural practices within urban communities. This Spark Fund partner organization provides technical education and hands-on support to families to help them grow their own vegetable gardens as a way to generate an alternative source of food and income.
In Pakistan, another Spark Fund partner, Sindh Green Foundation, works with youth and local Indigenous communities in Sindh province to promote environmental conservation, in addition to providing education opportunities, capacity development, and basic health care.
Header photo: Young people spending time at Vila dos Sonhos in Minas Gerais, Brazil. © Onda Solidária
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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