This August is Black Philanthropy Month, a campaign started in 2011 that promotes philanthropy by people of African descent. The campaign’s mission statement says that "the primary aims of BPM are informing, involving, inspiring and investing in Black philanthropic leadership to strengthen African-American and African-descent giving in all its forms, for the benefit of our planet, our communities, our organizations and our lives".
In the midst of renewed recognition that Black Lives Matter, it is important to remember that this is not a temporary movement but an everyday commitment to justice. Systemic discrimination and racial inequality continue to cause real suffering around the world. Black lives go undervalued, Black communities go underfunded, and Black voices go unlistened to.
That’s why, for this GivenGain blog entry, we’re handing the floor over to two of our African charity partners to explain their work in their own words. Please listen to what they have to say – and scroll down to see what you can do!
In isiNdebele, we say Iso liwela umfula ugcwele – the eye crosses the full river. If you have a desire to do something, you cannot be stopped.
In Zimbabwe – where thousands of children grow up without parents, where electricity goes more than it comes, where more than a quarter of young women discover sex when they are raped, where water is cut off for more than half the week and food shortages are the rule and not the exception – the Zimkids Orphan Trust has given thousands of AIDS orphans a safety net in one of the poorest locations in Zimbabwe’s second-biggest city, Bulawayo, since 2011.
Zimkids turned the elder-centric Zimbabwean culture on its head by empowering girls and boys to lead, build, train and teach. In their early years, they chose a group of children who showed leadership skills, nurtured their talents and invited them to lead clubs like chess, soccer, traditional dance, comedy and drama writing and performing. Over time they became our Council of Elders. Thus, we are built by orphans, run by orphans, for orphans. Today, many of those Elders have their own businesses. Others were sent for further training and they graduated with degrees in social work, counselling, early childhood education and vocational skills like plumbing and electric.
Based in Uganda, +256 Youth Platform works towards youth empowerment and poverty alleviation by equipping them with education, employment and practical skills. We aim to equip the youth of Uganda to reach their full potential, and to fight injustice and inequality.
Since 2011, +256 Youth Platform has helped transform the lives of young people through programmes such as ‘Overcoming Period Poverty’ in which we tackled stigmatisation and education around menstruation so that girls would no longer have to miss out on school because of their periods. Other programmes involve empowerment through sport, HIV awareness through music, and the provision of scholarships so that the young members of +256 Youth Platform can complete their education. The young people who have taken part in these programmes have gone on to make a difference themselves, raising awareness through their music and using their sport to advocate for non-violence.
Could your charity make a difference during Black Philanthropy Month? Download our BPM Fundraising Starter Pack to learn how to raise awareness about your cause and maximise your fundraising in seven steps.
If you know a great charity supporting Black communities that isn’t already on GivenGain, please put them in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help them increase their reach and win more donations.