There are millions of people around the world who wake up every day not knowing where their next meal is coming from, or who don’t have access to the basic essentials of life, such as clothes, shelter, health care, and sanitation.
You likely already knew that, but it’s always worth repeating. Did you know though that more than half of the world’s poorest people currently live in sub-Saharan Africa — and the population of the region is estimated to hit over 2 billion by 2050.
What this means is that, if nothing is done to reverse the trend, more and more people in sub-Saharan Africa will be pushed below the poverty line of living on $1.90 a day. To say all hands are needed on deck to address this is an understatement.
Through the 2022 Global Citizen Festival campaign, we’ve just launched our most urgent campaign ever to end extreme poverty NOW — uniting the voices of Global Citizens everywhere to demand world and business leaders take action to empower girls, to combat climate change, and to create real, lasting change.
As part of the campaign, we’ve created a Regional Response Network across sub-Saharan Africa made up of vetted NGO partners, selected based on their ability to achieve tangible outcomes to achieve the objectives of our End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign.
These organisations are already working to change people’s lives and drive lasting impact among the most vulnerable communities. As part of the Global Citizen Festival campaign — which will see twin festival events hosted in Accra and New York City — we’re calling on the private and philanthropic sector to support their work. You can learn more about our network of global campaign policy partners here.
So, without further ado, meet our 13 Regional Response Partners, find out more about their work, and join us in taking action to support the Global Citizen Festival campaign, for girls, for the planet, and to create change.
1. Ghana Education Collaborative
Ghana Education Collaborative provides support to exceptional students who are living in poverty in Ghana. As well as academic scholarships, the nonprofit also provides mentorship opportunities, access to a strong peer community, and guidance for students all year round, with a focus on leadership development so they can impact their communities too. The organisation envisions a time when education is accessible to all Ghanaian students.
2. Alliance for African Women Initiative
Alliance for African Women Initiative is working to ensure equitable development both for people who live in rural areas and those living in poverty in urban areas with a particular focus on women and children. They do this by providing women with the tools they need to start and grow their businesses. They also support students in poverty with their educational needs and provide menstrual support for girls to help ensure they can stay in school.
Nonprofit Nourish believes creating healthy and resilient communities to break the poverty cycle means linking individuals and communities with their environments. Launched by young South African Sarah Bergs in 2011, Nourish was created to be a platform that could link conservation needs, issues, and ideals with community issues and ideals — aiming to find integrated and sustainable solutions to issues such as poverty, lack of quality education, food insecurity, and unemployment.
4. Ikamva Youth
Ikamva Youth was founded in 2003 by Joy Olivier and Makhosi Gogwana, working to provide a safe space where students have access to after-school care, including homework support and other services. Having grown from humble beginnings, they now have more than 15 branches across South Africa and support over 5,000 learners every year.
Drylands Natural Resource Centre, DNRC for short, works with farmers in drylands of Kenya to restore degraded lands, and address challenges of deforestation, low crop yields, water scarcity, and climate change. They do this through enabling farmers to invest in reforestation using drought-resistant indigenous tree species, with a goal of improving the livelihoods of farmers in these communities.
6. Keep the Dream 196
Keep the Dream 196 wants to see all children across South Africa become adults with the holistic skills and abilities needed to effectively contribute to the development of their country. They do this through using a rights-based framework to assist children in overcoming difficult life circumstances by building resilience, enabling them to realise their full potential.
7. Lawyers for Human Rights
Lawyers for Human Rights is a group of legal practitioners and activists using the law in the interest of the public. Their mission is to promote and enforce human rights, social justice, and to strengthen constitutional democracy in South Africa as part of a broader civil society movement.
They do this mainly through strategic public interest litigation to enforce the rights entrenched in the South African Bill of Rights, as well as law and policy advocacy, supported by movement building to promote awareness of human rights and social justice issues.
8. BASICS International
BASICS International is a faith-based nonprofit located in Ghana. Founded in 2000, they provide education and resources to children from communities in poverty. BASICS’ focus is on sustainable development, using education to empower communities to lift themselves out of poverty and achieve social equality.
They highlight that the key to permanent change is to share wealth, information, and resources to empower people to call on their leaders and demand better education, sanitation, working conditions, gender equality, social equality, and accountability.
9. Africa Matters Initiative
Africa Matters Initiative is a youth-led organisation that believes Africa’s large youth population is an opportunity for the continued development and growth of the continent.
To this end, they upskill and empower young Africans through capacity building and community impact projects. The objective is to see all African youth become change-makers who empower those around them.
They have so far impacted the lives of over 18,000 young people across Africa and the diaspora through leadership development programmes, networking events, workshops on African leadership and women’s empowerment, school talks on empowering young people, summits, and an active online platform for robust dialogue.
10. LEAP Africa
LEAP Africa is a youth-focused leadership development nonprofit on a mission to inspire, empower, and equip a new generation of leaders with the skills and tools for personal and community transformation.
It provides capacity building for young people in the areas of leadership, education, employability, entrepreneurship, and civic participation to enable citizens to demand good governance and creatively address social issues.
11. Gift of the Givers Foundation
Gift of the Givers Foundation is Africa’s largest disaster response, non-governmental organisation of African origin.
Since its inception in 1992, the organisation has been responsible for the delivery of life-saving supplies and on-the-ground support for people in more than 43 countries across the globe, including South Africa. Gift of the Givers restores the hope and dignity of the most vulnerable in their time of need, rebuilding communities and empowering future leaders.
CREATE works with communities in rural Senegal to alleviate the impact of water, food, and fuel shortages resulting from climate change. Established in 2008, the organisation uses a participatory approach and appropriate technologies to meet the needs of communities in four key areas — water, cooperative community gardens, renewable energy, and income generation.
13. Junior Achievement Africa
Junior Achievement Africa inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy. They focus on work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship to empower young people to own their economic success.
Now you’ve met our Regional Response Partners, you can join us in supporting their work. You can do this by taking action here to support the Global Citizen Festival campaign in empowering girls and women, driving climate action, breaking the systemic barriers that keep people in poverty, and protecting and uplifting the world’s advocates and activists. We’ll also be sharing more about these organisations and their work in the lead up to Global Citizen Festival, so follow us @GlblCtznAfrica on Twitter and Facebook, and @GlblCtzn on Instagram and TikTok, so you don’t miss a thing.
If you’d like to, you can also support the work of these organisations financially, by donating to one or more of them through our partnership with GlobalGiving.
Global Citizen Festival is calling on world leaders, corporations, and philanthropists to do more than they’ve ever done before to End Extreme Poverty NOW. Through our global campaign and with stages in two iconic locations — NYC’s Central Park and Accra’s Black Star Square — we will unite leaders, artists, activists, and Global Citizens around the world on Sept. 24 to achieve an ambitious policy agenda focused on empowering girls and women, taking climate action, breaking systemic barriers, and lifting up activists and advocates. Wherever you are in the world, you can join the campaign and take action right now by downloading the Global Citizen app.