Comic Relief American Advisory Council on Youth Launches Juntanza Fund to Provide Grants to Youth Led by … | Your money


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New York, NY, December 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The Youth Advisory Council of Comic Relief US, a leadership development program of eight young global activists and social change agents, today launched the Juntanza Fund, its first grant fund to empower and provide resources to youth-led organizations, leaders and activists. The Youth Advisory Council members of this first cohort come from the United States, Colombia, Cambodia, Kenya and Somalia and are the instigators of social change in their communities. The Juntanza Fund – which means “a union to help each other and achieve a common goal” and derived from the practices of African descent communities in Colombia – brings together young leaders around the table to decide where and how funding is granted.

The Board developed the proposal criteria and reviewed 175 candidate beneficiaries. The mission of the Juntanza Fund was to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who want to meet the challenges of their communities, including hunger and sustainable agriculture, improve access to education and quality mental health care and promote youth leadership. Applicants were assessed based on the program’s level of youth-designed and inclusive approach while also focusing on the intersections of racial and gender equity. For this initial phase, the Council awarded five grants between $ 5,000 and $ 10,000 to youth-led programs and campaigns with a non-profit organization or registered tax sponsor.

“Young people will come up with solutions to end the cycle of intergenerational poverty, and the Youth Advisory Council has emboldened our approach to grantmaking in many ways,” said Alison Moore, CEO of Comic Relief US. “The Juntanza Fund is a powerful initiative that reflects our commitment to innovate by centering, uplifting and strengthening the voices and lived experiences of young people. ”

The beneficiary partners of the Juntanza Fund receiving the initial investment include:

Arable community organization in Kenya: help young people, especially women from vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities, to adopt sustainable farming practices and better income security in arid and semi-arid lands; Diversifying our narrative in the United States: advocating for a more diverse and anti-racist American education system through student advocates and student-run programs; Fundacion Maleua in Colombia: to provide mental health services to communities of African descent, migrants and others living in vulnerable conditions and to create the first network of young mental health promoters in the region; Hawa Feminist Fund in Somalia: training young women activists to join the coalition led by women in providing psychological and mental health support to survivors of gender-based violence; Pepy Empowering Youth in Cambodia: helping girls and young people in rural Cambodia to access education and improve their career preparation; and more.

“As part of our grant-making strategy for Comic Relief US, we are committed to fully involving people who have experienced these issues first-hand, opening our portfolio to the best ideas and innovations of young people and entrepreneurs. social workers who are leaders in the communities, ”said Ayo Roach, vice president of grants at Comic Relief US. “What the sector needs now is to listen, fund and partner with local organizations that tackle poverty through an intersectional lens and put the needs of the community at the center of their work. job. ”

The first members of the Youth Advisory Council include:

Giuliana Bryan Alvarez, 24-year-old Colombian political scientist, ambassador for the One Young World organization and project coordinator for youth and community empowerment at Manos Visibles (Visible Hands), a non-profit organization in Colombia; Olja Busbaher, 25- one year old whose family arrived in the United States in 1997 following the ethnic genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is currently responsible for grants at the Malala Fund; Fardosa Hussein, a 26-year-old Somali-based documentary photographer and filmmaker whose work ranges from covering humanitarian work to everyday life in Kenya and Somalia; Rattana Mai, 24, from Siem Reap, Cambodia, who is a scholarship project manager at PEPY Empowering Youth, an organization that helps young Cambodians in rural areas continue their education so that they can pursue a career, improve their quality of life and uplift their communities; Jordan Ott, 19 – a Native American from the Sac-n-Fox tribe of Oklahoma, who is currently enrolled at Haskell Indian Nations University and focuses on mental health advocacy; Alexis Ramon, an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Southern California who is passionate about social justice; Julia Song, 20-year-old filmmaker and student at NYU Tisch, who hopes to authentically express the tales of under-represented stories; Shamyah Williams, 19-year-old Howard University student and established speaker with a passion for creating change for girls of color globally.

“When you create a safe, supported and informed space for young people, it’s amazing how much their voice grows,” said Madison McCormick, manager of grants programs and communications, who chaired the Youth Advisory Council. “Too often, the wisdom that young people derive from their lived experiences can easily be overlooked in an organization’s strategic decision-making process. Through the Juntanza Fund, Comic Relief US recognizes the excellence of our Board members and genuinely delivers on our commitment to invite young people into our work.

In 2022, the Youth Advisory Council will establish its second cohort with Comic Relief US. The new $ 10 million Innovation and Growth Fund will support the growth of the Council and the vision of the Juntanza Fund.

About Comic Relief

Comic Relief US harnesses the power of entertainment to effect positive change to create a just world without poverty. The nonprofit has raised more than $ 300 million by mobilizing donors of all ages to engage in causes through powerful content-driven campaigns and new digital platforms. Since 2015, Red Nose Day, Comic Relief US’s flagship campaign to end child poverty, has raised $ 275 million and has positively impacted more than 29 million children in the United States and the United States. world. Donations are invested in recipient partners and social impact programs that ensure children are safe, healthy, educated and empowered, and that address the root causes of poverty in the communities most affected. Comic Relief US, also known as Comic Relief, Inc., is a 501 (c) (3) registered public charity in the United States. For more information on Comic Relief US and its impact, visit www.comicrelief.org. Follow @ComicReliefUS on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Kelsey Thompson Porter Novelli 412-855-5332 [email protected]

Copyright 2021 GlobeNewswire, Inc.

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