What are 5 homegrown (locally established and run) philanthropic foundations in East, West or Southern Africa, that have been created in order to develop strategies that reflect the perspectives and interests of local communities in an inclusive m...

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What are 5 homegrown (locally established and run) philanthropic foundations in East, West or Southern Africa, that have been created in order to develop strategies that reflect the perspectives and interests of local communities in an inclusive manner?

Hello! Thanks for your question about five locally established and run philanthropic foundations in East, West or Southern Africa. The short version is, the Women Fund Tanzania, the Independent Development Funds, the Community Development Foundation West Cape, the TY Danjuma Foundation, and the Gertler Family Foundation are all examples of organizations that work to ensure the interests of their local communities are met. Below you will find a deep dive of my findings.


The Independent Development Fund (IDF) was created in 2008, and is an indigenous grant-making organization in Uganda. Since then, they have provided financial support to more than 124 small and medium-sized organizations that seek to improve human rights, good governance, rule of law, and democracy at the grassroots level. They currently receive funding from the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) and provide grants to organizations whose annual budget is below one billion Uganda Shillings in the last two years. The maximum amount of money they provide for grants is $65,000, and the minimum is $20,000.

In June 2017, an IDF grantee was chosen as the winner of the EU Human Rights Defenders Award 2017. Ms. Pamela Judith Angwech, the Executive Director of Gulu Women’s Economic Development & Globalization (GWED-G), accepted the award on behalf of the organization. GWED-G has "been supported by IDF for more than three years under the Human Rights Program." They have projects focusing on strengthening the local judicial systems, promoting peace in local communities, and advancing women's rights. The organization has also focused on helping areas dealing with post-war conflicts and are resettling their land, like Gulu in Northern Uganda.

IDF also funded Children of Uganda (COU), which has played a major role in promoting children’s rights and education. A young girl, Teddy Ndagaano, from the Rakai district in Uganda, benefited from this project. A counselor from COU was able to help highlight the importance of education to Teddy's mother so she did not have to become a sole provider of income for the family. This organization's success displays IDF's dedication to promoting gender equality in local the education systems.


Women Fund Tanzania (WFT) is a local grant-making organization that focuses on women's empowerment and advancing leadership opportunities for women based on feminist principles. They provide small grants to women's rights initiatives within local communities in Tanzania.

According to a UN report, WFT has been particularly useful in the water and sanitation sector. They have been able to provide funding and interventions to local women's organizations that allow them to develop community-based solutions for gender inequality. For example, WFT funded 25 local women in Shinyanga to help them promote their businesses through training programs.

In 2015, WFT also created the Women Rights Promotion in Election and Post-Election Processes in Tanzania project. The project helped over 65 women’s rights organizations who are a part of the Wanawake na Katiba/Elections Coalition. These organizations received training and small grants to promote civic education and galvanize women to vote in elections.


The Community Development Foundation Western Cape (CDFWC) is a charitable organization that aims to strengthen communities in the Western Cape region. CDFWC worked with support community projects like the initiative in 2016, where they held a series of community dialogues in Bredasdorp, Constantia, Khayelitsha and Westlake to help address the growing problem of violence against women, including multiple rapes and murders.

CDFWC takes a different approach to grant-making. For example, in 2012 they supported a youth civic engagement program along with a photography program called PhotoSpeak. The program teaches students about legal rights and then gives students the opportunity to travel and take photos of interactions in the community involving human rights and whether they are being protected or not.


TY Danjuma Foundation is a Nigerian philanthropic organization that provides grants to health and education interventions implemented by NGOs, faith-based organizations, youth organizations, and women’s groups in Nigeria. The Foundation was founded in 2009 by Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, a retired Nigerian Army Chief of Staff.

In 2016, The TY Danjuma Foundation joined the Every Woman and Every Child initiative to commit to providing women and children’s health initiatives $5 million for the next 5 years. The grant is aimed at improving maternal health care centers and providing the necessary training and equipment for hospital and health centers in rural communities.

This month, the Ty Danjuma Foundation and the Federal Ministry of Health are working together to provide health care services to the citizens of Ebonyi State in 2018.


The Gertler Family Foundation (GFF) is a grant-making organization founded in 2004 that is dedicated to serving the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They promote organizations working towards improving health, education and infrastructure in Kinshasa, Katanga, Kasaï-Oriental, Maniema, Orientale and Sud Kivu provinces and elsewhere throughout the DRC.

GFF funded the renovation of the Hospice St Kizoto to help the elderly people in Congo. They made improvements to the kitchen, dining room and storage areas. The grant also paid to restore the facility's electricity, plumbing, and draining.

The Gertler Foundation has also funded environmental efforts. This includes the turtle initiative at the Mangrove Marine Park. The foundation has donated $75,000 since the start of the project. However, for the in the past year Gertler provided three-quarters of the park's turtle conservation funding.


To wrap it up, I have provided 5 case studies about different local grant-making organizations that reflect the perspectives and interests of the local communities where they are established. I discussed the organizations' missions and gave examples of the good work they are doing in the communities they currently serve.

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