In the lead-up to the 3rd general assembly of the African Grantmakers Network, the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) has been conducting interviews with a number of African women philanthropists. To date, we have interviewed women in Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Uganda and South Africa – and we will be conducting interviews with women from Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Egypt. Already some very interesting patterns in the way in which women give are emerging.
Young African women who want to make a difference in society but who may have few financial resources of their own are sacrificing huge amounts of personal time and skills to share knowledge and to provide opportunities for the less privileged. Regina Agyare of Soronko Solutions, for example – aware of the difference that technological skills made to her own life, and wishing to offer this opportunity to others – runs free coding workshops for underprivileged girls in Ghana. Josephine Kulea (pictured) of Samburu Girls Foundation in Kenya fearlessly confronts patriarchal norms and offers sanctuary to young girls from the Samburu community who are at risk of (or have suffered from) female genital mutilation, child marriage and ‘beading’. This work puts her at risk of attack from influential politicians, chiefs and other (mainly male) leaders, who accuse her of trying to destroy traditional culture.
There are many other young women we have interviewed who demonstrate through their work that philanthropy is about more than money. None of them comes from high net worth backgrounds; yet they give what they can in terms of financial resources, and are committed to giving their time and talent to society.
AWDF, in turn, is committed to documenting the ways in which African women give back. During the 3rd general assembly of the African Grantmakers Network we look forward to showcasing some of what we have learned about how African women give.
Contact Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah at AWDF at firstname.lastname@example.org