One Young World partners with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and United Way to launch Covid-19 YoungLeaders Fund

At the same time, new data from One Young World reveals two out of three (62%) young people don’t believe the government has adequately addressed their concerns regarding coronavirus

The survey also found 72% of young people have volunteered their time to help others during this pandemic.

Shot by One Young World.

15th May London: One Young World – the global forum for young leaders that counts Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; Justin Trudeau; Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Emma Watson as Counsellors – today announces a first of its kind fund for young leaders to provide urgent finance to those fighting against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

New statistics from 1,000 young leaders globally finds that two thirds (62%) don’t believe the government has adequately addressed their concerns, and over half don’t believe there has been enough international cooperation.

However, young people are continuing to spearhead activism globally. The research found a staggering 72% of young people have volunteered their time to help others during this pandemic, yet they continue to be underfunded.

The fund has been established to provide the immediate distribution of finance to young leaders on the frontlines of the COVID–19 response – with donations distributed widely across countries and sectors.

Recent statistics from One Young World highlight the impact of investing in the young generation. On average the social return on Investment is 15:1 – for every $1 invested, $15 of social impact is generated.

The initial projects to receive funding include;

  • Heidy Quah, Malaysia, Heidy and her organisation Refuge for the Refugees has focused efforts on this forgotten group. To date she has provided 5,878 bags of food across 461 locations, reaching 29,390 vulnerable people.
  • Dr Radhika Batra, India, Kenya & Nigeria, Radhika founded Every Infant Matters (EIM) to give all children in India a healthy start to life. They are currently tackling the crisis in India and Kenya by manufacturing tens of thousands of PPE equipment in these areas.
  • Rinesh Sharma, Fiji, Rinesh is Founder of Smart Farms Fiji, an agro-technology initiative. In response to COVID-19Smart Farms has developed the “Growing Essential Greens Home Kit System” as an innovative solution to the food security and health consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Achaleke Christian, Cameroon, Achaleke has founded the ‘One Person One Hand Sanitizer’ initiative, producing over 15,000 bottles of sanitiser and distributed them to 12,000 separate households.
  • Jolyon Layard Horsfall, United Kingdom, Jolyon Layard Horsfall, United Kingdom, Jolyon is the CFO for Happy Space, a UK-based charity dedicated to preventative mental wellbeing for young people. During COVID-19, Happy Space has created a campaign called #HappySpaceAtHome, distributing free wellbeing resources to families across the UK. So far, they have provided over 160 families with their resources.

Ella Robertson, Managing Director of One Young World, said: “Young leaders are part of the most connected, informed and resourceful generation in human history. They have proved this time and time again, with their capacity for innovation, understanding of digital tools and high levels of social responsibility. We now need to ensure they have the funds needed to tackle some of the largest issues created by Covid-19.

From every country in the world, the response has been staggering, the collective innovation, empathy and spirit has meant many projects are supporting those most vulnerable. I am thrilled that we can now support them financially, ensuring money is making a difference. In the past 10 years we have built One Young World to become the largest corporate support network of any European NGO, we must now utilise this expertise and efficiency to ensure those on the ground are supported, globally.”

Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Special Envoy for Youth said: “The Covid-19 Young Leaders Fund is exactly the bold action that is required to champion young people who are so bravely combatting the coronavirus on the frontlines. I commend One Young World for this fantastic initiative and urge others to support this effort to ensure that young people’s work is properly funded and respected. Young people are at the heart of the response and we must ensure they are supported effectively.”

The fund will continue to accept donations with the aim of making hundreds of thousands of dollars available to frontline projects. Those wishing to apply for the funding will be able to apply via an online portal on the One YoungWorld website. All projects will be subject to due diligence and reference check process; One Young World’s monitoring and evaluation process has been designed to ensure minimum burden to frontline workers whilst allowing donors to have complete visibility of where their money has been spent.

To apply for funding or to donate please click here.

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