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New Foundation Launches in South Africa, Reimagining Philanthropy for Children across the Continent

Masana wa Afrika, a newly established African nonprofit foundation, announces its official launch. With a mission to support and amplify African community-based organisations serving the needs of children and their families, Masana wa Afrika aims to drive lasting change throughout the continent. Delta Philanthropies and The ELMA Foundation are the initial funding partners, laying the groundwork for significant, long-term impact.

Recognising that community leaders are the experts best positioned to determine how funding can be most effectively utilised, Masana wa Afrika currently provides multi-year unrestricted grants alongside capacity-strengthening support to 115 organisations in 13 African countries, with plans to expand over the coming years. These organisations offer a wide range of essential services that would otherwise be unavailable to children and families in their communities. Services vary from early childhood development programs, child nutrition, support for children with disabilities, economic empowerment opportunities, psychosocial support, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services, demonstrating the variety of care and resources that community-based organisations provide to children. 

Masana wa Afrika’s approach to philanthropy centres on forging long-term relationships with proximate leaders, and acknowledges the importance of local ownership, cultural sensitivity, and community-driven solutions in driving development in Africa. Its South Africa and Uganda-based team works closely with each grantee organisation, supporting them as they create and implement sustainable, long-term advancements for their communities. 

“Masana wa Afrika recognises the inherent potential and resilience of African communities,” said Ruth Mapara, Director of Masana wa Afrika. “Our foundation is built on the belief that sustainable development can only be achieved when communities are empowered to lead and drive change from within. We are dedicated to providing the necessary support and resources to help African children and communities thrive.”

We believe that true progress stems from within communities themselves, “added Bernadette Moffat, Masana wa Afrika Board Chair. By investing in proximate leadership and supporting locally-led initiatives, we can unlock the full potential of African communities and create lasting change in the lives of children and their families.”

“Masana wa Afrika is trust-based philanthropy in action,” said Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Masana wa Afrika Board Member and Delta Philanthropies Board Chair. “The organisations supported by the foundation are embedded in the communities they serve, making them expertly placed to design and deliver solutions that work for them. The more support we give them, the greater impact they can achieve.”

Masana wa Afrika bridges the funding gap between global philanthropy and African communities through strategic partnerships and collaborations with like-minded funders who are eager to drive resources to proximate organisations. Adds Ruth Mapara “Together we can ensure that community-based organisations have sufficient resources to enable children and youth in Africa to succeed.” 

In South Africa, the initial organisations supported by Masana wa Afrika are:

Bizweni Centre – Supporting children living with disabilities

Breede Valley Association for Persons with Disabilities – Support to children living with disabilities

Butterfly Art Project – Art therapy for children who have experienced trauma

Childsafe South Africa – Children safety training, improved road and school zone safety

Dlalanathi – Play therapy and psychosocial support for children and families experiencing trauma

Enlighten Education Trust – Literacy and numeracy skills for children

Feed the Babies – Nutritional support to ECD centres

Hantam Community Education Trust – Early childhood education and schools from Grade R-9 to children living on farms

Hi Hopes – Early intervention support to hearing impaired children and their families

Isibani Sethemba – Child protection and health services

Kliptown Youth Program (KYP) – After school educational, psychosocial, and nutritional  support

Kuyasa Horizon Empowerment – Early childhood education

Lesedi Educare Association – Integrated early childhood development

Malamulele Onward – Therapy to children living with cerebral palsy

MusicWorks – Early childhood development and music therapy

Net Vir Pret – After school, weekend, and homework clubs, skills training

The Rachel Swart Fund – Provision of mobility and assistive devices for children living with disabilities

Uhambo Foundation – Manufacturing, distribution and training on the use of posture support devices for children living with disabilities

Refugee Children’s Project – Supports the integration of refugee children and their families in communities in their country of asylum 

Siyakwazi – Specialised early childhood education programs for children living with disabilities and their caregivers

Thanda – Early childhood education

Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability – Training and mentorship for those living with intellectual disabilities

Westlake United Church Trust – Early childhood education

Woza Moya -Early childhood education and community health support

Ububele – Therapeutic mental health care services and early childhood education

Masana wa Afrika means “the warmth of the sun embraces Africa” in Xitsonga

For more information about Masana wa Afrika, please visit www.masanawaafrika.org 

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