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LEF: Call for Proposals from Young Climate Activists in Africa

The Legal Empowerment Fund, in close partnership with the Children’s and Youth Rights Program, launches an exciting new initiative to provide flexible funding to the next generation of climate justice activists in Africa.

Four young adults protest with signs against pollution outside an illegal open landfill in Africa.

The Legal Empowerment Fund (LEF), a program of the Fund for Global Human Rights, launched today a formal call for expressions of interest from young grassroots activists working to advance climate justice in six African countries.

Across the continent, young people are leading the response to the climate crisis in their communities. But few have access to the funding or support they need. Working in close partnership with the Fund’s Children’s and Youth Rights Program, the LEF seeks to identify and resource the next generation of young activists who are on the front lines of the fight against environmental injustice.

This round of funding will provide flexible two-year grants to activists using legal empowerment strategies to fight for climate justice in six African countries: Benin, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. Both formal and informal organizations are encouraged to apply. The application is available in English, French, and Portuguese. The deadline to submit is June 30, 2024.

Learn more about our selection criteria and apply: https://fghr.fluxx.io/apply/RFP3-EN

WHY YOUTH-LED CLIMATE JUSTICE?

Grassroots climate justice is an urgent and necessary response to the intertwined crises of climate change, inequality, and injustice. Communities with less wealth and power are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis, despite being the least responsible for causing it. The effects of climate change and environmental injustice—including extreme weather and drought, ravaged ecosystems, and mega-development projects that displace entire communities—are deepening inequality in some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable regions. And when disasters strike, already marginalized groups—including children and young people—are among the most likely to suffer.

Children and young people have been at the forefront of the fight against climate change in Africa. Their voices provide much-needed clarity and perspective on the consequences of climate change and environmental injustice. And their leadership is essential to delivering sustainable solutions. Yet they continue to lack access to international funding opportunities and decision-making spaces.

We recognize their power and potential. They deserve the right to determine their own future.

Empowered young people are not only a essential ally in the fight against climate change and environmental destruction—they are a vital part of the entire human rights ecosystem. Across the world, young activists have strengthened rights, enhanced access to justice, and elevated human rights standards. Their vision—for a global society that respects both human rights and our planet—can solve the climate crisis.

ABOUT THE LEGAL EMPOWERMENT FUND

The Legal Empowerment Fund (LEF), a program of the Fund for Global Human Rights, is a 10-year, multimillion-dollar effort to give frontline activists and grassroots groups the support they need to close the global justice gap. The LEF was created with the support of a constellation of funders and allies—including the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Namati, the International Development and Research Centre, and Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies—with the goal of strengthening grassroots justice groups to help communities access the law and secure justice. Since 2021, the LEF has delivered over $5 million to more than 130 grantees in 55 countries.

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S AND YOUTH RIGHTS PROGRAM

Every child deserves a life free from harm, exploitation, and discrimination. But around the world, young people—especially from marginalized or minority groups—are subjected to violence, conscripted as soldiers, and forced into work or marriage. When their human rights are violated, children have little access to justice. The Children and Youth Rights Program (CYP) is a multi-region grantmaking initiative to resource and connect community-based and youth-led groups to build power and agency of children and young people, tackle violence and discrimination, and influence change in the world around them.

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