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meet the first round of
free fund recipients -2021

After months of careful review and deliberation by the Advisory Committee, Youth Peer Panel and FREE Fund Team, we are so excited to announce the first cohort of FREE Fund recipients. 

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Friends Affected & Infected Together in Hand (FAITH) is a women-led, national-level organisation representing socially marginalised and criminalised populations such as female sex workers, women living with HIV, and females who use drugs. FAITH, with support from FREE Fund, aims to increase financial literacy, and improve economic options among female sex workers with the project led and monitored by female sex workers. 

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Doreen Kabahukya works with the Youth & Women Empowerment Programme based in Uganda which empowers young people financially through skills building and financial support in form of low-interest loans that help them start up small businesses. They are using the FREE Fund support to upskill young mothers who are HIV positive to be in a position to start and sustain their own businesses for personal and family betterment.

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WADA is a non-profit organisation working to empower girls and women and establish their rights in situations of vulnerability, poverty, illiteracy, disability, inhumanity and social injustice. 

Through the support of the FREE Fund, they will work for the girls and young women of excluded communities those who were living in vulnerable conditions due to extreme poverty. They will build up their economic resilience through developing their skills, providing seed support and freedom from violence.

KTI is a women-led and adolescent and young women's serving organisation that works to promote accessibility to sexual reproductive health and rights gender equality in Nigeria, through its work on ending sexual and gender-based violence, promotion of comprehensive sexuality education and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights.

 

FREE Fund will support KTI in their Accelerating Reproductive Healthcare Through Economic Justice project. The goal of the project is to increase access to girl-friendly sexual reproductive health information and services through an economic justice framework. 

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Hope 4 Young Girls Tanzania (H4YGTZ) is a non-profit operating across Tanzania with a focus on education, gender equality, gender-based violence, sexual reproductive health and rights, economic empowerment and child protection and participation. 

 

The FREE Fund grant will allow H4YGTZ to promote economic empowerment and help them to set up small businesses for out of school girls and women. They also plan on reaching 1200 schoolgirls by forming 4 role model networks.  

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Kazi Shaharia Sompa is an individual recipient of a FREE Fund grant who plans to build a sustainable socioeconomic future for the adolescent girls and young women of the ethnic community in Bandarbanhill, Bangladesh, using indigenous jewellery-making skills. The project includes workshops, small business set-up plans and setting up an online platform to connect the business opportunities to the rest of Bangladesh.

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WALPE is a women’s rights feminist organisation established with a mandate to promote women’s economic, social, environmental and political rights through mobilising women to demand their human rights enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe.

 

Through the FREE Fund, WALPE shall increase the number and quality of young women in leadership and decision-making processes and enhance the economic function of young women especially those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Mala Gupta is an individual recipient based in Sarlahi District, Nepal, who specialises in public health, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment for girls and young women in rural Nepal. 

The FREE fund will enable Mala to run the FEMALE (Female Entrepreneurship Milestones with Advocacy and Leadership Empowerment) project in rural Nepal to provide the opportunity to girls and young women to learn skills such as clothes making, alongside advocacy and awareness-raising sessions. 

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Mercy Kobelo is an entrepreneur and educator based in Tanzania, who through her baking school, bakery, and cake tool shop has trained more than 5000 students since 2020. Mercy's students use their skills to start their own businesses that are compatible with also raising their families. 

 

With FREE fund support, she will create an online portal for her training so that she can reach even more women in Tanzania. The portal will be designed in a way that it's easy for women to acquire knowledge from diverse experts in the cake industry and entrepreneurship.

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FundLife is a purpose-driven, non-profit organisation, dedicated to creating educational and employment pathways for highly vulnerable youth so they may unleash their potential to the world.

 

The FREE Fund will ensure that their Girls Got This Work (GGTW) project will up-skill and provide dignified employment through three unique pathways for highly vulnerable adolescent girls and young women that focus on building their personal confidence, professional skills and access to positive female mentors. 

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Sinqobile is the founder of The Above Ground Mining Project, a community-based, social innovation pilot whose aim is to facilitate the development of the informal recycling sector in Zimbabwe.

 

The FREE Fund will provide seed funding for The Above Ground Mining Project to implement a women-centred social enterprise model that will address the low uptake and awareness of profitable and gender-centric income generation opportunities in processing and value addition of waste. The project will graduate female informal recycling players into waste processors producing profitable innovative green products under a social enterprise model that will provide safe and decent work opportunities in a child-friendly environment.

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Mtindo is a social enterprise that is on a mission to create economic opportunities for women through education and employment in the fashion industry.

 

Mtindo envisions a world where every woman has access to the skills, tools, and confidence to design a life they love. The grant from FREE fund will further empower Mtindo’s work to help even more female youth unlock economic opportunities in the fashion industry.

With the support of the FREE Fund, this project plans to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes in the community by increasing access to the right information. They plan to focus on school programmes to train girls on the right sexual and reproductive health information and empower girls with income-generating skills.