We now support 252 groups in 115 countries in the Global South
Right after celebrating 10 years of supporting and catalyzing young feminist activism, FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund announces 93 new grantee partners – the organization’s largest cohort of new supported groups, to date. Led by young feminists, for young feminists, the movement is growing: with the addition of the new grantee partners, FRIDA now supports 252 groups of activists in 115 countries across Latin America & the Caribbean, Asian continent, Caucasus and Central, Eastern Europe and the African continent. The flexible grants will last 12 months – with possibility of renewal – and will be supporting small and emerging community-based organizations, networks, collectives and movements which are led by girls, young women, and trans, non binary and intersex youth.
N.B. This zine does not include all new grantee partners who have joined FRIDA’s community this year, as some groups have chosen to remain anonymous and/or away from the public eye, due to security issues related to the nature of their work, climatic and government conditions of their region, or simply out of choice.
The new groups’ activisms span a variety of thematic areas that are key in combatting and dismantling inequalities and the oppressive structures that subjugate girls, young women, trans non-binary and intersex youth, everywhere: from peace building, media, climate and environmental justice, acess to education, economic, social and cultural rights to Female Genital Mutilation, gender based violence, early and forced marriage, and sexual reproductive health and rights. They are fighting to promote real and lasting changes in order to improve the lives of girls, women, LGBTQAI+ people, sex workers, indigenous youth, people living with HIV/AIDS, migrants and people living with disabilities, among other vulnerable groups.
“We wish to understand different women’s experiences through diverse realities. Women do more than 70% of the work in fields, forests and city-building. Yet, they are marginally involved in any form of decision making. We aim to challenge the propaganda of media and mainstream discourse, especially by bringing women’s perspectives out into public and web spaces”, says a representative of one of the new grantee partners – Meandering Mountain Mahilayein, from India.
Each new grantee partner receives US$ 6,000 of core support which can be used flexibly to strengthen their organizing capacities, covering operational costs, enhancing their holistic security and paying adequate wages, or to cover any need that the groups identify are a priority, particularly in unstable contexts. Access to flexible core resources is critical to the sustainabilty of young feminist movements; particularly in a philanthropic context which often strips grant recipients of their autonomy.
This is the beginning of their journey within the FRIDA community. Once it starts, the groups have access to special grants, to a global network of activists – with possibilities of collaborations and exchanging experiences -, and to capacity strengthening support accompaniment, based on necessities organizers identify.
“Young feminist movements are abundant space for dreaming and reimagining of alterate realities. They are co-creating new strategies to organize intersectionality and build connections across movements. Young feminist movements are resourceful in many ways, but they are also at risk, overstretch and need flexible funds that will help them move, rest and exist in all their beauty, diversity and power”, says Jovana Djordjevic, Chief of Programs at FRIDA.
Most of the grantee partners establish mid and long-term relationships with FRIDA. The organization has awarded young feminists around $7,500,000 in direct grants so far and has witnessed the incredible impact of long-term flexible support to Global South young feminist led activism. In 2020, FRIDA has renewed partnerships with 25 groups and is now launching a new call for renewals. More than 100 requests are expected.
Through FRIDA’s participatory grantmaking model, the new grantee partners were chosen by the applicants themselves. They vote for the groups who they believe are leading the most relevant work in their regions. FRIDA believes that young feminists are the experts of their own reality, and so should be the ones deciding where the grants go.
“FRIDA’s participatory grantmaking process opens space for young feminist activists to learn about each other’s strategies, move in solidarity and support the critical work in their context. It is also an opportunity to reimagine ways in how we collectively decide about the resources available to us, practice solidarity economy and reflect on how we exchange and build with our community where we actively participate in our own healing process”, says Jovana.
In the last cycle, FRIDA received 1.001 grant requests, in seven languages. The organization is aware of the urgent need to support young feminists, as well as the major gaps that exist in the availability of those resources. As such, FRIDA connects groups that weren’t awarded with other feminist funds and is commited to expanding its own capacity to provide these activists with more core flexible, sustainable funding.
“During the call for proposals we received amazing and creative proposals that express the dream of co-creating young feminist realities. It is not possible to read them with purely rational eyes. As FRIDA staff, we are also activists, and we are moved by the emotion and aspirations of a new world. We see in the proposals a sigh of hope and strength. That is why it is very hard not to be able to support all groups. Awarding grants to social movements is to invest in a future where grants and funds are no longer needed. But, while they are, we are committed to collaborating and strengthening our connections with different funds and donors so that more groups can be supported”, concludes Veronica Veloso, Program Officer for Participatory Grantmaking and Operations at FRIDA.