CorpsAfrica, Mastercard Foundation deepen partnership: $59.4 million project to impact 800,000 people
CorpsAfrica has expanded its partnership with Mastercard Foundation to develop the leadership skills of young Africans, particularly young women.
The expanded $59.4 million partnership will enable over 1,600 young African volunteers to serve across 11 countries on the continent and impact over 800,000 community members.
The five-year partnership aims to empower participants to fight poverty and facilitate sustainable community-led projects that impact public health, food security, education, gender issues, the digital economy, the environment and economic development.
Under the partnership, CorpsAfrica recruits, trains and places ambitious hard-working young African women and men to serve in poverty stricken communities in their own countries for one year.
The volunteers live within the communities to gain a deep understanding of the problems facing their fellow citizens and work with community members to implement sustainable solutions to improve lives, build resilience and create better economic outcomes for all.
As part of their learning process, the volunteers work with communities to help identify their needs and support them in developing community projects such as building schools, wells and irrigation systems, helping launch small businesses and agriculture projects, tutoring in schools, training centres, and where community members identify a need for assistance.
Commenting on the programme, the Founder and Executive Director of CorpsAfrica, Liz Fanning, said during their 10-month service, the volunteers would create formal and informal jobs using a human-centered design approach.
She said they helped to create a healthy environment that allowed economic prosperity and independence.
She added that the volunteers listened and learned while living alongside community members, which gave them critical thinking and problem-solving skills, humility and empathy.
“When their service is complete, they leave a legacy of innovation and change with families and communities,” she stated.
Funding from partners
Ms Fanning said the funding from its partners could not have come at a more appropriate time, as real-world experience and service opportunities were urgently needed to engage young Africans and create sustainable economic opportunities for rural people.
“This extraordinary partnership will provide the resources to advance and expand CorpsAfrica’s mission by ensuring sustainability across the continent.
“Together, we can create a model for national and Pan-African service and participatory development that is efficient, effective, collaborative, and accountable,” she stated.
She noted that with long-standing support from founding the OCP Group of Morocco, the Mastercard Foundation, and from other generous supporters, CorpsAfrica had hosted almost 500 African volunteers in six countries – Morocco, Senegal, Malawi, Rwanda, Ghana and Kenya.
With this new partnership, she said the organisation planned to extend its programme to Nigeria, Uganda and Ethiopia this year, and to two more African countries in 2024.
Proven its impact
The Chief Programmes Officer at Mastercard Foundation, Peter Materu, for his part, said CorpsAfrica had proven its impact in rural communities and demonstrated the value of deploying a network of service-minded young Africans to solve pressing issues across the continent.
He said the vision of CorpsAfrica aligned Mastercard’s Young Africa Works strategy which sought to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work.
“We are pleased to support their growth and expansion throughout the continent,” he said.