A new philanthropy-backed fund aims to place survivors at the heart of efforts to combat slavery by giving unrestricted grants to local organisations led by those directly affected by exploitation.
The Survivor Leadership Fund will award grants of up to $15,000 to small nonprofits that often struggle to secure funding, to be used in any way the organisation sees fit.
An initiative of the Freedom Fund, a collaborative donor fund dedicated to eradicating slavery, the aim is to build the capacity of survivor-led frontline NGOs and drive ground-up solutions.
The scheme will be piloted in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda before expanding to Southeast Asia, South Asia, and South America, awarding more than $1m in total over a five-year period.
“We hope that this fund can be a game-changer for small, survivor-led organisations, paving the way for a new generation of survivor leaders and groups who can really make a difference,” said Meseret Bayou, deputy country representative for the Freedom Fund in Ethiopia.
“Flexible funding empowers survivor-led organisations to make quick choices about how best to help, choices those on the frontlines and as survivors themselves are best placed to make,” he added.