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  • Press Release

CorpsAfrica and the Mastercard Foundation Partner to Create 30,000 Work Opportunities for Young Africans

NEW YORK– December 3, 2021– CorpsAfrica and the Mastercard Foundation today announced a three-year partnership aimed at providing opportunities for young Africans to become changemakers in public health, education, and economic development and to support the creation of 30,000 work opportunities for young people across the continent.

The $17 million partnership will enable CorpsAfrica to expand its operations to eight countries on the continent (from four) and support close to 500 volunteers to become agents of transformation in their communities, leveraging the expertise to train, equip, and work with local communities to co-create work opportunities for young people. This work builds on a previous partnership between CorpsAfrica and the Mastercard Foundation that supported 56 young African volunteers within four African countries. The volunteers, who opted to stay in their host communities amid the pandemic, initiated more than 70 public health and economic empowerment projects and worked to sensitize communities on COVID-19 health and safety measures. They collectively impacted more than 53,000 people.

CorpsAfrica recruits and trains young African women and men to move to high-poverty communities in their own countries for one year, similar to the Peace Corps model. The volunteers organize community meetings to identify and address change and complex local needs in education, health, small business development, urban planning and infrastructure, agriculture, and the environment. By living and working with local communities, volunteers gain a deeper understanding of the problems facing their fellow citizens and work with community leaders and members to co-create and implement sustainable solutions to improve lives, build resilience, and create better economic outcomes for all.

“During their year of service, CorpsAfrica Volunteers create formal and informal jobs using the Human-Centered Design approach. This includes training of trainers and community projects that are owned and managed by the local people. They listen, learn, and lead, and they gain humility and empathy by walking alongside community members. When their service is complete, they leave a legacy of innovation and change to families and communities,” said Liz Fanning, Founder and Executive Director of CorpsAfrica.

“This funding could not have come at a more important time. Real world experience and service opportunities are urgently needed to engage young Africans and create sustainable economic opportunities for rural people. This extraordinary partnership will provide the resources to advance the program and its credibility and to ensure it is sustainable across the continent. Together, we can create a model for national and Pan-African service and participation that is collaborative and accountable to community development across the continent,” she concluded.

With long-standing support from its founding funder, the OCP Group of Morocco, the Mastercard Foundation and other generous supporters, CorpsAfrica has hosted almost 300 African Volunteers in four countries, including Senegal, Rwanda, Malawi, and Morocco, to date. With this new partnership, the organization will extend its program to four additional countries in 2022, potentially Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Ethiopia.

“CorpsAfrica has 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. Their vision aligns with our Young Africa Works strategy to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work and we are pleased to support their growth and expansion throughout the region,” said Peter Materu, Chief Programs Officer at the Mastercard Foundation.

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