Elevating the Most Impacted Populations: Solutions to Child Poverty are Strengthened by Lived Experience
One of Red Nose Day’s four cross-portfolio focuses is Elevating the Most Impacted Populations. We believe that those closest to the challenges of poverty and inequity must be at the forefront of identifying and cultivating sustainable solutions to these problems.
We believe that lived, first-hand experience of specific issues, such as hunger, homelessness, barriers to education or health care, or systemic injustice, provides critical perspectives and invaluable insights into a communities’ needs as well as what programs and policies work and which do not. That experience can also spur ideas for meaningful, innovative, empowering programs that resonate with communities to help create long-term, sustainable change.
As such, this emerging Red Nose Day grantmaking focus seeks to elevate communities that are most impacted by poverty – that is, prioritizing nonprofit organizations that are led and staffed by people from the communities they serve, and building new ways to bring those voices into our grantmaking strategy.
Below are some examples of Red Nose Day grantee partners who exemplify our focus on elevating the most impacted populations. We are committed to continuing to deepen this focus in our Red Nose Day grantmaking.
The Brotherhood/Sister Sol
The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (Bro/Sis) is a New York based organization that provides multi-layered programs around leadership development and educational support for Black and Latinx youth in economically distressed communities, where systemic and intergenerational issues present a range of additional barriers to economic and social mobility. While they serve all young people, their work empowering girls and young women of color is a key focus to address issues of not only race and class, but also tackling sexism and misogyny.
Bro/Sis is not only a Black-led organization, but all of Bro/Sis’s staff is people of color, 60% percent of Bro/Sis’s staff is alumni of the program and the majority of staff comes from similar communities to the youth the organization serves – providing a connectedness and deep understanding of its members’ experiences. Bro/Sis offers a range of long-term services that support personal development and academic achievement to empower children and young people to be change makers, and help foster positive growth and unlock future opportunities for themselves and their communities.
Red Nose Day funding helps to support Bro/Sis’s full range of programs, which includes after school care, counseling, summer camp, job training, college preparation and support, employment opportunities, activist training, community gardening, mental health support and arts education.
Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico
Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico – in English, Puerto Rico Community Foundation – works to develop the capacities of communities to achieve their social and economic transformation, maximize the impact and performance of funding, and foster additional philanthropic investment in Puerto Rico. They provide funding to deep and diverse programs by working closely with small-scale organizations embedded in communities across the island. This model offers those closest to the issues being faced the funding and support to devise and lead transformational programs.
In 2019, 58.3% or almost 6 out of every 10 children in Puerto Rico lived in poverty. Red Nose Day has committed to provide grants to community-led organizations through its place-based initiative focused on children and young people in Puerto Rico. The first five selected programs to be supported with the transformative grants include agricultural sustainability, education and healing through the arts, career readiness training, and more to actively shape a more positive future for their communities in a sustainable way.
Latinx communities in the United States have the largest and fastest growing child population living in poverty. UnidosUS strives to create opportunities for Latinx people to build stronger communities and a stronger country, where the contributions of the Latinx community are recognized and the health, educational and economic inequities they are facing are addressed. UnidosUS supports a range of programs and direct services through partnerships with local, community-based organizations who are closest to the realities experienced by a diverse US Latinx population.
Red Nose Day supports UnidosUS’s Healthy and Ready for the Future program. Healthy and Ready for the Future addresses poor oral health and socio-emotional health of rural children, especially those of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, of which 76% are Latinx. These children live below the federal poverty line at twice the national rate (30% versus 15%) and present more tooth decay than the overall US school children population, which affects general well-being but can also impact other aspects of children’s lives, including their capacity to attend school. Data shows that low-income children also suffer from emotional and behavioral problems more frequently than their more well-off peers, so Healthy and Ready for the Future includes screening for emotional and social wellbeing that connects children with appropriate services when needed.
Centro de Estudios Sociales y Publicaciones
Centro de Estudios Sociales y Publicaciones (CESIP) is a small but impactful Peruvian nonprofit organization run by local Peruvian experts in child and adolescent protection working to promote the rights of children, adolescents and women. Among CESIP’s many achievements, it has helped more than 8,100 children to be removed from dangerous child labor situations, training 2,120 teachers, and working with 33 municipalities in Peru to strengthen child protection and child programming.
CESIP provides direct services and also advocates for policy change and issue awareness to protect these highly vulnerable groups.
Red Nose Day supports a CESIP program called Promoting the rights of children and adolescents in Huachipa, which aims to tackle entrenched issues of child labor and violence against at-risk children by providing holistic support services and educational opportunities.
Read more about Red Nose Day’s impact and our other cross-portfolio focuses here.
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