Giving Compass’ Take:
• Tobi Awodipe shares how WISE Fund empowers grassroots women innovators to address big social issues including climate change.
• What role can you play in supporting women who are addressing social issues in your community and beyond? Are you prepared to offer financial and non-monetary support to grassroots leaders and innovators?
• Read about women and the hunger crisis.
Tell us about the WISE Fund, how did you come about this idea?
I created the Fund because the severity of the challenges facing the world require that all people have a chance to make a difference for humanity and the planet. But not all people get equal opportunity and funding to contribute their talents to solve the world’s problems. Founded in March 2020 as our Women’s History Month celebration and launch, the WISE Fund is an initiative devoted to empowering black and indigenous leaders address the most daunting social and environmental challenges in their communities and the world.
We have two primary programs. First, we are the backbone organization for Black Philanthropy Month and Reunity: The Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network, its summits and other social action efforts. Second, we identify and fund grassroots women innovators with novel, promising, high impact technology or other strategies to help their communities and the world address the many negative environmental and health effects of global warming, while providing more economic opportunity for women in the much needed “green economy,” especially in Africa and other parts of the world. We focus on these groups because they’re the world’s most undersupported innovators. Furthermore, empowering women is a proven strategy for addressing all social and environmental challenges. Women, especially from lower-income communities, are hit hardest by environmental and related public health challenges such as COVID-19. We will do our first funding round next month and hope that others will join in supporting the amazing women-led or benefiting organizations that could literally save our planet.
Climate change is not something that is being taken very seriously in Nigeria, how do you intend to pass your message across and get people interested in it?
Nigerians are some of the most resilient people on the planet and manage to adjust to all nature of calamity, natural and artificial, with ingenuity. But the effects of climate change are all around Nigeria, even if people just take it for granted as another indication of life’s unending hardships. Most Nigerians know that the dry season has been getting hotter and dustier; the wet season, wetter. The resulting floods, fires, destruction of land, water shortages, as well as increase in public health challenges such as asthma, lung diseases, visual impairment and even COVID-19, are not just part of some natural cycle of life; they are the direct result of the destruction of natural habitats, the atmosphere and agricultural lands brought on by the escalation in the world, Africa’s and the world’s temperature levels.
We plan to support activists and innovators who can help everyday people better understand how climate change is impacting their daily life, making people and lands unhealthy, and making survival more difficult overall. We also highlight the people and organizations making a difference. Renewable energy such as solar and wind power, making them accessible to the masses, as well as efficient public transportation are important steps to reduce the fossil fuels use that is warming the environment too rapidly and damaging our natural environments.
Read the full article about WISE Fund by Tobi Awodipe at Guardian Woman.
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