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We envision a more equitable future
where ALL youth are empowered
to live healthy, productive lives.

Our history

CTAOP was created in 2007 by Charlize Theron, Academy Award® winning actor and UN Messenger of Peace, with the hope of making a difference in the lives of young people in her home country of South Africa.

Charlize and the CTAOP commit to a values-driven approach. CTAOP puts PEOPLE first and shares in our interconnectedness as humans through the spirit of Ubuntu: ‘I am because you are.’ CTAOP also values kindness, continuous learning, integrity, authenticity, and community building.

Although the geographic scope of CTAOP has expanded, South Africa remains the primary focus of the foundation’s work. Through the years of working with our incredible Program Partners, we have learned that transformative change comes from within communities themselves.

“Ubuntu is the recognition of common humanity – the belief that we are all bound to one another – ALL of us. It’s a powerful force . . . more powerful than anything that seeks to divide us.”

~ CTAOP Team

Major milestones


Charlize recognized for her work with CTAOP at the Town & Country Philanthropy Summit.


three smiling young people wearing Youth Leadership Scholars t-shirts

CTAOP surpasses $10M in grants to Southern Africa.


time magazine cover

CTAOP partners with the Ford Foundation to provide funding and advocate for vaccine access and equality.


Covid-19 virus molecules

Charlize and CTAOP commit over $1M to Covid response efforts.


hands holding a candle with the words "together for her" on it

CTAOP partners with EIF and CARE to launch the #TogetherForHer campaign to prevent gender-based violence.


A man speaking to a village in Zambia

CTAOP expanded grant portfolio to include Rwanda, Zambia, & Zimbabwe.


Young man studying intently

The Youth Leaders Scholarship program was launched as a mechanism to support exceptional youth from our Program Partners.


Young person with a microphone giving an animated speech

Community leader, Aya, inspires the creation of the Youth Leaders Scholarship program.


Charlize Theron at a podium giving a speech

Charlize gives the opening remarks at the International AIDS Conference in Durban


Graphic logo: GenEndIt

CTAOP co-founds the #GenEndIt coalition


Graphic logo: Ubuntu Council

The CTAOP advisory council has its first year in action.


graphic logo: GivingTuesday

CTAOP participates in the first ever #GivingTuesday, the global day of giving.


A young man in a yellow sweater leading a classroom lesson

CTAOP reaches $1M in grants to support youth in Southern Africa


Charlize Theron dancing with a group of African youth

CTAOP breaks ground on ‘Home Field Advantage’ project, which provided clean water sources, soccer fields, community gardens and environmentally friendly toilet blocks to 4 secondary schools in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa


A shoe by Toms with a CTAOP logo

CTAOP partners with TOMS


Charlize Theron with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, designates Charlize as a UN Messenger of Peace.


Actor Charlize Theron with children in South Africa

CTAOP’s official launch held in KZN, South Africa

Frequently asked questions

What types of programs does CTAOP fund?

CTAOP supports locally-led community-based organizations that work directly with young people and focus on sexual reproductive health and rights and/or the prevention of gender-based violence.

Our Program Partners approach their work in a holistic way, considering the whole young person—taking into consideration the health, education, and safety of young people, and the community systems and structures within the community that support youth.

We are particularly focused on supporting organizations that bring community-driven solutions forward for social change.


How does an organization become a CTAOP Program Partner or apply for funding?

Currently, CTAOP is not exploring partnerships with new Program Partners, but if your work falls under the types of programs we fund (above), please take our survey to share more about your community-based/locally-led organization and how your organization’s work invests in the health, education, and safety of youth living in Southern Africa, and/or on the prevention of gender-based violence (with a focus on young people).  

How can someone apply for the CTAOP Youth Leaders Scholarship program?

At this stage the CTAOP YLS program only accepts applications from candidates who have been nominated by CTAOP Nominating Partner organizations and does not accept applications from the general public.


How can I tell if I’m engaging with the legitimate CTAOP or Charlize Theron social media accounts?

Unfortunately, there are many scammers on social media and the Internet pretending to be or to represent CTAOP or Charlize Theron.

PLEASE BE WARY OF ANYONE ASKING TO BE SENT FUNDS—this is an immediate red flag as we would never do this.

Please note that Charlize Theron’s only social media accounts are verified with the blue checkmark on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She has no other accounts.

Charlize does not contact fans over social media, nor on Whatsapp, Telegram, Signal, Gmail, or any other messaging or email platform.

CTAOP’s only social media accounts are also verified with a blue checkmark on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

CTAOP created an FAQ Instagram Stories highlight reel on our Instagram to warn our and Charlize’s followers and give more information on who not to engage with.

A group of students in a classroom standing and raising their hands
Charlize and CTAOP supporters spending time learning alongside Program Partner, dlalanathi.