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The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) invests in and advances the health and safety of young people in Southern Africa to create a more equitable future for all. CTAOP is a grantmaker, convener, and storyteller. We envision a future where ALL youth are empowered to live healthy, productive lives. CTAOP’s Program Partners (grantees) work at the intersection of youth and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and help prevent and protect against gender-based violence. In addition, CTAOP’s Youth Leaders Scholarship (YLS) program aims to cultivate and strengthen young community leaders by providing comprehensive scholarships for tertiary education, psychosocial support, and leadership skills.

Here’s a look at our 2023…

In 2023, CTAOP began relationships with and initiated support to new Program Partners working in the SRHR and GBV space and continued our long-term support for existing ones. All our Program Partners engage young people and communities—holistically supporting youth, providing physically and emotionally safe spaces—to ultimately support an environment where youth thrive.

In 2023, CTAOP granted $1.467M to 16 organizations in South Africa, Rwanda, and Zambia, reaching nearly 590,000 youth—88% of the funding was flexible and multi-year.

“CTAOP stands out as one of the most collaborative and collegial funders we have.”

Anonymous Program Partner on being in a relationship with CTAOP

Alongside multi-year funding, CTAOP’s role as a community builder and convener emerged as a vital and unique service we provide. Our core convenings are called Swidler Summits—named after the late Alisa Swidler, a passionate philanthropist and CTAOP Ubuntu Council member. In 2023, we hosted 3 regional Swidler Summits for our Program Partners. These 4-day in-person gatherings gave the leaders we support a critical moment to rest, recharge, connect, and collaborate. The Summits also included skills building, sharing of program models, and tools for organizations to increase their effectiveness. In all three settings, we explored the obstacles youth face and the common challenges that organizations experience. The content also responded to the needs of the organizations attending, based on their pre-Summit inputs. These moments spent in relationship with one another bring joy, rejuvenation, healing, and creativity to all participants, and CTAOP is proud to be able to hold this space each year for self-care and collective power.

The Summit is a great gift to the team as it offers a space for respite and learning. The support that CTAOP provides has been extremely helpful for our team as it has often supported our work or aspects that we could not find other funding for.

Anonymous Program Partner on the Swidler Summit

Storytelling can inform, inspire, move, and connect people and resources. It is one of the most powerful ways to advocate for change. In 2023, CTAOP organized, hosted, authored, shared resources, and served as facilitators, panelists, interviewees, interviewers, and participants in over 40 activities related to allyship and advocacy in the spaces of youth health, GBV prevention, and trust-based philanthropy. Additionally, CTAOP hosted, co-hosted, or facilitated 15 in-person gatherings, workshops, and panels (10 with Program Partners). To support capacity strengthening, we connected Program Partners to funding and grant opportunities, fellowship and bursaries, and organizational and programmatic resources. In addition, CTAOP team members participated in 7 publications about trust-based philanthropy, 3 podcasts, and 14 speaking engagements.

“We use all facets of CTAOP to mobilize support for young people. We build relationships, utilize our platform, and influence different sectors to do everything in their power to make the world more equitable. This can’t happen without storytelling.”

Ashlee George, CTAOP

CTAOP’s Youth Leaders Scholarship (YLS) program aims to cultivate and strengthen community leaders in South Africa by providing comprehensive scholarships for tertiary education, including individually tailored academic counseling, psychosocial support, and leadership skills-building work.

In 2023, CTAOP continued to support our 22 YL Scholars as part of the Youth Leaders Scholarship program with wrap-around support including leadership training and mental health and wellness. To date, 6 Scholars have finished their Bachelor’s degrees and are on to various endeavors, including pursuing Honours (an additional year of specialized education), training and internships, and full-time employment.

With YLS, it felt like there was someone behind me.”

YL Scholar

We are so grateful for our CTAOP community. Join us in making an impact in 2024!

“… we should stop saying charity, and we should call it solidarity.

Charlize Theron