The Spanish are taking part more and more in projects to promote change in the areas where it is most needed. Meraki Bay is just one of the many Spanish NGOs in Africa that work for children or women, among other groups, but if you want to learn about them all, keep reading!
Spanish NGOs based in Africa
- Meraki Bay: we are a Valencian NGO based in Hangberg, a slum in Cape Town where drug addiction, alcoholism, truancy or premature pregnancies happen on a daily basis. Our work is based on three pillars: helping children, women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship. We have two projects on the go now for children, another two in entrepreneurship and one more in women’s empowerment. They are:
– Houties (childhood): it is the first youth group in Hangberg. Children between six and thirteen years old from the slum area come to the multipurpose community centre every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday when they finish school and we do different workshops with them. Our goal is to get them off the streets and encourage them to fight for their future. A different lifestyle than the one they see in their community is possible.
– Leopards (childhood): it is the youth football group of the community. They were financed thanks to the support of DASH but the company had to withdraw its funds. At that time we met one of the coaches and we started working side by side with him to purchase the kid’s football kits and to cover other expenses.
– Coffee shop (entrepreneurship): the idea came up when we got to Hangberg. At first, we organised some activities in the school with the kids and we made friends with Monique, a woman who has a fruit and vegetable stand right at the door of the school. She told us that her sister was unemployed (unemployment rates in South Africa are higher than 20%) and that she wanted to start something, but she didn’t know how or what. We thought it would be interesting to open a cafeteria right next to her sister so the school teachers could go. We already have the coffee machine, but we need material like cups, glasses, dishes, spoons, etc.
– Vegetable garden (entrepreneurship): this program is almost finished. Our goal was to get the resources to plant lettuce, cauliflower, spinach, etc., in an urban vegetable garden next to the school. Thanks to that, we have managed to generate jobs and the vegetables we collect are used to generate income that is invested in the vegetable garden itself.
– Sewing workshop (women’s empowerment): this program consists of a sewing workshop orientated towards the more elderly women in the community. It is made up of a group of six ladies who meet two mornings a week. We provide them with fabrics and other materials so they can do their job and then we sell what they make to help them generate extra income for themselves and their families.
- Alegría sin fronteras: it is a Development NGO (non-governmental organization for Development) based in Senegal and Ethiopia dedicated to improve health and education in different areas of both countries. For example, through the Jam-Tan project, established in the Senegalese province of Dioula Colon, they provide guidance with schooling, health and nutrition for the children of the region that are in a vulnerable situation. The also work closely with the young people as well as the adults.
- Kubuka: this NGO is celebrating and commemorating its fifth anniversary. They work in Zambia and Kenya where they promote entrepreneurship, social inclusion and education. One of the projects in Kenya is a foster home located in Tala, a rural area 60 km from the capital, Nairobi. Its objective is, according to the organization itself, “to improve the quality of life of underage children in orphaned and vulnerable situations”.
- Afrikable: this NGO develops its project in Lamu, an island in northern Kenya. Its goal is to promote women’s empowerment and child protection. They promote gender equality and the defence of human rights without the distinction of race, sex or religion. One of its tools is fair trade and, according to Afrikable, women who participate in the program “had no access to the labour market for different reasons such as the absence of training, the patriarchal system in which they live that leaves women in the background, child care, poverty, etc. ” Now they receive a fair salary and education.
- Ha Ha Tay: the aim of this NGO is to build a multi-purpose centre mainly aimed at promoting non-formal education for young people in Gandiol. The centre, which has a library and two multi-purpose classrooms, was designed by the architect Nerea Pérez-Arróspide Navallas and will now be built in her honour posthumously.
- Zerca y lejos: this NGO works mainly in Cameroon, although it also works in Peru. They have four areas of action which are education, health, infrastructures and autonomy and human rights. A total of fifteen projects are aimed at developing each one of these areas.
As you can see, if your goal is to collaborate with a Spanish NGO in Africa – you have choices! The important thing is to do your bit, in Meraki Bay we would really appreciate your help!