To mark its fiftieth anniversary in Eastern Africa, the Ford Foundation has announced the ten recipients of its Champions of Democracy awards program.
Each of the organizations will receive $100,000 to advance efforts that promote democracy and opportunity in the region. The ten awardees are Akili Dada, the Performing and Visual Arts Centre (the GoDown Arts Centre), Kenya Women Holding, the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the Kenya Land Alliance, Men for the Equality of Women and Men, Media Development in Africa, Twaweza (Swahili for "we can make it happen"), the Youth Agenda, and GO-SHENG.
Over the five decades it has worked in Eastern Africa, the foundation has played a key role in the region's development, from helping to fund its first microfinance organizations to providing training opportunities for two generations of leaders working in government, academia, and civil society. The foundation, which has invested nearly $300 million in the region since 1962, also has been a leading supporter of the arts, creative expression, and new media.
"This is a moment of promise and opportunity for Eastern Africa," said Ford Foundation president Luis A. Ubi�as. "These champions of democracy are playing an essential role in fulfilling that potential by building a just, equitable, and democratic region for everyone."