In 2020, the world gave $70 billion in cross-border philanthropy. But donors in the Global North don’t consistently recognize community organizations working in the Global South, which receive less than 10% of those dollars. In instances where funders do find local groups, they often put in place rigid restrictions that hinder the ability of grantees to deliver change on their own terms.
Born in Ethiopia, Solomé Lemma wants philanthropy to invest in grassroots movements across the Global South. At Thousand Currents, she works to bolster funding and support for organizations led by women, youth, and Indigenous people on the front lines of our changing planet—and to make philanthropy more equitable along the way. Lemma and her team seek out grassroots groups and community-led movements affecting social change on issues that include food sovereignty, climate justice, and economic justice—then help connect them with the capital they need, as well as other vital support to increase their impact. Overall, Lemma understands that philanthropic giving is not just about the allocation of funds; it is about mutual accountability, transparency, and solidarity in the name of justice.
Solomé Lemma supports grassroots groups and movements emanating from the Global South that are working for food, climate, and economic justice.
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