We asked Joyce to answer some questions about her role in the directing of the Spark Fund to help youth-led groups use digital tech to reach communities that feel so marginalized that they lack the confidence to apply for funding.
How does it work?
The decision-making process of the Spark Fund helps young people to shift from a subjective decision-making process to a more needs-based approach, thereby benefiting youth-led organizations with initiatives critical to young people's needs in their community or region.
This means that young people get to choose what to prioritize, regardless of their own limited resources, based on existing needs and challenges.
What benefits do you see it having on young people?
The uniqueness of the Spark Fund is its participatory nature; it allows young people to influence the decisions on how funding should be disbursed to social change organizations.
In addition to providing financial support, the Fund offers youth-focused groups capacity-building programs and learning opportunities that are beneficial in the digital age. It helps to build the capacity of young leaders to influence long-term change.
How do you see it reaching communities that may never have their opportunities met otherwise?
Selecting youth panelists from the various regions that the Fund focuses on helps to ensure that marginalized communities are able to gain representation.
Through the Spark Fund initiative, no idea is too small or too big to be funded. Every idea stands a chance of receiving the requisite support once young people believe in its mission and vision.
Why are you excited about being part of the steering committee and what do you hope it will achieve?
This initiative is timely and it is providing a chance for young people to be part of making decisions that influence the kind of social change they want to see, as well as building their capacity and leadership skills to do so. That's what makes me the most excited to be part of this!