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About nine years ago, tired of the images of Africans with begging bowls reaching out to Western saviours, I began looking at ways to change the perception and shine a light on the great work and generosity of Africans. I hoped this would come to represent a refreshing alternative to indices that rank countries based on behaviours that that are emotionally synonymous with helping strangers, donating money and volunteering time. It therefore made sense to me that African countries would not be ranked highly. African giving tends to be familial, and I strongly believe that if these indices  included familial giving as a benchmark, included other forms of giving (of food, shelter, care for instance), and also assessed 'giving' as a proportion offered of what a person has, African countries would rank closer to the top of all giving indices.

Despite the high levels and importance of familial giving the risks associated with this type of giving became all too evident - what with the devastating impact of AIDS and HIV.

Families that had invested in individuals were left bereft not only by the loss of the individual, but by the size of the investment made in the individual; impacting families. I realised that to build truly self-sustainable communities, a more strategic type of philanthropy was required that would help build trust, secure local assets and increase capacity to benefit more people. I have always believed community philanthropy is the solution, and in 2010 I secured a grant to conduct a feasibility study into establishing a community foundation in Zambia. Report findings indicated an appetite and clear need for a community foundation in Zambia to enable and encourage philanthropy, strengthen the not-for-profit sector, and seek long-term solutions to locally defined problems. The Twikatane Community Foundation is the outcome of a decision I made nine years ago.

Chupa Phiri

Founder & CEO

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