SEATTLE, Washington — Trevor Noah is a popular host on the Daily Show in the U.S. His influence reaches many, but those who do not watch the show might be unaware that he is South African. Because of his background, he has always placed significant emphasis on social justice, philanthropy and giving back to his home. He is always championing new initiatives to help people both in the United States and around the world. Through the Trevor Noah Foundation, he funds initiatives to help schoolchildren in South Africa improve their education and gain life skills. Along with the foundation, Noah is a champion for the developing world in many different ways.
Noah is an advocate for the United Nations Development Fund for Women. UNIFEM is a United Nations special division that promotes gender equality and funds programs to foster women’s empowerment. UNIFEM is doing crucial work in developing countries to ensure women get the basic rights and freedoms they deserve. They work on multiple fronts including economic empowerment, leadership and political participation, ending violence against women and empowering youth within developing countries. Using his influence, Noah is advocating for the fair treatment of across the globe. Noah has also participated in the program’s HeforShe initiative, serving as an example for men committed to advocating for women’s rights.
Noah has not backed down from the COVID-19 pandemic. While countries have been scrambling to control internal outbreaks, the developing world has been overlooked. Noah has been providing educational resources for South African schools through his foundation. In addition, he has been campaigning to raise awareness regarding how hard it is for South African schools to resume classes. While developed countries can transition to online learning, many developing nations do not have that luxury.
Likewise, he has partnered with Microsoft in order to try to upskill 25 million people. Working with South African schools, they are providing some of the infrastructure to ensure as many children as possible have access to a safe schooling experience. On top of all of this, his TV show has raised money for pandemic relief in South Africa. They have already donated an estimated R9.5 million ($567,000) for charities in need.
Support for Undocumented Immigrants
While undocumented immigrants oftentimes lack human rights in any place in the world, Noah fights for the education rights of undocumented immigrants in South Africa. Through his partnership with New Nation School, he ensures that undocumented children have access to quality education because their circumstances are not related to their own fault. In 2019, the Trevor Noah foundation played a part in pushing a case to the Makhanda high court which ultimately led to the verdict that it is illegal for schools to turn away students based on documentation status. While this is a big win for learners, the fight for equitable access to quality schooling for all countries.
Ultimately, Noah is not quiet about his South African heritage nor his support for human rights and vulnerable people. In his book “Born a Crime,” he details how his background has impacted him in so many ways. It is clear that he never forgets his hometown, home country and home continent. Noah fights for developing nations through philanthropy, grassroots organization building and advocacy. He is an example of what it truly means to give back. However, he is not only giving back; he is helping to propel the people of his home continent to new heights.
– Keagan James
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