Leeds charity awarded grant in memory of Jo Cox as £10m funds promise to help world's poorest

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A Leeds-based charity has been awarded a grant in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox, as £10million in funding is promised to help women and girls in the world's poorest countries.

The Jo Cox Memorial Grants were set up in 2018 by UK aid to fund projects on themes that were close to Jo’s heart - empowering women and girls and conflict prevention.

The Zimbabwe Education Trust, based in Leeds, is one of 18 charities given vital funding through the grants.

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Kim Leadbeater, sister of Jo Cox, said it was 'wonderful' to see causes so close to Jo's heart given vital fundingKim Leadbeater, sister of Jo Cox, said it was 'wonderful' to see causes so close to Jo's heart given vital funding
Kim Leadbeater, sister of Jo Cox, said it was 'wonderful' to see causes so close to Jo's heart given vital funding | jpimedia

The project will run a nine-month education, vocational training and life skills course for disadvantaged young women in Zimbabwe through the Rafiki Girls Centre.

Jo's sister, Kim Leadbeater, said it was 'wonderful' to see causes so close to Jo's heart given vital funding in her memory.

Kim said: "Whenever I talk about Jo, I describe her first and foremost as a humanitarian.

"Before she was a politician she worked for 15 years in that sector, helping people in countries all over the world.

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"Jo felt so at home in those communities, working on women's issues and empowerment in countries where women are seriously marginalised.

"She brought the same motivation to Yorkshire in the communities where we grew up."

Other charities awarded Jo Cox Memorial Grants include Carers Worldwide, Mentoring and Empowerment Programme for Young Women and Human Right Network Uganda.

The grants are part of the 'international' stand of the Jo Cox Foundation, which also works with the most vulnerable people in West Yorkshire and nationally in Jo's memory.

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Kim added: "We have three stands to the Jo Cox Foundation, we do a lot of work in communities in West Yorkshire where we grew up and nationally in communities in the UK - we can't be complacent about those issues either.

"Then we have the international stand, which is very heartwarming to us as a family.

"Those three stands reflected her life - she had good solid Yorkshire roots, then worked at international organisations before she went into politics.

"It's so important the foundation remains true to her story."

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Charities awarded the grants will use the funding to tackle violence against women, girls and minorities across the world; giving women and girls access to sexual and reproductive health services and increasing women’s financial independence and representation in politics.

International Development and Foreign Office Minister Baroness Sugg said: “The charities that have received grants are working to give some of the world’s most vulnerable women, girls and minorities the chance of a safer, better life free from violence and discrimination.

“Jo cared passionately about stopping violence and tackling gender inequality, which will create a world where every girl can go to school and realise her full potential.

"With funding from UK aid in Jo Cox’s memory, these projects will help to achieve this.”

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