Harry and Meghan’s new charitable foundation to have big focus on women and girls: report

By Zach Harper

Last week, it was revealed Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry will leave the Royal Foundation and launch their own charitable organization.

The Palace announced the Royal Foundation will be renamed to the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and will continued to headed by Prince William and Duchess Kate. As for the Sussex’s new organization, it’s likely to include work on “female education and sexual violence,” according to a source who spoke to Harper’s Bazaar. Since Meghan is American, it’s also likely to have a US wing, the source said.

MORE: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex officially split from the Royal Foundation

It’s quite likely Meghan and Harry will make a big announcement about their new foundation or begin sketching out its work when they make their widely reported trip to Angola, Malawi and South Africa later this year. The tour will reportedly be focused on humanitarian issues, and will also see them working to expand Sentebale while in Malawi. But the trip could also see them doing extensive work on women and girls’s issues while in the three countries.

Meghan and Harry visited the “Education For All” boarding house for girls aged 12 to 18 while in Asni, Morocco in February. The school ensures girls from rural communities in the High Atlas Mountain regions have access to secondary education. Photo: © Tim P. Whitby - Pool/Getty Images

Meghan had plans to start a charity for women and girls long before she met Harry, according to the Daily Mail. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since much of Meghan’s charitable work to date has focused on those issues, but she had to put her plans on hold when she moved to the UK to marry Harry.

“She is somebody has been involved with women’s causes since she was young,” a source told the Mail. “This isn’t new, it’s something that has always driven her, from long before she met Harry.”

Meghan has worked on and addressed women and girls’s education while in another part of Africa in the past. In 2016, she visited Rwanda as a Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada. She spent time with children at a school that had been given clean water through a pipeline set up by the charity, and also painted watercolour pictures with the kids and spoke about how important water access is to education for women and girls.

“I think there’s a misconception that access to clean water is just about drinking water; which, of course, it is,” Meghan said of her visit in 2017. “But it’s so much more than that. Access to clean water in a community keeps young girls in school, because they aren’t walking hours each day to source water for their families.”

Meghan also wrote the foreword for Together: Our Community Kitchen, a cookbook that raised more than $830,000 for the Hubb Community Kitchen, which helps women affected by the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London. The project grew out of the Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in London, at which many women affected by the fires began gathering after the disaster. Meghan began visiting the space, which evolved into the Hubb, last year.

MORE: Duchess Meghan shares inspiring message on women’s empowerment after the birth of baby Archie

And this past International Women’s Day, Meghan hosted a panel that included female activists and leaders such as Angeline Murimirwa of CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education). She also recorded a special message for CAMFED’s Education is Everything gala in May.

“A girl who is educated becomes a woman who is influential,” she said in a video clip that was played at the event. “When women miss out on careers, education or opportunities because of the system we live in, we all suffer.”

The Royal Foundation was started by Harry and William in 2009 and later grew to include charitable initiatives involving Kate and Meghan, too. Photo: © Getty Images

There’s been no announcement yet about what form the charitable foundation will take, or what it will be called, but Harper’s Bazaar reports the couple will spend time with the Royal Foundation over the next few months sketching out initiatives that will be either “one-off projects” or separate charities.

“This is their chance to stamp their own personality on their charitable work,” a source told the publication. “Not only will their new foundation stand the test of time, but it will alow them to do some very ambitious things.”

“This allows the Sussexes to do things exactly how they want,” a separate source told the magazine. “Their operating style is very different from the Cambridges and so having their own space to think as big as they like, working on a global scale, is perfect for them.”

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