The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper.
In collaboration with visionary organizations, the Foundation works to enable young people in Africa and young Indigenous people in Canada to access quality education and meaningful employment aligned with their values and aspirations.
The Foundation first started its work in Africa because it is home to the largest and fastest growing population of young people in the world. A tremendous source of energy, ideas, potential, and prosperity, the success of young people builds stronger countries and a better future for all.
In Canada, Indigenous people are the youngest, fastest growing population. As a Canadian organization, the Foundation heard the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and listened to the voices of young Indigenous people themselves: education is essential to reconciliation and to revitalizing Indigenous languages and cultures and ensuring Indigenous youth can chart their own paths to a meaningful livelihood.
Recognizing its responsibility to play a role in this work, the Foundation partnered with Indigenous youth and communities across the country to create the EleV Program.
The EleV Program was launched in September 2017 in partnership with Indigenous communities and two post-secondary institutions: Vancouver Island University and Yukon College (now Yukon University). Built on co-creation, listening, learning, respect, reciprocity, and commitment, EleV supports Indigenous-led solutions to transform systems of education and employment to better serve and meet the needs of Indigenous youth. The voices and leadership of Indigenous youth are at the centre of this work.
As part of our collective responsibilities to advance reconciliation and honour Indigenous rights, EleV is built on the strengths and needs of each partner, the surrounding communities and their regional contexts, realities and priorities.
Today, with partnerships in all regions of Canada, EleV has the bold goal of enabling 100,000 Indigenous youth to complete their education, access economic opportunities and drive meaningful change in their communities by 2030. We recognize that this can only be achieved by working in relationships of reciprocity and commitment with our partners, Indigenous youth, and communities.
The name EleV (ˈe-lə-VEE) was selected in consultation with partner Indigenous communities and youth. EleV is a play on the word elevate in English and élève (student) in French. The V evokes a flock of birds flying a long distance, wherein each member takes a turn in the lead position. The logo reflects a lesson from nature — that leadership is service; that by helping others, we fulfill a greater purpose.