The Mozilla Foundation has opened up applications for the Mozilla Foundation In real Life (IRL) Fund. The Mozilla IRL fund, as part of the Mozilla Foundation, aims to support community-building activities that strengthen the health and vibrancy of the open Internet. While it’s not a new program per se—coming on board in 2015—this new round offers funding opportunities for groups around Africa who want to get involved with Mozilla projects. If you’re interested in applying here are some tips on how best to do so:
About The Mozilla Foundation
The Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization that works with developers around the world to create better technology and make it accessible, so they can build things like Firefox or Thunderbird. But there’s also an IRL fund—that stands for “Internet Relay Chat” or “IRC”—which helps promote connectivity among people who don’t have access to high-speed Internet services due to lack of infrastructure or because they live in remote areas where fiber optic cables aren’t available yet.
The IRL fund was created by Mozilla back in 2008 as part of its mission statement: “We seek opportunities where creativity meets technology; where ideas are shared freely without barriers of nationality, race or religion.”
What is the in Mozilla Foundation In real Life (IRL) Fund?
The IRL fund, as part of the Mozilla Foundation, aims to support community-building activities that strengthen the health and vibrancy of the open Internet.
IRL Fund supports initiatives, projects and strategies led by African organizations that contribute towards a healthy internet. The idea of this project is to strengthen digital and human rights and impact communities “In Real Life”. This is a new, exploratory grantmaking mechanism intended to build a cohort of partners working on initiatives that address real challenges in the African continent.
What are the Objectives of the Mozilla In Real Life (IRL) Fund?
The following may include some of the objectives it tends to achieve:
- Connect technologists, entrepreneurs, civil society and policy makers who are addressing the impact of technology on social justice issues. And, to share knowledge and perspectives across disciplines with a focus on developing values-driven solutions.
- Accelerate the work of “front runners” of the internet health movement, especially those already connected to, interacting with, and informed by lived experience, who can speak to and represent the needs and ideals of the ordinary citizen in the internet environment.
- Support priorities articulated by partners and those emerging from convening processes: create spaces for sharing and/or defining the most promising “home-grown” initiatives, projects and strategies and channel resources towards those prioritized by partners.
- Document and showcase innovations already happening across sectors in order to share learnings, inspire others, build momentum and attract more actors and potential funders.
- Support strategic engagement and networking to increase visibility and representation of African organizations within digital rights groups, technology communities, regional and continental regulator convenings and internet governance forums.
- Partner with those who can reach and represent communities who seems to be marginalize: connecting with those largely left out of the digital rights conversations, including those who are unemployed, have not had formal education, women, LGBTQI+ communities and people with disabilities.
What are the type of projects the programme may include?:
- Grassroots initiatives that bring more women online in rural communities;
- Art or multimedia works that highlight extractive online practices or suggest alternatives;
- A gender justice and digital rights organization collaborating together to raise awareness on the impact of a lack of online privacy protections and proposing solutions;
- A project that explores creative online spaces for youth activism;
- The development of an open source app that helps farmers track and increase yield;
- It also welcome applications that are exploring new ideas that innovate around intersectional approaches that surface the lived experiences of Africans.
Requirements for Mozilla Foundation In real Life (IRL) Fund Program Qualification
To apply for this grant, you are:
- Not for profit social justice/civil society organizations; or
- Journalist/media based institutions; or
- Art based organizations; or
- Academic or research focused institutions; or
- Technology/digital rights focused not for profit orgs; or
- Network/collective/collaborations comprised of the above
Who cannot apply
- Projects run by a for-profit organization which are not license for use under an open source license
- Projects not located on the African continent
- Mozilla Foundation employees, Mozilla Corporation employees, contractors of either the Foundation or its Corporation and their immediate family members
- Corporations in which a Mozilla Foundation employee, Mozilla Corporation employee, or their immediate family members has an ownership stake
The Mozilla Foundation funds open Internet development in Africa through its Africa Open Internet Fund (AOIF). The AOIF supports projects that strengthen the health and vibrancy of the open Internet on the continent.
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How to apply
The IRL Fund has a two-stage application process. In the first stage you will have to submit an expression of interest through a letter of intent (“LOI”), if application meets the eligibility and award criteria, it will then be examine by an external committee of experts. You can only be inform to submit a full application if you meet the eligibility criteria and your concept note is selected to proceed to the next stage.
Before submitting a LOI, we encourage you to:
- Complete this simple eligibility test
- Review the application guide, which is downloadable and includes a full overview of the questions in the application.
- Submit your application at https://mozilla.fluxx.io/apply/Mradi.