Help solve the most pressing problems facing children today.

You decide how.

Every year, we carefully select programmes based on their ability to create sustainable change for children in the long term. Be part of a new approach to find sustainable solutions for children and choose the programme that most inspires you.

We select programs that improve the health, education and protection of children in the UK and around the world. We can guarantee that we achieve and improve as much as possible with your donation and our commitment.

UBS covers all administration costs of the Foundation, making sure more of your money gets to the people who need it. UBS also provides financial accountability, reporting and auditing, making sure 100% of your donation is going to the programs and is used effectively.

As part of this year's Global Giving campaign, you can support three innovative programs through the UBS Optimus Foundation during the remainder of this year.

Donating is easy – contact your Client Advisor or the Philanthropy team 


Are you inspired by the plight of child refugees and are interested in a smarter, more efficient way of giving?

Help refugee families by giving them cash to spend as they see fit – whether that means investing in nutrition and health, education, small businesses, or all of the above.

GiveDirectly is a non-profit organization with a proven track record in delivering unconditional cash transfers to extremely poor families in Africa.

The benefits:

  • Sending cash is more cost effective than sending various forms of aid like food, water and seeds – so your money goes further.
  • It offers families flexibility and efficiency by cutting out intermediaries and allowing them to purchase exactly what they need.
  • Substantial cash transfers are a one-off and provide the potential to reduce costly long-term aid cycles – families meet their needs and invest in their own futures.

Why we need your support

GiveDirectly is seeking funding to expand its proven method of delivering aid into a new area: helping refugee families in Uganda, home to one of the largest – and poorest – refugee populations in the world.

  • Cash travels fast, has no shipping cost, and gives refugees the chance to regain control and choice over their spending and livelihoods.
  • Your support will also help to invigorate the local economy, as refugees use their cash transfers to purchase food and supplies from local shops.
  • You will also provide proof-of-concept to show that sending large cash transfers can work in a refugee context – which can then be scaled up.

The impact you can have

Your support will help expand GiveDirectly’s work to help refugee families in Uganda and establish proof of concept.

  • Show that using cash transfers is an effective way of helping refugees. 
  • Directly enable families to prioritize resources as they see fit in order to keep their families healthy, fed and educated.

A gift of £25,000 can result in cash transfers for approx. 135 refugees, including 86 children

A gift of £100,000 can result in cash transfers for approx. 555 refugees, including 355 children

Photo credit: Give Directly

Are you are interested in the power of technology and business innovation, and how this can be harnessed to improve children’s education?

Support Africa’s first education incubator and encourage the continent’s own technological entrepreneurs to improve education across Africa.

The benefits:

Injini is tackling the problem of education across Africa in a new way – by focusing on small businesses with the ingenuity and energy to harness the power of technology to help children learn.

  • Supporting small businesses is a sustainable alternative to non-profit intervention.
  • Business as usual in African education isn’t working – this is an innovative approach.
  • Education forms the basis of Africa’s future development and local education innovations have huge potential if given the right support.
  • Mobile technology is widespread across the continent and has thus far been under-utilized in solving Africa’s education problems.

There is huge unrealized potential in the resourcefulness of entrepreneurs across the continent. Injini aims to ensure that ideas that can raise education standards at scale have access to early stage investment and support.

Why we need your support

Your support helps get exciting education innovations to market so they can start benefiting students across Africa, and helps start-ups get their business off the ground.

  • Injini accepts applications from small start-up companies from anywhere in Africa with an education technology innovation that has the potential to improve education at scale.
  • Every six months, a cohort of successful companies receive a substantial financial investment along with a five-month incubation period where they receive expert advice on everything from the technological development of their product to the capacity building needed to make their business grow.
  • Successful innovations then continue to help raise education standards of children across the continent.

The impact you can have

Your support can help fund an entirely new way of tackling the education crisis across Africa.

  • Investing time, expertise and money into small businesses is a sustainable way of getting education resources to children in the long term, as businesses continue to provide resources after the initial investment period.
  • Only start-ups whose innovations have a strong basis in existing evidence are selected, ensuring your money has the greatest possible impact for children across Africa.
  • This program marks an entirely new way of tackling problems in education – your support can help provide evidence for success and leverage further funding.
  • You could support start-ups like Mtabe in Tanzania, which is building an offline search engine for students, or Yo Books in South Sudan, which aims to provide access to books in remote regions.

A gift of £25,000 can fund a school of 2,743 students to learn for one year in one of Injini’s program

A gift of £100,000 would fund the participation of two companies in the Injini program

Photo credit: Injini

Are you interested in addressing the growing needs amongst young people here in the UK?

Help provide quality Youth Zones that have shown to increase employment and reduce anti-social behavior among disadvantaged young people in the UK.

The benefits:

Areas with OnSide Youth Zones report the opening of the Youth Zone has reduced crime and anti-social behavior, increased safety and improved the environment of the community. You can help expand this proven model into even more communities.

  • Local police report a 50 to 77% reduction in youth anti-social behavior in areas with a Youth Zone.
  • 72% of young people attending a Youth Zone report receiving better marks in school.
  • 84% of young people who completed the ‘Get a Job’ employability program at a Youth Zone progressed into work or further study.
  • 84% of local businesses believe a Youth Zone has increased community safety.
  • OnSide currently has Youth Zones across the North and Midlands in Bolton, Blackburn, Carlisle, Chorley, Manchester, Oldham, Warrington, Wigan, Wirral and Wolverhampton, with a further 12 in various stages of planning across the whole country.

Why we need your support

OnSide Youth Zones take the traditional youth center model and push it further – creating the best possible modern space for young people to access activities, get career support, and have consistent mentorship to help them fulfil their potential.

  • Innovative partnership using public and private sector funding ensures Youth Zones are sustainable.
  • A high-quality, unique environment for young people who need it most – offering sports, mentoring, employability program, along with a host of other activities in a safe, inviting space. 
  • Proven impact in reducing youth anti-social behavior and improving outcomes for young people.

The impact you can have

Your support will help OnSide Youth Zones to deliver more Youth Zones in areas of deprivation, including providing quality activities, careers support and mentoring. Your donation will also help provide further proof of the benefits. You can:

  • Reduce violence and increase employability among young people.
  • Improve economic outcomes of communities and community safety and cohesion.
  • Give young people the positive role models they require to take the right path in life.

A gift of £25,000 pays for a cohort of 25 young people who are unemployed to attend the eight week ‘Get a Job’ course

A gift of £100,000 pays for five support workers for a year to enhance access to activities for young people who are disabled

Photo credit: Youth Zone