Naza Alakija - humanitarian and philanthropist

by Abigail Richardson from MY HERO Staff

Naza Alakija is a humanitarian and philanthropist deeply committed to three areas of impact: education, empowerment of women and girls, and the environment. She believes a sustainable, prosperous, and equitable world is within our grasp, “if we provide women and girls with the education they deserve, and lead communities towards an environmentally resilient future.” As founder of The Evoca Foundation, she finds and funds grassroots movements with creative solutions to the climate crisis and beyond.


Naza is a Senior Advisor for UNICEF, and in her advisory work, she has traveled to some of the worst conflict zones of the 21st century. She has always been amazed and humbled by the people she’s met and the stories they have to tell. Naza has visited Afghanistan several times, a country she calls one of the most beautiful places in the world. Here she had the privilege of meeting and supporting some of the most resilient and innovative groups of people she’s ever met, including the Afghan Girls Robotics team.

Naza was born in Iran and moved to the UK aged nine. She is deeply grateful for the role education has played in her life and became a fierce defender of a girl’s right to a full education. Naza supports a number of educational programs which help girls to fulfill their potential, such as GIGA, a global connectivity expansion project designed to connect every young person in the world to the Internet. Recently she sponsored Nanosatellites, an initiative in Kazakhstan that encourages girls into STEM, by launching satellites into the upper atmosphere to collect data.

Evoca Foundation

Established by Naza in 2018, the Evoca Foundation is a beacon of support for innovative, community-driven responses to some of humanity's most pressing challenges. In the past year alone, Naza has spearheaded collaborations that range from environmental awareness initiatives in Cote D’Ivoire to combating gender-based violence in Nigeria. The foundation's efforts extend to funding mobile libraries and education projects in Afghanistan, as well as providing aid to female survivors of genocide in Rwanda.

Evoca Pictures

In 2021, Naza launched Evoca Pictures, providing activists and advocates with strategic insight, expertise, and expansive networks for creating world-class films that instill hope. Evoca Pictures is a team of creatives mobilizing fresh perspectives to engage and disrupt popular culture. Its purpose is to spark meaningful action, bringing the world’s most pressing issues into emotional and tangible focus.

Said Naza, "The storytellers at Evoca Pictures convey our planet’s most challenging messages, speaking in a transformative language to which diverse populations can relate. Evoca is proud to be the creator and producer of powerful advocacy campaigns which amplify the voices of unheard communities at the forefront of gender inequality and the climate crisis."

During COVID, Naza funded the re-opening of schools in Palestine and Nigeria, along with the construction of a much-needed new girls' school in Iran. Sage Foundation also mobilized to provide urgent food packages to IDPs in Nigeria, and 85 tons of soap to over 100,000 refugees in Afghanistan. Naza was recently named one of the ‘Next Generation of Female Philanthropists’ by the organization Women Moving Millions.

In 2021, Naza forged a connection between the Government of Qatar and Bloomberg Media to drive the creation of the first-ever Qatar Economic Forum.

Page created on 8/14/2023 3:31:31 PM

Last edited 9/21/2023 3:25:55 PM

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Related Links

Evoca Foundation - The Evoca Foundation invests in creative, grassroots ideas; connects these ideas with the resources to scale up their impact and accelerate progress through campaigns that influence global decision-makers to commit to delivering change.