About The Timbuktu Foundation

The Timbuktu Foundation is an independent foundation established in Denmark in 2008 with the aim of promoting journalism, development education and information about issues of development and the global South.

The Timbuktu Foundation was established as the initiative of journalist and writer Jørgen Harboe. He donated 10 million DKK to the Danish NGO DanChurchAid with the aim of creating the basis for critical development and rethinking of journalism regarding developing countries and global development and resource allocation issues.

In 2008, the Timbuktu Foundation gathered students, volunteers, filmmakers, development experts, consultants, government officials, researchers, journalists and lots of representatives and interested parties from Danish development organisations at a meeting in Landstingssalen at Christiansborg, the Danish parliament. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how a gift of 10 million DKK could revitalize both journalism, development education and information about issues of development and the global South in Denmark.

Jointly, DanChurchAid and Jørgen Harboe developed the concept of a foundation with an independent board. The board manages the foundation’s capital for its purposes and other provisions, and DanChurchAid handles the administration of the foundation.

Today, the Foundation continually supports a variety of projects related to journalism about development and other development issues, as well as commissioning documentation and analysis about development issues. Once a year the Timbuktu Award (100.000 DKK) is awarded to journalists and media professionals for projects which employ a critical and investigative approach to development issues at national or international level. The intention is to promote critical journalism that contributes to new insights regarding global contexts, including resource use and redistribution. The award is a scholarship meant for production or initiation of an idea that a candidate is passionate and knowledgeable about.

The name of the Foundation is inspired by the ancient Timbuktu, and its enlightened, open and inquisitive society oriented towards the outside world. The Foundation supports lobby, information, education and journalism related to developing countries on its own initiative. The Foundation is not open for applications – potential applicants are invited to apply.