Aid for Africa is a partnership between U.S.-based nonprofits and their African partners working to support individuals, families, and communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Founded in 2004, this alliance of 63 member organizations work together to raise financial support and drive large scale impact across the continent. Whether they are supporting cutting-edge education programmes, collecting and distributing books to children, or creating a sustainable plan to reverse the degradation of land, Aid for Africa’s members have one thing in common—a strong commitment towards solving critical development challenges and building a better African future. Here‘s a brief look at five members of the Aid for Africa alliance:
The Ashesi University Foundation is a nonprofit organization that connects international supporters with Ashesi University-Ghana’s leading private, nonprofit liberal arts college. The mission of the University is to educate a new generation of ethical and entrepreneurial leaders in Africa and to cultivate within students the critical thinking skills, concern for others and courage it will take to transform their continent. 51 percent of Ashesi’s students receive scholarship while the University has a quality placement rate of 93 percent. Aside classroom learning, students engage in leadership seminars, community service projects, and corporate internships preparing them for a globalized workplace. Ashesi is recognized for teaching students ethics, values, and morals. A student-initiated honor code reinforces ethical values on campus, placing responsibility in the hands of the students.
Founded in 1988, Books For Africa has shipped more than 39 million books to 49 African countries. The organization collects, sorts and ships books to students of all ages in any location across Africa. The goal is to end the book famine in Africa while stimulating the interest of students in reading and increasing their test scores. A Books For Africa study of the impact of books in Central Tanzania in 2007 found a significant increase in student comprehension and fluency due to donated books. According to Kofi Anan, the former UN Secretary General, “Books For Africa is a simple idea, but its impact is transformative… literacy is quite simply the bridge from misery to hope”
The East African Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children (EAC) helps to improve the lives of East Africans as it empowers women and children, and provides access to resources and tools for change. EAC focuses on increasing literacy, improving the health of the community, and eradicating poverty with the help of the communities. The Center galvanizes support in the U.S. and provides volunteering opportunities in East Africa, serving as a vehicle for transferring resources to meet education and health care needs. The Center built the Vutakaka Community Resource Center in Takaunga, Kenya to create a hub for education and training programs and health services.
Hope Through Health (HTH) was founded in the spirit of social justice to promote health as a human right. Their mission is to support community-based health programmes for the poor and to share lessons and build solidarity through global partnerships. Hope Through Health empowers communities in Africa and mobilizes communities in the United States to ensure that the highest standard of healthcare is available to individuals regardless of their ability to pay. HTH currently supports the Community-Directed HIV Initiative, a partnership with a community-based association of people living with HIV/AIDS that provides comprehensive medical care and psychosocial support to more than 2,000 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in the Kara region of Togo, West Africa. In addition, the Initiative provides medical and psychosocial services.
Trees for the Future (TREES) is a grassroots programme that helps people living on degraded land to improve their lives through environmentally sound development projects. The initiative utilizes its network of technicians, volunteers, and community leaders, provides technical knowledge on agroforestry, reforestation, and sustainable development, along with planting materials to help communities return their land to sustainable production. TREES has worked with more than 300,000 families in nearly 12,000 communities in Africa and elsewhere. These families have planted over 60 million trees, restoring 87,000 acres of degraded land to sustainable high productivity.
For more information on the work and member organizations of Aid for Africa, visit their website.