Blog Posts

In Africa a Little Help Can Go a Long Way

November 17, 2017

Mercy Semeyian Senteu was able to attend high school thanks to support from Education for All Children. Currently she is finishing a degree in Economics at the University of Nairobi.

When Mercy Senteu first began school in her home town of Kajiado, Kenya, she had two strikes against her. She grew up poor–one of five children–to parents who were traders in the local market and struggled to make ends meet. And she grew up with poor hearing, possibly the result of an untreated illness.

Despite these hardships, Mercy was a top student who excelled in the lower school grades, but was facing the possibility of not attending high school because of the costs.  Then Mercy met Rod Van Sciver, founder of Education for All Children (EFAC), a US-based nonprofit that provides scholarships to talented Kenyan students in need.  EFAC is an Aid for Africa member.

“Although high school in Kenya is technically free, there are many fees, including for uniforms, books and living costs that would have prevented Mercy from attending school,” Van Sciver said.  “Of the million students who finish primary school each year in Kenya, half drop out because they cannot afford to attend high school,” he said.

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The Link Between Climate Change and Nutrition In Africa

October 18, 2017

When Bridget Carle’s plane landed in Johannesburg, South Africa, this past May she was ready to learn about a range of issues related to malnutrition. What she didn’t expect was […]

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Donations Urgently Needed to Assist Victims of Flooding and Mudslides in Sierra Leone

August 17, 2017

In West Africa’s  Sierra Leone, devastating floods have triggered mudslides that have left at least 200 people dead and 600 missing. More than 9,000 people have been injured or displaced. […]

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Fighting the World Water Crisis One School at a Time

June 27, 2017

Imagine going to school and having to get your drinking water from a dirty pond? Imagine needing to use the lavatory, but all the stalls were missing doors. Imagine there […]

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Children in Africa Draw their Dreams

June 14, 2017

Do you remember when someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? What did you say? A police officer, a teacher, a pilot?  Poor children in […]

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Women Solar Light Entrepreneurs Energize African Communities

November 30, 2016

Julieth Mollel in on a mission—to transform her life and the lives of her neighbors through light.  Julieth is one of thousands of women who is working to end energy […]

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Veterinarians Make House Calls to Save Gorillas

November 4, 2016

Gorillas only exist in the wild in Africa. Mountain gorillas, one of four subspecies, live in central Africa at high altitudes in the national parks encompassing Rwanda, Uganda and the […]

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When a Maasai Girl Graduates, Her Community Benefits

October 5, 2016

When Abigael Simaloi Pertet finished fifth grade in 2003, she was faced with the possibility that she would not be able to return to school.  Her grandparents, who were a […]

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Can Biochar Improve Rwandan Agriculture? Aid for Africa Endowed Scholar Wants to Know

September 16, 2016

In a village about an hour outside of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, Jamie Fanous wanted to know if there was a simple way to improve Rwanda’s agriculture for subsistence […]

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Ending Child Marriage and Building Futures for Girls in Tanzania

August 24, 2016

Recently, the high court of Tanzania raised the minimum age for a girl to marry to 18—a milestone in a country where 37 percent of girls are married before the […]

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Redesigning African Student Thinking to Solve African Problems

July 29, 2016

Think innovative startups are the domain of Silicon Valley and other “high tech” areas in the United States? How about Ashesi University near Accra, Ghana?  Since Ashesi began offering a […]

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Empowering Women Artisans In Africa: It’s Not Just a Basket

May 6, 2016

It looks like a basket—a beautiful blue basket.  But don’t be fooled–it’s food, electricity and school fees for a family in Rwanda.  It’s a mother’s hope for her children’s future. […]

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Charity: Water Ratchets Up Technology for Water Project Results and Transparency

April 11, 2016

Since its inception, charity: water, an Aid for Africa member, has made transparency to its donors of paramount importance. Donors receive photos and GPS coordinates of water projects they help […]

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Maasai Woman Beats Odds to Attend Medical School

March 25, 2016

Aid for Africa has identified the education of girls and women as a key objective of our mission.  Educate a woman and you educate a nation, so the African saying […]

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African Moms Escape Poverty with their Children in Tow

February 24, 2016

As the sole provider for her family, Daate Inyakh of northern Kenya once struggled to feed her six daughters. She was one of the ultra-poor women living in drought-threatened arid […]

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A Massive Drought in Ethiopia Again?

February 5, 2016

It sounds so familiar—drought in Ethiopia puts millions of people at risk of starvation. How could this be when in recent years Ethiopia was lauded as a country on the […]

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Boosting Wildlife Conservation with Technology

December 9, 2015

Love elephants, lions and giraffes but don’t have the time or money to take an African safari? Today is your lucky day! Google and Aid for Africa member Lewa Wildlife […]

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New Partnership Turns Men’s Accessory into Support for Africa

November 17, 2015

Originally conceived as an accessory for well-dressed men, the pocket square is now helping to empower women, children and families in Sub Saharan Africa. San Francisco-based Bows-N-Ties has created a […]

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From Education to Heath Care: Grassroots Partnerships are Changing Development in Africa

November 4, 2015

Members of the Aid for Africa alliance believe that good works grow through partnerships. One long-term partnership is between Aid for Africa members Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH) and Foundation […]

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Aid for Africa Scholar Tracks Community-Led Nutrition and Health Efforts in Rwanda and Kenya

October 7, 2015

This past summer Dianna Bartone, the fourth Aid for Africa Endowed Scholar, traveled to Gicumbi, Rwanda, and Nairobi, Kenya, as part of her graduate work in nutrition and public health […]

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Two African Women Beat the Education Odds

September 1, 2015

It’s back to a new school year for children throughout much of the world this month. In many countries in Africa, students lucky enough to attend school are in the […]

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Will Ending Trophy Hunting Save Africa’s Lions?

August 6, 2015

The illegal killing in Zimbabwe of Cecil, a lion that was protected and was the subject of a research study, has drawn international attention to wildlife trophy hunting in Africa. […]

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Retooling Health Services for Internal Refugees in South Sudan

June 19, 2015

In 2014 there were almost 60 million refugees worldwide—more than at any time since detailed record keeping—according to a new report from the UN agency charged with helping refugees. The […]

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Is it Possible to “Graduate” from Poverty? New Research Says Yes

June 3, 2015

In a world where extreme poverty seems insurmountable, it is refreshing to be part of an alliance of organizations that are effectively making a difference in the lives of people […]

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Saving the Leopard with Furs for Life

May 13, 2015

It has the widest range of all big cats in the world and was once ubiquitous throughout much of Africa and Eurasia. But the leopard has fallen on hard times. […]

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Mobile Phones Mean Success for Female Students in Tanzania

March 31, 2015

At a rural girls’ school in northern Tanzania, staff know that education is the first step to empowering their students. Ask them what the second step is, and they will […]

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Is the End in Sight for Ebola and AIDS? What about Malaria?

March 17, 2015

Recently there has been some good news on two global diseases—Ebola and AIDS. Public health officials at the World Health Organization expect that, with diligence, the Ebola crisis in West […]

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Paying it Forward through Education

March 4, 2015

Humphrey Luora grew up in the Kibera slums outside of Nairobi, Kenya. Something his father often repeated when he was growing up, has informed his life. That was: “No education, […]

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As the Ebola Crisis Eases, What’s Next in West Africa?

February 18, 2015

U.S. troops aiding the Ebola emergency in Liberia are leaving. In that country, the number of new cases of Ebola has dropped from 1,000 a week, when the crisis was […]

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Expressing Love for Others on Valentine’s Day

February 11, 2015

In Bantu, a language spoken in southern Africa, the word “ubuntu” means humanness or human kindness. It also represents a philosophy that implies human connectedness, which was articulated by Archbishop […]

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The African Golden Cat: Rising Star of Videos and Photos

February 5, 2015 African golden cat in Gabon in front of stationary camera used to track this elusive animal.

When you think about wild cats in Africa, chances are what comes to mind is a majestic lion or sleek cheetah.  You probably don’t think about the African golden cat, […]

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Empowering Change in Rural Africa through Technology

November 10, 2014

As advances in phone, computer and other technologies make living and working in economically developed countries easier, it’s natural to wonder if technological advances have a role in development in […]

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It’s Time to Invest in Girls and End the Cycle of Violence

October 10, 2014

It’s been two years since the United Nations declared October 11 the International Day of the Girl in response to the problem of neglect and devaluation of girls around the […]

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Thousands around the World Marching to Save the Elephant

October 3, 2014

On Saturday, October 4, in what organizers are billing as the largest demonstration of its kind, thousands of people in 120 cities around the world will join the second annual […]

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Fighting Ebola Through Local Networks and Know-how

September 15, 2014

As the Ebola crisis continues to worsen in West Africa, news stories focus on the exodus of foreigners from the affected countries who manage and staff hospitals, run offices of […]

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African Farmers are Creating Forest Gardens and “Planting it Forward”

August 22, 2014

In arid and degraded areas of Sub Saharan Africa, farmers who were barely able to provide for their families are now creating abundant forest gardens and “planting it forward” as […]

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The Fight Continues to End the Slaughter of African Elephants

August 11, 2014

In June of this year, Kenyan conservationists announced that poachers in Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park had killed a 45-year-old iconic elephant for his tusks, adding to the alarming toll […]

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A Taste of Life and Development in Kenya on the National Mall

July 1, 2014

Where in the United States can you sample traditional Swahili dishes, learn about living and working with African wildlife, view art converted from waste materials and get your groove on […]

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Why Are We Still Fighting Polio and Leprosy?

June 6, 2014

Many people believe that polio and leprosy have either been eradicated or are no longer a threat to the world’s population. But in many parts of the world, particularly Sub […]

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Move from Awareness to Action for the Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls

May 8, 2014 Nigerian School Girls

Should attending school mean you risk kidnapping and slavery? When Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria and threatened to sell them, we asked why? Roughly translated, Boko Haram […]

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Five Things to Remember about Earth Day and Africa

April 22, 2014

1. Size: The continent of Africa represents 20 percent of the Earth’s land mass. 2. Water: Two-thirds of Africa is arid or semi-arid, and 300 of the 800 million people […]

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A Country Emerging from the Shadows

April 8, 2014

What African country lacking oil or diamonds experienced economic growth of 8 percent since 2010? Reduced the percentage of people living below the poverty line in the last ten years […]

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Providing Clean Water on the Blue Planet

March 21, 2014

Earth is the water planet. Seen from space, its extensive blue oceans, rivers, and lakes give Earth its second name—the blue planet. From space, it’s beautiful. From the home of […]

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Is Celebrating Women the Wrong Approach?

March 6, 2014

It’s time to move beyond “celebrating” the progress we have made in women’s rights and start doing something about consolidating women’s rights.  Nowhere is that more important than in Africa […]

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Development Done Right—How a Donated Bicycle in Africa Led to a Thriving Business Africa Needs

February 25, 2014

Think supporting development means giving hand outs?  Think again.  Done right, development means giving a hand up. One of the best examples is World Bicycle Relief’s recently established Buffalo Bikes […]

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Despite Some Discouraging Headlines, Things in Africa are Actually Looking Up

February 19, 2014

Recent headlines on the tragic violence in the Central African Republic and South Sudan and continued fighting in Mali revive for some the stereotypical view that Sub Saharan Africa will […]

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Bill and Melinda Gates Bust Myths about Development in Africa with Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters” and the Science Guy

January 24, 2014

In the past, Aid for Africa has written optimistically about Africa’s future. Others share our passion, particularly Bill and Malinda Gates.  In the 2014 Gates Annual Letter, the couple discusses […]

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Lions in West Africa Are on the Brink of Extinction

January 16, 2014

In a blog a year ago, we reported on a steep decline in the African lion population. At that time, researchers estimated the lion population in West Africa to be […]

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A Fitting Celebration of Life–Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela Falls on Human Rights Day

December 10, 2013

How fitting that the memorial service for Nelson Mandela occurs on December 10, Human Rights Day—a day to reaffirm the right of every individual to education, adequate food and shelter, […]

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Is there Progress in Africa’s Battle against AIDS?

December 1, 2013

Are we winning the battle against AIDS in Africa? Thanks to efforts by governments, international donors, and civil society, many experts believe we are.  According to UNAIDS, in 2012 the […]

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Invisible Children’s Grassroots Quest to Destroy Joseph Kony Produces International Action and Results

November 13, 2013

Invisible Children’s grassroots efforts to end the terror of Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army have led to an unlikely but effective coalition of governments, armies, nonprofits, and philanthropists. […]

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Aid for Africa Endowment Scholar Returns from Tracking Malnutrition and Hunger in South Sudan

October 30, 2013

In July the Aid for Africa blog highlighted Jacqueline Lauer, the Aid for Africa Endowment Scholar at Tufts University’s Friedman School, who conducted research this summer in South Sudan with […]

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Five Reasons to Educate an African Girl—And Change Everything!

October 11, 2013

For most of us, the idea of not being able to attend school because of one’s gender is unthinkable. But in developing countries, particularly in Africa, it’s all too common […]

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Keeping the Millennium Development Goals On Target

September 23, 2013

The UN General Assembly meets this week in New York City to discuss how to accelerate efforts to meet its 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals. The eight goals […]

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A Green Revolution for Africa?

September 11, 2013

With Africa’s population expected to quadruple by the end of this century, will its struggling agricultural sector meet the demand?   Recently, Eleanor Whitehead, writing in Forbes, examined how philanthropists […]

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Aid for Africa Girls Education Fund Spotlight – Josephine Sabina Lekuton

August 21, 2013

Josephine Sabina Lekuton – Helping Herself, Helping Her Family Josephine Sabina Lekuton grew up in Karare, a small drought-threatened village in rural northern Kenya, where people historically relied on livestock […]

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Female Circumcision Declining in Africa, but 30 Million Girls Still at Risk

August 7, 2013

A new report by UNICEF finds that the practice of female genital cutting (FGC), which started centuries ago, has been declining in Africa. But even where laws now forbid it, […]

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U.S. President’s Recent Trip to Africa Good for its People and Its Wildlife

July 17, 2013

President Obama’s recent trip to Africa was good news for the African people, but it was also good news for African wildlife.  The President brought attention to the continent’s strong […]

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Aid for Africa Endowment Scholar Looks for Reasons Malnutrition Persists in South Sudan

July 9, 2013

Why does malnutrition remain high in rural South Sudan despite humanitarian intervention? Aid for Africa Scholar Jacqueline Lauer is spending the summer months in rural South Sudan trying to find […]

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Will President Obama Find a Rising Africa on his Upcoming Trip?

June 24, 2013

As U.S. President Barack Obama and his family head out to Sub Saharan Africa this week, they will find a continent many thoughtful economists believe is on the rise. A […]

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The Unseen Face of Refugees

June 20, 2013

At first glance, this child looks like a typical African girl. But there’s more to her story than the picture reveals. She is a refugee struggling to survive in the […]

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Recognizing Three Amazing Dads in Africa

June 12, 2013

This Father’s Day we are thinking about some amazing dads in Africa.  Dads like Albert, a shop owner; Peter, a conservationist, and Patrick, a farming entrepreneur.  Through training opportunities, a […]

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Recognizing Obstetric Fistula So We Can Eliminate It Once and For All

May 23, 2013

Can you imagine a pregnant woman you know going into labor, experiencing an unexpected obstruction, and having no medical personnel to help?  If she survived, she would, no doubt, have […]

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Will the African Rhino Share the Fate of the African Elephant?

May 3, 2013

Most people don’t think they are as beautiful as elephants, and they don’t have ivory tusks, but rhinos, with their distinctive horns, are one of Africa’s wonders that now may […]

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Women in Africa "Lean In," Taking a Page from Sheryl Sandberg's Book

April 24, 2013

With the recent launch of Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, discussion of the value of women in the workforce has blossomed. It’s clear […]

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Aid for Africa Girls Education Spotlight–Phoebe Amoako

March 29, 2013

Phoebe Amoako– A Passion for Education Realized Phoebe Amoako grew up in Tema, Ghana, a port city in the southeast of the West African country.  One of three children raised […]

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The Challenge of Providing Clean Water in Rural Africa

March 22, 2013

Every two years the World Health Organization takes a look at access to improved drinking water around the world.  The good news is that an additional 2 billion people gained […]

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Celebrating International Women’s Day—Recognizing the Role of Women Every Day

March 8, 2013

Every March 8th, International Women’s Day, we acknowledge the struggles and successes that women encounter worldwide. This year’s theme focuses on violence against women, which takes many forms—physical, sexual, psychological […]

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Will Africa’s Forest Elephant Share the Fate of Its Savannah Elephant—Extinction by Poaching?

March 6, 2013

Scientists have just released new research that documents a 62 percent decline in the forest elephant population of Central and West Africa. The research adds to the evidence that the […]

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Will African Elephants Be Extinct in Ten Years?

February 28, 2013

If you watched the National Geographic special Battle for the Elephants on PBS last night, you’re probably concerned about the fate of one of Africa’s greatest natural treasures—and with good […]

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New Test May Signal the End for a Biblical Disease

February 20, 2013

It’s a disease associated with Biblical times—leprosy.  But even today, leprosy affects 3 to 4 million people around the world, many in Africa.  Some 250,000 people contract the disease each […]

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Despite Conflict in Northern Mali,Village Needs Are Met by Aid for Africa Charity

February 8, 2013

Recently, the African country of Mali has made international headlines as French and Malian forces seek to oust Islamist rebels from the northern part of the country. The conflict in […]

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Rehabilitation Center in Central Africa Gives Traumatized Children a Chance

January 30, 2013

Invisible Children began bringing the plight of Uganda’s child soldiers to the world in 2004. The plight of child soldiers and children affected by conflict remains a major concern throughout […]

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Improving Cook Stoves Helps Combat Global Climate Change

January 18, 2013

If you have traveled in rural Africa, you’ve seen smoke coming from the small houses and back yards of most families. In fact, it is not uncommon to see wood […]

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Despite National Problems, Innovative Approaches to Education Provide Poor Children a Chance in South Africa

January 9, 2013

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Robin Dixon says that the educational system in South Africa has improved little for the nation’s poor black students in the 18 years since […]

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Remembering a Leader of Legal Justice in South Africa

December 18, 2012

The cause of social justice in Africa lost one of its giants this month with the death of Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson.  Born and educated in South Africa, Chaskalson, 81, […]

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Africa’s Lions in Steep Decline

December 8, 2012

A surprising new study released this week finds that Africa is losing its lions, fast.  The lion population in Africa declined from 100,000 to about 32,000 over the last 50 […]

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Ending AIDS Begins with Africa

December 1, 2012

Can AIDS be eliminated in our lifetime? US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thinks so. Just in time for World AIDS Day, December 1, Secretary Clinton has unveiled a blueprint […]

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Endangered Speedster of the African Wild

November 13, 2012

They’re beautiful, they go from zero to 60 miles an hour in three seconds, and they’re endangered.  Cheetahs—the race cars of the wild—have declined since 1900 from more than 100,000 […]

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Tackling Blindness in South Sudan–Preserving and Restoring Sight

November 5, 2012

In Africa, loss of sight not only means a life of darkness. For many adults it means a loss of income and the ability to work, requiring dependence on family […]

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World Food Day Shines a Light on the Fight Against Hunger in Sub Saharan Africa

October 16, 2012

Agriculture is the economic driver in rural areas of Sub Saharan Africa. More than three decades ago, the United Nations named October 16 World Food Day in honor of the […]

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Today is A Day to Recognize Girls

October 11, 2012

A global campaign to support the empowerment of girls has led to the United Nations designating October 11th as the very first International Day of the Girl.  Aid for Africa […]

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Extending Compassionate Health Care Delivery in Africa

September 28, 2012

In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, George W. Bush described the advances made in recent years in Sub Saharan Africa in HIV and AIDS treatment.  He noted that […]

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Building Literacy–Libraries are Changing Lives in Africa

September 7, 2012

Imagine you picked up a book and couldn’t read the words, went to take a medication but couldn’t read the instructions, or visited a new city and couldn’t read the […]

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Aid for Africa Scholar Helps Improve Nutrition in Northern Tanzania

August 20, 2012

As the summer draws to a close, Katrina Brink, the first Aid for Africa Scholar supported through the Aid for Africa Endowment for Food and Sustainable Agriculture at the Friedman […]

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Ritah’s Story– Defeating Adversity through Education, Fighting HIV/AIDs by Giving Back

July 29, 2012

As the 19th International AIDS Conference ended this week, the delegates packed up, said their goodbyes and caught jets back to their home countries.  One of those delegates was Ritah […]

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Ending the Transmission of the AIDS Virus from Mother to Child—It Just Might be Possible

July 20, 2012

In the United States and Europe, every day one child is born with HIV.  In Africa, every day 1,000 children are born with HIV.  mothers2mothers is changing that. mothers2mothers (m2m), […]

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The Cradle Project—A Reminder of the 12 Million African Children Affected by AIDS

July 13, 2012

 

 

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Elise Warga–Turning the Tide on AIDS in Togo

July 8, 2012

For three decades, scientists, policymakers and nonprofit leaders have worked to end to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. Less known, but as important, are individuals who live with the disease and […]

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Landscape Approaches Ease Conflicts and Promote Sustainable Development

June 29, 2012

Farmers versus environmentalists. Rural food alliances versus tourism. Ranchers versus private industry.  Can we build alliances between them in Africa to increase food production? Boost rural incomes? Restore degraded land […]

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World Refugee Day: Recognizing Those Who Give Voice and Hope to the Most Vulnerable

June 20, 2012

People around the world are fleeing their communities in search of safe places to call home.  On World Refugee Day, June 20, we especially recognize the more than 3 million […]

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Wolves, Okapis, and Painted Dogs – Oh my!

June 6, 2012

African wildlife often conjures images of rhinos, zebras, or elephants. But there are hundreds of animal species that call Africa home.  For instance, did you know that wolves are native […]

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Aid for Africa Girls Education Fund Spotlight–Catherine Koyiah

May 30, 2012

Catherine Koyiah, College Sophomore: Beating the Odds Each year in Sub Saharan Africa, millions of girls fail to reach their potential. Barriers to education are often to blame. These barriers […]

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“Lost Boys” Clinic in South Sudan Celebrates Five Years of Health Care

May 23, 2012

If you have been following the news from South Sudan you know this new nation confronts many challenges, including threats of renewed warfare, extreme poverty, and a shortage of government […]

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Keeping Population Growth in Check: How a High School Education Changes Everything

May 4, 2012

The benefits of educating a girl in Africa are many—learning to read, write, and do simple math in primary (elementary) school are the first steps to better health, future employment, […]

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Earth Day—Uniting Voices Worldwide for a Sustainable Future

April 21, 2012

Did you know that on April 22, 1970—the first Earth Day—20 million Americans demonstrated from coast to coast in the United States to call for a healthy, sustainable environment? For […]

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Will Technology Feed a Warming World?

April 18, 2012

A recent blog noted that climate change will negatively affect African agriculture, particularly production of the most important staple crops– millet, cassava, rice (West Africa), maize, bananas and plantains. More […]

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World Health Day: How Can Sub Saharan Africa Have 25 Percent of the Disease Burden But Only 3 Percent of the World’s Trained Health Workers?

April 6, 2012

On World Health Day, April 7, think about this: Sub Saharan Africa has 11 percent of the world’s population, bears 25 percent of the disease burden in the world, but […]

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World Water Day: Imagine if You Woke Up Tomorrow and No Water Flowed from Your Taps

March 22, 2012

Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and no water flowed from your taps. How far would you have to walk to get to the nearest fresh water source? How long […]

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Empowering Development through Bicycles, World Bicycle Relief Reaches Half a Million People

March 16, 2012

What is black, shiny, holds up to 200 pounds, is easy to repair, and transforms lives?  A bicycle designed and built for Africa by World Bicycle Relief!  The Aid for […]

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