A number of new members have joined Aid for Africa. We introduce two below whose missions are different, but who both approach success through engaging local communities.
Africa Classroom Connection
Africa Classroom Connection helps build classrooms in some of the poorest areas of rural South Africa. They work in communities that help raise the funds to build the classrooms, which ensures commitment and long-term success. Most communities raise about 10 percent of the cost, or $1,200. And their model is working! They have helped built more than 3,000 classrooms and laboratories in 800 locations, giving thousands of poor Zulu children the change to go to school.
Wildlife Conservation Network
Wildlife Conservation Network works with wildlife conservationists in Africa exploring new ways to resolve conflicts between people and wildlife. They focus on protecting key “indicator species” for which success requires preservation of entire ecosystems. Their ultimate goal? Withdraw from the region once local communities can carry on the conservation work themselves through culturally compatible strategies. Current focus is on elephant, cheetah, okapi, lion, painted dog, and Ethiopian wolf.
Aid for Africa is a unique alliance of U.S.-based charities and their African partners dedicated to helping children, families, and communities throughout Sub Saharan Africa. Our grassroots programs focus on health, education, economic development, arts & culture, conservation, and wildlife protection in Africa.
Many of Sub Saharan Africa’s most intractable problems are being addressed in new and exciting ways by Aid for Africa members. In this issue we focus on some of these innovative methods for lifting thousands out of poverty and providing hope for the future.
A Lending Model That Works
One of the targets of the United Nations’ Eight Millennium Goals is cutting extreme poverty in half by 2015. It’s a difficult task, but one that many Aid for Africa members are tackling. Since 2001, A Self-Help Assistance Program (ASAP Africa) has helped more than 32,000 poor families in Zimbabwe rise out of poverty by establishing money clubs that pool money and lend it to members to establish their own businesses. ASAP Africa provides training in bookkeeping and loan appraisal so that the club can become self-sufficient after about a year.Learn more.
Helping Small Farmers
Throughout Sub Saharan Africa, agriculture is the engine of growth. As part of a global effort to improve farming and food security, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UN World Food Programme are now helping small famers throughout Africa by guaranteeing them a market and providing better quality seeds. EcoAgriculture Partners has been helping small farmers in Uganda and Kenya to develop and sustain landscapes that produce food and support family livelihoods while protecting environmental diversity. Learn more.
Lightening the Burden of Africa’s Mothers
Being a mother is never easy, but in Africa it takes on a whole new dimension. Eight out of the ten worst countries for mothers are in Sub Saharan Africa Aid for Africa members support African mothers in a number of ways. The Fistula Foundation works in ten African countries providing surgeries to repair obstetrical fistula, a wrenching childbirth injury. The Maasai Girls Education Fund hosts workshops for mothers of their students on practical skills that improve the health, nutrition, and economic well-being of their families. Learn more.
Members in the Media
TIME Magazine: Lessons From Our Closest Relatives
Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaug, a research scientist with the Great Ape Trust was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people for her research with bonobos that could one day lead to new approaches in cognitive science, autism, and developmental disabilities.Read more.
BBC: A Better Way to Get to School
Many school girls in rural Zimbabwe no longer have to worry about walking several dangerous roads to school each day thanks to bikes donated to them by World Bicycle Relief.
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