In 2001, 16 year old Ashley Shuyler founded AfricAid, following a life-changing trip to Tanzania five years earlier. During that trip, she met many children her age who did not have the opportunity to go to school. She learned that girls, in particular, face significant challenges in trying to obtain an education. Realizing that this leads to a cycle of poverty – and recognizing just how powerful girls’ education can be in changing the futures of individuals and communities – she established AfricAid to help transform the landscape of opportunity for young women in Tanzania.
In its early years, AfricAid focused on providing scholarships and direct support to Tanzanian schools. In 2010, AfricAid adopted a more strategic approach to girls’ education to more holistically address the structural barriers facing even the most academically accomplished young women. Our new approach reflected the belief that young women, in particular those who have achieved entrance to upper secondary school, have incredible potential to become future leaders and catalysts for change in their communities. These young women, however, need additional skills, knowledge and confidence to reach their potential. It was from this knowledge that AfricAid’s flagship program, the Kisa Project, was born.
On this episode, Kim talks with Jessica Love, Executive Director of AfricAid, about the organization's role in mentoring girls to become leaders in Tanzania.