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African Impact Foundation

Justina’s journey to attend YYAS

By | News

Growing up, how many times did you complain about having to go to school? In the Western world, education is often taken for granted and sometimes seen as a chore.

Elsewhere in the world, to receive an education – even a basic one – is a right that some children have to fight for. They must overcome significant challenges just to attend school, their grit and determination to learn serving as a lesson for us all. One such student is Justina, who lives in a rural village in Livingstone, Zambia. As the youngest child and only daughter in a family of seven, it was always going to be a struggle to afford to send her to secondary school. Justina’s family has faced their own challenges, both past and present. Money and food are often scarce, and Justina’s four brothers must all work to help support the family. But, Justina is determined to make a better life for herself. Through the African Impact Foundation’s Sponsor a Child program, she received sponsorship from Sam Peisch and ZAMFUND.

Sponsorship has enabled Justina to attend and thrive at secondary school, with teachers regarding her as a “disciplined and hardworking person, in spite of her living in such a challenging environment.”

Education remains a privilege for many children in Zambia, with just 8% of youth completing secondary school. Facing barriers such as unaffordable school fees due to insufficient government funding, a lack of places in classrooms, and too few trained teachers; a child’s road to education is anything but simple. The Foundation’s Sponsor a Child program has successfully facilitated the education of over 150 vulnerable students in Livingstone, removing the financial barriers to attending school with the support of sponsors from around the world.

Justina’s story does not end here. Earlier this year she was accepted into the highly competitive Yale Young African Scholars program (YYAS) – a summer school course held in Ghana for high-achieving African students.

Justina’s acceptance into the program is testament to her academic ability and commitment to her studies; an opportunity made possible not only through her sponsorship, but also her own personal drive to succeed and achieve her goals.

Having overcome so many obstacles at such a young age, Justina has already started looking towards her future – she harbours dreams of attending university and studying medicine to become a doctor, or perhaps turning her mind to business.

The YYAS program will be immensely beneficial in preparing Justina for her future university study, as well as connecting her with other like-minded students from across the African continent.

When asked what she hoped to gain from YYAS, Justina replied “I hope to become more courageous so that when I go to university, I will be able to stand in front of a crowd and express my opinions.”

African Impact Foundation’s Ronel Stevens, who supported Justina through the application process, commented: “As a chosen participant, Justina represents an extraordinary group of young women from across the African continent. She is a huge inspiration to her family, her community and women across the world.”

If you would like to help Justina on her journey to attend YYAS, please visit

5 Reasons Why Everyone Needs to Skydive

By | News

Hey everyone! I am Daniel Delgado, an intern for the African Impact Foundation (AIF). Cape Town is filled with so many weekend activities that can be done such as climbing Table Mountain to venturing out to the famous Boulders Beach penguins on the Peninsula. Despite these fun weekend trips, skydiving has by far been the best. I hope this helps you decide to take the leap of faith! Enjoy!

The Jump
My eyes looked down past my feet when I was outside and it felt unreal, I was soon hurdling towards earth at 120 mph. I could not breathe, I could not think, but just have fun as I risked my life in one of life’s most daring activities. If you ask me, someone who is deathly afraid of heights and death who will not even walk to the edge of a building because my hands would be sweating, jumping out of a plane at 9,000 feet has been one of the best moments in my life. Although it may sound cliché, life is too short to live with regrets and throughout events in the course of life, many things cans be drawn.

These are the 5 things skydiving taught me:

#1 – Stress Release: The game of life is filled with too much stress with the craziness of work, school, drama, etc. When you skydive, you freefall. Skydiving is there to make you feel FREE. When you jump out of that plane, your adrenaline is pumping at extreme levels, so leave everything behind for just a couple seconds. You don’t realize how peaceful the world can feel at 9,000 feet. So why not skydive? You can leave everything behind and once you land, start anew with two sighs of relief. The first sigh for the fact that the parachute opened and you landed; the second one, anew.

#2 – Facing Fears: My top fears involve two things: heights and death. These tall points scare me to the point of no return, but yet I went skydiving. People ask me all the time “You hate heights! Why’d you do it?” Despite my fears, the feeling of achievement of facing them is a win-win in my book. Even if you close your eyes, you can still say that you jumped out of a plane, and LIVED! That is already a step above most people in the world who don’t jump! If you can risk your life jumping at deathly heights, you can sure as heck conquer tasks that may seem insurmountable in the real world. You can even conquer another fear! Hmmm… What’s next?

#3 – Bragging Rights: “YOU JUMPED OUT OF A PLANE!” exclaimed my parents. “HECK YEAH I DID!” I responded. The shock people get when someone like me who is afraid of heights skydiving is unreal. Nobody likes a bragger, but there are some cases, like jumping out of a plane, when it is ok to brag! Skydiving is a major achievement in life! Brag about it! In the future, brag about achievements like graduating with a PhD, marrying the love of your life, or traveling to every country in the world, you name it! It’s ok! You reached a milestone, share it! After all, there’s plenty who think about jumping, but don’t.

#4 – Confidence: Unfortunately, the world is filled with people who want to tear each other down and in a place where it is important to fight for yourself, confidence is a huge player. When you skydive, you entrust your life in the hands of the experienced jumper. If you ask me, that takes major confidence and once you land, you will feel it even more.

#5 – FLYING: ‘Nuff said.
Next time you complete a major achievement in your life, share about! Skydiving taught me only a couple of things, but when you’re in traveling you have to live your best life! There is so much to see in the world, so why not see it skydiving? You’ve seen the benefits! Take a friend with you and try it!

PS: Don’t wear shorts like I did


By Daniel Delgado – African Impact Foundation intern Cape Town

Gearing up for a brighter future

By | News

Easy access to education is something many of us take for granted. But, in Livingstone, Zambia, some children will walk more than 10km per day just to get to school.  Unsurprisingly, this severely impacts their education. Often, they are tired from the journey and need to take rest days.

Any drop in attendance severely impacts grades. The knock-on effect can be hugely detrimental – obtaining a quality education is the foundation to sustainably improving people´s lives and future.

Something as simple as a bike can make all the difference but, for many families, it is a luxury they cannot afford and the children’s education suffers.

Thankfully, there are people willing to make a difference to these children’s lives. One such group is Tour d´Afrique (TDA).

TDA bike riders are crossing Africa from north to south and, on April 3rd, reached Livingstone. It has been an epic adventure, which is only halfway through. Some started in Cairo, others joined along the way, the final destination is Cape Town.

The riders want to give back to the communities of the areas they pass through on their cycling tour. They also want to raise consciousness about bicycles as an alternative means of transport.

The TDA’s foundation – Global Cycling – alongside local partners and organizations, donates one bicycle for every full tour rider on the Tour d’Afrique. Here in Livingstone, they generously donated 20 bikes to African Impact Foundation (AIF).

The partnership with TDA is a perfect fit for AIF which works to implement long-term, positive change in the lives of individuals, families and communities in Africa.

This is the eighth time we have been honoured by the generosity of Tour d’Afrique and these kind donations have already shown a positive impact to the lives of previous recipients.

“With the help of these bicycles, pupils have reported early for school and are less tired, thereby concentrating on their school which has translated into improving academic performance,” a student at St. Rapheal´s told attendees at the bike presentation.

“These generous donations have helped alleviate the transport problem that we face as students due to the uneven distribution of schools in Livingstone…. However, with the generous bicycle donation from African Impact Foundation and Tour d´Afrique the situation has improved,” he added.

The courage and determination of the children here in Livingstone to make the long walk to school is testament to just how much they want to be educated and move towards a better future.

African Impact Foundation in Livingstone works closely with the communities to fulfil this need. As one of the main areas of our focus is education and enrichment, we are grateful for the Tour d´Afrique partnership and look forward to many more years working together to make a difference.


By Anna Nilsson – African Impact Foundation intern Livingstone

Experiencing Africa for the first time

By | Stories

Before coming to South Africa I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought that everything is going to be different to what I know but I couldn’t really imagine it.

Of course I googled “Kruger National Park” like a thousand times but the pictures I saw were always the same ones. Stunning five-star lodges with pools and incredible panorama views. Hordes of impressive animals such as elephants, zebras or lions in front of the most beautiful sundowns I have ever seen. It seemed to be the most fascinating place in the world and definitely the place I wanted to be.

I was very excited to go to South Africa and even more disappointed when I arrived. The great Safari Tours that I imagined myself to be on turned out to be long hours on an open vehicle, seeing only a few animals from the distance. The soils were dried out and all the plants and trees seemed to be more dead than alive. There was no green at all, only some thorny bushes and dry, sandy grounds. When going to the community projects, we passed very poor regions with trash lying around everywhere, as if trash cans don’t exist in this place. I somehow didn’t expect a country which is known for its beautiful and untouched nature and wildlife to be so dirty and careless about the environment. I somehow felt like I came to the wrong place and that all these amazing landscapes I had in my mind are far from reality.

The only thing that exceeded my expectations in a positive way was the accommodation. It is a very beautiful and clean lodge, surrounded by nature and wildlife reserves. Also the food is very delicious and the cleaning ladies make sure that the animals don’t feel too cosy in our rooms!

It took me about three weeks to realize how beautiful this place really is. I even started to love the previously described dirty small towns situated next to the streets and have to smile whenever we are in the car driving through the area. I am falling in love with this place every day a little bit more. It is not only about the animals you see, but also about the amazing people you meet and the experiences you make. Some other volunteers fell in love with this place the minute they arrived, but for me personally it took a little bit longer. When finally the first raindrops fell at the end of September, it seemed as if the area came back to life again. Everything has changed its colour from brownish into a bright saturated green, making this place even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Also the animals seemed to love the rain and we had the chance to be very close to them, creating incredible experiences and memories.

These animal encounters made me realize why it is so important to protect the wildlife here and why conservation education is crucial to the impact we can make. I also started to understand my role here as an intern a little bit better and know, at least somehow, what I am supposed to do within the next few months. The most important thing here that I had to learn the tough way is that it is important to ask whenever you have a question or are unsure about what you should do. They won’t come to you, but if you ask them they will try to help you as much as they can.

If there is an advice that I could give to anyone who is about to come to the Greater Kruger Area it would be this one: enjoy the time you have and don’t isolate yourself from the loving people that live here. Also take your time and step outside for a moment, go for a walk and breathe into the amazing surrounding whenever you feel like wanting to go home!

Let this place fill your heart with the joy and happiness that is around and I am sure you will fall in love sooner than you would imagine!

~ Melanie Frauenlob ~

African Impact Foundation Intern – read more about our internships.