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Justina’s journey to attend YYAS

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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 https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JustinaYYAS

5 Reasons Why Everyone Needs to Skydive

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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

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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

Book, Books and more books!

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One of the United Nations Global Goals for sustainable development is to provide a Quality Education.

In Zululand we do this in a number of ways, with the main one being Reading Club.  Every week we have up to 100 children who come straight after school to have grammar lessons and to read to our volunteers.

The courage and determination of the children knows no bounds.

Helping our children to read and understand English will go a long way in ensuring they can complete their education and secure a good job, thus moving them towards the global goals of Quality Education, No Poverty and Building Sustainable Communities.

We are raising funds to allow us to purchase 40 dictionaries for these amazing children.  Learning how to use a dictionary and to expand their vocabulary will provide a great foundation for their future life.

We would also like to reward the children for their dedication, determination and confidence building by presenting them with their very own book at the end of the year.

The goal would be raise £1000.00 (ZAR 17,000/ USD 1300.00)

Get involved and Donate here – choose St Lucia and Educational Projects

 

My Best Summer

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I worked for the Happy Africa Foundation and its partner African Impact in Moshi, Tanzania, and it was the best summer I’ve ever had. It was not only such fun and enjoyable experience, but also a great opportunity to learn about development and NGO management.

During my placement I lived in the volunteer house with others. Because we lived and spent so much time together, we got very close and became like a big family. Unlike government funded programmes like ICS, volunteers come from all over the world, which makes it so interesting to get to know other volunteers as they all have different cultures and stories. This is one of many things I miss about my time in Moshi. I had such a great time in just talking to other volunteers, sometimes sitting around a bonfire, watching the sky full of stars!

The weekend trips are also one of my highlights. They had a variety of trips and tours with reasonable price you can do over the weekends. I’ve done most of the tours, and they were all incredible. Watching a family of lions, crossing the border betweenTanzania and Kenya with a kayak, snorkelling in the turquoise blue ocean of Zanzibar, climbing Kilimanjaro, swimming in a hidden hotspring… and the list goes on.

The internship also offered me a great opportunity to deepen the understanding of development and NGO management. Working on the grass route level allowed me to observe how the community is changing, and how NGOs have been contributing towards its development. It was very interesting to learn how the team manages the projects, and being able to see how the projects are making impacts on the community even in a short term was amazing.

Being a part of the Happy Africa Foundation team was probably one of the most fruitful experiences I’ve had during the internship. With them, I was able to learn fundraising strategies. As fundraising is perhaps the most important element in the development and charity sector, having an opportunity to learn about it was incredible.

None of these experiences would have been great if it weren’t for the staff members of African Impact and the Happy Africa Foundation. They were always very friendly and supportive, which made it so much easier for me to adapt to the new environment and to understand my tasks. I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with.

Written by Shu, our Moshi intern for 3 months 

Life as an intern

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I’ve officially been interning in Zanzibar for about 6 weeks now and still love it! The communities of Jambiani and Kizimkazi are incredibly welcoming and open, and continue to give me so much more than I could have imagined.

My first four weeks were spent working on the two main African Impact projects on the island. I taught geography and conservation classes at the Jambiani Educational Community Centre, as well as adult English classes in the afternoon. My students constantly surprised me with their work ethic and desire to learn. Some of them have been able to get jobs in the service industry this peak season because of the English skills they have learned with African Impact. This project you dive deep into the Jambiani community through daily connections with students and the local women’s group, the Kanga Ladies.

My second two weeks were spent on the Marine Conservation Project in Kizimkazi. This project focuses on creating a sustainable balance between the ocean and the local community through dolphin monitoring, Conservation Club, and ethical boat driver training workshops. The dolphin population in this area of the island along with increased tourism has created a dolphin tour industry that is damaging to marine life. Our workshops train drivers on how to ethically run a dolphin tour that lets them make a living while protecting and respecting the dolphins. Our Conservation Club is teaching younger students about the environment, conservation, and sustainability in Kizimkazi and Zanzibar with semester lessons like “Save our Seas” and “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” I absolutely love this project and the long-term impact it is going to have in the community. Plus, there aren’t many jobs that allows you to be on a boat every morning interacting with dolphins and coral reefs.

One of my goals for this internship is to improve in sharing my passion for conservation, the environment, and helping people with others. Experiencing both projects has allowed me to do this and therefore, helped me to perform my intern roles better. I can appropriately talk about both projects to volunteers with confidence and explain why they are so important using my own stories. Being a THAF intern has also opened my eyes to the non-profit sector and how important fundraising is to create a lasting impact. I am constantly learning about the business side of THAF and African Impact while interacting with the communities on the ground. I think this combination of environments is what makes this internship special.

Icing on top of the cake is that this island in general has been an amazing place to live. I have gone snorkeling, seen Zanzibar’s Red Colobus Monkey in Jozani Forest, swam with sea turtles in Nungwi, and plan to try kite surfing. I also get to walk outside onto a beach every day, learn Swahili with our security guard, and learn to cook local dishes with our chefs. These are memories that I know will last more than 12 weeks.

If you are interested in interning with an NGO, check out our page here. 

Written by our Happy Africa Zanzibar Intern Sarah 

Shiners Nursery School Says Thank you!

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Shiner's Nursery Thank You

Our Moshi Shiner's Nursery School project is saying a big thank you to all the donors who generously gave towards building the emergency wall. #makingadifference #donateforgood #ecd African Impact – Moshi, Kilimanjaro

Posted by The Happy Africa Foundation on Thursday, July 6, 2017

Women’s Day High Tea Fundraiser for Girl Impact

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In aid of our Girl Impact Initiatives 

Wednesday 9th August

2pm – 4pm

Casa Labia, Muizenberg

Featuring local artist Jennifer Eaves

 

Book your tickets here with your credit/debit card or directly into our bank account via EFT:

Bank: Standard Bank

Bank address: 77 Main Road, Fish Hoek, 7975

Bank account: The Happy Africa Foundation

Branch code: 036009

Account number: 072079584

Reference: Your Surname/ Womens Day

 

High Tea Fundraiser Tickets

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My first week in Cape Town

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Written by Taylor Jones

The week leading up to my arrival in Cape Town was filled with anxiety. The normal stresses of travel such as what to pack and last minute plannings were present but most of the anxiety came from the unknown of the work I was about to begin. All the previous times that I had traveled out of the country had been for the cultural immersion and the fun of traveling. While those components were also main parts of my upcoming trip to Cape Town, my primary reason for going was to start interning with The Happy Africa Foundation. I was moving to another country for work not just for play and the idea caused a great deal of anxiety.

Now that my first week in Cape Town is behind me, the stress and anxiety has subsided to excitement for my next three months. My first week was filled gaining the “volunteer experience”. I spent most of the week going with the volunteers to the various projects that we have around Cape Town and learning how each of them functioned. The projects ranged from teaching at a preschool to helping young girls in a dance group gain self confidence by seeing their own self portrait for the first time. The projects filled myself and my fellow volunteers with hope for the future of these kids even though they faced what can seem like insurmountable obstacles.

When not on projects, most of my time was spent getting to know the incredible group of volunteers that are all staying in the Lion House. Bonds have grown so quickly even though we have only known each other for a short period of time. It is easy to grow close when everyone is sharing such an incredible experience with one another and exploring the amazing city which is Cape Town.

Now there is only excitement as I look ahead to the next three months in this amazing city. I feel confident that I will not only enjoy the work I am doing but also the place that I get to live and the people I will be meeting along the way. I am sure there will be challenges but the support from staff, family, and friends will enable me to stay positive and push through the obstacles.

Saving the Environment, EcoBrick by EcoBrick

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Today we celebrate World Environment Day with a focus on our Ecobrick projects in Livingstone, Zambia.

An EcoBrick is a plastic bottle stuffed solid with non-biological waste to create a reusable building block. All that is needed to make an EcoBrick is a plastic bottle or container of some sort (including paper / laminate milk cartons) and a stick to compress plastics, non-biodegradables, and synthetics in to, that would otherwise be thrown into landfill.

With our partner African Impact in Zambia, we’ve decided to adopt this idea and implement it in various building projects whilst involving the community in EcoBrick exchange programs. We have two main places where we are currently sourcing EcoBricks, one is a school called Dambwa Christian Care center and the other is the community of Linda Farm. At the school, we have developed a reward system for the learners; they learn how make EcoBricks from the litter they find around their home and they receive rewards based on the number of bottles submitted. The turnout has been great as the kids are excited for the prizes but are also at the same time engaging with their environment and tackling plastic waste issues from their homes to the open area.

At Linda Farm, which is a community of mainly blind and generally disabled people, we’ve decided to engage the community members in EcoBricking exchanges. Linda Farm is the main area we have used the EcoBricks to build structures, including a piggery, large compost bin and an outdoor enclosure for chickens.

EcoBricks have proved to be an awesome way to get plastic trash of the streets, educate our learners about the environment and a cost-effective way to build much needed structures!

The EcoBrick Compost Bin

EcoBrick Exchange Program

Build It volunteers in action