Youth Empowerment

#TheNextEdwinah

“For those that give, for those that send through every form of encouragement, please do, it counts. A lot, and a long-way!” -Edwinah

“For those that give, for those that send through every form of encouragement, please do, it counts. A lot, and a long-way!” -Edwinah

Imagine being a child and knowing your family’s best hope for a better life rests on your small shoulders. Imagine seeing your family sacrifice everything just so you can get a good education — and having no more to give when that dream is left unfulfilled.   Edwinah didn’t have to imagine this — she lived it. 

Over ten years ago, through eyes still yellowed from the lingering effects of malaria, Edwinah saw her family sell nearly everything they owned to pay for her secondary school education.  But it still wasn’t enough.  Just when it seemed that all hope was lost, Edwinah’s plight came to Africare’s attention.  Thanks to the educational support we provided, she graduated from Rwentobo High School and went on to complete her advanced level education at Maryhill High School in Mbarara District, Uganda.   

This year, Edwinah was moved to contact Africare to tell us how that help changed her life.  From high school, she went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in environmental health from Makerere University. A Master’s degree in public health from the University of Nottingham followed — both degrees paid for through additional scholarships and grants she earned along the way.  

Today, Edwinah works as a Research Associate at Makerere University.  She gives others in her village the kind of help Africare gave her when it mattered most.  She’s helping her siblings with their education — and doing the same for orphans and young girls in her district.  She is mobilizing supporters to help provide scholarships for young people in need.

Her family is doing “much better than before,” she reports.  Edwinah is happy, fulfilled and thankful for the support she received from Africare.  She says she “will remember every bit forever.”

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ExxonMobil, NBA, Africare Reinstate Commitment to Power Forward

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October 1, 2016: ExxonMobil, NBA, Africare have reinstated their commitment to youth and sports development as they sponsor the third season of the Power Forward programme at the National Stadium in Kukwaba, Abuja.

Power Forward, a partnership between ExxonMobil, the NBA and Africare, uses the game of basketball to teach and mentor students from secondary schools in Abuja about health literacy and life skills such as leadership, respect and personal responsibility.

The event which had in attended former NBA player, Kelenna Azubuike, featured boys and girls championship games, performances from the Philadelphia 76ers Flight Squad and other youth competitions.

According to Dr. Paul Arinze of ExxonMobil, “Power Forward, through its focus on health, builds on efforts by the ExxonMobil Malaria Initiative to combat malaria in Nigeria.  The successful initiative works with a range of partners to prevent, treat and, ultimately, eliminate malaria especially in pregnant women and children under 5 who constitute the most vulnerable.”

He added that, “Our appreciation to the National Basketball Association, Africare, the NBA Talents, National Malaria Elimination Program of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, the Power Forward Schools and everyone for their support for this initiative.

The Power Forward project was initiated 2013 in partnership with ExxonMobil, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Africare to implement a youth development program that incorporates both life-skills training and public health education, using the convening power of basketball.

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Power Forward celebrates year two of teaching basketball and important health and life skills to youth.
Power Forward celebrates year two of teaching basketball and important health and life skills to youth.

Africare, ExxonMobil and NBA Celebrate Year Two of Power Forward in Nigeria

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ExxonMobil, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Africare will celebrate the second year of the Power Forward pilot program, a youth engagement initiative that uses basketball to develop health literacy and life skills among Nigerian youth, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015 at National Stadium in Abuja.

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Young Humanitarian Makes the World Even

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Nathaniel

Nathaniel Crossley is a young humanitarian living in Fort McMurray, Alberta. At the age of 13, he has a strong desire to “make the world even.” He has worked with the African Well Fund to build wells in Tanzania and has fundraised for projects of his own by partnering with his school and community. Nathaniel has been working to raise money for his project “Sports4Africa” in order to send sports equipment to African schools and is also working on his first documentary called The Kilimanjaro Project. Nathaniel plans to return to Africa on his 16th birthday to revisit the three schools that he has helped over the years.

“I want to make the world even: I want everyone to have the same rights, freedoms, and access to things we have in the first world.” –Nathaniel Crossley

Please tell me a little more about yourself and how you became involved with fundraising.

I’d say I’m your average 13-year-old boy. I enjoy gaming, building computers, hanging out, biking with friends and Pokémon. I enjoy different sports including rock climbing, badminton, soccer, football, swimming and I curl competitively.

It was mainly because of what I saw Ryan Hreljac* do for the people in Africa and what my dad was doing as a humanitarian.

*As a child, Ryan Hreljac raised money in response to the global water crisis, and has since raised millions of dollars for projects in Africa.

Why did you decide to raise money for sports equipment in particular?

When I visited the three schools in Tanzania, I enjoyed meeting many of the children and even played a game of football (soccer) with them. I was shocked to learn that the school only had one soccer ball for over 1000 kids. The schools were in desperate need of equipment. A few of the kids requested new equipment and I came up with the idea of Sports4Africa a few minutes later.  That’s when I decided to fundraise again to purchase sporting equipment for the three schools I visited.

All kids should have the ability to play and deserve the tools or equipment to do so. I want these kids to have some of the same opportunities that I do.

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How did you learn about Africare and why did you decide to entrust your donations to Africare?

When I chose the African Well Fund for fundraising in 2012-13, I found out that Africare was the parent organization. My school, Father Patrick Mercredi High School, partnered with me, and along with community donations, I raised more than $2000 CAN. Originally I planned to purchase the equipment in Canada and ship it to Tanzania, and then my mom thought we should be supporting the local African economy so we started to look for suppliers in Tanzania. My mom and I struggled to find a supplier online so we decided to ask Africare to source out a company for us. They agreed and also offered to transport the sports equipment directly to the three schools.

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Tell me more about The Kilimanjaro Project.

It is the documentary which I am currently producing with some local filmmakers about my adventures through Africa and my current project, Sports4Africa.

The Kilimanjaro Project is a deal that I made with Arlene Dickinson, a Canadian entrepreneur and former TV personality on the show Dragons Den. She would give me a GoPro (what I used to film the footage) if I teamed up with local filmmakers. Some of the challenges with the documentary is the fact that my computer has been having “technical difficulties” which makes it very hard to edit and produce. One victory was when we finally got a committed filmmaker to do the project.

Describe your favorite trip to Africa/ your favorite part about Africa.

My favorite part had to have been visiting the three schools in Tanzania and seeing how grateful the students, teachers and parents were for my efforts to provide them sanitization stations and a rain water collector.

What inspires you and what are your goals for the future?

It inspires me when someone does something for an area or person to enhance their quality of life. My goal is for everyone to have access to what we have in the west – adequate health care, clean water, etc.

Recent Tweet from Africare’s Kendra Davenport:

“Never underestimate the power of one – even one as young as @TheLegoFly.  Thanks Nathaniel.  You’re inspiring us to do more & be better!”

You can see the trailer to Nathaniel’s The Kilimanjaro Project here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEPMjbv9P38

Africare to honor Nathaniel

Africare will recognize Nathaniel’s dedication to improve African lives at the Bishop John T. Walker Memorial Dinner Gala in Washington, D.C., on December 5, 2015, one of the largest fundraising events for Africa in the United States. For more information about the annual event and to reserve your seat, please click on this link. Hope to see you there!

This Donor Spotlight was written by Africare summer high school intern Hailey Voell.  Hailey will begin her senior  year next month at Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, Virginia.  Her mini- internship was spent in Africare’s Development and Communications Department.

 

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Power Forward teaches youth basketball and life skills.
Power Forward teaches youth basketball and life skills.

Power Forward Enters Year Two in Nigeria

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More than an opportunity to develop basketball skills, Power Forward teaches youth life-long habits such as literacy, health and leadership. The program, which reached nearly 300 youth during its inaugural year, tipped off its second year recently in Abuja, Nigeria.

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