HABARI

From the President

I am honored and pleased to accept my appointment, by the Board of Directors, to the presidency of Africare. Over the years, I have had nothing but admiration for the development work that has been carried out by Africare's dedicated staff in Africa and for Africare's efforts to raise awareness of Africa among people in the United States. Moreover, I could not have inherited an organization on a more solid foundation. Africare is well staffed and financially viable and enjoys a sterling reputation among donors and colleagues alike.

Much of Africare's success has been due to the vision and hard work of Africare's president over the past 31 years, C. Payne Lucas. I believe that it has been C. Payne's drive, hard work and enthusiasm that have steered our organization to its current level of success. For that immense accomplishment, I will be eternally grateful.

C. Payne and the Board have charged me with carrying Africare to the next level, that is, increasing the size of the organization and its programs substantially. My own vision is to make Africare the best and most respected private voluntary organization working in Africa. Currently, we are operating in 26 countries. I want to move slowly and deliberately, but I would like to expand Africare's operations to 35 or 40 African countries within the next 10 years. Over the next five to 10 years, I also would like to double Africare's financial resources from $30 to $40 million — our annual budget at present — to $80 to $100 million a year, so we can help more people at the grassroots level in Africa.

In order to realize that vision, I will need your help. Among our priorities is the further diversification of donor support. Africare has always been blessed with dedicated supporters from all sectors. So great are the challenges now facing Africa, that we must secure even more support, from an even broader range of sources: private individuals, membership groups, the religious community, foundations, multinational corporations, the U.S. government, foreign governments, international agencies and more.

I regard the Africare community — staff members, donors, and colleagues and beneficiaries in Africa — as a team and a family, bound by our common love for development work and for the continent of Africa. Thank you for all that you have already done to make Africare the successful organization it is today. I believe firmly that if we continue to work together, we can reach our ambitious goals for the future of Africare and, most important, for the future of Africa.

— Julius E. Coles
President, Africare


AFRICARE ASSISTS FOOD-CRISIS VICTIMS IN SOUTHERN, EAST AFRICA

During the year 2002, food shortage intensified throughout Southern Africa, affecting 16 million people in the region. By December, another 18 million people in East Africa were facing a food crisis as well.

At a news conference, held on Dec. 3, 2002, in Baltimore, Md., Africare joined 14 other U.S.-based international assistance organizations in calling attention to the crisis. The organizations' leaders issued “The Baltimore Declaration: Africa in Crisis,” which stated, in part: “Today, we launch a global campaign to assist more than 34 million people who face the very real risk of death by starvation. This crisis is compounded by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which is devastating the productive populations of many African countries. We appeal to governments, citizens' groups, private voluntary organizations, religious institutions and individual citizens to recognize the enormity of the crisis confronting Africa and to join in a massive and urgent response.”

In February 2003, a consortium of 10 assistance agencies, led by Africare, launched a supplementary feeding program in Malawi, providing more than 430,000 children and 210,000 pregnant or lactating women — those most vulnerable to malnutrition — with emergency food supplies and other medical support. Malawi has been among the Southern African countries hardest-hit by the crisis.

Also in February, Africare began emergency food distributions to 25,000 at-risk families (125,000 individuals) in the drought-stricken Gambella region of Ethiopia.

In addition, Africare's ongoing agricultural- development programs in 22 African countries continue to strengthen farmers' capacities to feed themselves — and to better absorb the shocks caused by natural disaster or civil strife.

Please help the victims of the food emergency in Africa by contributing to Africare's Famine Relief Fund. You may contribute online. Or, you may send your check or money order to Africare, 440 R Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001-1935, USA; checks should be made out to “Africare” and must be drawn on a U.S. bank; write “Famine Relief Fund” on the note line of your check.


MAJOR GRANT EXPANDS HEALTH ASSISTANCE TO LIBERIA

In January 2003, Africare received a major grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to improve health care at the grassroots level in Liberia. Since 1998, in partnership with five Liberian NGOs, Africare has worked to strengthen primary health-care services in the Bong and Nimba counties; 34 clinics, serving more than 300 rural communities, have received support. The new program will extend support to the original beneficiaries, while adding to the network six clinics in the capital city, Monrovia. The Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs and the Morehouse School of Medicine will partner with Africare in the five-year, $10 million expanded program. Following seven years of civil strife, which ended in 1996, Liberia has faced major infrastructural challenges, including in the health sector. Life expectancy in Liberia is just 52 years; and the country's child mortality rate, at 235 per 1,000 live births, is among the highest in the world.


NEW BOARD MEMBERS ELECTED

The Africare Board of Directors elected six new members at its semi-annual meeting in December 2002. Valerie L. Dickson-Horton, a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Agency for International Development and former AID deputy assistant administrator for Africa, is a private consultant specializing in international development. George W. Haley, an attorney and former U.S. ambassador to the Gambia, returned to the Africare Board, having served previously from 1977 to 1989. Luddy Hayden, Jr., is manager of international government relations for ChevronTexaco, representing the corporation's interests in Africa. Now retired, the Rt. Rev. Frederick Calhoun James held leadership positions within the African Methodist Episcopal Church for 43 years; among those positions, he was bishop of the Twelfth, Seventh and Second A.M.E. Districts in the United States as well as presiding bishop of the A.M.E. Church in Southern Africa. Judith A. McHale is the president and chief operating officer of Discovery Communications, Inc., and founder of the Discovery Channel Global Education Fund. Also returning to the Board was Louis W. Sullivan, M.D.: founder and president emeritus of the Morehouse School of Medicine and former U.S. secretary of health and human services.


AFRICARE HIV/AIDS RESPONSE:

More Than 17 Countries, Millions of People Reached

The scale of the AIDS crisis now outstrips even worst-case scenarios of a decade ago,” stated the latest global survey produced by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. And by far hardest-hit has been Sub-Saharan Africa. During 2002 alone, Sub-Saharan Africa — with just 11 percent of the world's population — had 77 percent of all AIDS deaths worldwide, 70 percent of all people living with HIV or full-blown AIDS, 70 percent of all new HIV infections and more than 90 percent of all AIDS orphans.

Africare has helped the people and leaders of Africa to combat HIV/AIDS since 1987, shortly after the epidemic began. Today, Africare is reaching communities in 17 African countries with programs in HIV prevention, counseling and care for people already infected with HIV, and assistance to orphans of AIDS. In addition, HIV/AIDS assistance is a component of other programs — programs focusing on agriculture or emergency relief, for example — in almost all of the 26 countries where Africare works.

From the desert of Niger to the villages of Uganda and Zambia, two Africare programs are conveying HIVprevention information, transmitted via satellite and inexpensive radio receivers. Follow-up discussions, voluntary testing and other activities are carried out by local health workers. More than 82,000 people in 30 communities in the three countries are benefiting at this time. Radio-based HIV/AIDS education is expected to reach a total of 120 sites in 14 countries by 2006.

In Malawi, South Africa and Zambia, Africare has expanded a major program that, since 1999, has provided technical assistance to community-based initiatives — most of which are youth-directed — to improve adolescent reproductive health. Already, more than two million youths have been reached. The program's new phase is entitled Youth Empowerment and Support, or YES, and its message, in part, is: “YES! to positive health-seeking behavior. YES! to high levels of self-esteem. YES! to abstaining from sex. YES! to using condoms. YES! to an AIDS-free life.”

Other countries with Africare HIV/ AIDS programs include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Please help combat HIV/AIDS in Africa by contributing to Africare's HIV/AIDS Fund. You may contribute online. Or, you may send your check or money order to Africare, 440 R Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001-1935, USA; checks should be made out to “Africare” and must be drawn on a U.S. bank; write “HIV/AIDS Fund” on the note line of your check.


AFRICARE HIV/AIDS RESPONSE:

National Policy, Local Outreach

In a major new initiative, Africare is working jointly with the Ministry of Health and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Benin to strengthen HIV/AIDS policies at the central level and to improve outreach to three provinces. Aspects of the program include HIV and AIDS surveillance, care for people living with AIDS, HIV-prevention education, management of other sexually- transmitted diseases and overall capacity-building among the NGOs. The initiative grows out of a decade of Africare assistance to Beninese NGOs and health providers.


AFRICARE HIV/AIDS RESPONSE:

Africare Reducing Transmission Among Mobile Workers

Through its food security programs, which in part oversee shipments of food to Africa, Africare has noted the special vulnerability to HIV of the people who work in the ports. Most of those people — dock workers, itinerant clearing and forwarding agents, truck drivers, vehicle salespersons, small-scale retailers (market women, tradesmen) and commercial sex workers — spend days or weeks at a time away from home. Thus mobile, they are more vulnerable to becoming infected with HIV. In the port of Cotonou, Benin, Africare is supporting HIV-prevention education among thousands of workers. The program will decrease transmission, not only among port workers, but also among the family members to whom the workers return. At a later date, Africare will expand the program to Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.


AFRICARE HIV/AIDS RESPONSE:

Orphans: The Youngest Victims

When parents die of AIDS, children may become homeless or they may be taken in by relatives and friends who themselves are very poor. AIDS orphans often lack shelter, health care, schooling and other necessities — even as they struggle to cope with their emotional loss. Africare programs in Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe, among other countries, are helping thousands of young orphans in desperate need. In Nigeria's Rivers state, Africare is working with home-based care providers to ensure access to education, nutrition and health services for nearly 1,000 orphans. The work in Zambia focuses on home-based care as well. In Zimbabwe's Mutasa district, in addition to caregiver aid, Africare is helping to establish Orphan Clubs, which provide multifaceted group support to their young members; to date, nine Orphan Clubs, with 2,500 members, have been established. Seven-year-old Tariro lost both of her parents to AIDS. Now enrolled in the first grade and a member of an Africare-sponsored Orphan Club in Mutasa, Tariro says, “If this support continues, I am most likely to perform well in class and achieve my dream to be a nurse.”


AFRICARE HIV/AIDS RESPONSE:

Africare HIV/AIDS Service Corps

In June 2002, Africare launched its HIV/AIDS Service Corps: an innovative program that enlists grassroots-level Africans — such as parents, adolescents and teachers — as volunteers in the fight against HIV/AIDS Africa-wide.

Like the Peace Corps, the Africare HIV/AIDS Service Corps relies on volunteers; each volunteer has a specific scope of work; training, oversight and support are provided to all volunteers; and they receive stipends, as opposed to salaries, for their work. What is unique about the Africare program is that the volunteers are neither Americans nor Europeans nor expert professionals of any nationality, but Africans who share their time, energy and compassion to reduce the AIDS devastation in the communities in which they live.

The first HIV/AIDS Service Corps volunteers are now active in Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. Initially, they learned the medical facts about HIV and AIDS and received training in home-based care of AIDS sufferers, AIDS orphan support, and communications, peer education and other HIV-prevention strategies. With modest stipends of up to $50 per volunteer per month — and a bicycle each they've taken off. Some 60 HIV/AIDS Service Corps volunteers have been deployed to date. With increased donor funding, Africare hopes to have HIV/AIDS Service Corps volunteers in every African country.

Here's how the program works. Individuals, families, and organizations large or small are all eligible to sponsor HIV/AIDS Service Corps volunteers. The cost to sponsor one volunteer is $50 per month; and we ask each sponsor to commit to 12 months, totaling $600, because that is each volunteer's “tour of duty” with Africare. Initially, sponsors receive information about their particular volunteers. At the end of the sponsorship year, Africare reports to sponsors on their volunteers' accomplishments.

Please sponsor a volunteer! You may request an Africare HIV/AIDS Service Corps sponsorship packet, with further details (including a contribution form), by sending an e-mail to [email protected]; writing to Development Office, Africare


DONOR SPOTLIGHT

“Every individual donation is important to the work of Africare. We cherish those contributions. And small amounts of money add up to large amounts of money. Five dollars, ten dollars, a hundred dollars, a thousand dollars, all the way up to any amount — every gift is used by Africare for good purposes and to help the people of Africa.”
— Julius E. Coles President, Africare

Special Funds
Individuals throughout the United States help Africa in many ways through Africare's special funds. During the past year, hundreds of generous gifts — from $5 to $5,000 and amounts in between — have added up. For example, donations to Africare's Famine Relief Fund have exceeded $20,000; and as the crisis intensifies, especially in Southern and East Africa, donations are increasing as well. Individuals have given thousands of dollars to the HIV/AIDS Fund and the Mother-and-Child Health Fund, bringing health education and care to African communities in desperate need. The Village Agriculture Fund helps farmers produce more food. The Village Water Supply Fund provides clean and plentiful water. The General Support Fund helps where needed most, in any area; during 2002, individuals gave more than $200,000 to that important Africare fund.

Local Communities
Africare's valued family of individual donors is both large and diverse. Equally diverse are the community groups providing support. They are local foundations, like the Bridgewood Fieldwater Foundation of Bridgewater, Conn., and the TTF Foundation of Bellevue, Wash. They are religious groups, from the Saint Peter Baptist Church of Glen Allen, Va., to the First Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head Island, S.C., to the Jewish Community Foundation of Milwaukee, Wis. They are JustGive of San Francisco, Calif.; a U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp in Okinawa, Japan; the New York City Transit Authority; the Oregon Shakespeare Festival of Ashland, Ore.; the Africa Travel Association of Bowie, Md.; and the Zion Men's Club of Washington, D.C. Gifts from community groups are both large and small, for purposes ranging from HIV/AIDS assistance to water wells to famine relief. In addition to local initiatives, sororities, fraternities, religious groups and others sponsor major Africare drives among their members nationwide.

Workplace Giving
Workplace giving offers individuals a powerful opportunity to help — because monthly payroll deductions and employer “matches” add up. Africare receives nearly $200,000 annually through the Combined Federal Campaign, state and local government campaigns, and private-sector workplace drives. Africare is a member of the Global Impact workplace-giving federation (CFC code #0303). Other donors double their gift amounts through employee matching-gift programs. Ask your employer if such an option is available to you.

Life Membership
Africare Life Members now number about 150 and include individuals, families, community groups and more. Each makes a one-time Life Membership gift of $1,500 and, in so doing, expresses a special commitment to Africare's work. Africare honors its Life Members by displaying their names on a plaque in the lobby of Africare House. During 2002, the following donors fulfilled their Life Membership pledges: Adrian and Abiola Backus of Princeton, N.J.; Hollis and Mark A. Chester of Chicago, Ill.; the Greater Washington Society of Anesthesiology of Havre de Grace, Md.; Susan J. Johnson of Washington, D.C.; Anne Jones of Flower Mound, Texas; Michael Matthews of Charlotte, N.C.; Our Family United, LLC, of Englewood, N.J.; Janet H. Sledge of Alexandria, Va.; Richard and Carolyn Thornell of Silver Spring, Md.; Balla Traore of Alexandria, Va.; Stevan Trooboff of Chestnut Hill, Mass.; and Sandra White of Acworth, Ga.


2002 AFRICARE DINNER:

BELAFONTE HONORED; BONO, YOUNG SPEAK

On Thursday evening, Oct. 24, 2002, in Washington, D.C., the Africare Bishop John T. Walker Memorial Dinner — the largest annual fundraiser for Africa in the United States — celebrated hope and self-determination in Africa, emphasizing the Dinner's theme, “Africa and the American Private Sector: Partners for the Common Good.” Remarked keynote speaker Andrew Young: “The new partnership in African development is an economic project of self-sufficiency. I really believe that we're going to find a way to mobilize the wealth of America, which is in the hands of the private sector.”

The 2002 Africare Dinner was attended by 1,800 people and attracted corporate and international sponsorship as well as support by individuals. The event raised $1 million for Africare's mission of assistance to Africa.

This year's Dinner was led by international honorary patron, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria; national honorary patrons, Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and then Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott; national chair, G. Allen Andreas, chairman and chief executive officer of Archer Daniels Midland Company; and general chairs, George W. Haley and Rodney E. Slater. Maria Walker, wife of the late Bishop Walker, for whom the event is named, served as the honorary chair.

Receiving the 2002 Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award was singer/actor/producer/ activist Harry Belafonte, honored for his six decades of outstanding contributions to the civil rights struggle in the United States and to the struggles for political independence, children's rights and development, and freedom from HIV/AIDS Africa-wide. In his acceptance speech, Belafonte challenged the audience to “examine the mistakes of history and have the strength and the courage to design a new and promising future. [The] children ask for it. They deserve it: all of the children of Africa who are dying from HIV/AIDS.” He went on to praise Africare's work, noting that “Africare is a remarkable example of what patience, tenaciousness and moral commitment can do to make a difference in the lives of the disenfranchised and those who are pained.”

Also speaking at the event was the activist and rock musician, Bono. “The idea that the lucky few of us can live in some kind of glass case separated from the sufferings of the many,” he stated, “was shattered on Sept. 11, 2001. … We can't choose our neighbors anymore. We can't choose the benefits of globalization without some of the responsibilities.”

Other event speakers included George A. Dalley, Esq., chairman of the Africare Board; Julius E. Coles, president of Africare; and as master of ceremonies, Delano E. Lewis, an Africare Board member. President Obasanjo delivered an address via videotape. Also featured were songs and dances by the Gateway Ambassadors: a Ghanaian youth troupe, produced by the Accra-based performing arts school, Children's Christian Storehouse International.

Held every fall in Washington, D.C., the Africare Bishop Walker Dinner is Africare's major annual fund-raising event.

The date of the fall 2003 Africare Dinner will be announced soon.


AFRICARE PRESIDENT TRANSITION:

Lucas Retires, Coles Welcomed As Africare President

In mid-June 2002, C. Payne Lucas retired as president of Africare after 31 years in that position. Africare welcomed as its new president Julius E. Coles: a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the first director of Howard University's Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center and, most recently, director of the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs at Morehouse College.

“As an organization, we have always looked forward,” stated Africare Chairman George A. Dalley, Esq., “and we continue to look forward to new leadership and a new role. There are 28 African countries in which we are still not active, on a continent ravaged by AIDS and by so many other problems.

“At the same time, we have the continuity of the same staff and other people who have helped make Africare the institution it has become. More important, we have the spirit of Africare — and that spirit is rooted in a concern for Africa that is as vibrant today as it was when we first began.”

Co-founder and second president of Africare, former Africa regional director of the Peace Corps, speaker, writer and activist, C. Payne Lucas has brought a unique blend of passion and steadfast commitment to his 40-year career in African development. He has been honored by several presidents of the United States, leaders of more than two dozen nations of Africa and numerous groups engaged in humanitarian affairs. Lucas is a life member of the Africare Board of Directors. During his retirement, Lucas will continue to support the work and broader mission of Africare, in addition to private pursuits.

On Thursday evening, July 11, more than 700 people — donors, diplomats, colleagues and staff — attended a celebration welcoming Julius Coles and saluting C. Payne Lucas. The event took place at the Africare headquarters building, Africare House, in Washington, D.C. “Africare's greatest contribution,” Lucas noted in his remarks, “what I'm most proud of, is that we have now created an organization with an extended family. And that extended family is here tonight. You are members of Congress and members of churches. You are black and white. You are African and American. When I look at the people in this room, when I feel the pulse, I know that we have the makings of a great institution. This is just the beginning.”

TRIBUTE
By Congressman Charles B. Rangel (N.Y):

“On behalf of my great country, on behalf of the United States Congress and, more personally, on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus, let me thank C. Payne Lucas. All of us must agree to come together to make certain that Africare, as a tribute to him, continues to move forward.”
(Lucas retirement party, July 11, 2002)

TRIBUTE
By Dorothy I. Height:

“As we stand here and rejoice, as I look at C. Payne Lucas and Julius Coles and all of us here, there's only one thing for Africare to do and that is, in the words of Harriet Tubman as she spoke to those on the underground railroad, ‘Keep on going.'”

Dorothy I. Height is Chair and President Emerita, National Council of Negro Women (Lucas retirement party, July 11, 2002)

TRIBUTE
By Joseph C. Kennedy, Ph.D.:

“C.Payne Lucas took Africare from an idea, from a dream, from a time when we had to borrow $25,000 to stay afloat — to where we are today, with more than 150 programs in 26 countries, an annual budget of $35 million, an endowment, a retirement fund. Luke, it has been a joy, a privilege, an honor to work with you. Thank you for sharing the dream.”

Joseph C. Kennedy, Ph.D., is an Africare co-founder, former Senior Vice President (1971-1999) and Secretary of the Board of Directors (Lucas retirement party, July 11, 2002)

TRIBUTE
By Andrew Young:

“What we are celebrating here is C. Payne Lucas's particular incarnation of a vision: that this is one planet indivisible under God and that somehow we can all get along together as brothers and sisters. … Once he had that vision, C. Payne didn't just preach about it. He institutionalized it and developed it, and he pulled all of us into it. And I am convinced that God is not through with us yet and that we have only just begun. I thank you for all that you have done and all that you will continue to do — all of you — to make the vision that we share a reality.”

Andrew Young is former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., former Mayor of Atlanta and Chairman of GoodWorks International, LLC (Lucas retirement party, July 11, 2002)

TRIBUTE
By Ambassador Mamadou Mansour Seck of Senegal:

“C.Payne Lucas, your leadership by example demonstrates the difference one human being can make when committed to the cause of human dignity and global justice.”

(Lucas retirement party, July 11, 2002)


AFRICARE PRESIDENT TRANSITION:

Lucas Fund Established

Africare has established the C. Payne Lucas Fund both to honor and to continue Lucas's work. Gifts to the fund support Africare's HIV/AIDS assistance Africa-wide. To date, dozens of donors have given nearly $7,000 to the Lucas Fund. To contribute, please use the reply envelope enclosed in this newsletter.


AFRICARE PRESIDENT TRANSITION:

C. Payne Lucas: “An Abiding Association”

By Kevin G. Lowther

Ours has been an abiding, yet improbable, association. Someday, C. Payne Lucas and I might write a book about how the son of North Carolina sharecroppers and a young New Englander of sheltered origin could become such close friends and colleagues over the past 37 years.

We met at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington. Luke, as he was known then, had just returned from directing Peace Corps programs in Togo and Niger. He was already a legend at the Peace Corps and was being groomed to run its Africa regional office — arguably the most exciting place to work in this fledgling agency. In the hallway one day, in his deceptive spur-of-the-moment way, he asked if I wanted to be his desk officer for Southern Africa. We have worked together ever since.

Luke joined the Peace Corps in its first year, 1961, and would devote the next decade to its development as one of the most innovative federal programs ever. It was in the Peace Corps and in the years he spent in Africa, guiding predominantly white volunteers in transcending race and culture, that Luke began to shape strong feelings regarding “diversity.” Today, he seldom misses a public opportunity to focus on the need for people of varied ethnic and racial backgrounds to work — and live — together. The book we wrote in the 1970s on the Peace Corps — Keeping Kennedy's Promise — preaches that message, as does the introduction of the updated edition we published in 2002.

Luke's Peace Corps experience laid the foundation for Africare. So did the election of Richard Nixon as president in 1968. Had Hubert H. Humphrey won, he was expected to ask Luke to take a senior post in the new administration. Instead, it was another president — Hamani Diori of Niger — who urged his old friend to rescue a struggling village health project called Africare. Without Nixon's victory, there would have been no Africare, at least as we know it today.

Building Africare into a highly respected, African-American and African led institution is a signal achievement that will have to be told later. Casual observers have assumed that it was largely Luke's doing, but he would be the first to tell you that it has been the work of countless hands — from those of Dr. Joseph C. Kennedy, his long-time alter ego at Africare, to the people of Africa themselves. It has been diversity in action, and Luke — as I still call him — takes special pride in that. So do we all.

Kevin G. Lowther is Africare's regional director for Southern Africa.


AFRICARE PRESIDENT TRANSITION:

New Africare President: Julius E. Coles

Julius E. Coles, president of Africare since mid-June, recounts his first visit to Africa. The year was 1961, and he was a college sophomore enrolled in a Crossroads Africa summer program. “I was assigned to work in a village called Popenguin, in Senegal. Our group worked with students from the University of Dakar and from a Gambian high school to build a one-room schoolhouse for the village. We spent a total of seven weeks in Popenguin. We learned about each other. We shared experiences. We developed true friendships between the African students and the American students. It was a wonderful experience, and I fell in love with Africa.”

Born in 1942 in Atlanta, Ga., Coles received his B.A. in political science and economics from Morehouse College and his master's degree in public affairs from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He studied Africa and had other opportunities to visit the continent throughout his student years. “When I came out of graduate school,” he says, “I knew that, more than working on [African] political matters, I was interested in working in development.”

Coles joined the U.S. Agency for International Development in 1966. Over the course of the next 28 years, he served in Vietnam, Morocco, Liberia (where he met and married his wife, Jean, a teacher), Nepal and Washington, D.C., and was mission director in Swaziland and Senegal. He retired from USAID in 1994 with the rank of career minister. Coles's numerous honors include the Distinguished Career Service Award (1995), the Presidential Meritorious Service Award (1983-1986) and Senegal's Commander in the Order of the Lion (1994).

In 1994, Coles was recruited by Howard University to establish what is now the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center: “to my knowledge,” Coles says, “one of the first international affairs centers established within an African- American university.” The facility was built and furnished within a record 90 days and was inaugurated by then U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Coles moved on in 1997 to his alma mater, Morehouse College, “to do the same thing I had done at Howard.” Today, the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs at Morehouse is a thriving facility for students and visitors from around the world.

“Then, I was fortunate enough to be invited to come to Africare. If I could think of all the things that I would like to do in my life, one of them was to be president of a private voluntary agency working in Africa.” Coles had known Africare since the late 1970s, when he was serving with USAID in Swaziland; and the relationship continued during his subsequent postings to Senegal and Washington, D.C. Coles joined Africare's Board in 1997. And on June 16, 2002, he joined the staff of Africare as its third president.

“I cannot think of an organization that has a better reputation in Africa than Africare,” says Coles. “I am extremely honored and pleased to have been selected as Africare's president.”

In addition to his work with Africare, Coles serves on the Boards of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, the Mountain Institute, the International Youth Leadership Fund, the Georgia Council for International Visitors, the Atlanta International Museum and the Fulbright Association of Georgia. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bretton Woods Committee. In 1997, he was appointed by UNESCO to serve on the Commission on the Goree (Senegal) Memorial.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GIVING TO AFRICARE

For more information about giving to Africare — an individual gift, a corporate or foundation grant, a community or school drive, workplace giving and more — please contact the Africare Development Office, Africare


HABARI

“Habari” is published twice a year by Africare and is available to the public at no charge. Requests for additional copies as well as questions or other feedback may be directed to Africare's Communications Office: (202) 328-5349 or [email protected] Africare Africare House 440 R Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001-1935 U.S.A. Telephone: (202) 462-3614 Web site: www.africare.org Copyright 2003, Africare. All rights reserved.