Alliance for Youth Development in Africa (AYDA) Foundation is a nonprofit charity organization based in Washington, United States, committed to empowering communities find pathways out of systemic poverty.
AYDA believes youth education and empowerment are key to breaking long-standing cycles of poverty and inequality, but we also understand youth development must be addressed holistically and address all factors of the bigger picture to achieve sustainable results. We do this but connecting with existing local nonprofit charities wherever we explore in our target communities.
Since our inception in 2015, we have partnered with a local trusted charity in Senegal and community leaders in our project locations to identify pre-existing opportunities that can help the community and ways to harness existing local resources to impact the domains of youth development: education, health, safety, economic well-being, empowerment, environment, entrepreneurship, and skill training.
Senegal will build Senegal…Africa must build Africa. This local adage captures well AYDA’s philosophy on development and our approach to community outreach.
AYDA allies with existing local programs, community leaders, and government, drawing on their experience, resourcefulness, and in-depth understanding of the challenges facing their youth, and collaborating with them to develop sustainable solutions.
AYDA allies with existing local NGOs who best understand the problems within the community and are closely aligned with our mission. We do not engage in programs or activities that promote dependence on foreign aid.
Transparency and accountability are embedded in our ethos. Every quarter, we publish financial reports on our website and keep our stakeholders continuously informed through our website, email, and social media.
We don’t just implement activities to check them off a list. For every project we carry out, we streamline our efforts and resources and develop revenue-earning programs that promote financial sustainability to maximize the impact of our supporters’ investment.
When we reach out to support new communities, we never claim to be the experts or have the solution. Rather, we draw on the knowledge and resources of the local community and tailor all programs to their specific set of circumstances.
Our volunteers are local citizens who become ambassadors within their communities.
Case Study: Furniture for Schools
Identify a need: Local school teachers flag a need for new desks and blackboards in their school. The existing furniture is dilapidated and creates a distraction to learning.
Understand the challenges: We consult with the school to find out what has been done so far to address the problem. We explore whether there are financial resources already made available by the community, local government, or other opportunities. We discover they have not been unable to acquire the resources locally, nor obtain the support of the local and regional government.
Explore solutions: We brainstorm with teachers to explore ways the issue might be addressed and determine that crowdfunding and small grants are the quickest and most effective option presently.
Implement and measure: AYDA helps coordinate a fundraising effort to procure the new blackboards and furniture, leveraging our local and global networks. Following implementation, we monitor and share results of this initiative with the local and regional government to quantify the problem and, ultimately, demonstrate impact.
Case Study: Overcrowding in Schools
Identify a need: AYDA is approached by friends, allies, and their local connections regarding the problem of overcrowding in schools in a community flagged as previously marginalized.
Understand the challenges: We meet with local stakeholders to better understand root causes and influencing factors; and to determine the potential long-term impact of the overcrowding issue.
Explore solutions: We bring the matter up with the Ministry of Education and discuss plans for infrastructure expansion. [The Ministry’s budget cycle cannot accommodate expansion, but they grant consent to AYDA to build a new school.]
Implement and measure: Work with partners to build new school and track results. Based on our observations and data, we advise the Ministry on the extent of the deficiencies, make an evidence-based case for expanding capacity of school spaces, and offer recommendations on low-cost options for infrastructure expansion.
AYDA was first conceived by an idea in 2015 when Andrew contacted a trusted nonprofit in Senegal, named ACS (Association Chance-for-all Senegal) which was leasing a building for its charitable activities. Andrew and a group of four other engineering students at Washington State University decided to approach their final year project differently. They set out to validate a shared belief that education can overlap life outside the classroom to make a real impact.
The university team has since disbanded, but the project continued. The project became a registered business, a legal U.S. 501(c)(3) charity, and has raised over USD $30,000 and opened an office, health clinic, and two schools. Our operations in Senegal have since expanded via local partnerships with existing nonprofits with a shared objective.
We believe that nonprofit organization charities should narrow their scope of purpose and charitable activities to a single target group and geographic location. For an average nonprofit organization of our size, including the entire African continent and its 54 sovereign nations is an ambitious goal. We have confidence in the millions of global charities to incorporate other regions of the world into their geographic scope.
We support emergency aid to war-torn nations and other countries suffering from natural disasters and other crises; however, we believe that our long-term goals will be accomplished by large investments in education and skill-building, which require infrastructure that is very vulnerable in the least developed nations and particularly those areas experience unstable political and ethnic violence. The nations we select are those often frequented by representatives from neighboring African nations which may notice efforts by AYDA that can be replicated in their own nations.
The nations we select are those that are least likely to experience conditions that make our charitable infrastructure vulnerable to abandonment or even destruction. The most probable conditions to damage AYDA infrastructure are influxes in immigration from neighboring countries that experience conditions that produce emigrating refugees.
AYDA is registered nonprofit organization with the U.S. state of Washington and is a class 501c3 nonprofit charity with the United State Internal Revenue Services, which reviews every financial transaction from international donor to final purchase in Senegal. This is accomplished as AYDA corporate and AYDA Senegal each have bank accounts that continue the financial trail from donor to recipient. Receipts of purchases are received by the local AYDA teams abroad, scanned, and archived in the AYDA database.
Yes, Any monetary donation made to AYDA must be donated via our website “Donate” form can be tax deductible in the United States, You must request a “donation confirmation letter” from us which will provide proof of your tax-deductible donation, which may be required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
Any other type of donation may be tax-deductible if coordinated with us prior to donation and meets the requirements as described by the U.S. tax code.
Monetary donations are the most efficient form of donation. This has the greatest physical impact at our current project locations.
Volunteer hours are also hugely appreciated. If you have skills to teach, advice to share, professional network connections to provide, or other helpful information, please get in touch with us.
Physical donations are not possible at this time. It would currently cost us an enormous cost to ship products to these remote project locations. We advise anyone with physical materials to donate them to your local food bank or homeless shelter.