AfricAid supports mentoring programs for secondary school girls in Tanzania to help them complete their education, develop into confident leaders, and transform their own lives and their communities. In partnership with our locally led sister organization, GLAMI (Girls Livelihood and Mentorship Initiative), we equip girls to overcome challenges and reach their full potential because educated girls create lasting positive change. The outcome is resilient, proactive, and socially-responsible girls who secure better jobs, raise healthier children, and increase the standing of women in society.
AfricAid supports two core extracurricular mentoring programs through GLAMI:
Kisa Project is a two-year leadership course that prepares girls in their last two years of secondary school to attend university and create positive social change in their communities.
Binti Shupavu is a four-year life skills course for lower secondary school girls covering topics such as study skills, personal leadership, health, and self-confidence with the goal of increasing graduation rates for vulnerable girls.
The vision for AfricAid has its roots in the experiences of its founder, Ashley Shuyler, who traveled to Tanzania for the first time with her family in 1996 at the age of eleven. Struck by the poverty she saw while there, particularly among children her own age, she became determined to do something to help. She soon learned that, in contrast to her own educational experiences in the United States, only a small fraction of girls in Tanzania are able to obtain an education beyond the primary school level. Because of her strong belief that education is the most crucial component of any long-term solution to the many challenges facing East Africa, particularly in the areas of health and inequality, she formed AfricAid at the age of sixteen. Since its inception in 2001, AfricAid has raised several million dollars to help transform the educational landscape for girls in Tanzania.
"Kisa made me. Kisa taught me how to learn in university and how to continue to learn in daily life. My Kisa Mentors built an entrepreneurial spirit in me that anything is possible. Through lessons like the Mandela leadership principles, I learned that being a leader means letting people feel their opinion matters. This directly relates to my business and my interaction with my customers. I make them feel important and involved. I listen very intently as I want to give them what they really wish to get.
I have a calling to inspire other young girls to do more, to go beyond, to try anything - anything - to learn new skills. I want to tell girls what I learned in Kisa and what I am learning in life. I want them to know the sky is the limit so they can do something great with their lives."
- Ruth Shayo, 2017 Kisa alumna and owner of Lohi's Cakes.