Hopeful Africa, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to foster sustainable prosperity in Africa through educational development and equal partnership. Hopeful Africa strongly believes Africa is full of hope and potential. Africa is diverse, rich in resources, and full of intelligent, driven people. However, a strong educational infrastructure is necessary in order to achieve sustainable prosperity. For now, Hopeful Africa’s efforts are focused on building educational resources at partner schools in Kenya. Quality education is the best way to ensure that future generations of Africans enjoy the peace, health, and financial success that they deserve.
The commercials with starving children do not accurately represent Africa; that image is an oversimplified and hurtful caricature. Africa is full of happy, driven, intelligent people. Perpetuating that false image of a suffering Africa in need of a Western savior is at best demeaning and at worst damaging. While there are undoubtedly challenges and hurdles that many African peoples’ face, Hopeful Africa believes it is important to recognize their humanity, intelligence, and determination rather than solely focusing on their perceived wants, as Western media often does. Hopeful Africa rejects the image of the “Western Savior” lifting up helpless Africans. Africans are in fact better suited to know what is needed in their own communities. Programs developed by Westerners without the input of target communities are generally unsustainable and further a patriarchal relationship that dehumanizes those they would help. Hopeful Africa will operate with the knowledge that Africa is a vast, diverse continent full of potential: a hopeful continent. Because of the peoples that inhabit Africa, the resources the continent has at its disposal, and the growth already apparent, Africa is on the brink of a golden era of sustainable development. While acknowledging the myriad hurdles on the road to development, Hopeful Africa believes that significant investments in education can provide the spark which will result in long-term prosperity.
Hopeful Africa wants to become irrelevant. Quality education can make that happen by empowering young Africans to fight poverty, stabilize nations, and conquer diseases. Conflict resolution, hunger relief, and medical assistance are all necessary and admirable but education is the most effective long-term solution. Education must take precedence to achieve sustainable progress.
Development should be partnership, not pity. Development work needs to build on the assets in a community in order to implement sustainable solutions. Local partners most often know community needs better than any outside entity. Hopeful Africa operates on a philosophy of equal partnership, recognizing that both Hopeful Africa and its partners have resources to contribute.
Young people are the best agents of change because they are unmatched in their enthusiasm and passion for progress. Also, they are the future political, business, and social leaders of the world. Involving American youth in the development process and helping to empower African youth will have positive effects for years.
Americans are often criticized for their lack of knowledge about the world beyond their shores. Hopeful Africa takes pride in the fact that it engages youth through its student clubs and educates them about the reality of Africa. We want Americans to know the intricacies of development in Africa in order to spread best practices.
It all began when I was 16 years old and had just moved to West Des Moines, Iowa from Kenya. At Valley High School I couldn’t believe what I experienced, the American public schools was incomparable to the public schools in Kenya…
In order for Hopeful Africa, Inc. to operate as an official and successful 501(c)(3) organization, a dedicated board of directors is crucial. Each board member gives their time, effort, and frequently their funds to help the young organization succeed.
Hopeful Africa is run by one full-time staff and a team of dedicated volunteers who donate large amounts of their time to helping the organization pursue its goals. The team is comprised of current college students and young professionals in various fields.