Posts tagged ‘Need your help!’

July 10, 2011

What to Buy for a Trip to Africa – My Shopping List

As my trip to Africa gets closer, I’ve been busy shopping to get plenty of supplies. As part of our trip for the organization, we are traveling across Tanzania to our projects in Olasiti village (in the north) and Ulolela village and to Dar Es Salaam. So, some of these items are for our travel within the country, and aren’t necessarily important for all trips. Here’s my list so far:

– Africa appropriate clothing. I tried to get clothes that are conservative, but light and comfortable. I bought a bunch of light-weight shirts and Bermuda shorts from Target. Since our trip is during the summer in the US, it will be winter in Tanzania, so I’m going to bring a couple hoodies for night-time.

– A hiking backpack, for easily traveling around the country.

Permethrin bug spray for clothing (to be applied before you leave) and 100% deet bug spray for body

Safari hat (complete with dorky strap to keep it on our head)

– Sunglasses and strap (to keep them from flying off in the wind!)

– Flashlight

– First aid kit

– Wet wipes or baby wipes (with no or low alcohol to keep them from drying out)

– Ponchos (in case of rain)

– Suntan lotion

– Melatonin (to help with the jet lag)

– Unscented shampoo, conditioner and body wash

– Camera

– Extra batteries

– European outlet adapter

So, am I forgetting anything? Let me know!

– Alyssa

April 17, 2011

Students Looking to Make a Difference? You’ve come to the right place.

As a non-profit, we’re always looking to find students to get involved. It’s a powerful thing- students working together to help other students across the world. I first got into non-profit work through volunteering and working at fundraisers at my high school that I did to add to my college resume. And it became seeded in my head that if I’m going to work hard at a job for most of my life, then I want it to help people. But it’s not easy to go from wanting to make a difference to actually doing it.

So, we created the AIA Ambassador Program to help students who want to help us. When a student (of any age) wants to become an AIA Ambassador and organizing a fundraiser (or many) to support education in Africa, we give them tools, ideas and tips to help them through the process of fundraising. AIA Ambassadors receive a packet including:

  •     Welcome letter
  •     Sample flier and brochure
  •     Ideas for fundraisers
  •     Tips for promoting their fundraisers

This toolkit makes it easier for middle school, high school and college students to successfully fundraise for Achieve in Africa by getting insight into what has worked well in the past.

For more information on the AIA Ambassador program or if you would like to get directly involved, please contact



April 15, 2009

Facts on Education in Africa

In research for AIA, I’ve been finding some really powerful statistics about Africa, and it seems to mean that it all leads back to primary education. That’s why I believe in our cause so much- because I think education is the key to helping poverty and the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Read on…

• Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where poverty has increased in the past 25 years.
• 32 of the world’s 38 heavily indebted poor countries are in Africa.
• Half the population of Africa lives on less than US $1 a day.
Slums are home to 72% of urban Africa’s citizens.
• Primary school enrollment in African countries is among the lowest in the world.
33 million primary school-aged children in Sub-Saharan Africa do not go to school. 18 million of these children are girls.
• In Sub-Saharan Africa, only two-thirds of children who start primary school reach the final grade.
• Although literacy rates have greatly improved in Africa over the last few decades, approximately 40% of Africans over the age of 15, and 50% of women above the age of 25 are illiterate.
• There is an average of 40 pupils per teacher in sub-Saharan Africa, but the situation varies considerably from country to country. In many countries, it is more than 60 to one.
• Africa loses an estimated 20,000 skilled personnel a year to developed countries.
• Average life expectancy in Africa is only 46 years.
• There are an estimated 5,500 AIDS deaths a day in Africa.
• AIDS decreases in villages where there are primary schools.
• In Uganda, a child who quits attending school is three times more likely to be HIV positive later on in life than a child who completes basic education.
• HIV/AIDS is likely to claim the lives of 10% of teachers within the coming five years, and 20% of school-age children will be AIDS orphans.

facts of education in Africa AIDS orphans in Africa

Children in Africa line up for buses to go back to their orphanages after school.

What do you think after hearing this? Is education the solution? I want to hear your reactions/thoughts!


April 10, 2009

Non-Profit Promotion 101

So, as you know, I’m a college student AND a co-founder and VP of a non-profit. How does everything get done? Well, I’m lucky enough to be in a program that does a lot of client-based work, often for a client you provide. What do I do these projects on? Ding ding ding! It’s a no-brainer: Achieve in Africa! It’s a win-win-win- I’m passionate and knowledgeable about the client, I can use whatever I make for the cause, and I get feedback through my graded assignments on how I can make the promotional materials better!

Things I’ve done just this semester for AIA through school:

– Created this blog
– Recorded and edited a viral 30-second video (while learning video editing software- Adobe Premiere Pro)
– Recorded and edited a 30-second radio PSA (while learning audio editing software- Audacity)
– Wrote a 5-minute promotional video treatment and script (to be made this summer after Brendan gets footage from his trip to Tanzania)
– Created a few advertisements (while learning Adobe PhotoShop)
– Currently creating a new web site layout to launch May 1st (using Photoshop and FrontPage)
– Created and currently revamping the brochure

I’ll add my audio and video spots that I made and I would love some feedback from ya’ll!!

Music Credit: “Caring is Creepy” by The Shins (I’m a fan of irony)

And click here for the AIA PSA!!