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Regional Youth Funding in Africa



The AYF is a nonprofit development organization based in Bonn, Germany, with a regional office in Accra, Ghana. It was established in 2000 to aid young Africans in Africa and its diaspora, as well as Europeans of African descent, to undertake projects that will enable them to obtain skills necessary for their future livelihoods. The organization specializes in training young people in business and entrepreneurial skills through the help of local business institutions. AYF promotes self-awareness, researches development conditions in African countries, and analyzes favorable conditions for development and participation of youth in social life. Detailed information is on the website. The following are important programs:

ADLER Entrepreneurship Award: Awarded to acknowledge the accomplishments of Africans in Europe and Africa, it is presented to Africans and people of African descent who have made a significant contribution to the development of their communities. The award encourages these civic efforts and showcases their impact on their communities on the local, national, and international level. Awards are given in five areas: civil society, legal, health, media, and African businesses. The award does not include a monetary prize but community and society acknowledgement. A list of past award winners is available at www.ayf.de/activities/awards.html.

Experts for Africa is a service to promote the flow of volunteer experts, teachers, and other professionals to Africa. AYF encourages professionals of all walks of life to volunteer their time and expertise to assist Africa. AYF matches the needs of carefully chosen institutions in Africa with volunteer experts.

Progressive Educational Fund, established by the AYF, supports disadvantaged youth in Africa. Through a website, profiles of best students in African countries are submitted to encourage Africans in the diaspora, as well as fund118

Section 2: Mapping Youth Funding in Different Regions of the World

ing institutions. These profiled individuals receive funding for leadership, business, and management courses, as well as IT training in Africa.

Universal Leaders’ Group Initiative: Started by the AYF in 2005, the group provides an informal, efficient framework where young professionals in diverse fields such as entrepreneurship, investments, education, and development can have an ongoing exchange of opinions, knowledge, and experience on strategic issues. The group’s web portal at www.ulg.ayf.de serves as the platform for exchange and outreach.



YAI is a global nonprofit effort to rebuild war-torn African communities. YAI is run by a network of young international leaders who are defining a new approach to delivering humanitarian aid. By leveraging the use of local materials and employing local people, YAI maximizes the economic and social impact of programs that include building schools and playgrounds as well as microlending. It runs projects in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. Specific program activities include small business development (including microloans), vocational training, agriculture and farming support, targeted scholarships, and health care and awareness raising. YAI has three main thematic orientations:

Early Childhood Development Program: targets children between ages 5 and 12 and focuses on positive early childhood development by providing basic individual and school-related necessities, homework assistance and support, and safe, structured environments for play and learning. Specific program activities include after-school programming, teacher training, school and library construction, support to orphaned and abandoned children and youth, financial literacy support, and medical assistance.

“Opportunity Meets Preparation” Program for Women: targets women ages 13 to 32. This program focuses on supporting the needs and development of women affected by war and girls at risk of sexual exploitation or domestic violence. It aims to equip and prepare young girls and women with information and opportunities that can allow for self-sufficiency and independence. Specific program activities include workshops and training sessions geared at women’s capacity building, microcredit and startup kits to help women to start their own businesses, and information on primary childcare as well as maternal health issues.

Youth Development and Empowerment Program: targets 13 to 32 year-olds and focuses on promoting the wellbeing and empowerment of war-affected youths, former child soldiers, formerly abducted children, and children associated with fighting forces. Specific program activities include vocational and job training and placement, the promotion of youth talent in the arts and sports, agriculture and farming support, youth resource centers, training in program development and management, and scholarship initiative for university education.

YAI operates in three nations.

Liberia: YAI operates two programs in the country. Within its early childhood development program, YAI supports a school library in Gardnersville, the Becky Primary School in the Kakata community, and several orphanages and playgrounds. Under the youth development and empowerment programs, YAI assists women’s centers, a former child soldiers reintegration and health project, youth and computer resource centers, and others.

Sierra Leone: The early childhood development program organizes play-based workshops to train financial literacy, and provides teacher training and supplies to schools in the Waterloo Refugee Camp as well as the Milton Margai School for the Blind. The youth development and empowerment programs assist a project to reclaim lands devastated by mining in Kono district and to make land available to young people, and supports a women’s center in Freetown that provides training and microcredit loans to 150 women.

Uganda: The MYDEL vocational skills training program provides training to the marginalized youth in slum areas in Kampala. The Rakai agriculture initiative provides 150 families with seeds for subsistence farming. Later support is planned to develop community grain stores and support animal farming in the community of Rakai. The Jinja community empowerment program is an income-generating project for 2,500 people in the Jinja district. The Gulu empowerment program supports 50 formerly abducted child-mothers with seed money for starting businesses to improve on their lives. The Amuru youth empowerment program helps 45 young people to start commercial honey production.