There are many organizations in Africa that are taking on the numerous challenges we face in our world today. From poverty to climate change, such organizations seek to do what they can to provide some sort of relief despite the magnitude of these issues. Here are just a few of these that are giving back to their communities!
Fun fact: Gift of the Givers is the largest disaster response, non-governmental organization of African origin in the continent! Since 1992, it has been committed to the delivery of life-saving goods and on-the-ground support for those in need all over the world. Gift of the Givers aims to restore the hope and dignity of the most vulnerable and rebuild and empower communities.
What they do in communities involves responding to emergencies, securing access to safe, potable water and hygienic sanitation facilities, delivering quality healthcare, and more. Gift of the Givers has worked in 44 countries in and outside Africa including South Africa, Nepal, Yemen, and Haiti, and plan to expand to Zimbabwe, Syria, and Somalia.
The Hagarla Institute, founded by Dr. Deqo Mohamed, a Somalian-American doctor, works to improve public health in Africa through research, education, and community health. Through enhancing the knowledge of medical professionals in Somalia and spreading awareness on health issues from cancer to COVID, the institute aims to improve the availability and affordability of public health.
The African Media Initiative is a pan-African organization that seeks to strengthen the continent’s private and independent media sector. Established in 2008 and based in Nairobi, Kenya, AMI trains journalists in reporting and celebrates development reporting across the continent. This organization supports African journalists and news organizations that strive to deliver high-quality information to Africans.
Founded by Tunde Onakoya in Nigeria, Chess in Slums is an initiative that uses chess to connect with children born into poverty and give them an appreciation for learning. This new initiative which started in 2021 now has about 200 kids at the Lagos training center. Chess in Slums aims to secure more full-ride scholarships for its current students and has goals to open training centers across all of Africa.
Akina Mama wa Afrika is a feminist organization founded in 1985 by a group of African women in the United Kingdom. It aims to strengthen African women and gender-expansive persons to be autonomous champions of change in their lives and society. Now based in Africa with headquarters in Kampala, Uganda, AMwA works across the continent tackling women’s political leadership, sexual and reproductive rights, economic justice, and climate action.
In 2004, co-founders India Howell and Peter Leon Mmassy decided to create a permanent home for 17 orphaned children. What started as a single house has since expanded into a village for 100 children and a community-based organization that provides healthcare and education. The Tanzanian Children’s Fund provides a holistic approach to supporting children who live in systemic poverty.
AWARE Trust is a veterinary conservation trust in Zimbabwe run by veterinarians. They provide expert rehabilitation to sick or injured wild animals, especially those that are victims of humans. They also provide vaccines and other basic health care for domesticated animals in poor areas because that improves the quality of life of their owners and reduces the spread of disease. AWARE provides these services for free because they’re committed to the welfare of Africa's wildlife and the conservation of habitats.
Ape Action Africa is an organization that works on great ape conservation in Cameroon. Home to nearly 300 orphaned primates, they aim to address the immediate threats faced by gorillas, chimpanzees, and monkeys in Africa. Ape Action rescues the orphaned and injured and provides them with care. Through their blog and social media, they share stories about the apes they house and provide the latest information on the work they do.
Another fun fact: The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya operates the most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world! Though they are popular for their work with elephants, they have shifted to a multi-faceted approach to conservation to ensure a greater impact for all wildlife. Their projects include anti-poaching, safeguarding the environment, community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance, and more.
Like many others, these initiatives started with someone making a choice to do something about a problem they saw around them. We all have a chance to do something that will make our communities better than how we met them, whether by volunteering our efforts, donating to an existing cause, or even starting our own projects!
Do you know any other African organizations that are actively giving back to the community? Let us know in the comments!