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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Achieve in Africa

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: We work to improve education in rural Africa to provide children with the opportunity to reach their full potential, lead better lives, and inspire future generations.

Results: Since 2009, Achieve in Africa has worked in rural villages of Tanzania to refurbish and expand an overcrowded primary school, build a village’s first secondary school, provide a community learning center, and equip two schools with electricity. Current efforts are focused on constructing more classrooms and desks to expand the secondary school, which currently benefits over 800 students.

Target demographics: underprivileged children

Direct beneficiaries per year: 600 students

Geographic areas served: rural villages in Tanzania

Programs: classroom and desk construction.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been supporting Achieve in Africa for a number of years now and it's been amazing to see how it's been growing and making a difference. In 2007 I was lucky enough to take part in a service trip to Tanzania with Brendan Callahan. I saw first hand the need for education, but more importantly the demand for it. Many young people I met desperately wanted to learn and to improve their lives. From then on Brendan, and Achieve in Africa, have been answering that cry and have been helping Tanzanians improve their lives through education. I'm proud to be a supporter of Achieve in Africa, and am excited to see the difference that they will continue to make.

Naasir L.

Donor

Rating: 5

Many of us live with hundreds of good intentions of making positive impacts outside of our closest circles yet we find these intentions rarely manifesting into actions. Yet for as long as I have known the following members of Achieve in Africa (Mr. and Mrs. Callahan, Liz, Nathan, David, Alyssa and Brendan) I have never seen the weight of their words exceeding the weight of their actions. I am continuously inspired at how powerful this entrepreneurial determination has been in bringing the org to where it is today. It seems clear that this essential ingredient for success that they all carry with them in their own personalities also contributes to the understated character and apparent success of Achieve in Africa. Keep doing what you doing!

Board Member

Rating: 5

"Teaching is the mother of all professions. You cannot have a doctor without a teacher." These were the words of the head mistress of Olasiti Secondary School as we stood in her office, hearing about the opportunities Achieve in Africa has brought to the students at the school. Some of them filtered into the office and told us what they wanted to be when they grew up. Doctor and Pilot were at the top of the list.
I have had the pleasure of working with Alyssa, Brendan and the board for over a year. Their tireless dedication to the organization has impacted many lives and the work of AIA continues to grow from year to year. I look forward to continue to support their efforts, creating a path for the future doctors and pilots of Tanzania.

Sobes

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The AIA founders Brendan and Alyssa have a tremendous passion for the work they do. I spent several months working with them to raise awareness and funds in the southeastern US. I only have positive things to say about them, working with them and their team, and the organization as a whole. All too often we take our education for granted. We sometimes fail to truly appreciate what it has done for us as individuals and how it has helped better the world. AIA works to bring education, the priceless gift that it is, to people in parts of the world that need it most. It's a solid cause that helps build bright futures. I wish there were more people out there doing it!

Tom_68

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Achieve in Africa is not only building schools, it is building futures and providing hope to the communities they serve. It's founders, Brendan and Alyssa Callahan, have experienced the hardships of the Tanzanian people first-hand, and are selfless, passionate, and genuine in their efforts. Their organization is comprised of un-paid volunteers who share the same qualities and who together strive to deliver a lasting impact. They are creative in their approach and provide sustainable solutions to problems the Tanzanian people face. Above all, Achieve In Africa cares about making real differences that matter to affect change for the better and long term. They don't just build schools and provide education because it is a good thing to do, but because they know it will lead to a greater achievement of the African people, so they can in-turn lead better lives and have deeper influence on the success of future generations. As the the ancient Chinese proverb goes, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." This is the power of this organization, it is why what they are doing matters and why they are effective. I strongly stand with AIA and their efforts to create a better world for the people of Africa.

For more information visit Achieve in Africa's website: http://www.achieveinafrica.org

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an extraordinary organization run by wonderful and selfless people! Volunteering with AIA has genuinely been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I can't say enough about it. I've seen first hand how the work this organization has done has contributed to communities in Africa and how it has changed lives. It's been an privilege working with them and I can't wait to see the amazing work they do in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Achieve in Africa is an organization that is able to strike a balance between the two key tenants of any successful nonprofit organization - innovation and effectiveness. You can often see organizations that have innovative ideas but fall short at the implementation phase, as well as organizations that can implement solutions, but not think of better ways of delivering solutions.

AiA is able to do both, thinking creatively about ways to best benefit the villages in which they work, developing programs including school lunches, business training, after-school programs, female empowerment - the list goes on and on. They couple this with superb effectiveness, limiting their focus to a specific area and number of schools which they know they can properly serve given their resources and team. They also have a phenomenal governance and advisory structure in place both in the US and on-site in Africa which enhances their ability to deliver valuable solutions to disadvantaged communities.

I had the pleasure to work as a Marketing Director for Achieve in Africa for a period of time, and the enthusiasm of its founders and members was infectious. Brendan and Alyssa Callahan and their team have a clear vision and are willing to take the steps necessary to ensure that Achieve in Africa is in the best position to make a difference as a sustainable and impactful non-profit organization with key performance metrics to track progress. I firmly believe that this organization will continue to be a front-runner in its contributions to the sustainable development of education in African communities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Brendan and Alyssa's infectious passion for the work they do with Achieve in Africa made it very rewarding and humbling to volunteer and do what I could to help grow the organization. So many of the schools and organizations I spoke to for help with fundraising were immediately interested and could easily see the long term value that AIA would have for the children and community of Tanzania. The organization is also run very professionally, so there is no doubt that all the money raised is being put to good use.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a volunteer for Achieve in Africa has been one of the best experiences of my college career. It is truly humbling being able to see and be a part of the positive impact that Achieve in Africa has on children in Tanzania. None of the workers are paid, which really speaks volumes about how important it is to everyone to be able to help these children who are in need of schools in Tanzania. They make it possible for these children to have desks, safely built classrooms for learning, and electricity in their schools, among other things. I personally always wanted to use my Graphic Design skills and knowledge to help a Nonprofit that is truly making a a difference in the lives of people somewhere in the world, and I could not have found a better Nonprofit than Achieve in Africa.

Advisor

Rating: 5

It has been a wonderful experience to work with both Brendan & Alyssa Callahan in establishing Achieve in Africa as an organization and then to observe it develop into the superb educational force in southern Tanzania each year in developing classrooms, school materials and even electricity to those truly in need and who are unable to help themselves. Achieve in Africa is an honest, well organized non-profit organization. It is devoted to improving the lives of children half-a-world away and consistently meets its goals. As a result, the organization is deserving of recognition for its selfless acts of great kindness, charity and good will. Marvelous!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of volunteering with Achieve in Africa in 2011 in Tanzania. We were able to rebuild several classrooms and also volunteer in a rural village in the South. The members of Achieve in Africa were extremely professional and their contacts made getting things done so much easier.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with Achieve in Africa has been one of the highlights of my college experience. It was inspirational to find a group of people willing to work tirelessly, without pay, to make a difference in the world. The committed members of Achieve In Africa truly believe in the power of education and want to improve learning conditions for children throughout the African continent. The progress that has been made in Tanzania is very admirable and I cannot wait to see what will be accomplished in other countries.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Today when many seem to put themselves first, the selflessness and dedication exibited by the founders and all of the supporters of Achieve in Africa has been incredible. Those who have actually visited and contributed their hard labor in a world far removed from our own, have first handedly experienced the huge positive impact this organization is having on the educational opportunities being made available to those who never dreamed of such.

Patricia Snow

Ric Rivera

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The volunteers of Achieve In Africa show dedication and commitment to improving the lives of the children in Africa through education. As a result, Achieve In Africa has had a real impact in improving the lives of numerous children and continue to do so. I am excited to volunteer for this great organization. And I have no doubt that Achieve In Africa will continue to improve the lives of more children in Africa.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an officer with Achieve in Africa since 2009, I appreciate that its volunteers and board members are unpaid, and that 95% of all donations go directly to our projects on the ground. AIA has worked consistently to reach its goals. Tanzania’s Olasiti Primary School has had classrooms rebuilt and repaired and desks constructed, alleviating overcrowding. Olasiti Secondary School, opened in 2012 as the first Secondary School in Olasiti Village, provides safe access to public education for 600 boys and girls in grades 7 and 8. Additionally, AIA built a learning center in rural Tanzania (Ulolela), and provides electricity to one classroom in each of Olasiti’s schools. AIA’s plan to help expand the Olasiti Secondary School to six grades in all is further evidence of the organization’s tireless commitment to its mission.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Achieve in Africa has helped shape Tanzania’s future

A safe learning environment is not just defined by the walls of a classroom for which protect it – no, it is defined by the love and courage it takes to plan and construct. The physical structure is only secondary to what Achieve in Africa (AIA) truly provides children in the Olasiti village. AIA gives hope, promotes peace and promises a better future for Tanzania.

AIA is a leader of consequence in the non-profit world. Discover more by visiting our website www.achieveinafrica.org. Find out for yourself why Achieve in Africa is a building a better tomorrow!

Thanks,
Jacob E. Watson

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to go to Tanzania during the summer of 2011 with AIA. They were renovating the primary school and constructing the secondary school at the time. With their focus on education, they are growing leaders and scholars in a place that doesn't necessarily harbor that opportunity so readily. It was a wonderful privilege seeing AIA build classrooms and futures.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization shows the impact of young individuals when they focus their energies on helping others. Through the power of this dedication and the use of various public and social media, a small but effective way to impact the lives of hundreds of African children was born. I personally visited Olasiti on the organization's first trip to set up the onsite building efforts and was amazed at the reception and commitment of the village government to making education happen for the children of the village. This is a small but effective organization that does make a diference.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been to Tanzania twice on behalf of AIA. It has been a wonderful experience to see school builidngs being constructed, new desks installed and the benefit this provides for children. Africa's population is expected to grow beyond that of China's in the next few decades. With increased education extending to the secondary school years, comes hope and opportunity. I can see this in the joy of the younger and older students who directly benefit, for we all share our common humanity. It is truly humbling to particiate in this. As I also worked on mixing cement by hand, it was eyeopening to realize the brutal nature of how construction is done in Africa; little by little progress will come in all areas. This has taught me to never take anything for granted.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of visiting the village of Olasiti and the school during one of the construction phases of the new school in 2011. This project excited all the people I met with. I had the honor of meeting the head mistress, teachers and some students who all expressed their appreciation for having the opportunity to learn in a school with better class room sizes, that had bathrooms, and had school supplies available for all.
AIA makes sure that 95% of all donations go into the project ensuring that the expansion of the school will continue.
Denise S Block