"My feelings about AHEAD are powerful and immeasurable. The respect I have for the decades of labor and love that the organization (and those that support it) have invested cannot be expressed in words. The countless lives that have been saved... The numerous tools, schools and healthcare resources that have been provided... The tears and disparity that have been replaced with joy and triumph... The pillars of compassion and empowerment that the Williams' have exemplified... All of these things and more inspire me - and will, hopefully, inspire others - to serve this incredible organization in ANY way and EVERY way possible! AHEAD must continue to thrive - not just survive! Their work is transformational!!!"... Lamman Rucker
I have had the pleasure of working with AHEAD for close to eight years now. The work they do on a very grassroots level has brought untolled aid to rural regions of Tanzania and The Gambia. The founders and their entire family and now; 30 plus years later, a large number of volunteers both in the United States and Africa are organized and energized to provide so many goods and services that we take for granted. They do not give hand outs but rather give hands up. They focus first on clean water and proper professional medical care and then work on building housing, schools and entrepreneurial enterprises. Again their focus is creating stability in the communities they serve and the ability to grow the same! To make this already incredible story better they provide millions of dollars of aid to these regions on an annual budget of less then $100,000. However, with the economy and world issues this has been harder and harder so they now must raise more to keep all their progress continuing. They are a deserving and outstanding organization who puts those they serve first, affecting positive change to individuals and communities!
I have see the work of this organization and the work and impact it has in local communities in Africa, The Gambia and Tanzania. The youth leadership development initiative helps young people to acquire those skills they would not have been able to especially those in rural areas. Teaching rural women skills they can utilize to start a small business and provide for their families has been very helpful in The Gambia and continue to grow. I will surely recommend this organization to anyone who has resources to donate that will impact lives in a third world country or want to volunteer. I am grateful to this organization because it also helped me adjust to life in the USA when I migrated it 19 years ago. It helped me build the friendships I have and integrating to this society. The value of this organization is the reason why am involved to help grow it to serve more.
Health care is millions of miles away for many in Africa. AHEAD brings it closer to those that need it most.
One of my cousins, Pam Sampson of Northampton, MA, died in childbirth in Dec. 2013. She was able to deliver a healthy baby boy but never got to see him, as she died of preeclampsia, a rare condition in which the placenta attacks the mother's body. A healthy 32-year-old before contracting preeclampsia, Pam had a degree in sports management and loved to travel. "We all miss Pam tremendously and always will," her uncle told me.
In the United States, about 10 women die in childbirth for every 100,000 deliveries. In countries like Tanzania, where AHEAD Inc. is active, the maternal mortality rate tops 400 maternal deaths per 100,000 births. Preeclampsia is a threat in Tanzania too, but the cause of death more often is banal, like having complications and no way to get to a hospital because you live in the country. I visited Tanzania with other AHEAD volunteers in 2008 and saw firsthand such dire situations in what otherwise is a captivatingly vibrant society. Now I am on the board of directors for AHEAD, which has been providing transportation to regional hospitals for at-risk expectant mothers, among other grass-roots initiatives that have saved thousands of lives over a period of more than 30 years. Founded by an African American pediatrician and his wife, who has a master's in social work, this organization gets results because of its grass-roots orientation. Their website will open your eyes.
AHEAD Inc. is an organization dedicated to solving dire problems faced by Africans that are barely imaginable to Americans. While doing this AHEAD also provides flexible opportunities for volunteers to go to Africa and apply whatever skills and knowledge they have to attack these problems.
AHEAD has a 30-year track record of saving lives, for example, through immunizations, and giving people hope through training opportunities. Lately AHEAD has concentrated on reducing the unacceptable mortality rate of mothers giving birth by finding ways to get them to a hospital.
As a volunteer, I worked with youth seeking to learn a trade to make themselves employable. What AHEAD accomplishes on many fronts is extraordinary, but so much more could be done, at the grass-roots level where AHEAD works, if funds were available. For example, less than $100 will give a young man or woman a year's training to qualify for electrical work.
I am a board member now, and I urge you to give a few dollars that will go father than you could imagine by donating to AHEAD.
As those who visit AHEAD at work in Tanzania and the Gambia know firsthand, our planet is like a boat. If we work together we will float.
I will just have to say that it is rare that a small non-profit have this type of longevity. A contribution to AHEAD, Inc. directly makes a difference to the lives of others. Volunteering to work overseas with AHEAD makes a difference in the lives of the volunteers. I have seen first hand how that experience can change a life forever. It has done that for me. I am one of many very grateful board members and a volunteer. Thank you so much, Baba and Mama Williams!
AHEAD Inc. has been reaching out to improve the quality of life for orphans and other vulnerable children, women and youth in underserved communities in Tanzania and The Gambia for over 30 years. What I have found in my experience that makes AHEAD unique, is that its staff and volunteers reach out to wherever the need is: inside hospitals and health centers; on the road with mobile health clinics; and, in the open spaces of villages where resources are scarce and where outside aid rarely finds its way. I have found that AHEAD's work made a direct and significant impact the health and well-being of lives in the communities it served as evident in the following: AHEAD has raised the immunization coverage for children five-and-under from 27% to 98%; Increased prenatal visits from 4% to 70%; constructed 6 healthcare facilities for maternal and child services; constructed 2 dormitories for girls attending secondary school; and provided tuition scholarships for students attending secondary and vocational schools, to name just a few.
AHEAD provides life saving and life enhancing services to the desperately under-served rural communities of Tanzania and The Gambia. They have been providing medical care, building hospitals, education, building schools, farming and agricultural assistance and most importantly providing technologies and the education to find and purify water for drinking, something many in the world take for granted but it is a life and death necessity in many parts of the communities AHEAD serves. They also help with maternity issues, curriculum development, life-saving and life-enhancing special surgical missions and just the knowledge that the United States and the world cares! They help to make these communities sustainable and self reliant giving them far more then just a donation and making our volunteers and staff (although very small) feel a true and lasting sense of accomplishment. Further, because AHEAD's overhead is very low a high percentage of the money they raise goes directly to our mission and programs meaning on a minimal budget often under $100k annually) AHEAD provides millions of dollars of aid and gifts to these communities annually - not including the residual value and benefit of the installations AHEAD has provided for the past 3 plus decades! All in all as a volunteer and board member of several organizations I have not participated in an organization who's founders are so involved in making things happen and that offers so much value to those they serve on such a small annual budget. It is a pleasure to speak up for AHEAD and encourage others to participate in this worthwhile organization.
I have known about Ahead Inc since my daughter and mother in law went on a volunteer trip to Tanzania with the Williams' who run AHEAD. Its a small but passionate organization with a group of African American founders Irving and Elvira and other leadership, mainly healthcare and higher education professionals focused on helping people help themselves. Its a highly ethical and transparent organization that makes a dollar go a long way. Focused on improving healthcare of women and girls and children in remote rural Africa and vocational training. Currently transitioning to a new District in Tanzania. Exciting times for this small nonprofit. Great track record and a highly deserving organization, worth supporting !
We first learned about AHEAD on our first trip to Tanzania for the 4th Diaspora Heritage Trails Conference, though we had heard about them on WPFW, our local public radio station. This decades-old organization was born from Julius Nyerere's call to Africans in the Diaspora to come help build his new nation, when the young pediatrician Dr, Irving Williams and his accomplished wife Elvira took their four young children and starting providing child wellness services. Seeing the great need they started a nearly 40-year effort improving maternal and infant health outcomes, helped build schools, have established water purification services, traveling medical care, internship and scholarshjp programs in what has proven to be more than just a flash in the pan but a lifelong effort that is still building bridges of friendship and health. We recognized them this year at the 7th Annual Julius Nyerere Commemoration where we dedicated all funds raised to AHEAD because of our support and belief both in their commitment and the critically important work to which they have dedicated their lives and organization.
AHEAD has made such tremendous strides in strengthening the lives of men, women and children in Tanzania and The Gambia! AHEAD's projects not only provide the resources to meet the needs of individuals living in the communities served, but help individuals to collectively build the knowledge and skills in the areas of health, education, and environmental awareness that are necessary to empower the communities to thrive!