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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Adventures In Health Educational And Agricultural Development Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Counseling, Health, International, International Development, Mental Health, Public Health, Youth Community Service Clubs

Mission: Provide direct assistance to people in gambia, tanzania and in the usa in the areas of health and education

Programs: The organization service accomplishments for each of its three largest

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

AHEAD is an amazing organization. They work with villages in Tanzania, Africa to initiate or improve their agricultural development, health services, education services, and development. They work for a number of years in one village, and then move on to another. They have built hospital wings and clinics, installed electricity in schools and brought in educational programs. They help villages to develop employment opportunities and skills and improve their agricultural development. The work they do has profound impact on the lives of so many. In one village they were able to raise money and purchase a motorcycle ambulance so that mothers in labor could get to the hospital and the survival rate for mothers and children increased dramatically. Irving and Elvira Williams - a doctor and nurse couple - started AHEAD over 30 years ago and it keeps doing miraculous work. My daughter, husband, and mother have all been to Tanzania to witness and assist this wonderful organization and I hope to go myself.

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Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been supporting AHEAD for many years and find that every dollar of our donations is used for specific needs in the Tanzania community. The golf tournament we ran to raise funds for AHEAD went to purchase a much needed ambulance for rural areas. My mother and daughter traveled with AHEAD to Tanzania and worked with villagers - and saw first hand how the money is spent. There is no waste and the programs they run are MUCH needed and benefit many. It is an excellent organization and we have no doubt that they make a huge, positive impact.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

"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

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

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.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

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 !

2

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am 13 years old and I traveled to Tanzania with my Great Uncle Irving a pediatrician and my Great Aunt Elvira. My mother went too but she was sent to the hospital to work on patients. I went to the school to meet the students who were older teens. They told us of their aspirations at the Ahead school to learn computers and communications.
The showed us a play they wrote about a girls whose father would let her go to school. she and her mother left him and she was educated. Years later her father went to her for a job. I learned that school should not be taken for granted and I work harder now. I gave out gift from America and I painted class rooms but the gift the students and teacher gave to me was so much more.
I reach out and learn about others and I want to become a physician.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My trips to Tanzania are and always will be exciting. But out of all of them this recent one was the most exciting. I finally came out of my shell (or tried to) as the grandson of Mama and Baba Williams and that allowed me to help out more and finally become a volunteer.
I loved the fact that I was able to donate to the kids and give them something. Hey after all of the hospitality and kindness that they gave me, it’s about time I give them something back. I also helped out with painting and organizing games for the kids, it was a long and strenuous task but I felt like I was doing something for someone else other than myself, and to me that is always a good feeling to have.
But being with AHEAD isn’t just about doing something right for yourself. It’s all about finding your true self. Many of us are born from Africa and as times go on, sometimes we forget that and we get lost in the modern day culture and society (especially us teens). We end up doing things that we aren’t meant to do, sometimes we do things that aren’t even right. We even hurt the ones we love. And that’s why I thank you Tanzania, I thank you AHEAD, thank you Africa and, especially you mama and baba for always giving back to others. Also for giving me a chance to spread my wings once more and take flight to a place where I can feel at home, not out of place or an outsider. I love you.

Sadiki enwh. St. George
Age 14
2013 volunteer

1 Amelia F W

Advisor

Rating: 5

AHEAD, Incorporated has made a tremendous difference in the health and survival of mothers, infants and youth, having touched the lives of millions in rural communities in Africa since 1981. The mission of AHEAD, Inc is to substantially reduce the maternal and infant morbidity and mortality rates; and, to cultivate and advance healthy living in rural communities in Tanzania and The Gambia. AHEAD implements innovative life-saving programs that build leadership among people living in rural communities. Beneficiaries are involved in all aspects of AHEAD programs, from conception of projects and programs, planning, implementing and giving oversight. The administrators and implementers of all programs are residents of the countries which ensures that programs are sustainable. I am most impressed with the reception and appreciation of beneficiaries of AHEAD, Incorporated. I commend the founders, board of directors, donors and all who have had some impact on AHEAD and its programs during its 30 plus years of providing services to the people of Tanzania and The Gambia.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BLESSED OPPORTUNITY
I am greatful to have had the opportunity to travel abroad with AHEAD, INC to Tanzania, for the first time to perform mission work. My experience was humbling, educational, rewarding, life-changing, exciting, exuberant and healthy to say the least. I have seen the positive impact that the AHEAD organization has made in the Kisarware District of Tanzania. How they have improved the quality of education and health for the families there. My time there was very inspiring, especially seeing how we connected with and learned from one another. AHEAD INC promotes diversity in a "on hands way" helping one by educating, understanding and encouraging us to appreciate others and their backgrounds. I highly recommend AHEAD,INC. to work/serve with. Dr and Mrs Williams and family is to be commended.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer with AHEAD, Inc. in Tanzania over this past sumer. Although the trip was short, at just 3 weeks, it was still a wonderful learning experience, on both professional and personal levels. What is unique about AHEAD, Inc. is their deep connection with the local people--the Williams' family immersed themselved in Tanzanian culture when they founded the organization and have tailored AHEAD to directly meet the needs of the people by starting sustainable projects in health and education. AHEAD, Inc. does not merely provide healthcare and education, but they empower the people to learn and then teach and take care of one another---which is best exemplified by their own school teachers who were once AHEAD students themselves. AHEAD and the Williams' family have made a lasting difference in the lives of so many. I am so glad I had a chance to volunteer with them and learn a little bit about Tanzanian culture, as well as current issues in healthcare and education faced by this country.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My husband Mike and I were among the first group of volunteers to go to Tanzania with the Williams in 1988. I am a Physician Assistant and worked in the office with Dr. Irving Williams. I heard that he took all his vacation in July every year and went to Tanzania to work and I was bowled over. I continue to this day to be bowled over by the Williams and their organization.
In the 1970's they took their 4 children and moved to Tanzania, he, a pediatrician and his wife, Elvira, an educator. He said they "wanted to give back". When they returned and settled in the Washington, DC area, they continued their work by founding this organization. AHEAD is their life. They give everything to their life's work. Their home is outfitted to be a meeting place, classroom, storage facility and headquarters of their organization. They are the most unassuming, altruistic, giving and truly "good" people I know.
THE ORGANIZATION IS ENTIRELY RUN BY VOLUNTEERS. Every year they take volunteers who work WITH the African people, who have the energy and willingness, but lack the supplies and information. AHEAD started not by going into the village and telling the people what they were going to do for them, but by asking them what they needed done. The first thing this pediatrician and his teacher wife did at the Kishapu clinic was build a water catchment/containment facility. Dr. Williams said the medical people spent the first two hours every day walking five miles to get water for the clinic, and that is what they wanted done.
In 1988, I spent the months before we left getting donations from the drug company representatives of medicines that we could take with us. I personally packed them in my car, drove them to the Williams' house, packed them, flew with them to Tanzania, loaded them into the truck, unpacked them in Kishapu, and then saw the woman with terrible arthritis who had walked 2 hours to get to the clinic and waited 4 hours to see me, and I gave her 10 Advil. She kissed my hand. I cried. It was the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
Mike and I also helped the villagers to put screens on all the windows to prevent malaria carrying mosquitos from getting into the clinic and OB delivery room. We did a survey in the village at the market place to see what fruits and vegetables were available and what they cost, to give AHEAD an idea of what would grow in the area and was affordable to the people. Subsequent groups helped plant gardens, and establish solar energy so the clinic could have a refrigerator to keep vaccines and light for night time emergencies and deliveries. They took a Toyota to replace the bicycle pulling the cart that served as the "ambulance" taking emergencies to the hospital 2 hours away.
Mike and I have retired and moved away. The Williams carry on. We help them financially with what we can. If you want to give to an organization where 100 % of your donation goes to do the good work, this is the one. If you want your life changed forever, your frame of reference on life altered forever, then call them and go with them.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

NINE YEARS AGO MY COLLEGE AGE DAUGHTER WAS A 5 WEEK VOLUNTEER WITH PROJECT AHEAD INCOOPERATED. SHE WAS AN ADVANTAGED CHILD WHO RETURNED SEEKING OUT WAYS TO HELP OTHERS. SHE HAS BEEN A BIG SISTER TO A TEEN IN ATLANTA AND WORKS IN THRIFT SHOPS FOR HOMELESS SHELTERS AND MODELS FOR NONPROFIT FASHONING SHOWS. SHE SITS ON THE BOARD OF A NON PROFIT THINK TANK AND WORKS 40 HOURS A WEEK AS A TV REPORTER.
SHE HAS HOSTED A JAZZ FESTIVAL FOR AHEAD INC. TO GIVE BACK. SHE WAS IN 5 WEEKS A GIVING PERSON JUST FROM TEACHING AFRICAN STUDENTS , PAINTING A SCHOOL HOUSE AND TEACHERS QUARTERS AND MENTORING STUDENTS. WITH PROJECT AHEAD SHE SLEPT IN TENTS AND USED THE HOLE IN THE GROUND TOILET. SOMEDAYS, SHE SAID THAT SHE HAD NOTHING TO EAT BUT IT BROUGHT HER IN TOUCH THE STUDENTS AND HOW WASTEFUL AND NEEDLESSLY DISSATISFIED WE ARE IN AMERICA.
I WENT WITH AHEAD INC. THIS AUGUST, NO, I DIDN'T SLEEP IN A TENT AND I HAD ENDLESS ROLLS OF TOILET PAPER BUT THE EXPERIENCE WAS THE SAME. I WENT TO MUHAMBILI HOSPITAL THE NATIONAL TERTIARY CARE HOSPITAL TO VOLUNTEER. I AM A PEDIATRIC CARDIOLOGIST AND THERE ARE ONLY TWO OTHERS IN THE COUNTRY. THEY ARE BOTH AT THE TEACIHING HOSPITAL. TOGETHER WE DIAGNOSED T.B. PERICARDITIS AND RHEMATIC VALVE DISEASE IN A LITTLE GIRL WITH MARFAN'S.
I SAW LITTLE BLUE BABIES AND ONE WITH A BIG HOLE IN THE HEART BOTH WAITING TO BE FLOWN TO ANOTHER COUNTRY FOR SURGERY. ONE LITTLE BOY AND A HEART DEFECT THAT WAS NOT DIAGNOSED THEN SUFFERED AN INFECTION IN HIS HEART FROM POOR DENTAL CARE. HE DIED THE NIGHT HE WAS DIAGNOSED. IF APPROPIATE CARE IN HIS VILLAGE WERE AVAILABLE IT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED. THESE ARE THE CHILDREN WHO WERE CARRIED ON A PARENT'S BACK FOR MILES TO DAR ES SAALAM. AS SUCH, THEY ARE ALSO CARRIED IN THE HOSPITAL AS THERE WERE NO PEDIATRIC WHEEL CHAIRS. WHEN THERE ARE MANY ADMISSIONS, THE CHILDREN SLEEP TWO IN A BED WITH THEIR PARENTS. RHEUMATIC FEVER, MALARIA, HIV AND DIARRHEA ARE CONSIDED COMORBID DISEASES TO BE EXPECTED WITH THE APPENDICITS, ECT. PROJECT AHEAD PURPOSELY PLACED THEMSELVES OUT IN THE RURAL AREAS TO IMPACT DISEASE PREVENTION. TAZANIA NEEDS TO DEVELOPE ITS REGIONAL MEDICAL SERVICES AND EARLY REFERRAL PROGRAM AS WELL AS LEVEL THREE MEDICAL CARE. I WILL RETURN WITH MEDICAL COLLEGES TO HELP. I LEFT A EXCELLANT TEACHING MANUSCRIPT ON FETAL ECHOCARDIOLOGY FOR DIAGNOSIS AND MANAGEMENT. I HOPE THAT WILL IMPACT DELIVERY OF TERTIARY CARE.
IN MY US CITY, I VOLUNTEER IN A MEDICAL NOT FOR PROFIT, ENCOURAGING STUDENTS INTERESTED IN MEDICAL CAREERS AND TEACHING AT SCHOOLS. WE HAV A HEALTH FAIR FOR UNINSURED. THE KEY TO A ORGANIZATION THAT USES ITS FUNDS MAXIMALLY TO HELP THE MOST PEOPLE IS PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT OF THE DIRECTORS IN PROJECTS. THE DIRECTORS OF AHEAD AE ALWAYS THERE AND THINKING OF THE BRIDGE TO THE NEXT PROJECT. I HVE READ THE PREVIOUS REVEIWERE AND PERSONALLY KNOW THAAT THE PROGRAM DESCRIBED ARE REAL AND BIGGER THAN LIFE FOR THE PEOPLE OF RURAL TANZANIA.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has been working for children for about 30 years. Their primary purpose is poverty alleviation. They provide education for children, health care, and care for orphans and other vulnerable children. One big example is raising the number of children who have received a full complement of childhood immunizations in Tanzania from 27% to 98%. I have volunteered time. That is fantastic. They deserve all our support.
Van

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AHEAD is a great organization doing wonderful things to help wome and children attain a fruitful and healthy life. Not to be overlooked is the opportunity for volunteers, who make the work possible, to gain inner peace, sense of doing great work and knowledge that one person can make a difference in the lives of others.