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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

African Childrens Haven

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International

Mission: African Childrens Haven supports grassroots organizations that help local kids lead healthier, more productive lives. We invest in a variety of projects, but place special emphasis on education, especially for orphans and children living in extreme poverty. Our belief is that Africa’s future rests with its children and that projects developed and run by local communities produce long-term results.

Results: Orphans: In Western Kenya, an area with one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world, we support children affected by the AIDS pandemic. Just $10 per week provides shelter, food, clothing, medical services and education for a child in need. Education: To the greatest extent possible, all of our projects focus on education. In addition, at many locations – as in Tanzania – we provide scholarships for girls’ secondary education. It costs about $1000 to send a teenage girl to middle school or high school for a year. Eventually, we will provide scholarships so that the very best students can go on to university. Gender: Lastly -- but perhaps most importantly --African Childrens Haven, gives a high priority to projects that support girls and mothers. Africa is traditionally male dominated, but that’s changing as women rise to positions of influence and as women become empowered to support their families, enter the cash economy, and become community leaders.

Target demographics: at-risk kids lead happier, healthier and more productive lives

Direct beneficiaries per year: 650 children and reached some 10,000 people through our sex education initiative.

Geographic areas served: Sub-Sahran Africa

Programs: our secondary school scholarship project for orphan girls in Tanzania. We also finance projects that support teachers working in urban slums and that rescue girls facing female genital mutilation. In 2014 we fielded our first teams of paid sex educators who travel in poorly-served rural areas teaching safe sex and local production of sanitary pads. The lack of sanitary napkins is a leading cause of school failure among young girls living in poverty.

Community Stories

40 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Susan419

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been an enthusiastic supporter of ACH for many years and continue to be awed by the work done by this organization. The dedication of all involved from the board to the teachers and administrators is truly remarkable. ACH is changing the world one person at a time and the numbers continue to grow. A safe haven, education and support for young people is a way to help secure the future for us all and ACH is a facilitator par excellence in this arena. I am very proud to be associated with such a fine organization.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

African Childrens Haven is an organization that my husband and I have been supporting for several years, because we know that this is the "Real Deal"...it is True and we know that our support is going exactly where it should be going...to the beautiful Children in Africa that so desparately need all the support and help they can get, so they can live a meaningful and full life on our amazing Planet Earth.
We personally have known the Directors in Galveston, TX for about 40 years and they work endless hours on their own time to support the success of this wonderful organization. It is so encouraging and such a blessing to know there are still people out there who are willing to give so much of themselves to support African Childrens Haven!!! The rewards are unforgettable. Thanks to all of you who support this nonprofit organization!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As someone who has worked for international development organizations for years, I'm a firm believer in early childhood education. The help that African Children's Haven brings to these children is likely to make a huge difference in their future lives. Many studies have shown that positive early learning experiences are clearly one of the most likely pathways out of poverty. And so, reaching them at this young age can make empty stares turn sparkly and if you could see them face to face, it would do the same for you.

3

Advisor

Rating: 4

I have known Africa Children Haven for the last five years through their charity work in Tanzania. ACH is supporting 10 orphaned girls to make their dreams come true. The support is channeled through the Carole Cole Science Scholars program, which supports these disadvantaged girls by paying their tuition and various requirements for their education. On my part being a scientist I mentor the girls by sharing my life experience but also together we learn the soft skills of success within the Emotional Intelligence framework. ACH extended their support beyond individual girls by contributing to equipping the science laboratory at Bethsdaida Girls Secondary school, where the girls did their secondary school. To date six of the girls are doing their high school education and three girls are going to join vocational education colleges. I admire ACH founders i.e. Ed and Linda for their love and patience especially where communication infrastructure has not allowed for regular feedback on the performance of the program. Indeed the success we have today is as a result of their perseverance and understanding.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Over the past 5 years I've had the opportunity to visit 4 of the local Kenyan-run organizations that African Childrens Haven assists. I'm impressed with the heart, dedication, transparency and skill with which those organizations help their communities. As I've worked more closely with ACH, I see that same dedication and love of children, especially, reflected by their board. ACH now assists me and the organization I work with in Kenya, with advice, guidance and expertise from their years of experience in the non-profit world. I'm proud to be affiliated with this outstanding organization.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

In the last couple of years, I have searched for non-profit organizations that I thought made a difference in the world. It was also important to me to find an organization in which almost all of the donation got to those it was supposed to serve. I found this in African Children’s Haven.

Not only have they helped children through their sexual health programs but as important is that the organization changes lives forever with the educational support provided to children and young adults. Both of these services are “forever” gifts…not just a gift that helps for a moment in time. Education is such a precious gift. It has a direct impact on the recipients but it also changes the lives of the people around the recipients and the lives of the next generation. African Children’s Haven provides something that can’t be stolen or taken away. It is a forever gift. I am so grateful that I found this non-profit.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For the past two years African Childrens Haven has been the financial agent for a Kenyan sex education and HIV prevention charity I work with. The services they provide have been exceptional! From donor management to forex wire transfers, expense monitoring, financial reporting and controls they have given us extremely valuable advice, execution, and support. Thank you ACH!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a proud supporter of African Children's Haven. ACH provides tangible support to identifiable recipients. I feel like even my smallest donations matter. Whether building a school, furnishing a library, providing sex education or career preparation to young women, ACH always keeps me informed of the good work they're doing. ACH is a well-managed organization with committed leadership; their mission leads to lasting outcomes that matter to the future of individuals and a nation. I'm happy to be a supporter.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a long-time supporter of educational program at the St. Philips Primary School located in the second largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya, when I came to know African Children's Haven. ACH is a US nonprofit that supports a variety of programs for poor African children, especially orphans and girls living in extreme poverty. In 2009 I approached ACH for financial support for St. Philips and was pleased to receive an immediate and positive response. Since then, ACH has provided significant assistance to the school, to its students and to its many dedicated teachers. I have worked hand-in-hand with ACH ever since on a variety of projects, including a visit to the Nairobi National Game Reserve as part of the students’ science education. Although the children lived just a few kilometers from the Reserve, none had ever visited. Today, ACH is lending valuable support to St. Philips and is working hard to help the school improve the quality of the education it provides to its students. Although I am now based in the USA, I continue to collaborate with ACH. It is rewarding to know that both girls and boys after finishing their primary studies now have the opportunity to receive scholarships for continuing on to secondary education. From personal experience I can say that ACH is providing commendable and dedicated support to the school. I hope that others like me will donate to their valuable programs, programs that help so many African children at St. Philips and in a variety of projects across Eastern and Southern Africa.

1 Cherie R.

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve been a committed supporter of African Childrens Haven over the past eight years. The organization operates at the grassroots helping African organizations that might otherwise receive little or no support from US nonprofits. African Childrens Haven keeps it simple. Its mission is straightforward, its staff is knowledgeable and its operations efficiently address the pressing needs of the rural and urban poor. Although it supports a variety of projects that help kids and their parents lead healthier, more productive lives I am particularly drawn to their program that protect girls from childhood marriages and female genital mutilation. This effort, which protect scores of girls and young women, also provide scholarships and vocational training that helps young women earn a living and lead a better life.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5


We wish to endorse wholeheartedly a very special non-profit organization: ACH (African Children’s Haven). My husband and I have been involved for the past 20 years helping the St. Phillips School, a community-based self-help primary school in Mathare Valley – one of the poorest and largest slums in Nairobi. Through our work there we got to know ACH and appreciate them very much. Their assistance is well targeted and reaches the poorest of the poor. They help with schoolbooks, pay teachers’ salaries, support the education of a number of deserving students, are involved in sexual education, sponsor special valuable school events like the participation of St. Phillips in the annual national Music Festival, and attend also to various other special needs. They help young people to help themselves, to learn and to gain self-confidence needed to work their way out of poverty.

Recently they started to assist another school with which we have been involved for a number of years – the Starkid School and Rescue Center in the Githogoro slum in northwestern Nairobi. They have helped them so far with the purchase of utensils for the feeding program, as well as with the school electricity supply, and they are planning a longer-term collaboration agreement.

ACH is very careful with the way the money is spent. It has asked us to be the liaison between them and some of the schools in Nairobi. In this capacity we have been assisting formulating need assessments, advising beneficiaries when needed, and monitoring the use of funds. It is easy for us since we live and work in Nairobi. This position allows us to be fully informed about the effectiveness of the ACH assistance. We can fully confirm all the funding goes directly to the schools or homes, and that there are no overhead or any other costs. The persons responsible report back to ACH and my husband and myself advise and supervise where needed.

Two months ago we had the pleasure to meet some of the ACH team personally and welcome them in Nairobi. We are impressed with their commitment, thorough research, well-coordinated and enabling work style, encouraging recipients’ initiative and personal warmth. Having collaborated in the past with several NGOs and other assistance organizations based in America and Europe, we can confidently state that ACH is certainly one of the most committed and most effective.

Ines and Tomasz Sudra
Founders and Co-Chairs, Watu Kwa Watu Charitable Trust,
Nairobi, KENYA
watukwawatu@gmail.com, isudra@gmail.com , tsudra@gmail.com

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Another reviewer stated "We all know the problems that plague many African communities, if you support ACH you will help create a new generation of healthy, educated, and empowered individuals who will be better able to help their regions recover and thrive."

I couldn't say it better. This agency and the kids they work with deserve your support. Major efforts from this agency address increased education, self-sufficiency and fight against poverty. Those they serve are respected, helped to see their potential and taught to feel confident in who they are. ACH works for a better today and a better tomorrow. Generations for years to come will feel more self-confident and achieve great things. Thank you African Children's Haven for what you do and who you do it for!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5


My name is Patrick Ngigi from Kenya. I am the Executive Director of Mission With A Vision, a nongovernmental organization that helps children, especially girls, lead healthier, more productive lives. I have known African Childrens Haven since 2007. They are great organization and deserve a pat on the back. They have worked in the rural Africa for many years supporting the most vulnerable in the society.

One great thing about ACH is that it is runs mainly on volunteer power. This is unlike other non-profits that employ hundreds of workers and end up using over half of what they raise in administrative costs. ACH has talented staff that visit the projects they fund in the remote African villages with dedication and zeal. Their dedication to give hope to girls and women is one thing that needs to be noted. I have watched many girls receive a new lease of life through education projects funded by ACH.

Their dedication to supporting education through infrastructure cannot be left without mentioning. Schools like Osiligi school in Maasai Mara Kenya exist solely because ACH made the efforts to raise funds to build them. Africa is so proud to have a friend like African children’s haven, a great supporter of the needy indeed.

1 Tiff_Harris

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have lived and worked in Africa for nearly 15 years in the area of agriculture and community development. In that time, I've supported the efforts of a number of organizations purportedly engaged in activities aimed at bettering the lives of the poor, and especially children. A common experience with all these organizations, save one, has been that when the project ended and/or funds dried up, there was not much of a legacy left behind to perpetuate the benefits of the organizations' activities. I believe that a primary reason for this is that most such activities comprise external interventions that, however well meaning they may be, lack the organic community-level genesis needed to ensure sustainability.

African Children's Haven is markedly different in that it is dedicated to supporting local, community-based initiatives that are begun by concerned individuals and groups who, because they live there, are in it for the long haul. Through such community-based efforts, ACH is building sustainable educational opportunities for children and orphans coping with the terror imposed by severe poverty. A bedrock principle of ACH is that the future of Africa truly does rest in the small hands of its children, often those with few or no socioeconomic advantages and little hope for happy and productive lives. ACH thus targets its efforts in support of locally developed and locally led initiatives aimed precisely at opening doors for disadvantaged children, creating opportunities and hope where none existed before.

This is what makes African Children's Haven special to me personally, what sets it apart from other organizations attempting to do similar work, and what will enable it to succeed over the long term, while others come and go.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a strong proponent of education and advocate for the disenfranchised youth world wide, I have had the unsurpassed privilege of being a contributor to ACH for several years. Years ago, there was an article in the Houston Chronicle detailing the activities of ACH in Africa and it stirred and piqued my interest to delve further into what this esteemed organization's aims and objectives were. I contacted Mr. and Mrs. Sulzberger and was impressed by their steadfast, unremitting zeal and relentless commitment to improve the lives of untold many in the African continent with a special emphasis on educating the youth and eradicating ignorance, namely, through their diverse educational programs. I am heartened by the expansion in the scope of their charitable activities and entry into other countries in the continent separate and apart from Kenya and Tanzania. As the great spiritual giant, Mahatma Ghandi stated: "be the change you wish to see in the world." ACH's efforts in making herculean efforts to make a generational difference in the lives of innumberable people in Africa, represents the very embodiment of Mahatma Ghandi's exhortation. May their work continue unabated and meet with continued unbounded success.

Donor

Rating: 5

I support African Children's Haven because they develop programs that impact both the immediate and future needs of the communities they serve. Their programs demonstrate a real connection to the people they serve - people who benefit in profound ways from the services. ACH's support of education and child welfare has been especially meaningful to me. For example, their support of secondary school education for disadvantaged girls, with the goal of helping students then go on to university studies will benefit not only the girls own lives, but their communities, too. This type of deliberate, longer term effort and goal-setting tells me that ACH understands what is at stake when they measure the value of a girl's education in a developing nation.

The leaders of ACH are veterans of the non-profit and NGO world and it shows in both the way they execute their programs and how they interact with donors. Their communication efforts are exceptional. The personal involvement of the ACH team means they are able to report on the people and communities they serve with clarity and a great depth of understanding. As a donor who does not spend much time in the non-profit world, I find it reassuring to know that the organization I engage with has invested so much forethought into its efforts to help protect and nurture children who have such great needs.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I came to know of African Children's Haven many years ago when I lived in New York. I was supporting an orphanage in Kenya and they were also doing great work there. We began communicating regularly and I came to know the Directors as friends. They are inspired and committed people with a deep understanding of the places in which they work owing to a long history working in Africa. I began working with them for a number of years before moving to Uganda.

I have been delighted to see their progress over the years and the lives they have touched with their work. Investing in children and girls in particular is repeatedly proven to be one of the most effective means of promoting sustainable development. ACH maximizes this investment by keeping administrative costs to a bare minimum, sending as much as possible to those in need.

When you donate to ACH you can have an intimate relationship with the projects you support and the Directors are always happy to answer your questions and give you updates on the projects and children your contributions support.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a long-time supporter of African Children's Haven (ACH) because it helps specific communities and tailors its programs to meet the needs of those they serve. The founders and staff at ACH are not only knowledgeable and have a wealth of experience in the field, they are passionate about not just providing assistance, but providing skills to the communities they serve, so that they will ultimately be able to help themselves. ACH makes a concerted effort to train and hire people from within the community to help with its programs.

Many organizations and individuals provide "charity," but there are stand-outs like ACH that empower people. They help communities understand that they are their best resource. This really sets ACH apart from many other charities. Their focus on education, especially educating girls is highly noteworthy. When women and girls are educated the whole community benefits, especially the next generation, who are also more likely to be educated and less likely to live in poverty.

Additionally, ACH offers sexual health programs and assistance to children with special needs. All of their programming is about creating stronger communities that will be assets to their communities and society at large. We all know the problems that plague many African communities, if you support ACH you will help create a new generation of healthy, educated, and empowered individuals who will be better able to help their regions recover and thrive.