19 December 2012

Africa: Mobilizing the Diaspora to Invest in Africa

press release

Two weeks ago, Africans in the Diaspora (AiD) launched its “New Year, New AiD” campaign to mobilize $30,000 from the Diaspora and friends of Africa for African social change organizations. Today, the organization announces that it has received a pledge for a $10,000 matching grant, contingent upon its ability to identify 100 new supporters.

Africans in the Diaspora (AiD) is harnessing the power of the Diaspora to support Senegal’s Synapse Center, which connects youth to jobs; Nigeria’s Physicians for Social Justice, which brings healthcare to rural communities through a mobile health clinic program; and Kenya’s WEM Integrated Health Services, which establishes women-owned financial institutions.

AiD has attracted investments from Diaspora Africans within the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Each individual has a different motive for investing in the campaign. Olabukunola Williams, who invested in all three organizations, says:

“I just got back from a trip to Chad and I got to see again the obstacles local organizations face and the dynamism and doggedness they show in the face of these obstacles. They are the true heroes because they see a need and they do everything and more in their power to meet that need. It is honestly an honor to invest in organizations that reflect the best that our continent has to offer and remind us of our best selves. “

Friends of Africa have also played a role in the campaign. Anjali Alimchandani describes her reason for investing as:

"After years of being disillusioned by the neo-colonial nature of international 'development,'

I'm finally seeing a model I believe in--a model that is actually sustainable, empowering, visionary--a development model with integrity. AiD is giving us the opportunity to re-define "development," to reclaim the process and the power."

The “New Year, New AiD” campaign is the first fundraising campaign for AiD, which launched its platform in October 2012. AiD aims to cultivate the practice of strategic social investment and philanthropy among the African Diaspora. Through its Funds platform, the organization ensures the flow of resources to African social change organizations from all citizens invested in an empowerment model of social change.

With the matching grant, the campaign has mobilized over $15,000 of its $30,000 goal. The organization aims to raise the remaining amount over the next 26 days. You can follow the progress at: africansinthediaspora.org, @aiddinnovations, and facebook.com/AfricansintheDiaspora

Africans in the Diaspora (AiD): A nonprofit organization, Africans in the Diaspora envisions a self-reliant, socially and economically just Africa. Through its, Funds, Connections, and Voices programs, the organization harnesses the skills, resources, and ideas of Africans to advance social and economic change on the continent. The funds program mobilizes financial resources to support African organizations directly. On the Voices blog, AiD showcases the significant contributions of Africans in development and philanthropy. Connections, which will launch next year, will match volunteers and organizations according to expertise and need, respectively.

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