Recent Press

Kisa Scholar, Margaret Melkiori, featured on USAID Impact Blog  Read the full story here

Download the 2012 CA Event Press Release!

Kisa Scholars Share Their Creativity and Their Voices Through a Unique Children's Book Project

AfricAid is proud to highlight a wonderful new children’s book that features the creativity of the inaugural class of Kisa Scholars as well as the inspirational work of AfricAid to empower girls in Tanzania.

Sam Learns Some Lessons is a touching tale about a young elephant who comes to his friend’s rescue. Published by the nonprofit organization Dot-to-Dot Children’s Books, the book is based on stories written by the Kisa Scholars during a creative writing workshop last year. Dot-to-Dot’s creative writing team selected favorite elements written during the workshop and combined them into a single story, making Sam Learns Some Lessons an expression of the collective creativity of the young women who helped write it.

However, the young elephant in Sam Learns Some Lessons is not the only hero whose story is told through this book. The Kisa Scholars who helped author the book are prominently featured in the book as role models for generations of youth around the world and AfricAid Founder Ashley Shuyler is profiled as “A Heroine and Leader.” The book also features information about AfricAid and facts about elephants and Tanzania.

AfricAid is thrilled to be part of this project and proud to add Sam Learns Some Lessons as our third educational children’s book. Please join us in giving a global voice to the Kisa Scholars and spreading the word about AfricAid by sharing Sam Learns Some Lessons with children in your life and recommending it to your friends and family.

Twenty percent of sales of Sam Learns Some Lessons will automatically be donated to AfricAid and an additional 20 percent of sales will be donated if you enter promo code AFRICAID at the time of purchase. An additional 10 percent of sales will be donated to the Wildlife Conservation Society to help protect elephants. To learn more or purchase, click here.

Local nonprofit hosts Gala to support the education of girls in Africa

AfricAid, an international non-profit organization that supports girls’ education in Africa, presents its annual gala event, “Art and Soul: A Celebration of Life Stories”, next Saturday, September 24, 2011. The celebration will feature the beauty and creativity of African and American art, as well as digital stories from young Tanzanian girls. Art and Soul is a visual feast that has been created to help young women in Africa become the creative authors of their own futures. The gala will raise both awareness of the issues facing these young women, and funding to uplift them through education. The honorary chairs include Peter Kudla, joined by Congressman Jared Polis, and Dean Prina, MD. The evening’s events will be emceed by 9News anchor, Bazi Kanani.

“We’re thrilled to host Art and Soul and proud to offer a fun, enriching, uplifting evening here in Denver that benefits and empowers girls in Africa” said Elizabeth Abshire, AfricAid’s Executive Director.


AfricAid, Inc. announced that Dr. Doug Millham, Emily Droll, & Gretchen Healey were recently elected to its Board of Directors.

Dr. Doug Millham is President and co-founder of California-based Discover the World, Inc., an international relief and development agency currently focused upon alleviating suffering among vulnerable children in Kenya. Dr. Millham holds a bachelors degree from UC Berkeley, an MA from UCLA, and his Masters of Divinity and Doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. Together with his wife (clinical psychologist Dr. Jacquelyn D. Millham, Ph.D.), Discover the World was established in 1989 to facilitate short-term volunteer opportunities for Americans among the poor abroad.

Emily Droll is an associate attorney at the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, where she specializes in Natural Resources and Environmental law. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Marquette University in Theatre and Communication Studies, and a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Iowa College of Law. Emily volunteered as a pro bono attorney for AfricAid during early 2011, and she is passionate about access to quality education for women and girls in developing countries.

Gretchen Healey is a proven leader in the IT industry; currently she is leading the organization that is re-architecting the IT infrastructure of Nelnet, an education planning and financing company. Within Nelnet, she serves on two different 'Charitable Contribution' teams, identifying and socializing volunteer opportunities as well as designating funds to varying charities that help to make educational dreams possible. Additionally, Gretchen owns Pangolin Media, LLC, a social media marketing and content consulting services company. Gretchen first traveled to Africa in early 2006, and has returned over and over again. Throughout her travels, Gretchen felt a need to do more than just visit, which spurred her involvement with AfricAid. Gretchen also serves as the President of the Board of Directors of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Liver Foundation.

AfricAid’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Abshire, said, "We are so pleased to have Doug, Emily and Gretchen join AfricAid’s Board. Their diverse backgrounds, expertise, passion for our work, and commitment to helping meet the educational needs of girls in East Africa, will bring so much to our organization. We’re rapidly expanding and growing the board with new skills and fresh perspectives helps to poise AfricAid for the future. We look forward to the many contributions they will be make as they help to give girls on the other side of the world educational opportunities."

USAID Awards Education Grant to AfricAid

DENVER – June 20, 2011 – AfricAid announced today that it has been awarded a three-year, grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support desperately needed education for young women in Africa. The $150,000 grant will support The Kisa Project in Tanzania, AfricAid’s flagship leadership initiative that provides scholarships and training to African girls in secondary school. The grant will enable AfricAid to reach, teach, and empower young women, in a part of the world where they are often denied basic educational opportunities, despite the well-documented and critically-needed social impact that comes from women’s education.

“We are honored to have been awarded this grant from USAID because it demonstrates the degree to which we are making a real difference in the lives of young women in Africa,” said Elizabeth Abshire, Executive Director, AfricAid. “USAID’s financial support is a great validation of our supporters’ vision and dedication, and we are thrilled that The Kisa Project will now be able to reach ten times as many young women.”

To date, AfricAid’s programs have helped tens of thousands of students in Tanzania, and helped improve graduation rates at partner schools by as much as 500 percent. Many students supported by AfricAid have become doctors, nurses and teachers, and many more have returned to their communities to become leaders and mentors.

AfricAid Founder Ashley Shuyler Honored as one of Denver’s Forty Under 40


The Denver Business Journal recently announced the 2011 winners of its “Forty Under 40″ awards. The award, now in its 15th year, honors business leaders whose efforts in the office and in the community are shaping the future of the Denver area. Honorees are selected on the basis of three criteria: business leadership, recognition of accomplishments and community involvement. As quoted in the Journal, Ashley recognized early on the value of an education, and “realized there could be nothing better than giving girls my own age the chance to go to school.” The article goes on to note that, under her direction, AfricAid has raised more than $1 million and provided educational assistance to some 40,000 young Tanzanians. AfricAid is proud to have Ms. Shuyler’s work recognized through this prestigious award. An excerpt from the article can be found here!

Somebody Like Me Reviewed in The Denver Post


The Denver Post’s Claire Martin recently interviewed Ashley Shuyler about her new children’s book, Somebody Like Me, that she co-authored with AfricAid Scholar, Prisca Lesakire. The story of two girls born half a world apart 25 years ago, Somebody Like Me narrates how their lives came together through the work of AfricAid. It is told through the eyes of the two as they alternate between each girl’s viewpoint. The review can be seen here!

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go toward AfricAid; and co-author Prisca Lesakire’s portion will help to support her efforts to become the first female teacher in her village. Visit the Dot-to-Dot Children's Book website for more information and to purchase your copy for $12.50 today!

Ashley Shuyler and Somebody Like Me Featured on Denver’s KUVO Public Radio

KUVO’s Tamara Banks talked to Ashley Shuyler recently about her work with AfricAid. Highlighting the interview was a discussion of Somebody Like Me, the new children’s book co-authored by Ashley and AfricAid Scholar Prisca Lesakire. The story contrasts the lives of these two girls living worlds apart, and follows them from childhood to adulthood in a way that demonstrates their cultural differences, but reveals their human similarities.

Somebody Like Me and AfricAid Featured on Denver’s 850KOA

850KOA’s Robbyn Hart also interviewed AfricAid founder Ashley Shuyler recently about her new book, Somebody Like Me, and AfricAid’s work. 

Ashley Shuyler and the Kisa Project Receive Do Something Award and Grant

AfricAid’s founder, Ashley Shuyler, was recently honored by Do Something and BIC 4 Good for her work with the Kisa Project. Awarded to established programs and organizations that have a large impact, proven sustainability, and measurable success, the accompanying grant will be used by AfricAid to fund the installation of a computer lab at a new Kisa Project partner school in early 2011, and further expand this unique and important girls’ scholarship and leadership training initiative. Click here to meet the BIC 4 Good winners.

AfricAid and She’s the First Featured on AllAfrica Global Media

AllAfrica Global Media, the worlds’ largest distributor of African news and information, recently featured the Girls Who Rock concert held in New York on June 10th on behalf of AfricAid’s Kisa Project. Highlighting the work of She’s the First and AfricAid, the article discusses the belief of two young women, Ashley Shuyler and Tammy Tibbets, that the education of girls is paramount to giving them a chance to rise from the poverty that often keeps them from achieving what they are capable of, and the impact they are making on the lives of young women on the other side of the world. Click here to read the article.

AfricAid Brings Cutting-Edge Computing to the Children of Tanzania

That’s the title of a recent case study on AfricAid’s use of innovative technology in its new Kisa Project, published by NComputing, a leading global provider of low-cost, virtual desktop technology. Led by Louis Gutierrez, AfricAid’s IT Manager, the installation of the NComputing technology in the computer labs at the first two Kisa Project schools in Tanzania has already begun to revolutionize the learning experiences of thousands of young students there. By providing low-cost, low-energy, easily maintainable PC access to students in a replicable fashion, AfricAid has made it possible for its Kisa Scholars to connect with their US sponsors through the internet, and made the benefits of modern computer technology available to all the school’s students. To read the case study, click here.

AfricAid’s New Kisa Project Featured on Colorado Public Radio

Ashley Shuyler had the opportunity to talk today about AfricAid’s new Kisa Project on CPR’s Colorado Matters. The program can be heard online here.

The program also featured short segments from several of the digital stories created by 12 Coloradans about their various connections to Africa that were screened last month at AfricAid’s Kisa Film Festival at Denver’s Starz Film Center at the Tivoli. Videos like these will be an important aspect of the Kisa Project, helping to both better educate those in the U.S. with the realities of life in Africa, as well as create a meaningful and immediate connection between the Kisa Scholars in Tanzania and their American sponsors. The complete videos can be viewed here.

AfricAid Selected as Winner in Ashoka Changemakers Competition!


AfricAid is proud to announce that our “Teaching in Action” teacher training program has been voted as one of three winners by Ashoka Changemakers!

As one of three winners, the Teaching in Action program will receive a $5,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, along with significant recognition across the country and within the Ashoka community.

We are grateful to each and every one of you who voted and helped to make this possible! There were over 400 entries in this competition, and 14 finalists – and it is because of you, our wonderful supporters, that we were chosen as a winner!

With this grant, the creator of the Teaching in Action program, Professor Frances Vavrus, will have the opportunity to expand the reach of the program in significant ways. This program has already greatly improved the educational experience of thousands of students and hundreds of teachers across Tanzania, and we look forward to this opportunity to further build upon this solid foundation.

Ashley Shuyler’s AfricAid Work Recognized by The Global Volunteer Network Foundation


The Global Volunteer Network (GVN) Foundation recently recognized Ashley Shuyler’s work with AfricAid as it added her to its “Change Makers” club. The GVN Foundation supports the work of charitable organizations around the world that assist children, women and the environment. Its Change Makers club is a group of individuals from all over the world who are committed to social change. As part of its recognition, GVN has added AfricAid to its “Eat So They Can 2009″ program, a campaign that invites volunteers to hold dinners to raise funds for food for impoverished children around the world. According to GVN, “Through Eat So They Can, we are looking forward to helping Ashley and AfricAid nurture the education and dreams of the young women who benefit from AfricAid initiatives, and ultimately, in helping to empower them to shape the futures they desire for themselves.” Click here to see the Change Makers story.

Ashley Shuyler’s Work with AfricAid and Her Film Somebody Like Me Featured on KUSA 9News

The Denver film screening of Ashley Shuyler’s ethnographic film “Somebody Like Me” was previewed by Denver’s KUSA 9News in a segment highlighting AfricAid’s work on behalf of girls’ education in Africa. Stressing that, “an education is one of the most precious and invaluable gifts,” the segment took note of the over $500,000 that AfricAid has raised to help train teachers, provide much-needed school supplies and textbooks, and support African women with scholarships. It also discusses Ashley’s film, which traces the village life of a young Maasai woman, the first in her remote village to attend secondary school, who is now hoping to attend college to be a teacher and share her lessons with both her fellow villagers and with future generations. 

Ashley Shuyler and AfricAid Featured on KUSA 9News: My Africa with Bazi Kanani


Ashley Shuyler’s work with AfricAid was featured in Bazi Kanani’s recent series on Africa that aired on Denver’s KUSA 9News. In this informative and moving piece, entitled “My Africa”, the 9News anchor and reporter explores her family history in Tanzania and deals with several of the issues facing Africa today. One of the segments highlights Tanzania’s educational needs and Ashley’s work there with AfricAid to help provide educational opportunities for Tanzanian youth.