IFA Nonprofit Projects
How We Do It
IFA is a very small nonprofit but we are making a significant difference in the lives of thousands of Africans. Unlike most nonprofits which use large portions of donations to pay administrators, finance travel and cover websites and administrative costs, those expenses have all been covered by our volunteer staff and fundraising through the sale of African crafts, Since its inception 100% of every dollar donated has been used for meaningful projects directly benefiting people in Africa. We or our counterparts are “on the ground” to assure project money is not misused and to oversee strict accountability.
Our key partners are also non profits with proven integrity and sustainable success. These include Days for Girls, Aid Africa, Child2Youth, Mpendo Packer Foundation and NUWCSI. Below are some of the most meaningful of It’s For Africa projects.
Tippy Taps (Washing Stations)
Months prior to drilling wells, we require villagers to be trained on hygiene and the importance of washing their hands. Approximately $300 covers the cost of training and materials, including liquid soap, for families in a village to build their own simple washing stations. This foot-operated station is more sanitary and conserves over 10 times the amount of water (40 ml vs 500 ml) over traditional hand washing methods! Tippy Tap maintenance is evaluated periodically to assure villagers are committed to better health practices before a well is provided.
More than 80% of all the illnesses in Africa come from contaminated water. Since July 2017 IFA has funded five shallow wells such as this one being made for the Agonga village in the Nwoya District of Northern Uganda. This is hands-on labor where IFA service volunteers and villagers participate in manually drilling. After drilling, clean water is provided for a village through a borehole — a pump with piping coming up through a concrete foundation.
When one of the village residents was informed we would be providing their area with a borehole (well), a gentleman cried with joy. Tears of relief and gratitude were shed by many.
Providing clean water is It’s for Africa’s first priority but wells of any kind are expensive. The big drill rigs charge $17,000 – $25,000 US per well. Manual shallow wells from inception until completion, cost IFA approx. $2000 US each (including Tippy Tap set up). For the shallow wells we partnered with highly reputable Aid Africa, but shallow wells inherently have problems with maintenance, contamination and drying up. Only deep wells can alleviate most of these issues.
In Southern Uganda, near the Buikwe District, we financed and participated in the work on a protected spring that is now benefiting indigent children and their families.
Feminine Hygiene Kits
It’s for Africa! is a partner with the Days for Girls – Highland Village/Dallas Metroplex Chapter. For 2018, our local chapter provided over 1,400 reusable feminine hygiene kits – equal to fifteen 50 pound checked bags! Each kit costs $10-12 to make. These life-changing kits not only provide dignity, they allow village girls to stay in school instead of missing 5 days each month during menses. We trained and distributed the majority of the kits in Northern Uganda to school-age girls, expectant mothers and to females in the So. Sudanese Refugee Camps. Volunteers from across the state including various church groups and youth organizations, as well as over 600 Flower Mound High School Students helped make and assemble our kits.
Flower Mound High School students assembled these kits for us. We distributed over 150 Clean Birth Kits in northern Uganda. New birth mamas also received traditional or heavy flow/postpartum feminine hygiene kits.
According to the World Health Organization, a million African babies are estimated to die each year in the first 4 weeks of life. WHO also estimates that half a million women per year die from infections associated with childbirth. Yet this incredible tragedy could be reversed (up to 2/3 saved) through postnatal training and clean birth kits. Our kits provide “Five Areas of Clean” established by WHO, plus another bonus*:
- Clean hands. (for the birth attendant to wash her hands)
- Clean delivery surface. (heavy mil plastic sheeting for mothers to lie on during delivery maintains a clean birth canal and perineum, and protects the newborn from potential sources of infection)
- Clean cord cut. (A sterile razor blade prevents the transmission of tetanus-causing spores and other pathogenic organisms via the umbilicus to the infant.)
- Clean cord tie. Clean thread or cord to tightly tie the umbilicus helps keep the stump healthy.
- Clean cord stump care. Antiseptic swabs to prevent infection to the cord stump.
- *Clean newborn cap. (Helps undernourished newborns retain their body heat so they can thrive)
It’s for Africa! assisted in the eradication of jiggers or sand fleas that burrow into the skin and lay eggs. They cause swelling, itching, and infection which can lead to amputation and, in the worst cases, even death. We washed their feet and hands and supplied the funds for health care workers to remove the jiggers, as well as necessary medicines, shoes, and fumigation of their homes. St. Ann’s Widows Ministry in Carrollton TX donated over 100 dresses and t-shirts for these children and others.
Northern Uganda Women and Children Support Initiative (NUWCSI)
NUWCSI and AID AFRICA are the best-run nonprofits we have worked with in Uganda. Nancy Lee Cordoza, the Director of NUWCSI, is an American who has lived in Gulu for many years. She helps Ugandans develop meaningful enterprises at minimal cost. She teaches them budgeting, savings, and other important life skills so their enterprises remain sustainable. The women pictured, often widowed, have an effective enterprise making by hand every stitch of their beautiful quilts which are sold around the world. The quilts provide enough income for their children’s school fees, the most important expense in any Ugandan life. We brought them quilters supplies that are often hard to obtain in their area. We also provided training and distributed feminine hygiene kits as well as purchased dozens of their quilts.
IFA! provided a small number of university and trade school scholarships for northern Ugandans who showed exemplary qualities of leadership and who had exhausted all other resource possibilities. One student is receiving a degree in microbiology at the best research university in Uganda. He supports himself as much as possible through many small enterprises. With the medical degree he already has, this degree will enable him to find long-term employment and further benefit his community. It’s for Africa! makes sure all school fees are paid directly to the school’s bank which prevents individuals from misusing donors money. We routinely check on their progress and always require strict accountability.
Mittleider Gardening and Hippo Rollers
The Mittleider method of gardening started over 60 years ago and has been proven all over the world to increase food production dramatically, regardless of the kind of soil. We provided books, training, scuffle hoes (for easier weeding) and important soil micronutrients to select farmers we knew would implement these practices. In addition, they were provided with Hippo Rollers. These amazing containers allow 6 times the amount of water to be easily transported back to their homes and gardens. Tubing can be attached so they can irrigate plants in the dry season. The hippo rollers are shared with several families in the village and are especially helpful to the women who generally are responsible for carrying 40 pounds of water on their head nearly every day. Try lifting 40 pounds of water to your head, let alone carry it for a mile or more home! The hippo rollers have become a status symbol, so some of the men now help bring water home.
Last year we provided the initial funds for two individuals to start a piggery. While the initial outlay small for us, most villagers would never have enough money to do this on their own. After building the piggery, they were able to initially buy two female and one male piglet which they raised to maturity. This December the females gave birth to 11 piglets! IFA! will provide an additional 580,000 shillings for their inoculations and feed, but once they are about 4 months old, the owners will sell them for a good profit and will be able to expand their piggery without any further assistance from us.
Five individuals, who have for many years demonstrated impeccable good character, have received extensive beekeeping training through the Honey Center. With the Honey Center’s expertise, they have determined good locations and will soon begin their own apiary enterprise. The harvested honey is graded according to quality and generally marketed through The Honey Center which sells their quality honey in the capital city Kampala. The Honey Center is part of Nancy Cardoza’s non-profit NUWCSI which is dedicated to helping northern Ugandans develop self-sustaining enterprises. It is her nonprofit that assists the Quilters and also teaches villagers how to produce quality dairy goats.
Pearls Of Africa Children’s Home
The plight of orphans and indigent children unable to attend school pulls at everyone’s heartstrings. Yet many individuals and organizations in Africa purporting to help these children are only exploiting them and their donors for personal gain. Pam and Brooks frequently witnessed this when they lived there. Even seemingly reputable organizations often don’t live up to their verbiage. It is difficult to know who is truly trustworthy. However, in our partnership with Aid Africa, we learned of a gem they sponsor located in southern Uganda, in Jinja. Rosette Kirangi, moved by compassion for the hundreds of suffering children in her community founded this home, which provides much more than a safe place to live. They are loved and nurtured and given good education including vocational training after high school.
Rosette is a true warrior in the battle for all children. A recent letter she wrote demonstrates her passion for good as she writes about the insidious damage the African bride price creates.
I would like to say something more about this subject of child marriages. It cuts across countries, cultures, and religions. In Uganda, it is being fueled by poverty and cultural norms. It is perceived as economic gain if they marry off a young girl and get bride price. It is also a blessing for they have one mouth less to feed.
Such girls are often dis-empowered, dependent on their husbands, deprived of their rights to health, education, and safety. They are neither physically or emotionally ready to become wives or mothers. This puts them at a greater risk of becoming infected with HIV/Aids and suffering domestic violence.
Early marriages affect all aspects of a girl’s life-endangering their potential development and well-being I am therefore very grateful to you all for empowering these girls and lowering the risk of them being exposed to all these dangers or calamities.
Aid Africa was miraculously able to purchase a better home for the 30 children living there. With donor support, they hope to purchase the plot next door and expand to include 60 children. It’s for Africa! is excited to be involved with them and has started sponsoring one child at this home.
The cost of $125 a month includes food, housing, clothing, medical needs, all school fees, and every other expense. Considering the actual costs we have seen for just school fees in another area, this is truly remarkable. Visit their website for more details on the genuine good they are doing. IFA! hopes to receive enough donations to sponsor many more of their children.