PLATINUM2023

Youth Action International, Inc.

Advancing computer literacy in Africa.

aka Y.A.I.   |   Newark, DE   |  http://www.peaceforkids.org

Mission

Youth Action International, or , is an international nonprofit working to rebuild war-torn African communities. The organization promotes the wellbeing and development of children.     YAI also works to provide economic empowerment for war-affected youth (ages 13-30).

Specific program activities include:

• Scholarships and educational services
• Small business development (including micro-loans)
• Vocational training
• Agricultural/farming
• Health care and awareness

Ruling year info

2019

Executive Director

Mr. Kimmie Weeks

Main address

40 Abbey Rd.

Newark, DE 19702 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

59-3818995

NTEE code info

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Humanities Organizations (A70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

While access to mobile devices is on the rise, many young people in Africa do not have basic computer literacy, which improves chances of employment and better prepares them to enter the modern job market. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) notes that in sub-Saharan Africa, only 8% of students have access to a computer and less than 14% have access to the internet. As the Financial Times’s Africa notes, “the lack of access to computer knowledge means that generations are growing up incapable of taking their place in a modern workforce.” Failing to provide computer literacy for Africa’s youthful population presents a major impediment to the continent's growth and development. Across Africa, close to 50% of the population are under the age of 15. In our target countries, only 4% of Sierra Leonean and 3% of Liberian high schools have a computer lab. These low figures are particularly alarming.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

LIBERIA EARLY CHILDHOOD INITIATIVE (LECI)

Provides teachers with training and tools to augment early childhood education for Liberian students. The program uses a “school in a box” concept, to ensure that each teacher has carefully designed materials, supplies, books, and manipulative that they can utilize daily for the length of the academic year.

Since 2010, approximately seventy-five schools, four hundred teachers and eight thousand pupils have benefited annually from the LECI program (also referred to locally as the Mother Goose Time Initiative). LECI provides essential elements to support the rapid developmental skills of our beneficiaries. The goal of LECI is to improve early childhood education (ECI) and enrollment in Liberia. LECI is an extraordinary initiative that addresses the ongoing problem of the lack of proper teacher training, lack of awareness of the value of ECE, and lack of age-appropriate learning materials.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Children

Tens of thousands of people across West Africa still lack access to clean and safe drinking water. During the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, aid agencies built thousands of hand pumps to help address this problem. Unfortunately, after years of use, most of these pumps are no longer operational and communities have been forced to return to using unsafe water sources.

Since 2019, YAI in collaboration with Dockers, Waves4Water and Water Charity have been working to address this problem. To date, the organization has restored 75 wells, which has brought clean and safe drinking water to over 75,000 people.

Population(s) Served
Health

This initiative encourages the active involvement of both rural and urban young people in agriculture as a way to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty. The program provides training in agriculture, marketing, sales, small business development and managing money to participants.

Population(s) Served

his program focuses on establishing a modern school, which will run from grades 9 through 12 and will incorporate vocational training into the high school curriculum. The project addresses the issue Liberia currently faces where the country has a high rate of graduates but very few available jobs. Although there are technical jobs available, there is a shortage of qualified and well trained Liberians to fill these posts.

When completed, the technical training high school will enroll 600 students a year from grades nine through twelve. From admittance to graduation and in addition participating in a regular academic curriculum, each student will select and be trained in one of several skills ranging from agriculture, automotive repair, fashion designing, electricity, plumbing, carpentry, masonry, information technology, secretarial science, cosmetology, hospitality & tourism and catering. The success of this program of course depends heavily on support from institutions such as

Population(s) Served

The center tackles the problems facing the women in Sierra Leone using a multi-pronged approach through the creation of a Center for Women Empowerment in Freetown (CWE). The center benefits 300 vulnerable women annually from deprived and impoverished slum communities and provides them access to vocational training, counseling, adult literacy and microfinance grants to start a sustainable small business upon graduation. The center promotes the vital role women can play in sustainable development. It is an integral part of a long-term local capacity-building program for young women.

The target beneficiaries of this project include women and girls below thirty years old who have no access to basic information and are vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Women who graduate frm the program are able to start and maintain small businesses, which help them become self sustainable. YAI is working towards building a permanent CWE facility in Sierra Leone. More details and updates to follow.

Population(s) Served
Social and economic status
Social and economic status
Young adults
Social and economic status
Young adults
Women and girls

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children, Infants and toddlers

Related Program

LIBERIA EARLY CHILDHOOD INITIATIVE (LECI)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Handpumps Repaired

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Health

Related Program

Clean Water Initiative/Water4All

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Economic Impact Beneficiary

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, Social and economic status, Unemployed people, Sex workers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

YAI works in countries that have been impacted by years of war and are striving to rebuild. We focus our efforts on improving digital literacy amongst young people as a tool to help them break out of extreme poverty. By providing opportunities for livelihoods, YAI helps to foster economic growth and thereby stabilize democracy by increasing access to digital literacy.

YAI accomplishes its mission by establishing computer labs for high schools, hosting community based computer training workshops and creating applications that foster digital learning.

This enables beneficiaries to access distant learning opportunities, qualify them for certain jobs, and creates new earning opportunities.

What would it look like at a transformational and impact level if we could ensure that every high school graduate in Liberia and Sierra Leone is computer proficient? This is what the project envisages, and we believe it is achievable within ten years.
The Transcend project seeks to increase computer literacy and enhance learning outcomes amongst high school seniors in Liberia and Sierra Leone by establishing fully functional computer labs for target schools. Each computer lab is set up within the existing infrastructure of the school and includes up to ten computers, a projector, desk/chairs, whiteboard and is completely solar powered. YAI runs the lab collaboratively with the school for the first year to ensure familiarization with standards and systems before fully turning over to the school.
The overarching goal of the Transcend Project is to ensure that all graduating high school seniors are equipped with basic computer skills. The following are the projects key objectives:

● Equip eight schools with a fully solar powered computer lab.
● Recruit and conduct refresher training for ten computer trainers.
● Ensure the school’s administration can sustain the lab long term by working collaboratively with the school to run it for one year.
● Set up a special fund/account within the school to ensure upkeep and maintenance of the lab.
This concept of computer labs for high schools is not necessarily a new one. Other organizations have in the past donated computers to establish labs with mixed results. The primary complaint has always been that the computers were donated, but never utilized. Our findings show that the failures of donated labs are usually because the donating organizations did not take steps to ensure that the computers were operational prior to turnover or that mechanisms were put in place to ensure long term sustianability. In many of the failed experiments, the schools did not even have electricity or a teacher to operate the labs and they therefore sat unused until the equipment was destroyed or stolen.
Micheal Trucano, Global Lead for Innovation in Education at the World Bank notes: “one challenge for educational policymakers and planners in the remote, low-income scenario is that most models (and expertise, and research) related to ICT use come from high-income contexts and environments (typically urban, or at least peri-urban). One consequence is that technology-enabled 'solutions' are imported and (sort of) 'made to fit' into more challenging environments. When they don't work, this is taken as 'evidence' that ICT use in education in such places is irrelevant (and some folks go so far as to state that related discussions are irresponsible as a result).”
In developing this project, YAI has considered the various obstacles that may prevent computer labs from being fully utilized. The YAI computer lab program has been developed over the years to address some of the issues that have caused other programs

Youth Action International has fourteen years of experience working in West and East Africa. The organizations work is implemented by a dedicate team of staff, volunteers, and interns. Global Headquarters of the organization is in the United States. A small technical volunteer staff coordinates fundraising activities, compliance, monitoring and evaluation. In the field, each country where the organization work is headed by a Team Lead or Country Director. The Team Lead/Country Director is assisted by Program Officers, and Project Supervisors.

Executive Director: Has oversight of YAI's activities in the United States and around the world.
The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors.


Country Representative: The Country Representative (CR) is the senior YAI representative in the
country. The CR will be called upon to represent YAI's mission and programs to senior level government
officials, in country visitors, senior officials from other international organizations, bilateral donors and
local government officials.


Program Coordinator: The Program Coordinator assists the Country Representative and Regional Director in the development, implementation, and evaluation all programs. This includes making regular
visits to monitor progress of all YAI programs, especially those being implemented outside of Monrovia.
The Program Coordinator helps to assign interns and volunteers to various areas and ensures that they
have a meaningful experience with YAI. The Program Coordinator reports to the Country Representative.


Program Officers/Supervisors: Each major program has a specific program officer who is responsible for specific
program areas. Program officers ensure that programs are running smoothly, and report to the Program
Coordinator.

Facilitators: Facilitators are YAI's teachers, and counselors assigned to work directly with the students.

Office Manager: Manages YAI's national offices and is responsible for payroll, financials, and bank
transactions.

Youth Action International has a track record of excellence in implementing youth economic empowerment programs. Since its establishment, YAI’s programs have benefited more than 500,000 people in Burundi, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda. Past successful programs have included establishing computer training centers, vocational training centers and building high schools. The organization has also run several initiatives including an early childhood education initiative and providing access to clean water for communities. YAI also undertook a number of interventions to address the Ebola and Covid 10 epidemics in vulnerable communities in the two countries.

In both Liberia and Sierra Leone, YAI has run various empowerment programs focused on providing young people the training skills and tools to improve their lives and contribute to national development. Successful programs have included a vocational training center for women which trained 500 young women annually in various vocational training skills to help them earn an income. We have also implemented standalone computer training programs, various agricultural projects to train young people to utilize organic farming techniques, and various microloans and microgrant programs which impacted close to 10,000 young people.

Over the years, YAI has run several computer training labs in Liberia and in Sierra Leone. We have run stand alone community based computer labs to train high school graduates in basic computer skills. We have also partnered with local organizations to run affordable community based computer training programs which have benefited thousands of young people.

Kimmie Weeks and YAI have been recognized globally and have received numerous awards for YAI’s work against poverty. Notable amongst them includes the World’s Children’s Prize from the Queen of Sweden and Liberia’s highest civilian award as Knight Grand Commander in Humane Order of African Redemption from former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Our work has been profiled on major television networks including CNN, BBC TV, CCTV, Discovery Channel, and MTV Canada.


Financials

Youth Action International, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Youth Action International, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 06/01/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Kathryn Birky

Elizabeth Means

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School

Alexander Shultz

Zoe Pappis

Nikolina Ionova

Richard Langseth

Barbara Morgan

Isuru Senevirathne

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/17/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data