Global Initiatives: In Africa
- WISER (Women's Institute for Secondary Education and Research) is a private secondary boarding school for girls and community programs in Muhuru Bay, Kenya.
- Muhuru Bay region has the highest HIV infection rates, number of AIDS orphans, infant mortality and malaria rates in the country. Lake Victoria is the only source of water for drinking, washing and bathing but is also a major source of infection.
- WISER’s vision is to create a replicable model for ending the cycle of gender disparity in education, health and community leadership. Their mission is to improve educational, economic and health outcomes for girls, create gender allies in boys and promote community-wide enhancements in health and development.
WISER operates as an independent Kenyan NGO but remains closely tied to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. With academic roots at Duke University and the Duke Global Health Institute, WISER has hosted students and faculty in Muhuru Bay since 2005 to deeply engage in projects that increase the quality of health, education and development in the village. Duke students also raise funds and awareness for WISER through a student organization.
- WISER's Community Programs include:
- WISER Youth HIV Prevention Research: conducting a 2-year project to identify risk factors for HIV infections and develop community-level interventions.
- CHAMP (Community Health Advancement and Mapping Project): identifying geospatial areas that positively or negatively impact health behaviors.
- WISERBridge: utilizing pay-for-performance teaching incentives, professional development and textbooks to raise the passing rate of Muhuru Bay primary school students to secondary school from 10% to 50%.
- WISER Water Supply & Latrine Coverage: partnering with UNICEF-WASH to provide the first source of clean, drinking water to 5000 people and employ women to manage the water kiosks. WISER is also working to raise latrine coverage from 5% to 85% over three years.
- CampWISER: creating gender allies among 40 high school students — girls and boys—during a two-week summer session led by Duke students.
- WISER Young Social Entrepreneurs (WYSE): providing business opportunities for unemployed youth in computer technology, video, photography and newspaper publication.
- WISER Sanitary Pads: partnering with Johnson and Johnson to provide 120 girls in Muhuru Bay with sanitary pads, helping them stay in school an extra six weeks a year.
- LAFC Partnership
- LAFC joined WISER for a three year partnership in an effort to work with unemployed youth to develop a link between sports, academic excellence and health education. WISER believes that soccer can be a powerful way to connect to the community. We hope to use girls' soccer as one of the ways that WISER encourages gender equality and girls' empowerment.
- LAFC is building a soccer field and running track for the community, and is establishing the first primary school soccer league which will create the first soccer program that allows girls and women to participate. This includes providing uniforms, cleats and equipment for up to 400 children and resources for coaching and referee clinics. We hope this soccer field will help bring together young women for venues for health education and programs that build self esteem and improved decision making.
- "Our partnership with LAFC will allow us to create the first football league in the community that not only allows girls to play, but also builds their self-esteem and connects sports with academic excellence and health education. LAFC's support is also essential for building the first public football pitch, providing employment opportunities for out of work youth, and allowing WISER to deepen its core mission of keeping girls in school. The smiles on kids faces when they talk about LAFC are huge!"
- Sherryl Broverman, Ph.D
Co-Founder and Chair of WISER
Associate Professor of the Practice
Director, Global Health Certificate — Duke University
- At the present rate of infection, AIDS will orphan 20 million African children by 2010.
- In March 2003, The Shepherd's Home was opened in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Facilities serve as a sanctuary, not only providing food and housing, but a safe-haven for the children of the African AIDS crisis to feel love, support and to better understand what is happening in their world. More than 20 young girls are now under the care of loving, nurturing and highly-skilled individuals. When the children leave, they will be empowered with the knowledge they will need to lead following generations to the "New Kenya."
- LAFC's Partnership
- The Shepherd's Home will comprehensively address issues of health care, education, spiritual formation and vocational training. In an effort to help foster youth activities in Kenya centered around education, LAFC has unveiled a new sports field to be used for the Dayspring Junior School as well as community sporting activities. LAFC also provided soccer balls, cleats and uniforms for use at the new Umoja Sports Field.
- "The Dayspring Umoja (Unity) Sports field built by LAFC provides an oasis of hope next to Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Linking education and health screening to use of the field, LAFC provides opportunities to the children we serve and gives our children and students great pride in their school."
- Dr. Douglas Millham
President, Discover the World
- Charlize Theron's Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP)
- The Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, in partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), created CTAOP in order to create a safer, healthier and better life for impoverished children and their families in South Africa, especially those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
- Unfortunately, one of South Africa's poorest communities, Umkhanyakude District in northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world. Adolescents growing up in Umkhanyakude have close to a 50% chance of contracting HIV during their lifetime. Ten percent of female high-school students are infected with HIV by the time they graduate and many more will contract other sexually transmitted infections; twenty-five percent will become pregnant.
- CTAOP supports the funding of Mpilonhle, a non-governmental organization designed to improve the health and social development of youth in the Umkhanyakude District. Mpilonhle focuses on health promotion and social development of youth, sponsoring mobile health units that visit rural schools to provide health education and HIV prevention services, HIV testing, curative services and computer training. Each mobile unit travels to four different schools per month, spending one week at each school.
- LAFC's Partnership
- CTAOP announced in July 2009 that it is teaming up with LAFC to build community soccer programs for underprivileged children in South Africa.
- In support of Mpilonhle's great work, LAFC has made a three-year commitment to help build a community-wide soccer program for the schools in the Umkhanyakude District.
- This includes uniforms, cleats, balls and equipment, along with professional training for local coaches, referees and administrators. The soccer league training will also include life-saving health education administered through the CTAOP-funded mobile health program.
- "LAFC helps bring hope to some of the most disadvantaged youth in Africa. Their commitment to using football to help those most in need gain skills and self-respect, and lead a healthier and more productive life, as a model of how sports can be used to break down national and social barriers. Bringing top quality coaching and training to rural youth who love football, but lack the opportunity to play competitively, is a unique initiative."
- Michael Bennish, MD
Executive Director, Mpilonhle
- The Issues
- With 80 million people, Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country. Infectious and chronic diseases threaten the country’s economic and social development, and it faces ongoing environmental degradation. The country has taken steps to improve the infrastructure for education, recognizing that school-aged children make up a significant portion of the population, and until recently, they have lacked educational opportunities. Countless schools and 20 new universities have been built throughout the country. However, construction has outpaced the development of supporting infrastructure. Many of the schools lack potable water and there are shortages of textbooks, laboratory equipment, computers and teachers. The country faces the same health problems as many other countries in Africa:
- An estimated 2.2 million people are living with the HIV virus; the highest prevalence occurs in the 15-24 age group.
- Indoor air pollution from cooking stoves in poorly ventilated homes has led to high rates of respiratory infection in women and children.
- Access to clean water and sanitation is below levels in other African countries, resulting in a high incidence of serious gastro-intestinal disease.
- The population faces rising non-communicable diseases that are linked to insufficient physical activity, diet, and smoking.
- The Solution
- For the long run, Ethiopia needs a well-educated and healthy populace. Moving toward these goals, the expansion of educational institutions offers a vehicle for promotion of healthier lifestyles and a healthier environment. But this platform needs more resources for education on health and on the environment, and a physical location for health-promoting physical activity, for providing access to potable water, and for education on prevention of HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
- The USC-LAFC WISH program will help the Tigrai Development Agency (TDA), a non-profit, community-based development organization based in the Tigrai region of Ethiopia, advance its objectives: improved secondary school instruction, higher participation in organized athletics, increased job opportunities and the promotion of community health programming.
- LAFC's Partnership
- The LAFC Foundation will construct a soccer-centered, wellness facility in Mekelle, the capital of the Tigrai region. This facility will provide a place for exercise, easier access to clean water and healthcare information. A running track open to the public will rim the soccer field. There will be another space for healthcare education materials and activities, and for vendors selling healthy foods. The Foundation will also establish a high school soccer league throughout Tigrai and encourage participation in sports and other physical activities, particularly for adolescent girls. The organization will provide uniforms and equipment for 500 kids and travel to and support for soccer clinics.
- LAFC's Partnership
- LAFC has partnered with the Rwanda Project and donated 200 soccer balls. These balls have been sent to Solace Ministry in Kigali, which is a non-profit organization committed to assisting orphans and widows.
- The two hundred balls will be distributed to a broad range of organizations: schools, community organizations, and non-profit groups that are working with survivors of the genocide.
- More Information
- Since the 1994 Genocide thousands of kids have been stranded, with no family, no house, no livestock to sell. These kids are the future of a unified Rwanda and a model to young adults throughout the world.
- In August 2000, a group of orphan survivors established AOCM. Since then, the organization has grown to represent 1,600 heads of households and the 3-4 people who live in each household, on average.
- Their goals are to seek to create a spirit of solidarity among orphans who are heads of households. To find solutions to the problems of their members, including meeting educational, household and medical needs. To support their members in finding and creating employment and to educate their members about the genocide, its causes, and the politics of denial.