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Who We Are In May 2005, a group of young Ghanaian professionals came together to form the NEO Africa Foundation (“NEO”), a non-profit organization registered in New York. Each of them are bound together by three threads:
- Each one of us originates from sub-Saharan Africa.
- We want to engage the challenges in Africa.
- We are determined to take on these challenges now.
As a group, we recognize that the dawn of Africa rests upon its young-adult population, endowed with immense untapped potential. We envision a new Africa, starting from Ghana, where the youth are empowered to pursue their aspirations and develop into effective change agents in their communities.
Our efforts are entirely motivated by our passion to effect change and touch lives in our continent. We will achieve these goals by developing innovative solutions and partnering with trustworthy non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the ground to implement our ideas.
To provide the African youth with the opportunity to pursue their aspirations with unbounded expectation and develop into effective change agents in their community.
We hope to develop a global network of individuals and organizations that intensely share this passion; a base we can tap into to pool ideas and funding for credible, results-driven initiatives.
The history of the past century and, indeed, of human existence, is a story of collective hope over plural despair.
Today, the critical convergence of political democratization and economic globalization is shaping a new architecture on the world stage. The emergence of China and India as relevant participants in global economic activity, for example, is one source of hope for the hitherto tangential nation-state. The crucial question is: can Africa, the most indigent region in the world, find the will and imagination to recreate itself as unprecedented global opportunities become available in the 21st century? Can the subcontinent discover promise and poise from its unique history and march into the future?
Against the many odds, will Africa be able to develop and harness the human capital of its populace within a setting that provides local incentives for talent to develop and grow? Our response is a resounding YES; but those of us with direct generational ties to the region have a special obligation to help Africa turn this new corner.
We are inspired to work toward the realization of the full promise of every school-going boy and girl in Africa. We recognize the monumental nature of the cause we have chosen. Yet, this cause is one that cannot wait. We believe that this century can be the African century; that the African child could take his rightful place in this new dawn of time; that together with her Asian, European, and American counterparts, the African girl-child, especially, will have reason to celebrate a new era of opportunity. We think that Africa's youth are the vital bridge between the contemporary crisis-ridden African state and the empowered Africa we envision.
We, the youth of Africa, hereby undertake to organize a new institutional model to engage every talented youth on the continent of Africa in the global effort to create a self-sustaining Africa: an Africa free once and for all, from the shackles of basic material deprivation and dehumanizing disease. We believe that Africa can be competitive in the new global order. Befittingly, we are committed to doing our part to create the new processes and institutions that will ultimately determine our future. For far too long, hunger, disease, war, corruption and illiteracy have eclipsed the possibilities of the African youth. The buck stops here!
NEO’s long-term vision is to become the conduit of choice for individuals and organizations who wish to support the work of trustworthy NGOs in Ghana. This vision is driven by three facts:
- There are many good NGOs doing great things in Ghana (despite the plethora of fraudsters).
- Like us, there are many others who are passionate about touching lives in Ghana.
- Many of the people who want to help do not know how to, or which NGOs can be trusted, and neither have the time nor energy to do the necessary research.
Our goal is to bridge the gap between the people who have the resources and the effective NGOs that need the resources to continue empowering others. As we design innovative strategies for tackling issues in our broad focus areas, we will pool resources from all available sources to support our partner NGOs in a variety of ways. These include:
- Competitive implementation contracts to pre-screened NGOs who demonstrate the ability to help bring our ideas to fruition.
- Grant awards to eligible NGOs who come up with good proposals of their own.
- Recruitment of volunteers and pro bono experts for short-term commitments with our NGOs.
Over time, this “Darwinian” model will weed out many ineffective organizations and leave in their stead, a network of dependable, productive NGOs that inspire confidence in Ghanaians everywhere. As we rally all well-meaning Ghanaians to help develop the country, we will also provide incentives for less proactive individuals to start giving back to Ghana.
NEO will focus on three main program areas. These are:
- Provide opportunities for underprivileged students to excel
- Provide resources for underserved institutions to become more effective
- Job Creation
- Provide career development opportunities for motivated university students
- Provide training and financial assistance to those who wish to pursue entrepreneurial ventures
- Community Service
- Establish a collaborative platform for NGOs to work together, share ideas and develop best practices
- Engage the youth in effective social reform through community service, mentoring and leadership training
To complement the benefits of these programs, we believe in the power of good role models, and are committed to connecting all our beneficiaries with dedicated, inspirational mentors.
[Click here to learn more about the founders]