Founder Barry Childs calls Africa home. He grew up in rural Tanzania, went to high school and university in South Africa, and eventually made his way to the United States. When he traveled back to Tanzania 35 years later, he was overwhelmed by the devastation of HIV/AIDS, and he knew he had to go home and help.
In 2000, Barry retired early from Abbott Laboratories and embarked on a second career in pursuit of helping vulnerable children in Africa. In search of solutions to combat the extreme child poverty associated with high mortality rates of parents dying from HIV/AIDS and other diseases, Barry conducted interviews with various African leaders, as well as village children and adults for over two years. Africa Bridge’s mission grew out of these interviews.
Barry was inspired by the openness of the villagers and understood that by drawing on Africa’s deep values of community and relationship, combined with Western technology and resources, a bridge could be built linking the Western and African worlds. Working together, Africa Bridge and the communities it serves design and deliver innovative and collaborative solutions to combat extreme child poverty.
In 2002, Africa Bridge began its first project in a village in Isongole Ward. Since then the organization has received funding from individuals and foundations to expand into 21 additional villages in the Isongole, Masoko and Mpombo wards.
In 2010, Barry Childs was awarded the prestigious Purpose Prize for his extraordinary achievements and commitment to solving social problems.