Africa Bridge

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Posted April 12th, 2016 by

Good News about Growth at Africa Bridge

Africa Bridge has two exciting and important developments to share with you – the hiring of a new executive director and the receipt of our largest grant to date.

New Executive DirectorDeb

Just over 15 years ago, Africa Bridge was founded out of Barry Childs’ personal experience and passion for the plight of orphaned children living in southern Tanzania. His dedication to creating a sustainable solution for extreme child poverty, resulting in large part from the devastation of HIV/AIDS in the country, has now benefited more than 6,000 vulnerable children and their families. When Barry stepped back from daily operations in 2014, Africa Bridge began the transition to an organization run by a paid professional staff. Following an expansive search, we are happy to announce that Deborah Saunders has joined us as Executive Director and is well poised to lead the organization toward its next stage of growth.

Deborah has an extensive background in nonprofit management, and was most recently the president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State in Rhode Island. She will drive all Africa Bridge operations from Oregon. Her leadership skills and fundraising experience will help us grow and maximize our effectiveness in working with vulnerable children in Tanzania. You can read more about Deborah here.

New Grant from Vibrant Village Foundation

VVF_Logo_CMYKAfrica Bridge has been awarded the largest grant in its history – $500,000 from Vibrant Village Foundation. Over the next five years, these funds will help support six villages in a new area, Kisondela Ward. These villages will join the 28 others where our five-year development model has proven successful in breaking the cycle of poverty for thousands of people.

The grant continues our collaboration with Vibrant Village Foundation, which has also invested in our work in Lufingo Ward. The organization’s focus on the potential of communities around the world makes Vibrant Village Foundation a strong partner. You can learn more about the foundation at and read our joint news announcement here.

Kisondela Ward has a population of about 12,000 people, with an estimated 1,400 children considered vulnerable. Similar to other wards with which Africa Bridge has partnered, the area is isolated, electricity is limited, water is collected from streams, and schools are deteriorating. Tanzania has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection, and combined with limited access to health care, the incidence in Kisondela is higher than the national average. With this generous funding from Vibrant Village Foundation, we will enable families to better care for vulnerable children by providing start-up loans, establishing farm co-ops, delivering extensive training, implementing social services, and opening access to education and health care. In doing so, we will also help change the future for the entire community.

With talented leadership in the U.S. and the gift of funding from Vibrant Village Foundation, 2016 promises to be an amazing year!

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