Mission Statement: "Education, Healthcare and Education Empowerment for Children and Young People"

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About Us

About Youth Action International

Youth Action Internation

Youth Action International (YAI) is an international nonprofit registered 501©3 organization. The organization’s mission is to provide education, health care and economic empowerment for children and young people living in postwar African countries. Founded in 2005 by Kimmie Weeks, a survivor of the Liberian conflict and longtime advocate for children, youth and families. Each of YAI’s projects is developed through extensive research and dialog with the community the program will be implemented. YAI works on the ground in post-war Liberia, Uganda and Sierra Leone and in close partnership with local community groups, government ministries and NGOs to address the issues of former child soldier reintegration; lack of economic and business opportunities; lack of training for women; and lack of access to education.


YAI’s programs focus in one of three areas:

Childhood Development

Target group – ages 0-12: Programs within this category focus on positive early childhood development through the provision of basic individual and school-related necessities; homework assistance and support; as well as the creation of safe, structured environments for play and learning. This area also advocates for the protection and wellbeing of children.



Youth Development/ Empowerment

Target group – ages 13-35: Within this category, YAI focuses on promoting the well-being and empowerment of war affected, former child soldiers, and economically disadvantaged youth in the poorest communities. Youth participants are particularly high-risk and in critical need of interventions that assist them in recovery and filling social, behavioral, educational, and other developmental gaps resulting from extended periods of civil unrest.


"Success ‘Opportunity Meets Preparation’ Program for Women"

Target Group – ages 13-35: This program area focuses on supporting the needs and development of women affected by war and girls at risk of sexual exploitation or domestic violence. It focuses on equipping and preparing young girls and women with information and opportunities that can allow for self-sufficiency and independence, and lessens the possibility of sexual exploitation and violence against them due to their social and economic circumstances.


IMPACT SUMMARY:

 100,000 youth benefit from YAI’s youth empowerment programs 40,000 people in the U.S. and Europe are inspired by Kimmie’s inspirational messages annually 10,000 pre-primary children receive education materials through YAI’s early childhood development initiatives 7,000 children climb on a new playground and rediscover their childhood 1,200 youth in the U.S. are actively engaged through YAI member chapters 800 single mothers gain work skills, receive micro-loans and claim a place of influence in their communities 400 young people learn via lifetime scholarships and experience the strength of education.

Updates & More

client
Theatre against
trafficking

“MANY PEOPLE ARE AFRAID to come to West Point. A lot of former rebel soldiers live here, and people are poor. There are many children here who have been kidnapped from villages in the country and brought here to work for someone, begging or selling different things. They don’t go to school and are treated like slaves. Poor girls are exploited by older men. Sometimes the man offers to pay the girl’s school fees, but only if he can exploit her. We do street theatre to help people understand that it’s wrong to treat children like that. YAI supports us because they believe it’s important for people to know what’s happening to children. People like our plays and discussions often arise afterwards.” Philomena, 15 (Source: World’s

client
Wants to be  
President!

     “I’m so happy to have started school here. It’s like a real school, but more fun. I used to have to work every day and washed clothes, fetch water and go to the market for food. But one day my aunt told me about the extra school, where children can learn things, and said that I could go! Now I can write my name and I have loads of new friends. I want to be the president of Liberia. When I’m president I will lower the price of rice, because poor people can’t afford to buy it.” Rina, 9 (Source: World’s Children’s Prize Magazine)

client
Wants to be
the Just Lawyer

“ IT’S THE END of term at Zoe-Louise Preparatory School in Monrovia and Anthionette, 12, is introducing today’s speaker: “Kimmie Weeks is a role model for us, because he works hard to make life better for children in Liberia.” Kimmie’s organization, Youth Action International, has trained the teachers at Anthionette’s school and provided more fun school resources.    It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your background is,” says Kimmie. “I grew up with no father, I was hungry and I had to beg for money to pay my school fees. Keep fighting! Don’t give up! Make Liberia a better place to live!”     “I want to be a just Lawyer,” Says Anthionette. “Because here in Liberia, many lawyers are unjust. Anyone who has money can make sure guilty people get away with crimes. That’s not good. I want Liberia to remember me as the Just Lawyer.”  (Source: World’s Children’s Prize Magazine) ” Philomena, 15 (Source: World’s

client
YAI makes school
fun

“ YAI makes school fun “UNFORTUNATELY, many schools in Liberia are boring,” says Helena Carter, who runs the school program in YAI. “Often the teaching just consists of a teacher writing on a chalkboard while the children copy into their jotters. If any student makes a mistake or talks in class, the teacher is quick to punish them with the cane. We wants to change that. It has to be fun for the children to learn. That makes it easy to learn.”          “That’s why everyone loves the YAI school program. We do games, songs, rhymes and dances. We train the teachers not to beat the children. They think it’s impossible to get children to obey them without hitting them. But that’s totally wrong. ‘Talk to the children,’ we say. YAI has trained 400 teachers. The schools that are part of the program have become very popular and lots of children wants to attend them.”          (Source: World’s Children’s Prize Magazine)

client
Girls learn
a trade

“Girls learn a trade “AFTER SCHOOL I walk for an hour to go here to the YAI girls’ center. Here we can learn a trade. I’ve already learn to do hair extension and nails, like at a real beauty salon. The course is free. That’s lucky, because my family would never be able to afford to pay. When I’ve finished the course I’m going to start a hair salon. If I earn enough money I’ll continue my education. I want to be an engineer and help to rebuild Liberia. The first thing I’m going to do is fix and asphalt all the roads. They’re in a terrible state. Then I’ll make sure all the roads have streetlights. The worst thing that happened to me was when I had to take care of my aunt’s baby instead of going to school.”                                                                                                  Charity L Jargbo, 15           (Source: World’s Children’s Prize Magazine)

client

““Youth Action International’s Mother Goose Time program helped me a lot because I did not know how to teach Phonics. The children has shown great enthusiasm and this has reduced the amount of time I beat on them.” (Liberian teacher,  In the same classroom the children told the interviewer, “We are not beaten these days…we love Mother Goose.”

client

““Mother Goose Time taught me a lot of things and made great changes in my class. Now I can move freely because of the revised class set up..The children have become happier since MGT was introduced.” (Liberian teacher “It helped to monitor my work effectively becuase I could see the immediate impact on my students.” (Liberian teacher,)  

client

““The program YAI started brought great changes to my class. We now have decorations all around and the mood has always been joyful since we receive MGT materials.” (Liberian Teacher,)