Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight: Derek Young

Derek Young has been a dear friend to Sarah Nininger, AIA's Executive Director, since high school. A few years ago, he reached out asking if AIA needed any help and if he could use his finance and technology skills to help us further our mission. Little did he know that we would talk him into not only overseeing all of our finances and but also into joining our Board of Directors. We are so grateful to have him on our team.  Derek told us all about why he loves AIA. Read the full interview below!

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How and when did you first hear about Action in Africa? Action in Africa first came on my radar in 2012 through Action in Africa's President, Sarah Nininger. We have been friends since high school and her positive, unabating advocacy for Action in Africa did not go unnoticed.

There are so many organizations doing incredible things across the globe, why do you pick Action in Africa to give to? I remember the first organization I supported years ago was Heifer International. In less than a year following my initial donation to Heifer International, I saw the dollars I donated be consumed by marketing pieces from the organization. It was disheartening to see my donation slowly transformed into thick marketing catalogs that ended up in my recycling bin. What I love about Action in Africa is their stewardship of donations. Marketing and fundraising are necessary budget-items for every non-profit, but Action in Africa is very conscientious of this spending and they use cost-effective techniques, such as digital marketing, to ensure the large-majority of each donation goes toward their programs.

What is your favorite part of Action in Africa?  Of the numerous programs and services Action in Africa provides, my favorite are their educational programs. Think of the old adage: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" - by providing and supporting education, Action in Africa is feeding Kampalans for a lifetime.

Would you recommend Action in Africa to potential new donors? I would absolutely recommend Action in Africa to anyone looking for a non-profit to support. When making a donation, you are faced with two questions: Is the cause I'm supporting an appropriate cause to support? Will this cause benefit from my donation? With Action in Africa, these questions receive a resounding 'yes.'

Anything else you would like to add? Just that I'm looking forward to seeing how the impact of this organization manifests down the road! I believe Action in Africa's impact affects the roots of life in Kampala and the benefits to the community are deep and lasting.

Lastly, please describe AIA in three words. Empowerment through education. 

Special thanks to Derek for his unwavering commitment to Action in Africa.

This post is a part of Action in Africa's "Donor Spotlight" series which intends to educate people about our work in Uganda and invite them to join the story.

Join Derek and support our work in Uganda today!

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Donor Spotlight - Sallie Mesker

Sallie Mesker is one of Action in Africa's biggest fans. From financially supporting AIA's Special Needs Program to visiting us in Uganda, to co-hosting a fundraiser for in St. Louis to wearing our Muganda bracelets daily, it's hard to find anyone who loves Action in Africa more than Auntie Sallie. Sallie talked with Action in Africa's Executive Director, Sarah Nininger, and told us all about why she loves AIA. Read the full interview below!

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Sarah: Sallie, how and when did you first hear about Action in Africa?

Sallie: I first heard about Action in Africa when I was in high school.  One of my very best friends from growing up, Mimi Rogers, was and still is highly involved in the organization.  From the second I heard about Action in Africa, I was intrigued. I had always wanted to go to Africa, but hadn't found an organization whose mission really resonated with me.    

Sarah: There are so many organizations doing incredible things across the globe, why do you pick Action in Africa to give to?

Sallie: While Action in Africa has always had a very special place in my heart, it wasn't until I visited The Center in the summer of 2017 that I truly understood all of the incredible work that is taking place on a daily basis.  All 14 full-time Ugandan employees live, eat, and breath Action in Africa. Each and every single day they are dedicated to creating a higher quality of life for the people of Nakuwadde. I find their passion and drive to be truly inspiring.   

Sarah: What is your favorite part of Action in Africa? (Program, service, kid, etc.)

Sallie: Before visiting Uganda, this question would have been a lot more difficult for me to answer because all of the programs and services Action in Africa offers are amazing.  But during my time at The Center a young boy with the world's best smile stole my heart. His name is Shaki. Shaki was born with cerebral palsy, but from the second I met him it was evident to me that he does not let his condition stop him from being one of the most happy, kind, hilarious, and overall incredible people. Shaki is why I am so passionate about the special needs program/service Action in Africa offers. (Sallie is pictured with Shaki on instagram with a link to this blog post) 

Sarah: Would you recommend Action in Africa to potential new donors and why?

Sallie: Time and time again I would recommend Action in Africa to potential new donors. To me, one of the most incredible aspects of this organization is how it is run by such a young group of people, Americans and Ugandans alike. The dedication and commitment of each individual on this team is enough to save a village (quite literally). Whether it is from the United States or right on site at The Center in Uganda, each morning these people wake up prepared to make a difference in the lives of the people of Nakuwadde.     

Sarah: Lastly, describe Action in Africa in three words.

Sallie: Compassionate, Selfless, and Driven. 

Special thanks to Sallie for her unwavering commitment to Action in Africa.

This post is a part of Action in Africa's "Donor Spotlight" series which intends to educate people about our work in Uganda and invite them to join the story.

Join Sallie and support our work in Uganda today!

Donate