The Power of Paying It Forward
“It takes each of us to make a difference for all of us.” – Jackie Mutcheson
In its quest to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity, Asante Africa Foundation collaborates with communities and schools in East Africa, especially the hinterlands, to ignite the hope of success in youth. While at it, Asante Africa has maintained the principle of paying the deed forward and continues to encourage and support beneficiaries to give back to their community. Our pay-it-forward philosophy allows the youth to learn, practice, and further impact that knowledge within their communities and beyond.
For almost two decades, Asante Africa, through its various programs, has transformed the lives of over one million people across more than 450 schools in East Africa. To promote a culture of transfer of knowledge, Asante Africa introduced the Youth Livelihood Program (YLP), which has gone a long way in facilitating the spread of the tentacles of progress in communities across East Africa. The core mandate of YLP is to support young adults in carving a niche in the professional world. Over the years, these benefactors have shared what they have learned in the program with their social circles and doubled as problem-solvers in their respective communities – an act of paying it forward.
Asante Africa alumna Monica (Kenya) embodies the principle of pay-it-forward. Through YLP, Monica gained a wealth of experience ranging from entrepreneurial, problem-solving, creativity, and decision-making skills. Empowered, giving back to her community drives Monica. Today, she is a mentor who shares her experience with her mentees and gives them the guidance they need to reach their highest potential.
Monica keeps paying it forward by continuously finding ways of improving the livelihood of the people in the community. She created the Naitawang Youth Empowerment Organization to foster gender equality through youth knowledge sharing and girl education. The organization focuses on girl’s rights, reducing the rate of child marriage and teenage pregnancies, and improving literacy levels to promote financial independence.
“I reach out to youth my age through mentorship and provide
sanitary towels, guidance, and support to the less fortunate girls.” ~ Monica
Monica gives equal attention to boy’s education. As part of the Youth in Mentorship Program, Monica visited the Molo Academy of Boys in Kenya to discuss mental health with the students and teach the boys about sexuality, relationships, and leadership.
A cross-section of the students at Molo Boys Academy during the discussion on mental health
Monica gave another mental health talk at the Walk Academy Center, a school that helps orphans and children from humble backgrounds.
“Our mission was to show love and care to the kids. I felt honored to present a topic on mental health. It was a great time: we played, ate, and enjoyed the day with one another.” ~ Monica
Monica gives a mental health talk at the Walk Academy Centre
Monica’s latest pay-it-forward venture is climate activism. In June 2023, she launched the Life for a Life (LFAL) Campaign. This campaign encourages the community to promote environmental sustainability by planting more trees. She leads this campaign by planting trees in various community places, including churches and schools, to maintain an ecological balance.
Monica’s community-changing work demonstrates that pay-it-forward is a powerful philosophy that makes the world a better place one step at a time. It is a collective community effort with a ripple effect, where everyone eventually benefits from their own good deeds. That aside, paying it forward is a venture that not only puts smiles on people’s faces but also boosts confidence and elevates young people to hold leadership positions. For these reasons, Asante Africa invests deeply in the pay-it-forward philosophy. In the words of Monica:
I am empowered and motivated to make an impact in my community. With my new skills, I seek to shed light on the rights of people with disabilities and people who are less fortunate.