The African Education Program (AEP) was conceived in 2002, when four Radnor High School sophomores decided they wanted to support students affected by poverty and AIDS ravaging Zambia.
Founders Hillary Bridges, Sarah Hayes, Christian Mark and Julie-Anne Savarit-Cosenza started their work with school supplies, computers and clothes they collected, sorted, and shipped. Within two years, AEP was registered as an official 501(c) 3 charitable organization. Through their native-Zambian soccer coach at the time, Dave Chalikulima, the founders connected with his brother Amos who lived in Kafue at the time and became the founders’ contact on the ground and their host in 2005.
Inspired by their African peers, and responding to their plea for a space that would provide an educational, creative and safe environment, we opened our first community youth resource center in August 2006. Amos Youth Centre (AYC) now supports over 200 youth annually and is a registered non-governmental organization recognized by the Zambian Ministry of Home Affairs.
With limited resources, we already have a strong track record of lifting our most promising participants out of poverty by supporting them through college. This has changed the trajectory of their individual lives and those of their families. But our work does not end here and we seek to change the trajectory of the community at large through programs that focus on providing opportunities for graduates to give back to the organization itself, younger members of the program, and the broader community.