The Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
To Carly Yoon,
CEO of Portfolio PFA –
Keep building amazing things in the world!
— Jessica Jackley, co-founder of KIVA and author of Clay, Water, Brick
About Portfolio PFA
Portfolio PFA is primarily inspired by two years of dedicated research by the PFA (Pencils for Africa) Editorial Team, through conducting interviews, composing reflections and engaging in Skype calls, with pioneering social entrepreneurs working in Africa today.
Over the past two years, PFA’s Editorial Team of middle school students in California, have begun to discern the issues and values affecting the African continent, through a prism of multilayered, multidisciplinary and multicultural perspectives.
This includes the need for education, as supported by programs such as the Hilde Back Educational Fund in Kenya and School for Life in Uganda. It also includes an understanding of meeting the needs of children who are marginalized and vulnerable through programs such as the Nyaka Orphans Project. It includes the need for peace-building through programs such as Catalyst for Peace, and it includes addressing elemental economic needs, such as the simple need for a bicycle in rural Africa, through programs such as Bicycles for Poverty.
If you believe you have found a new and better way forward blaze that trail. You just might be the first one to make a new path that the rest of us will one day follow too.
— Jessica Jackley in Clay, Water, Brick, page 100
Over the past two years, the Pencils for Africa Editorial Team have learned that understanding Africa requires a depth and a dimension of discernment. A natural progression of this multilayered understanding, is to now begin to define what constitutes a holistic and multidimensional approach to donating to and supporting worthy programs in Africa today.
Although the Pencils for Africa Editorial Team are by no means experts and are just curious and dedicated middle school students; their depth of research and their enthusiasm will add value to whomever is considering donating money to improve lives in Africa and to invest in sustainable programs for the betterment of children in Africa. As such, the Pencils for Africa Editorial Team are recommending a ‘portfolio’ of options, a ‘portfolio’ of strategies and suggestions, which address issues ranging from economic and educational development to peace-buidling.
This portfolio of donation options is now cumulatively known as Portfolio PFA.
Informal Giving Circles
PFA’s Editorial Team have been reading and researching the book, A Path Appears, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. At the end of this book the authors recommend the following:
Write an email to friends and ask if they’d be interested in creating an informal giving circle that meets every month to explore powerful ways of making a difference…
Portfolio PFA has been created as one of many other options, that serves to meet the need of informal giving circles such as the ones recommended by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
The Power of Small Acts
Pencils for Africa’s Editorial Team believe that no matter how small the donation participation in the options presented by Portfolio PFA, the value-added will be magnified.
The team have been watching the documentary film, A Small Act, which underscores the magnitude of a small donation in providing an educational impact for a child in Kenya.
Similar examples exist in other countries throughout Africa. No donation to Portfolio PFA is too small or too modest since the potential for magnifying the value of a donation is infinite.
No act of kindness and selflessness is too small or too insignificant. This is a core lesson that the Pencils for Africa’s Editorial Team have learned from the film, A Small Act.
Structure, Strategy and Sustainability
Each of the 10 donation options selected for Portfolio PFA has a strong social entrepreneurial structure and strategy. Not only are these 10 social entrepreneurship programs in Africa focused and disciplined regarding their humanitarian impact, but they are also focused and disciplined as sound nonprofit business models that are run frugally and efficiently.
All of the 10 social entrepreneurship programs presented here are viable and sustainable programs that are dedicated to improving the future of the African continent.
The 10 programs selected for Portfolio PFA in alphabetical order are as follows:
Acodev Uganda (ADV)
Akili Dada Scholarships (AKD)
African Library Project (ALP)
Bicycles Against Poverty (BAP)
Camme Congo (CAM)
Catalyst for Peace (CAP)
Nyaka Schools (NYK)
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT)