In a decade across continents, in many towns and cities, our story has been written with passionate individuals through life-changing experiences. Through our journeys of change Future of Africa has evolved from our founder’s personal mission into a shared purpose; equipping young people in Africa to serve, be compassionate, and address social injustices that impact the wellbeing of people in their communities. Take a scroll down our memory lane.
MARCH 2008 WATERLOO, ON - GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP CONFERENCE
At the 2008 LSPIRG Global Citizenship Conference, FOA founder TK Mawuli Azaglo is inspired by Lieutenant-General Romèo Dallaire’s (Force Commander United Nations Mission in Rwanda) keynote at Wilfrid Laurier University on his experience in Rwanda during the genocide. Upon hearing Dallaire’s answer to what he thought the future of Africa was, “the future of Africa lies in the hands of children and youth who take leadership responsibilities for the issues they see around them”, TK responded to Mr. Dallaire, “I am the future of Africa and I will do everything to make a difference in the continent”. TK recalls feeling stunned as the auditorium erupted into a standing ovation. He found his voice and a significant boost in his self-confidence when he realized the impact his response had on the audience. Mr. Dallaire said to him “you said something really powerful today and I look forward to hearing what you will do”. This experience changed TK’s life and set him on a journey to discover the world and his role within it.
MAY 2008 CAMBRIDGE, ON - THE COOKIE FACTORY
During the summer of 2018, TK worked at Tamynn Foods, a cookie factory in Cambridge ON. To ease the boredom of standing and watching his machine for 12 hours, TK spent his time writing his dreams for Future of Africa on tissue papers. Consumed by his dreams and ideas he often lost track of his machine and got in trouble for frequent fire outbreaks in his oven and cream spillage on his machine. TK met John, a colleague and fellow Golden Hawk working next to him. TK shared his story and plans to start Future of Africa as a campus club to educate students on the misconceptions and stereotypes they had about Africa. Inspired by TK’s story, John committed to mobilizing signatures to start the club. TK and John became very good friends who would travel to Uganda and Ghana on Service-Learning Experiences.
JUNE 2008 WATERLOO, ON - THE CORD WEEKLY
Following TK’s response to Romèo Dallaire, the Cord Weekly interviewed him to share his story and experiences at Laurier. TK shared his dreams to give back to his home community, work for an NGO: building schools, hospitals and community centers in Africa. This feature served as a catalyst and a platform to share his vision for starting a campus club which would later evolve into what FOA is today.
OCTOBER 2008 WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY - CAMPUS CLUB
On October 27, 2008 Future of Africa was officially approved and recognized as a campus club by the Wilfrid Laurier University Students Union. FOA organized documentary screenings and invited guest speakers to educate students on the misconceptions and stereotypes they had about Africa. FOA hosted several campaigns to create awareness about on-going development issues. FOA was a very active club with over 100 students participating in events and meetings.
MARCH 2009 WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY - NEW CLUB OF THE YEAR
FOA Laurier wins Wilfrid Laurier University Student Union’s (WLUSU) Best New Club of the year at the Campus Club’s End of Year Banquet held at the Turret.. This award recognizes the contribution of a new club to campus life and student engagement. This award motivated FOA to do more to leave a meaningful impact at Laurier and the broader Waterloo community.
MAY 2009 ARUA, UGANDA - SERVICE-LEARNING EXPERIENCE
FOA started the Journey for Change program to expose students to different cultures and realities in an African country. In 2009 we embarked on our first service-learning experience for ten weeks to Uganda with seven students from Wilfrid Laurier University. On this trip, FOA partners with Peace for All International to build a computer lab, chicken coop and run sports programs for children in Arua, Uganda. FOA pulled out of Uganda after all our projects failed. We did not understand the needs of the people we sought to serve in Arua.
MARCH 2010 WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY - MOST ACTIVE CLUB OF THE YEAR
FOA Laurier wins Wilfrid Laurier University Student Union’s (WLUSU) Most Active Club of the year at the Campus Club’s End of Year Banquet held at the Turret. This award was in recognition of FOA’s contribution to campus life and student engagement. FOA hosted documentary screenings, a Peace Festival and fundraising events in preparation towards our Journey for Change to Ghana.
JUNE 2010 CAMBRIDGE, ON - PEACE MEDALLION NOMINEE
FOA Laurier receives a nomination for YMCA Peace Medallion at the YMCA’s of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo. This award recognizes the achievements of individuals or groups who – without any special resources – demonstrate in their lives and activities the values expressed by PEACE (participation, empathy, advocacy, community, empowerment) and serve as models of what all of us are capable of achieving if we choose.
JULY 2010 ACCRA, GHANA - LOCAL OWNERSHIP
JULY 2010 LOLITO, VR, GHANA - LOCAL PARTNERSHIP
FOA visited Smile Child Academy in TK’s hometown of Lolito. This school was founded by Nunya Dogbe and Shine Amedonoo of blessed memory, to provide children in the village with good foundations before basic school. The school struggled to maintain facilities and expand its capacity to meet the growing interest in the school. FOA decided to support school renovations and expand the capacity of this school. We are still working to improve the quality of education young people receive in rural communities.
AUGUST 2010 WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY - MYLAURIER VIDEO DIARY
DECEMBER 2010 WINDSOR, ON - CAMPUS CLUB UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR
APRIL 2011 LOLITO, VR, GHANA - SERVICE-LEARNING EXPERIENCE
Future of Africa embarks on its first service-learning trip to Ghana with seven students from Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. On this trip, the volunteers worked with the community to renovate five classrooms for children at Smile Child Academy, Lolito.
DECEMBER 2011 WATERLOO, ON - MENTORSHIP
JANUARY 2012 - EXPERIENCE WITH YOUNG LEADERS
JUNE 2012, LOLITO, VR, GHANA
FOA hosts eight Canadian students on its service-learning program for six weeks. On this trip FOA builds a library with the Lolito community for students at Smile Child Academy. The visiting students also participated in various activities to learn about local cultures.
NOVEMBER 2012, STO. DOMINGO DE ONZOLE, ECUADOR
JUNE 2013, LOLITO, VR, GHANA
THE WAY FORWARD
DECEMBER 2014, RETURN HOME
MAY 2015, LOLITO, VOLTA-REGION, GHANA
FOA hosts six Canadians and one Ghanaian on its service-learning program for two weeks. On this trip students build bathroom facilities for Smile Child Academy. They also participate in various activities to encourage critical self-reflection and leadership development.
AUGUST 2015, MEETING KWEKU
AUGUST 2015, LEWIS FAMILY
FOA hosts the Lewis family from the United States of America for two weeks. On this trip the Lewis family sponsor and contribute to building two classrooms and bring desks for 100 students to support the growth of Smile Child Academy.
OCTOBER 2015, GOOD NEIGHBORS PROGRAM
FOA expands its focus to include investing in children and youth living in the streets of Accra. FOA provides pathways to education and personal wellbeing. FOA spends time with these children every week to understand their realities and invest in their God-given potential.
JANUARY 2016, SERVING LEADERS PROGRAM
FOA incorporates university students into its work with children and youth living on the streets of Accra. Students help in the growth and development of Lead-2-Serve Africa Programs, StreetSmart, Mi Dunu, and Street Art.