Our organization was founded in 2014 by Aisha Koroma, a Sierra Leonean born Social Worker and Mental Health Professional raised in Houston, Texas, USA. Having experienced a life of hardship growing up in Sierra Leone like many of the children in our program, Aisha has always been dismayed by the poor standard of education available to underprivileged children in Africa. As a child, she encountered many struggles as a student; one of which was her parents' inability to afford her education. Her mother was a local businesswoman who sold bananas at the local street market and her father was a cook who traveled to Senegal in search of employment and lost contact with the family during Aisha’s early years.
In 1996, Aisha and her family fled Sierra Leone as a result of the country's civil war that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands. The family settled in Senegal where Aisha continued her primary education in an alternative school established for refugee children. In the year 2000 at age 14, Aisha and her family were resettled in the United States and has been working to serve the underprivileged ever since.
In the summer of 2012, Aisha traveled to Sierra Leone as a volunteer for A-Scholars International, a UK based organization with a shared mission. Upon her return to the United States, she knew she had found her purpose. Prior to establishing Lift a Village, Aisha was a committed volunteer for organizations like UNICEF, Amnesty International, Change.org, and Invisible Children and served as an advocate for children's education and well-being. Her passion for transforming lives through education and creating social change for children across the globe is invaluable.
The inspiration behind Lift a Village transcends giving to a continent in need, our inspiration unites with a deeper personal story of our founder's experience and her mother’s experience as an illiterate who never stepped foot in a classroom simply because no one gave her the opportunity. Here is what Aisha has to say: “I founded Lift a Village to give children in Africa a chance to dream, hope, and explore through education; something that wasn’t given to my mother.”
Because the needs of the communities we serve have evolved, so has our mission.