CorpsAfrica was founded in 2011 by former Peace Corps Volunteer Liz Fanning with the idea of turning community development in Africa over to local changemakers. During her own service, Liz was approached by young Moroccans who wanted to be Peace Corps Volunteers so they could help people in their own country, but she had to tell them it was only for Americans.
That exchange sparked the idea for an organization built on the simple belief that young Africans are the catalyst for lasting growth in Africa. Building on the enormous success of the Peace Corps, CorpsAfrica offers a similar transformative experience to young Africans, giving them the chance they deserve to be a part of the solution and to find their place in the world.
By training highly educated young Africans to help local communities identify and solve their own challenges, CorpsAfrica is shifting Africa’s development sector from reliance on external aid to empowering and strengthening its most valuable asset: its people. Inspired by the Peace Corps model, CorpsAfrica Volunteers are trained and posted to live in remote villages for up to one year to facilitate small-scale, high impact projects that are identified by local people.
Since launching its first program in Morocco in 2013, it has expanded to 10 countries across the continent and aims to expand to all 54 of Africa’s countries in the next ten years. To date, CorpsAfrica has hosted hundreds of volunteers across Morocco, Senegal, Malawi, and Rwanda, who have completed over 800 projects, including building wells, schools, roads, and irrigation systems; establishing literacy programs; and supporting vegetable and livestock farms.
CorpsAfrica Volunteers prioritize community engagement to build resilience so local people are better prepared to weather crises, recover from setbacks, and thrive. Through their service, the Volunteers also undergo a transformative experience that helps to shape their view of the world and prepare them for personal and professional success.
The CorpsAfrica model is centered around values that promote local ownership. These values are as community-focused as our projects. We strive to significantly impact the communities and the lives of the people we serve! And we do so by holding ourselves accountable for our outcomes.
Locals helping locals
Young Africans can be part of the solution for their own countries. By relocating to remote communities in their own countries for one year, they fully integrate by learning local customs, participating in daily activities, and becoming trusted community members.
CorpsAfrica Volunteers serve as liaisons between their communities and the outside world, including a wide range of Development Partners such as NGOs, development-related businesses, government officials, academics and social entrepreneurs. These Partners share their expertise and assist with project implementation.
Listening and capacity building
We stress the importance and power of listening. Volunteers lead change by engaging people in conversations and facilitating community meetings. Development efforts are most effective when they are “demand driven,” giving community members the opportunity to identify problems and to take the lead in solving them.
Monitoring and evaluation
No effort is complete without thorough monitoring and evaluation. Volunteers are taught how to facilitate a needs assessment in local communities and measure impact and sustainability. CorpsAfrica measures the effect on the lives of volunteers who have gained valuable grassroots community development experience.
Accountability and transparency
It is critical to demonstrate successes as well as failures to Development Partners, communities, and other stakeholders, so we can be held accountable for everything we do. It keeps us motivated and encourages us to be the best we can be.
Our goals are the compass that guide CorpsAfrica in our efforts to achieve youth-driven, collaborative, African-led development.
Promote the professional and personal development of young Africans.
Inspire a strong pan-African community and network of public service.
Connect rural areas to the resources and innovations of diverse NGO partners.
Build the capacity of rural villages to create self-sufficiency in every sector.
CorpsAfrica’s vision is to transform development by listening and connecting, giving youth the chance to be a part of the solution for their own countries.