Our organization was founded in 2010 by Kadijatu Grace Ahene, a Sierra Leonean born young Professional raised in USA. Having experienced a life of hardship growing up in Sierra Leone like many of the young girls and children in our program, Kadijatu always been dismayed by the poor standard of education and lack of vocational skills training available to underprivileged in Africa. As a child, she encountered many struggles as a Rape victim a student; one of which was her parents’ inability to afford her education. Her mother was a local businesswoman who made clothes and crafts at the local street market and her father was a not in the picture. The family during Kadijatu’s early years.
In 1996, Kadijatu fled Sierra Leone as a result of the country’s civil war that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands. The family settled in Guniea where kadijatu continued her primary education in an alternative school established for refugee children. In the year 2000 at age 14, kadijatu resettled in the United States and has been working to serve the underprivileged ever since.
In the summer of 2012, Kadijatu 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 yawei developmental center, kadijatu was a committed volunteer for organizations like communityActions council, Amnesty International, Change.org, and Invisible girls 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 yawei 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 a single mother who never stepped into her full potential.