WCS-009: Ashley Shuyler is transforming education for girls in east African villages

Ashley Shuyler

Ashley Shuyler demonstrates how little-by-little small actions can make big changes happen. She shares how support for education is transforming the lives of girls and entire communities in east Africa.

About Ashley Shuyler:

Ashley is the founder of AfricAid, a nonprofit organization that supports girls’ education in Africa in order to provide young women with the opportunity to transform their own lives and the futures of their communities. Since its inception in 2001, AfricAid has supported thousands of Tanzanian students in their educational and professional goals. In 2010, Ashley launched the Kisa Project, AfricAid’s flagship initiative that supports girls’ scholarships and leadership training in Africa to prepare the next generation of leaders.

Personal Mantra:

It’s a Swahili saying that goes like this, “Haba na haba hujaza kibaba” and it means “Little by little fills the big tin.”

One of her greatest challenges:

When she was just starting to create AfricAid at just 11 years old, Ashley confronted the pessimism of an older “expert” who believed nobody could make a difference, especially someone so young. She shares how she found the courage to continue anyway.

When she knows the work she is doing is making a difference:

Ashley shares about a woman her own age who overcame great challenges to become the first girl from her village to complete high school then had a tremendous influence on her entire community.

Practical Advice:

“It’s so important to find that place where your great joy meets the world’s great need.”

Ashley provides specific examples of how she has used things that she loves to fill the need for girls’ education in Tanzania.

Personal Practice That Keeps her Going on the Tough Days

She uses a combination of prayer, the outdoors, and empathy for inspiration.

Tools or Technology:

Ashley describes a unique approach to using Facebook for coordination and to engage sponsors.

Recommended books and films:

Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof

Film: Girl Rising from director Richard E. Robbins

Nomination for Upcoming World Changer Sessions Guest:

Tammy Tibbetts, founder of She’s the First

Malala Yousafzai

How to get in touch:

Website: AfricAid.com

On Facebook

Email: ashley@africaid.com