Jewish Heart for Africa (JHA) is a non-profit aimed at not just helping impoverished communities in Africa, but helping through sustainability. Since its beginning in 2008, the group has brought 50 projects to more than 200,000 residents in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda. Those projects range from clean water systems and support for medical centers to agriculture planning and electricity for public schools.
While many organizations aim to bring aid to African communities, JHA is unique in its approach. It uses cutting edge Israeli technology to create programs using solar energy and remote computer platforms. The result is low cost, innovative systems that benefit African nations and stimulate Israel’s economy.
“Tikkun olam is a basic tenant and it’s part of young adults’ approach to Judaism. It’s about healing the world, and today we have a great capability to do so,” said Rachel Ishofsky, associate executive director with JHA. “We’re leveraging Israeli expertise and technology to repair the world.”
With Project Sol, JHA used solar technology to power schools, medical clinics and water pumping systems. Because of that power, more than 100,000 African children have received crucial vaccinations. Through Project Agro, the organization used the same technology that helps agriculture bloom in the Israeli desert to fight hunger and promote economy in African villages.
Once JHA sets up a project abroad, it keeps a close watch on development. Representatives travel to the various sites once a month and on-site staff from each country are employed to monitor progress and problems, should they creep up. And locals are brought in on the action, encouraged to have a progressive hand in supporting their own communities, like a phone charging initiative JHA created.
“Instead of having to walk miles to find an outlet to charge their phones, locals can use our cell phone charging system, which costs 10 to 15 cents per charge,” Ishofsky said. “So people who benefit from these programs can actually support the project through their own income.”
Israel computer systems are also used to track data, like the collection of solar power. JHA staff receives readings on energy levels so it can predict and counteract any possible shortcomings.
“We’re actually able to monitor projects remotely using Israeli technology,” Ishofsky said, proving JHA is a genuine meeting of communities.
.ORG-Connection: Jewish Heart for Africa’s mission is to save African lives with Israeli innovation, all while supporting Israel’s economy and image around the world. Foundations and corporations support our operating expenses so that 100 percent of individual donations fund our direct project costs.