Youth Action International, Inc. (YAI) was founded in 2005 by internationally acclaimed activist and motivational speaker Dr. Kimmie Weeks. YAI is a United States based and registered 501©3 organization. The organization works in post war African countries including Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda to provide education, health care and economic empowerment for children and young people.
YAI was started and inspired by acclaimed youth activist Kimmie Weeks, a survivor of the Liberian Civil War. At age nine, after nearly being buried alive as a result of disease, hunger and suffering, Weeks pledged to spend his life helping children. At age 16, Weeks successfully headed Liberia’s Children’s Disarmament Campaign, an effort to lobby the disarmament of approximately 20,000 Liberian child soldiers. Two years later, his work led Liberian President Charles Taylor and his government to attempt to have Weeks assassinated. As a result, Kimmie was forced to flee to the United States.
While in the U.S., Kimmie continues to grow his vision and invite other youth to partner in the mission. YAI focuses on post-war countries that have faced the worst situations of all – they are beyond the need of international emergency services, but not yet advanced enough to have a self-sustaining commercial economy. These countries face the daily realities of hunger, and a lack of basic needs such as clean water, safe schools, parks and medical care.
We inform young people in industrialized countries about the plight of the world’s children and channel their desire to create positive social change. We create tangible opportunities for young people to take action.
Some of Youth Action International’s current projects include rebuilding playgrounds destroyed by the Liberian civil war, being involved in partnerships to establish the first center for war-affected women in Sierra Leone, and providing long-term scholarships to encourage girls to stay in school from primary school age through college.