Youth Action International, Inc. (YAI) is a United States based and registered 501©3 organization. The organization works in post war African countries including Liberia, and Sierra Leone to provide education, health care and economic empowerment for children and young people.
Youth Action International was founded in 2005 by Liberian civil war survivor Dr. Kimmie Weeks while he was a freshmen student at Amherst College in Massachusetts. After gaining political asylum in the United States, Weeks remained painfully aware of the many challenges children and young people were facing in Liberia and wanted to do some thing to have a transformative impact on them and help them to break the chains of poverty.
YAI started as a small campus based organization working to raise money for small scale projects and encourage U.S. students to travel and volunteer on the African continent. Even today, young people can volunteer to travel and work with YAI in West Africa.
Since it was established, YAI and its partners have implemented a wide range of projects in over four post war African countries other than Liberia including Burundi, Rwanda Sierra Leone, and Uganda. These projects have benefited more than 250,000 people in these countries.
YAI’s work has been recognized globally with awards that include the World’s Children’s Prize, The Time Warner Co. Goodwill Games Medallion, The Golden Brick Awards, The Nuclear Age Foundation Award, and Liberia’s highest civilian award among many others.