Youth Action International’s (YAI) mission is to increase digital literacy and computer proficiency for young people in post war African countries. YAI was established in 2006 by Liberian civil war survivor Mr. Kimmie Weeks.   The organization’s early projects were centered around education, health care and economic empowerment.   


Since its establishment, YAI’s programs have benefited more than 500,000 people in Burundi, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda. Past successful programs have included establishing computer training centers, vocational training centers and building high schools. The organization has also run several initiatives including an early childhood education initiative and providing access to clean water for communities.  YAI also undertook a number of interventions to address the Ebola and Covid 10 epidemics in vulnerable communities in the two countries.


In both Liberia and Sierra Leone, YAI has run various empowerment programs focused on providing young people the training skills and tools to improve their lives and contribute to national development.   Successful programs have included a vocational training center for women which trained 500 young women annually  in various vocational training skills to help them earn an income. We have also implemented standalone computer training programs, various agricultural projects to train young people to utilize organic farming techniques, and various microloans and microgrant programs which impacted close to 10,000 young people.  


Over the years, YAI has run several computer training labs in Liberia and in Sierra Leone.   We have run stand alone community based computer labs to train high school graduates in basic computer skills.  We have also partnered with local organizations to run affordable community based computer training programs which have benefited thousands of young people.


Kimmie Weeks and YAI have been recognized globally and have received numerous awards for YAI’s work against poverty.   Notable amongst them includes the World’s Children’s Prize from the Queen of Sweden and Liberia’s highest civilian award as Knight Grand Commander in Humane Order of African Redemption from former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  Our work has been profiled on major television networks including CNN, BBC TV, CCTV, Discovery Channel, and MTV Canada. 


Youth Action International is a registered 501(c)3 organization in the United States and is an accredited non-governmental organization  with the governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone.  


 YAI’s is one that embodies the spirit of resilience, innovation, and a profound belief if given the tools and resources, people and communities can join forces to break themselves out of extreme poverty. The organization was born from the vision and long time dedication of of Liberian civil war survivor Mr. Kimmie Weeks who established YAI after he was granted political asylum in the United States as a result of work he had done in Liberia against the use of children as soldiers. 


The foundation of YAI was laid in the most unexpected of places: a college campus. Enrolled as a student at Amherst College, Kimmie Weeks was moved by his own experiences as a survivor of Liberia’s brutal civil war. He recognized the glaring gaps in postwar societies, particularly the lack of education and opportunities for young people. With a passion for change and an unyielding determination, Kimmie founded Youth Action International in 2006.


Expanding Horizons: From Liberia to Sierra Leone and Beyond


YAI’s first steps were humble yet impactful. The organization’s inaugural offices were opened in Liberia and Sierra Leone, serving as hubs of innovation, empowerment, and progress. These offices marked the beginning of a journey that would ultimately transcend borders and create ripples of transformation in more postwar African countries.


As YAI’s impact grew, so did its reach. The organization expanded its horizons, establishing a presence in East Africa as well. This expansion was not just a geographic leap; it was a testament to the universal relevance of YAI’s mission—to equip young people with the skills and tools they need to thrive.


Projects that Shape the Future: Impactful Initiatives


Throughout its history, YAI has spearheaded a diverse array of projects that have left an indelible mark on communities and individuals. From the outset, YAI recognized that education was the cornerstone of progress. The organization launched initiatives centered around education, healthcare, and economic empowerment. High schools were built, vocational training centers were established, and computer labs became hubs of digital learning.


One of YAI’s triumphs was the establishment of the Center for Women’s Empowerment; a vocational training center where hundreds of young women annually gained valuable skills to generate income and uplift their families. Other programs included the Mother Goose Time early childhood curriculum, the Water for all Initiative, agriculture, and microloans.


Recognition and Global Impact


YAI’s dedication and impact have earned it recognition on a global stage. Awards such as the World’s Children’s Prize from the Queen of Sweden and Liberia’s Knight Grand Commander in Humane Order of African Redemption bestowed by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf are a testament to the organization’s unwavering commitment to change.


 The organization’s impactful work has not gone unnoticed by the media. Major television networks including CNN, BBC TV, CCTV, Discovery Channel, and MTV Canada have profiled YAI’s efforts, amplifying its message of empowerment and transformation.


A Vision Unveiled: Youth Action International’s Legacy


 Today, YAI stands as a testament to the power of a vision, the strength of collaboration, and the tenacity of individuals committed to making a difference. From its founding by Kimmie Weeks during his college years to its expansion across African regions, YAI’s journey is one of ceaseless innovation and empowerment.


As YAI continues to evolve and adapt to the changing landscape, its commitment remains unchanged—to empower young people, transform communities, and shape a brighter future. The history of YAI is a narrative of triumph over adversity, of unwavering dedication, and of a collective endeavor to create lasting, positive change.



 Throughout its history, Youth Action International (YAI) has spearheaded a wide range of projects aimed at empowering young people, promoting education, and fostering positive change in postwar African countries. Here are some of the organization’s notable past projects:

The Becky Primary School: In Collaboration with popular musician MIA and Humanity Unites Brilliance (HUB), YAI constructed a school (grades nursery -12) in Liberia for 1,800 students.  The School is called the Becky Primary School and is in Margibi County in Liberia. 

The Center for Women’s Empowerment: One of YAI’s impactful endeavors was the establishment of vocational training centers specifically designed for young women. These centers equipped them with skills in areas such as tailoring, weaving, and other income-generating activities, enhancing their economic independence and empowerment.  

The Grand Bassa Computer Training Center:  This project was implemented in Grand Bassa and Bong Counties in rural Liberia.  The computer labs give young people in rural Liberia the opportunity to learn computer skills and increase opportunities available to them. 

Early Childhood Education Initiatives:  YAI’s Mother Goose Time Program for early childhood education was implemented for ten years.  Implemented with support from the Alabaster Foundation,  it was YAI’s longest running program and provided training for teachers and materials to tens of thousands of children each year.  This initiative laid the groundwork for holistic development and prepared young children for future academic success.

Clean Water Access Programs:  Access to clean water is a fundamental right often denied to vulnerable communities. YAI’s Water for All program provided clean water filters, and repaired handpumps for over 100 communities.  

Ebola and COVID-19 Response Interventions: During the Ebola and COVID-19 epidemics, YAI stepped up to provide responsive interventions in vulnerable communities. These efforts included disseminating information, distributing essential supplies, and offering support to affected individuals and families.

Organic Farming Projects: Recognizing the importance of sustainable agriculture, YAI implemented projects that trained young people in organic farming techniques. These initiatives not only provided a source of livelihood but also promoted environmentally-friendly practices.

Microloans and Microgrants Programs: YAI facilitated access to financial resources through microloans and microgrants. These initiatives empowered young people to start their own businesses, enhancing economic opportunities and self-sufficiency.

Empowerment Programs for Youth: YAI’s empowerment programs equipped young people with diverse training, skills, and tools for personal growth and national development. These programs encompassed vocational training, standalone computer training, agricultural projects, and more.

Inspire Liberia! : Inspire Liberia is a transformative program dedicated to empowering the next generation of young leaders by providing them with mentorship, motivation, and a platform to ignite their potential. Designed to spark inspiration and drive positive change, this initiative connects young people with accomplished speakers who share their personal stories, insights, and expertise.