Why our work (and our joy) still matters, 5 years later


We launched Africans in the Diaspora(AiD) in 2012 to challenge the prevailing paradigm of global development that viewed Africans through the gaze of “need.” It was time to stop promoting outsiders’ projects over people-centered solutions.

By launching AiD, we aimed to build on the legacy of diaspora organizing - connecting resources and skills from outside the continent with grassroots organizations in Africa.

In these five years, we have learned the significant role that diasporans play in re-shifting narratives about Africa. With your vision, ingenuity, leadership, and support, we have mobilized hundreds of thousands of dollars in resources to support partnerships with 14 organizations in six countries across Africa. Together, we have contributed to the important and growing crescendo of Africans daring to reclaim theglobal development and philanthropy space and place Africans’ re-imagined strategies at the center.

Our role and our voice is still needed. That is why we partnered with Thousand Currents (formerly IDEX) to support strategic diaspora philanthropy in 2014. And that’s why in early 2017, we formally merged to become a program of Thousand Currents, one of the few institutions to fully engage diasporans in strategy-setting and decision-making.


Today, as part of Thousand Currents, we continue to facilitate bridges between diaspora African communities and grassroots groups and movements in Africa. Our partners on the continent are protecting native seeds, advancing the right to land and sustainable food systems, and building community power to fight toxic policiesPlease visit this page to learn more about our partner organizations and their important and urgent work at the nexus of climate and economic justice, food sovereignty, and human rights.

Thousand Currents is committed to solidarity, self-determination, and transformative social change, and I am truly excited about what the future holds for AiD. We look forward to sharing more with you over the coming months.

For now, we ask you to follow us and renew your contribution to AiD through Thousand Currents’ “It Takes Joy” fundraising campaign. It is inspired by an important lesson we have learned from our partners: amidst struggle and turbulence, there is always joy to be cultivated and found.

It takes joy to sustain AiD’s work. Our joy is weaving the African diaspora community together to fund, connect, and walk alongside grassroots groups transforming our world for the better.

Will you give with joy this year?

In solidarity and gratitude,

Solomé Lemma
AiD co-founder and Thousand Currents' Deputy Director

P.S. Check out our updated website, and follow us on Facebook. Stay tuned for more to come in 2018!.