'Little by little, but steadily, we believe we
can make a difference.' Christine Nyanda Chacha
Christine Nyanda Chacha founded our parent organization, African Immigrants Social and Cultural Services, in 2002. Originally AISCS focused on helping African immigrants adapt to challenges they face in the United States. A few years later, Christine shifted her efforts to creating more opportunities in rural Tanzania through education, health care and community development.
Christine grew up in the remote village of Nyamagongo, near Lake Victoria. Although orphaned and poor, through a chance encounter, she was able to attend primary school. With the help of supportive mentors and scholarships, she acquired a full education. earning a law degree at the University of Dar-es-Salaam. She served as a Consular Officer and staff lawyer at the Tanzanian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Later, she moved to the Bay Area with her family, where she taught Swahili classes at UC Berkeley and Berkeley High School.
The profound impact of education on her life was so inspiring that Christine went on to dedicate herself to bringing similar opportunities to children in the Shirati-Nyamagongo area. She received the CBS Jefferson Award in 2011 and was honored with the Ubuntu Award by Priority Africa Network in 2012.
Christine died of cancer in March, 2012, after a final visit to her beloved Nyamagongo. Her last request, made passionately to many friends was to carry on her work, and they have pledged to do just that.