As we at the African Leadership Group look back on 2023, we take pride in planned events like Afrik Impact, Leadership Africa, our Public Speaking Class, and all of our usual offerings.
Even more important, though, ALG demonstrated its nimbleness and flexibility in providing vital services to an unprecedented and unanticipated surge of new African migrants and refugees, many of whom came to Denver through Mexico.
As wave after wave of new migrants arrived last summer and fall, we saw many basic needs going unmet. As a result, we quickly organized a clothing and food drive, a resource fair, which served more than 300 people, and English classes for new arrivals. The two classes we are running – beginning and intermediate English – are full to capacity with 30 students each, and with a waiting list of more than 50 others.
We also targeted two regular offerings to new arrivals. The first, our health fair, provided health screenings, blood tests, and vaccines to more than 200 people. And our tutoring program, which we started during the pandemic, is currently serving 22 students, some of them new arrivals.
This response to an unmet need lies at the heart of ALG’s mission. We will continue to respond to conditions on the ground, providing those services that are most needed, and forging partnerships with organizations and agencies to make sure new arrivals are not left out in the cold, literally or figuratively.
Even as we dedicated a lot of our time and other resources to our new arrivals, ALG also continued its regular programming, including Leadership Africa, our Public Speaking Class, homeownership and financial workshops, and legal clinics. Afrik Impact in 2023 was bigger and better than ever, and featured the attendance of a large Senegalese delegation, including top government officials and internationally known cultural icons.
Papa also led a December delegation to Senegal, which was so successful that it is likely to become an annual occurrence. Look for a more detailed story about the delegation’s experiences here soon.
As always, Papa Dia and the entire ALG team extends a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who contributed to ALG in 2023. That includes not only those individuals who made financial donations on Colorado Gives Day or donations of clothing and food to our resource fair, but everyone who attended one of our workshops or events throughout the year.
We look forward to working with you again in 2024.