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 |  PO BOX 8314 Asheville NC 28814-8314

Africa Healing Exchange is headquartered in Asheville, NC, has an EIN of 46-4216494, and is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax-deductible.  It is classified by the IRS as a Charitable Organization, with a ruling year of 2014.

(Source: IRS Business Master File and Form 990)

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Charity Navigator provides 501(c)(3) nonprofits with an Encompass Rating when we have available data. Please see the sections below for more information on why this organization is not currently rated.

This organization cannot be evaluated by our Encompass Rating methodology because it files Form 990-N, as allowed by the IRS for charities with less than $50,000 annual revenue.

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What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

The AHE model is being developed to ensure long-term sustainability, with holistic measures in place to support economic empowerment and to offer local solutions for moving out of poverty. We help people recovery from past trauma related to violence and coupled with issues like substance abuse, addiction, depression, rage and anxiety, and to prevent future trauma responses in order to break the generational cycle. We teach a basic set of skills that anyone can use on themselves and teach to their family members, and then we offer ongoing workshops and opportunities to link up with mentors and entrepreneurship trainings to access greater economic independence. After three years of research and development, and building partnerships the Rwandan way, AHE is preparing to launch its primary program, the Restoring Resiliency Model (RR). The program has been designed by AHE board members in the U.S. and in Rwanda, along with volunteer trainers and the AHE founder. RR has been designed to support the fact that we are all whole and complete with an internal manual to heal oneself and move through past trauma to create new cycles of thriving lives. By training people in the local communities as RR trainers, we can reach the most people possible and the program is more sustainable and grounded in cultural roots. We are finding that it only takes a few expert trainers to reach many people in need and even with one training, thousands of trauma survivors have found some relief from the pain associated with their past experiences and present-day life challenges. The goal of RR is to help people rediscover the inherent resiliency of the human nervous system through culturally-aware community interaction, increased ability to practice and enhance the effects of self-regulation skills, and increase the awareness of how the body heals from traumatic or stressful experiences.In addition to the Restoring Resiliency program, AHE delivers a Skills Exchange program and this offers a unique way to deepen our cultural understanding and to learn from one another in order to bridge divides between nations, classes, races, ages, religions, educations, genders and cultural lenses. The primary purpose of this bilateral exchange is on building relationships and offers all nationalities the opportunity to share wisdom and skills which might lead to a greater understanding of the world. Deliverables include an entrepreneurship training program, internships in the U.S. and Rwanda, a mentoring program that aligns individuals or organizations seeking specific skills to become more financially successful and self-reliant, with those who have matching skills to offer.

What are your strategies for making this happen?

AHE offers a sustainable solution in partnership with locally-led organizations and institutions like the National University of Rwanda (NRU), The Rwandan Cultural Health Centre (RCHC), and Rwanda Resilience and Grounding Organization (RRGO). Through these connections we train new indigenous trainers who can then grow and spread the tools for the greatest and most sustainable reach. We have been invited to deliver regular and consistent trainings at NRU and we are discussing having RR serve as a regular curriculum offering in the psychology department. The recent presentation and workshop that AHE delivered at the African Conference of Psychology introduced the AHE 3-tiered approach to 400 new individuals, including regional healthcare providers, psychologists, students, government and other NGO leaders, with invitations to implement new trainings at the institutional level. We are encouraged to spread the skills of resiliency through mindfulness, meditation, psycho-education, and with support for economic advancement, throughout Rwanda and beyond. By designing programs that are in some cases fee-based (such as workshops delivered to companies preparing their workforce for successful overseas assignments and even U.S.-based agencies that serve population groups with a high rate of trauma), the model becomes mostly self-sustaining. Grants and private donations will primarily support those areas that require seed funding or capital improvements. The international travel opportunities – Skills Exchange service trips and the 3 Mountains coffee and tea tours – will build bridges and create for a multidimensional cultural exchange, building relationships that will last a lifetime and potentially lead to personal and professional development opportunities for all people involved. By collaborating with other U.S.-based nonprofits such as Mama Hope and LEAF International, the network and reach will be expanded and deliverables will be strengthened. In hiring a third party to monitor and evaluate programs on an annual basis, efforts will be measured appropriately to ensure they are growing in a self-sustaining way and are producing effective results. Finally, one of the most unique and sustaining feature of the Restoring Resiliency for Thriving Communities model is the services that will be delivered by the women of UMUTUZO and other Rwandans. These “Culture Keepers" will be invited to the U.S. and to help launch the program in other African Great Lakes Region nations, delivering skills for people suffering from emotional poverty or those who feel a sense of hopelessness and grief. The women of UMUTUZO believe that to suffer alone is to die and would like to help. Not only with this serve as a sustaining source of income for the women in Rwanda, but it supports the full circle of healing, to be of service to another, and helps to deepen the cross-cultural exchange.

What are your organization's capabilities for doing this?

One reason AHE has started in Rwanda is due to the incredibly high rate of post-traumatic stress and based in the fact that such a large percentage of the population has been impacted by the 1994 Genocide. We believe that this is the best place to birth a model that represents strength, resilience, unity and overcoming the biggest life challenges. Rwandans will serve as the leaders and trainers to bring the Restoring Resiliency model to neighbors, starting with Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo, building local teams throughout the Great Lakes Region and eventually offering services to other continents. See Team and Advisory Board - http://healingexchange.org/board and http://healingexchange.org/staff-trainers.

How will your organization know if you are making progress?

Key performance indicators in combined programs include = number of local trainers trained; number of trainers fully employed; number of workshop participants reporting positive benefits in their life over short terms and long term; growth of incomes in participants showing increased self-efficacy. As AHE and collaborating community organizations build momentum and increase the reach throughout the U.S. and East Africa, formalized monitoring and evaluation measures will be established through third party support. Anticipated qualitative and quantitative factors to be measured, as observed and self-reported include: 1. Household interactions: harmony, stress levels, sense of well-being, happiness indicators, sleeping patterns, appetites, organization 2. Academic performance in children 3. Examples of taking initiative and learning new things, involving oneself in new activities 4. Employment rates or building business and projects 5. Incidents of violence or hostility in schools, households, villages 6. Rate of drug and alcohol use and reports of substance abuse 7. Prevalence of physical illnesses

What have and haven't you accomplished so far?

AHE is offering services to individuals and organizations in the U.S. and Rwanda, with the intention of building bridges to other communities and nations, always in partnership with locally-led groups and trainers. Through our training for trainers model, we know that it always starts with one and that through expanding the network and building more partnerships, more people can be reached. Although AHE is very young, we have already seen this butterfly effect taking shape. Two years ago, AHE delivered a training for trainers through a community partnership with the National University of Rwanda. In 5 days, 25 psychology students and recent graduates learned the AHE model. 4 were selected as community trainers to travel on with AHE the following week an helped deliver a community workshop to 45 coffee and vegetable farmers who then went home and told their family members about the new skills they had learned. When we returned 6 months later, they asked us if we could do more of these trainings because their neighbors were hearing reports of more harmonious households and were experiencing a more peaceful community! The 4 new trainers went on to form a local organization that AHE continues to work with and in this partnership the extended reach in one year includes 112 medical students, psychology students, social workers students and sociology students, 98 healthcare workers; 925 elementary students; 55 teachers; 58 healthcare professionals; and thousands of Genocide survivors and family members. From the 45 community members who we reached in that first workshop, a smaller group took shape and some women approached Sara, asking her if she could return with more trainings like it. They reported greater harmony and happiness in their households and said they would like help also creating new business. Sara and the women are now working on creating the district's first all-female association, recognized by the government and complete with a constitution and health benefits. AHE is building the entrepreneurship program to offer innovative and local solutions for economic independence and so programs become self-sustained. The organization was recently invited to speak at the African Conference of psychology, hosted by Rwanda in Nov, 2017. Our team presented on the evidence of transcendental meditation's effectiveness in helping women in East Africa who have post-traumatic stress disorder. This approach is growing and over 80 women are now practicing the technique in Rwanda. A research study will begin in March, 2018, in partnership with NRU, to deliver Restoring Resiliency skills to mothers living with their children in refugee camps in Rwanda, from Burundi and DRC.

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