What’s different about Advantage Africa?
Our focus on the most vulnerable, our direct approach, our strong partnerships with local communities, the way we steward our resources, the way we help people living in poverty become self-reliant rather than providing handouts. Read more.
How effective are you?
Our passion is to help local organisations bring about long lasting change for the most disadvantaged people in their communities and our professional staff work hard, day in, day out to achieve this. For example our support to children withn learning disabilities at Mitaboni, orphans in Obambo and people affected by HIV/AIDS in Kibwezi has enabled them to access some of the most basic necessities of life such as education, food, healthcare and most importantly, acceptance and understanding. Our constant monitoring indicates our work is effective and we work together with our partners to improve upon its impact and ensure its sustainability.
How was Advantage Africa started?
The charity arose from the work experience of founders Andrew and Jane Betts at the grassroots in developing countries and in professional roles for large development NGOs. Read more.
Are you a Christian organisation?
Advantage Africa is a Christian-led organisation born from the founders’ Christian belief in challenging the injustice of poverty, as emphasised more than 2,000 times in the Bible, and we do this through practical action but not evangelism. Our approach and work is completely inclusive, embracing people of all faiths or none and there is no requirement to be a Christian to be involved in Advantage Africa as a beneficiary, partner, staff member, supporter or trustee.
How does Advantage Africa spend its money?
We use about 80% of or funds on direct support services to beneficiaries and grants to our partner organisations in Africa, about 20% on fundraising and just 2% on governance. This means we invest 20p to raise every pound and spend 2p in every pound on fulfilling the requirements of legal and sound management, including an independent examination of our accounts.
Supporting effective lasting development in Africa is not just about sending money and these figures compare favourably with other development charities.
How do you ensure the money gets where it should?
Advantage Africa works directly with trusted people and communities with whom we build long term partnerships, not middlemen or governments. We send funds in local currency directly to our partner organisations quarterly, based on budgets for specific purposes that we agree together. Our partners then ensure the funds are spent as they should, and monitor and report back on expenditure against budget using systems developed over many years for this purpose.
All Advantage Africa staff and partners are governed by transparent principles and this, combined with our robust financial systems, mean that we don’t face direct problems with corruption.
Advantage Africa’s foreign currency exchange provider offers consistently competitive exchange rates and absorbs all bank charges in the UK and Africa to ensure good value for money.
Can I sponsor a child?
We don’t run a child sponsorship scheme, largely because the admin cost of running one effectively and providing information on specific children living in remote areas can’t be justified. But we would be delighted if you can make a regular donation and receive news of how your support is changing lives across all our projects in Kenya and Uganda.
support us by making a donation
I’d like to donate money to a specific project. Is that possible?
We often put grants from trusts, foundations, churches and other organisations towards specific projects that attract their interest. We are also able to do this for individual donations where the administrative burden of doing so can be justified. However, the majority of our individual supporters prefer for us to use their donations where we and our partner organisations agree they’re most needed.
Can I follow a particular project online?
We’ll be keeping our project pages regularly up to date and our Facebook page is another great way to stay informed about our projects and community.
What’s the best way to donate?
Please have a look at the support us page to make an online donation and find out other ways to donate. A regular donation is especially valuable, as it helps us to plan ahead and meet our commitments to our partner organisations in Africa. If you’re a UK taxpayer, Advantage Africa can make your donation worth 25% more at no cost to you through the government's Gift Aid scheme.
How else can I get involved?
How about sharing our newsletter and social network pages and telling others in your own networks and community about our work? You can also fundraise for Advantage Africa by holding an event or undertaking a sponsored challenge such as a bike ride or marathon.
We also invite our supporters to contribute to campaigns for political change and action in relation to justice and development for the world’s poorest people.
Why is the situation in Africa always getting worse?
It’s not. Real gains are being made towards the Millennium Development Goals and there is clear evidence for example, of improved incomes, more children in school and fewer people becoming infected by HIV. The impression of worsening poverty often comes from the media’s focus on disasters.
No country can achieve a lasting reduction in poverty without economic growth, investment and the chance to trade on fair terms. Advantage Africa’s support of the most marginalised people frequently excluded from the benefits of economic growth also empowers them to hold governments and donors to account for improving the services available to them.
How do you decide who you work with?
Advantage Africa works with partner organisations who share our goals and participatory approach to working with communities. Visits and detailed planning result in a formal agreement to work together which describes the aims and activities of a project. This agreement is then approved and signed by the partner organisation’s management committee and Advantage Africa’s trustees.
Do you stay in touch with grant recipients?
The work of Advantage Africa is based on strong working relationships and genuine partnership. Our two Programme Managers are therefore in constant contact with our partner organisations to monitor the progress and impact of projects hear and understand their needs and provide technical and management support as well as encouragement.
How do I stay in touch?
By subscribing to updates, either by email or post. You can also contact us directly here.
Can I volunteer with Advantage Africa?
Advantage Africa does not send volunteers from the UK to work in Africa but you can find useful information on such opportunities from World Service Enquiry and guidelines on choosing a suitable agency from the Ethical Volunteering website.
We also recommend the Gap Advice website for independent advice on gap years for people of all ages. Students and researchers might also find www.devstud.org.uk of interest.
We welcome enquiries from people interested in volunteering to help with our education activities, fundraising and administration in the UK as well as by wrapping Christmas presents in Milton Keynes throughout December. If you would like to help us in this way please contact us.