Jaimie Alexander with women oyster farmers

Jaimie Alexander: Why I'm supporting self help africa

Hi, I’m Jaimie Alexander!  Thanks for coming here to learn more about Self Help Africa, and find out why I've become an ambassador to champion this organisation's amazing work.

I first came across Self Help Africa last Fall, when I attended a charity gala in New York. I loved what I saw and heard about Self Help Africa that night. It's all about empowerment: supporting women and adopting approaches that help poor and vulnerable communities lift themselves out of poverty.

I was lucky to go to The Gambia earlier this year to see Self Help Africa's work first-hand, and it was simply incredible.

That's why you're reading this, and I hope you'll be as inspired and encouraged as I was to join the Self Help Africa community.

You can do so in many ways -  by donating to Self Help Africa's work, by attending our events, by running your own event (!), or just by following Self Help Africa's social media, signing up to our mailing list, and spreading the word - just like I'm doing here!


So who is self help africa?

Self Help Africa believes in the old saying that a helping hand is more effective at achieving lasting change, than a hand out.

Self Help Africa seeks to move people in Africa out of  long-term poverty by giving people more power and control over their own futures. We achieve this by providing training and the practical skills that people need.

Self Help Africa's main focus is on rural households - where most people live on small farms. By making these farms more productive, and more profitable, Self Help Africa is transforming the lives of millions of people, every year.

Jaimie Alexander and members of the Self Help Africa team in The Gambia.
Jaimie Alexander and women onion farmers in The Gambia
My visit to the Gambia with self help africa

In February 2024, I was fortunate enough to visit The Gambia with Self Help Africa and see with my own eyes, what we are doing. And what we are doing is incredible.

Self Help Africa’s programs in The Gambia are much needed. Life there can be really tough. The Gambia is one of the world’s poorest countries. Youth unemployment is high. The impact of climate change is making it harder for people to grow food to feed their families.

It’s hard to put into words - it was an incredible few days. Here’s a few highlights:

Jaimie Alexander and Self Help Africa's Ngansa Touray
Sustainable Oyster Harvesting

I visited an oyster farm run by women, where precious mangrove ecosystems are being reforested and replanted. Women oyster farmers are sustainably scaling up production.

Making new friends

I was greeted like an old friend by a group of women onion farmers (who also gave me my new Gambian name, Isatou), and saw how a Self Help Africa program is providing access to market information, empowering these women to access new markets and achieve a fairer price for what they grow.

Jaimie Alexander and Women's Initiative Gambia founder Isatou Ceesay
Inspirational Women

I loved meeting the inspiring Isatou Ceesay, founder of the Women’s Initiative Gambia, working with Self Help Africa across 75 communities and 28 schools, providing young women and entrepreneurs and environmental heroes.

Jaimie Alexander and a group of farmers in The Gambia
An incredible demonstration farm

At a Self Help Africa urban organic demonstration farm, I met with young farmers who have made one incredible farm! They are educating school children on farming methods and are growing new high value crops that have never been grown before in The Gambia.

Learning from each other

I left The Gambia so inspired and impressed by all the people I met working together in Self Help Africa’s programs to teach one another all of these great skills, and to address some of these challenges facing The Gambia. 

I'd Like to Make a Donation

Your donation to Self Help Africa will make a life-changing difference to rural farming families, and will help communities lift themselves out of poverty. I've seen for myself the incredible impact of this work - every dollar makes a difference.

Sign me up for Email Updates

Sign up for Self Help Africa's email updates to learn more about the impact of your support, and be the first to know about our upcoming events.

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