Hands Up for Africa (HUFA) is a Vancouver-based registered Canadian charity dedicated to providing safe shelter, food, medicine, education and a sense of belonging to some of the most vulnerable children in Africa.

HUFA was formed in February 2008 after the tragic deaths of a local Vancouver woman and active community member, Avchen Harivel Pinkard, and her unborn daughter, Abigail.

Since its inception, HUFA has raised more than $180,000, primarily to build the Avchen Abigail Mercy Academy (AAMA) near Nairobi, Kenya. In 2012, the AAMA became home and school to 30 children (ages 4-13), complete with clean drinking water, greenhouses, dairy cows, dorms and classrooms. Without Hands Up for Africa, these children would be living on the streets or in overcrowded homes with extended family, at risk for malnutrition, disease, abuse and drug use. An additional 30 local-area children attend the AAMA as day students.

What sets HUFA apart from other international charities is our personal connection to the communities we serve. Children’s needs and how to best address them are identified by proven, results-driven community leaders. Our Kenyan agent for the AAMA, Elizabeth Mwangi, known as ‘Mama Mercy’, has been operating programs for children in the Kajiado District of Kenya for more than 25 years. Together, our primary focus is on sustaining the AAMA for the long term. Its Canadian operations are 100 per cent volunteer-run.