Africare House, one of the leading black American nonprofit international development organizations, is ushering in a new wave of innovation under its latest president and CEO, Robert L Mallett.
Assuming office in 2015, Mallett brings a vast background in nonprofit development and law experience.
“You know, when someone impacts your life in a positive way, you always remember that person, even if they don’t remember you,” Mallett said. “It is so powerful to be a part of something where you have the ability to come into a place and positively affect the lives of thousands of people and not even know how much you mean to them.
“So when I thought about all of the differences that I had a chance to make, in the lives of so many different people, that is when I decided to join Africare,” he said.
Established in 1970 under the leadership of C. Payne Lucas, then-director of the Peace Corps Office of Returned Volunteers, and Joseph C. Kennedy, former Peace Corps director in Sierra Leone, the 46-year-old organization has given more than $1 billion in Africa assistance.
Currently serving 15 African countries including Ghana, Mali and Uganda, with special fields in economic development, nutrition, women and youth empowerment, water, sanitation and hygiene, Mallet notes Africare’s increased challenge to increase resources, build a stronger workforce team and affect more people.
With historical roots in defined collaboration between black Americans and African natives, Malette looks to rebridge gaps and reconnect with the black American community.
“The support of the African-American community, African-American Greek organizations [and] African-American churches are critical to the birth, development and growth of Africare,” Mallett said. “We probably over the years have not kept those associations as strong as we should, but we are making a pretty concerted effort now.”