AfriCAN was founded in 2012 AfriCAN by a group of Danish young people led by Mille Shalini Pjedsted and Cille Schleicher who each travelled around different parts of Africa. They experienced challenges and global inequalities which triggered their interest to support young people gain access to tertiary education to address their community challenges. They saw the need to work closely with the local people as an important prerequisite to achieve sustainable solutions in their own communities.
Their experiences created interest and will to make a difference in the lives of the marginalized. At the time, they were both students and recognized the importance of education as an engine for change in Africa’s growth.
In the light of their experiences, and inner passion to make a difference, they co-founded AfriCAN based on the philosophy of “self-help”.
The founders were of the strong conviction that Africa does not require to be saved, on the contrary it requires relying on the power of the people, local knowledge and building on existing potentials of socioeconomic prospects to alleviate people from poverty and underdevelopment.
Empowering the youth to believe in themselves to lead sustainable change and that as put in Danish; ”Uddannelse er vejen frem til at skabe ressourcestærke mennesker, hvis engagement i lokalområdet kan være med til at løfte et land ud af fattigdom”. Literally “education is the way to create resourceful people, whose own engagement in their local societies can lead to lifting them out of poverty.
Therefore, support to tertiary education is the bedrock of AfriCAN.