In 1997, Kern & Erika Oduro visited Kern's native country of Ghana, West Africa. While there, they watched sadly and helplessly as two children dug through a smoldering trash site to find food to eat. Upon returning to the U.S., they felt moved to help children like these and so began learning about how to start a non-profit organization. In 2001, Kern & Erika started Access to Empowerment International, an tax-exempt, not-for profit organization, designed to educate children and their communities in the belief that education gives children positive choices for a hopeful future.
What Drives Us
Many children in developing countries are unable to obtain even the most basic education, continuing the cycle of poverty.

13% of the world’s children have never been to school. 32% of children living in the least developed countries do not attend primary school. Only 28% of children living in the poorest countries attend secondary school. In many regions throughout the world, girls are more likely to miss out on primary school than boys. This is what drives Access to Empowerment's work.
Organizational Values
We believe...
  • Every human life is equally valuable.
  • Every person has the capacity to learn.
  • Education is a catalyst for empowerment and personal     growth.
  • Empowerment through education leads to options for the     future.
  • In the adage “Give a man a fish, feed him for a week.     Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”
  • Programs work best with local leadership.
  • In sustainability.
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