Youth Rise International (YoRI) emerged out of the painful and heart-breaking childhood poverty experiences of our David K. Awusi, our Founder & Executive and in response to growing poverty and critical needs in his deprived local community in Ghana. Born by very poor and marginalized basic school dropout parents in a very deprived and underserved farming community in Ghana which had had electricity for the first time in September 2016, life was very tough and agonizing. David’s predicament grew from bad to worse when at age 9, his mother died mysteriously leaving behind his 3month old kid sister. As the first born of his parents, he had to drop-out of school to help baby sit and work on pineapple and cocoa farms combined with street hawking for 7 terrible years.
Youth Rise International (YoRI) was founded in 2015 from the inspiring story of our Founder & Executive Director, David K. Awusi. David’s parents were primary school dropout and lived as smallholder/peasant farmers in a very deprived rural community in Ghana. He was born and grew in a deprived community which had electricity for the first time in September 2016. At age 9, his mother died pre-maturely and he had to live with a family relatives together with his 2 young siblings. “I have lost counts of the number of days I felt so hungry and thought ending my life was a better option. I also remembers days I will be walking to farm through thick forest as a child and feeling so hungry that I will cry so hard and call my dead mother “ghost” to come for me” said David during a staff retreat. But by the miraculous power of God and determination, he went back to school with the support of his maternal uncle and scholarship from Plan International, he completed secondary school and proceeded to become first university graduate in his family. Today, David holds multiple Master’s degree and currently studying Law in order to be equipped to advocate and seek for social justice for the very poor, vulnerable and marginalized in society.
Having escaped the shackles of extreme poverty, he feels he owes it to the 1.1billion multi-dimension poor people around the world to become their voice, amplify their voices and ensure their voices are integrated into local, national, regional and global social protection, climate change and public health policies that engenders #SharedProsperityForAllby 2063 . As a result, for the past 20 years, standing as member of Plan International’s Child Rights Club member 23 years ago, he rose to become a pro-poor volunteer activist in his local community to becoming a global voice and front-liner in fight for the very poor, marginalized and the socially-excluded.
Starting this organization as a personal project in 2015 by helping children in his local community with the school work and then giving educational sponsorship and providing livelihood support for single mothers, widows and vulnerable families, the needs became increasingly overwhelming. To be able to help more people, he registered Youth Rise International so he can give other people opportunity to support this critical life-saving cause. Sadly, due to global ‘colonization aid and philanthropy build on inequality and disdain for new, nascent and emerging nonprofit, he struggled for 4 years without any external support. To support the dare needs coming in daily, at a point, he had to sell their family care and landed property and deep heavily on volunteerism and in-kind contribution from his family, friends and local community. Youth Rise International (YoRI) targets vulnerable and marginalized children (boys and girls) and youth (young men and women) from hard-to-reach, deprived and highly impoverished rural communities in Ghana and Africa.
David see’s Youth Rise International (YoRI) as his life-long God’s mandate to show love, mercy and compassion to the very poor and vulnerable in society. Driven by Christ’s love and passion, this mandate caused him to travel, work and influence policies across Asia, South America, Europe, Latin America, Caribbean and Africa. We have felt his pro-poor advocacy, campaigning and policy influencing impacts through grassroots mobilization and his numerous appearances on and contribution very special and prestigious institutional and media platforms such as World Bank, African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU ECOSOCC), SOS Children’s Villages (Ghana), Family For Every Child (UK), CNN (USA), ABC News (USA), Financial Times (UK), TVC News (Nigeria), Joy FM (Ghana) and GBC (Ghana). To collaborate and leverage on the power of synergy he is a strong member of highly influential and globally recognized coalitions, alliances and networks including Survivor Alliance (USA), CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizens Participations (South Africa), People’s Vaccine Alliance (Kenya) and CSO Platform for SDGs Ghana.
As nonprofit rooted in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and governed by a solid 7-member diverse Board of Advisors with over 100 years of combined indigenous and professional experiences, we pursue daily the realization of our collective vision of “Africa without poverty and hunger but shared prosperity for all citizens, health equity and strong families by 2063.”
Youth Rise International (YoRI) targets vulnerable and marginalized children (boys and girls) and youth (young men and women) from hard-to-reach, deprived and highly impoverished rural communities in Ghana and Africa.