AFAHO is a non-profit 501(c)(3) community-based organization founded to provide culturally and linguistically sensitive health, human and educational services to African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees in the greater Philadelphia area. We strongly believe that despite the adjustment difficulties some immigrants and refugees face, they have the wisdom, strength, skills, resources and cultural influences to enrich the cultural tapestry and contribute to the development of the communities they reside in (as has been well documented).
There is an estimated 60,000 African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees in the greater Philadelphia area. Southeastern Pennsylvania has been enriched by the contributions of these newcomers evidenced by the number of immigrant and refugee owned businesses, relatively high rates of naturalization, average rates of homeownership, and evidence of career laddering among these groups. However, these communities also experience many challenges due to the cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic differences that exist among different groups.
Unique to the services provided by AFAHO over the past decade is the perimeter on which the agency is finding its clients: refugees, asylees and immigrants living with one or more of the following co-morbid social and health-related conditions: isolation, poverty, stigma, domestic and sexual violence, cultural and language barriers, chronic and infectious diseases, ,behavioral health problems, caring for dependent children and/or elderly parents, housing instability, food insecurities, joblessness, fear of navigating complex health and social services systems and lack of job skills.
AFAHO's work aims to promote independence and self-sufficiency and improve healthcare outcomes among our target population. Collectively, the staff members at AFAHO speak seven languages and have cultivated deep connections and built high levels of trust in the target communities making it easier to reach hard-to-reach populations who are isolated from the mainstream due to cultural/linguistic barriers, poverty, immigration status, and fear.