Our History

Bread and Water for Africa® began in 1986 as a project of Christian Relief Services to promote positive change in Africa by supporting grassroots initiatives for self-sufficiency, health and education. (this has been our mission ever since.)

On December 30, 1997, Bread and Water for Africa®, a Virginia nonstock incorporated charity headquartered in Fairfax County, received IRS approval as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and was soon certified by the Agency for International Development (USAID) as a registered Private Voluntary Organization (PVO).

Today, we maintain our independent charitable status and affiliation with Christian Relief Services Charities.

We receive funding from wonderfully supportive and caring individuals, family and community foundations, corporations, Christian Relief Services, generous Federal employees through the Combined Federal Campaign, generous state employees through state employee campaigns, wills and bequests, and employer matching contributions.

During our 24-year history, we have provided more than $8,000,000 in grant funding to grassroots African organizations in Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Chad, and Zimbabwe.

Grant funding has been concentrated on projects in the areas of education, health care, clean water, agricultural self-sufficiency, orphan care and income-generating projects to support our partners’ free or low-cost programs.

We have also provided more than $241,000,000 worth of in-kind donations of medicine, medical supplies and equipment, hygiene items, books, tools, school furniture, computers, and other assorted relief items to our various partners and their programs.

Major accomplishments for Bread and Water for Africa® and our partners include:

  • The construction of a water pipeline serving more than 30,000 residents in rural districts of Uganda.
  • The construction and operation of nine Maternal Health and Under-Five clinics in rural Sierra Leone.
  • The construction of 80 clean water wells for communities in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique.
  • The construction and operation of three orphan care programs in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
  • The construction of a hospital in Douala, Cameroon
  • The construction of eight primary schools in Kenya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe.
  • The creation and support of women’s literacy programs in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe.
  • The creation and support of agriculture self-sufficiency programs cultivating more than 1,000 acres of land in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Kenya, and Uganda.
  • The creation of a computer training center in rural Ethiopia.
  • The development of a 5-acre banana plantation as an innovative income-generating project in Zambia, which now supports the orphan care program.
  • The development and support of vocational training programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe.
  • The development of a livestock project to promote self-subsistence for women and the elderly in Ethiopia and Uganda.
  • The planning and construction of a bakery project in Bangolan, Cameroon, which provides training and facilities to provide local widows the opportunity to earn the income they need to support their families.
  • The construction of a Guest House to generate income for the Lewa Children’s home in Kenya.
  • Provisions for the health care of tens of thousands of patients in Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, and Cameroon.