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Mission & History

Our Mission

Founded in 1981 by Ethiopian refugees to give a helping hand to other newcomers, today African Services is a multiservice agency based in Harlem and dedicated to assisting immigrants, refugees and asylees from across the African Diaspora.

Our programs address the needs of newcomers affected by war, persecution, poverty, and global health inequalities. We provide health, housing, legal, educational, and social services to 12,500 people each year. Staff representing more than 20 countries and speaking over 25 languages provide culturally and linguistically relevant support to this diverse and growing community.

Expanding HIV prevention and access to AIDS treatment and care is central to our mission. African Services has taken this work from Harlem to the frontlines of the global pandemic and now operates five HIV clinics in Ethiopia.

We are committed to challenging stigma and discrimination at all levels and supporting individuals, families and communities most impacted by AIDS. Combined with life-saving treatment, this care and support has transformed thousands of lives.

Our History 

African Services Committee was begun in 1981 in Bronx basement apartment by Asfaha Hadera. Asfaha arrived in the United States having experienced first-hand the realities of refugee life. Asfaha fled his home country of Ethiopia in 1977 for refugee camps in Sudan, before emigrating to the U.S. in 1979. Upon arrival, he saw a lack of assistance for others, like himself, who were refugees from conflicted areas throughout Africa. So, he established the organization to give a helping hand to other African newcomers and, with Kim Nichols, began refugee resettlement programs in New York City. As immigration from the continent increased and our offices expanded to their current home in West Harlem, and African Services' priorities widened to include broader support services for African immigrants coming to the United States including:

    • HIV/STD/TB/Hepatitis B and C testing
    • Diabetes & Blood Pressure Testing
    • Hospital Escort & Medical Interpretation
    • Legal Services & Immigration assistance
    • Case Management & Family Support
    • Housing Placement Assistance
    • Independent Living Skills Program
    • Food Pantry & Nutrition Support
    • ESL Classes
    • Community Outreach & Health Education
    • Advocacy & Policy Work

The services have expanded to serve over 12,000  people each year in our Harlem location and continues to grow each year.

#Home4AfricanServices Campaign

Please join us at the James Cohan Gallery as African Services Committee (ASC) raises critical support for our Capital Campaign “#Home4AfricanServices.” Our September 29th event will be the kickoff to this exciting fundraising time! Please join us. Click here to get tickets.


DonateNow


Because of sharply rising rents in its current West Harlem location, ASC has to move. Focusing on the Bronx, we plan to open a new community space with exciting plans for a roof garden, teaching kitchen, an expanded fresh food pantry, classrooms, private counseling space and a legal clinic. It will also be the base for our 5 HIV clinics serving the most vulnerable areas in Ethiopia. This summer, ASC launched a $5.1 million capital campaign to fund the new space.

Our September 29th event will be the kickoff to this exciting fundraising time! Please join us. Click here.

BGICastel

Combined Federal 
Campaign #: 11880 

 
 

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