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About Us

Mission statement:  The mission of the Alliance for African Assistance is to serve refugees, immigrants, and the most vulnerable among us to become self-sufficient, productive members of the community.

The Alliance was founded as a Christian organization and enjoys strong support from churches and other centers of faith.  We are an inclusive organization and welcome people of all faiths, or none, to our board, staff, volunteers, as donors and as clients. 

The Alliance for African Assistance was founded in 1989 in San Diego, California. It was founded by Walter Lam, a refugee, with the aim of addressing the many needs of San Diego’s growing African refugee population. The Alliance assists, by means of generous contributions and grants, new arrivals in adjusting to American culture. The Alliance for African Assistance has remained unceasing in its dedication to provide social, cultural, and educational support and guidance to all refugees in their resettlement process.

For over 30 years, the Alliance for African Assistance has worked to provide assistance here in the United States and abroad, to refugees, internally displaced persons, immigrants, those seeking asylum, victims of torture and war, distressed women and children and those suffering from economic hardship.

Today we remain dedicated to providing social, cultural, and educational support to all refugees in the resettlement process. Such assistance includes preparing host families; securing safe and affordable housing, help with rent and transportation, health screenings, enrolling children in school, English language classes and translation services, and job assistance and training. We have successfully resettled more than  20,000 refugees from Somalia, Sudan, Congo, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ethiopia, Liberia, Eritrea, Vietnam, Iran, Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq, Burma, Afghanistan, Syria, and Russia.

We work with a large number of partners to maximize our impact.  Partners include:

  • United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR)

  • State of California - Refugee Health

  • Solana Beach Presbyterian Church

  • Community Technology Foundation of California

  • National Organization for Somali Benadiri

  • St. Stephen Church of God

  • Best Start

  • East African Community of Orange County

  • St. Luke Episcopal Church

  • Claremont Covenant Church

  • Our Savior Lutheran Church

  • South East Presbyterian Church

  • Presbytery of San Diego

  • Crossroads Community Church

  • Bethel Memorial AME Church

  • Shadow Mountain Community Church

  • La Jolla Presbyterian Church

  • City of San Diego

  • County of San Diego

  • San Diego Foundation

  • Parker Foundation

  • South Sudan Christian Youth & Community Organization

  • El Cajon Covenant Church

  • Las Patronas

  • Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

  • San Diego Interdenominational Alliance

  • State of California-Refugee Programs

  • Faith Presbyterian Church

  • Arbor E&T / ResCare

  • Workforce Partnership

  • San Diego Community College District

  • Ethiopian Community Development Council. Inc. (ECDC)

  • US Department of Health & Human Services - Office of Refugee Resettlement

  • Eurika Communities

  • Amnesty International

  • Haines Solar Cookers

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