The Inception of Bridge-To-Africa Connection, Inc.
The seed to birth Bridge-To-Africa Connection, Inc. began in 1977, when the founder, Dawn Sutherland became a student volunteer with Crossroads Africa. In the 3 months spent in Ghana, West Africa, she helped build a school house and worked with the children and people in the village. That experience changed her life. During this time, Ms. Sutherland gained an appreciation for giving unconditionally and appreciating the little things in life.
“I have been wanting and having the urge to go back to Africa and give-back ever since 1977. I wanted to go back and make a difference to the lives of the people there. I saw white people there helping to change lives, they were making a difference helping to change the lives of children, they made sacrifices and gave of themselves, they were giving away books, school supplies, building houses and schools so that the people in the villages would have a better life. I was mad!!! because I didn’t see any Black American or Black people from the diaspora like me there making a sacrifice! I said at that I was going to make a difference one day! I remember coming home to New York, as soon as I landed, I told my Mom that I wanted to go back to Africa and work so that I can work to improve the lives of the children there, I told her how the people in the village would invite me to dinner and the food and everything was so delicious, I said, Mom, they share what they had and I know they were struggling! We sat on the floor, on benches and ate, but the food was great and the folks had so much love in their hearts, their souls were pure, I wanted to help them be better!
I got sick with Malaria a few weeks after I got to Ghana, a young man named Kojo Segu Segu asked his family to take care of me because I did not want to go to the hospital; they gave me a room and took me every day to a “natural doctor”; he massaged me daily and gave me this “green soup”; after a few days I was better, it was that experience that made me a believer in holistic therapy because I was healed from malaria without medication. In the last 30+ years traveling all over Africa, I had not had Malaria again and I don’t take the pills because I cannot swallow them. I found that people can love unconditionally and I knew back then that my life mission is to go to Africa to make a difference.
I didn’t want to set out to change the world, so planned my career in such a way that I would work and excel giving all that I had to corporate America with the intentions that I would save my money and go back to Ghana one day and just help one person at a time with my own resources. I just wanted to do something from the heart so I constantly told that to myself for 32+ years. I don’t have any children, I have never been married and all my nieces. nephews and circle of friends knew that I would go to Africa someday, my life dream is here and I just want to do it!
Bridge-To-Africa Connection, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring women and children through education and economic empowerment focused initiatives.
This will improve the quality of life for women and children helping them become self-sufficient.
We believe and are passionate and committed that we will make a difference to challenge the status quo and change the life of one person at a time so that they can go to make a difference in the lives of their families and society.”