Just One Humanity began with a simple vision shaped by a USF graduate student studying sustainability efforts in Africa during the summer of 2014. Despite over three decades of international collaboration in the name of sustainable development, she witnessed persistently degrading environments, continued lagging economies, and social resiliency either declining or slow to improve. Why have sustainable development efforts failed to reach their full potential? There was certainly not a simple answer to this question.
However, a new paradigm of providing assistance to emergent nations is evolving due to the global realization that the current way of doing things is broken. Charity is not the answer to such complex problems. Just One Humanity is a ground-up movement that focuses on specific needs of villages to improve quality of life and protect the environment.
Rural Southern Africa changed the life of a graduate student in the summer of 2014. Aja Estro, a student at University of South Florida, was conducting research studying small-scale sustainability projects with another classmate. She expected to see extreme poverty. She expected to hear hopeful cries for help. She expected to feel overwhelmed by the inequality in developing nations. She did, in fact, experience all of these things. But what she didn’t expect to experience was the profound connection to these rural villagers in East Africa.
Meeting basic needs of clean water, food, shelter, and healthcare is the foundation of resiliency for all humanity. Sadly, basic needs were not being met for these rural African villages. However, Aja realized that thousands of people could be helped through minimal yet directed efforts. Upon her return from Africa in 2014, she attended an event for another nonprofit and met Nisha Mandani, her partner. Nisha had a great love and passion for the welfare of people in developing countries. Over the next year, Aja and Nisha developed Just One Humanity into the organization it is today. Their grass-roots approach to building resilient communities has already made a significant impact in rural villages in East Africa. We strive to improve quality of life while maintaining biodiversity and connect us all as Just One Humanity.