Young Africans and Canadians Acting Now, is founded by Mira Tshilombo. Mira’s vision for YAACAN has been 12 years in the making. In Mrs. Rogers grade 12 environmental sciences class, Mira was given a project where she had to come up with a sustainable project idea that would benefit her local community. She handed in a project that aimed to educate younger students on the importance of taking care of our environment in ways that are still fun and engaging. She came up with concept of getting senior students to teach each other what they already know, so they could learn from one another and pass on their knowledge to junior & grade school students.

This concept was influenced by an ancient proverb "give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for the rest of his life." Mira had received positive feedback from her teacher saying that this was an excellent idea for the future. The feedback resonated with her and after many years of volunteering and working for other organizations, she felt she had gained an extensive understanding of the work and is ready to make an attempt at bringing the concept to life. As Mira began to embark on this amazing project, she knew that she wanted to have great impact and help those living in her home country of Canada and also for the people around the world.

Which is why she has chosen the name Young Africans and Canadians Acting Now (YAACAN), to pay homage to her African roots and Canadian upbringing.

Our Mission

To build self-reliant and empowered communities by establishing sustainable development projects that address issues related to poverty, education and environmental concerns.

Who We Are

We work to drive long-term solutions to the world’s sustainability challenges; to create development projects that protect the community and the environment; and to enable self-reliant communities and the mutual transfer of skills through education and training.

YAACAN aims to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people by driving sustainable solutions to long-term global development problems. We do this by collaborating with local communities, skilled professionals and youth to create, implement, and monitor sustainable development projects.

Young Africans And Canadians Acting Now (YAACAN) members are, professionals with various sustainable skill sets who believe education is a human right. YAACAN is comprised of progressive young Canadians who aim to unite youth through education. We believe in charity for all that it stands, particularly as defined by our values and beliefs.

Accordingly, YAACAN members and volunteers strive to disseminate their combined diversity of knowledge to others. Through this collective effort of learning and sharing acquired knowledge, we believe that we can and will do our part in strengthening our communities throughout the world.

Our Vision

Our vision is a world where the need for foreign aid ceases to exist. A world where everyone everywhere is empowered and self-reliant; a world that is sustainable.

Our Values

Our actions will be based upon:

Diversity – Diverse communities, diverse skills, diverse projects, diverse members. Our strength lies in these differences and it will assist us in addressing sustainability issues afflicting communities worldwide.

Self-reliance – The reliance on foreign aid for daily needs deepens the vulnerability of people living in developing communities. YAACAN’s projects focus on self-reliance to break this cycle of dependency by providing people with the resources and information needed to carry out sustainable, empowering projects in their communities -- even once YAACAN is no longer present. We will know that YAACAN’s projects are a success when we are no longer needed.

Education –Education is the prerequisite to empowering vulnerable and disenfranchised peoples. We connect communities with skilled professionals and youth to allow the transfer of knowledge and skills, and provide individuals with the resources, education, and training to carry out sustainable projects within their own communities.

Transparency – YAACAN aims to be an open book in all its work. We will publish project profiles, impact reports, and so much more, and maximize your dollar by tracking every penny raised and ensuring 100% of donations go to fund projects.

Make a Donation

All charitable donations to YAACAN are eligible for a tax receipt in Canada

Become Volunteer

Fill out your YAACAN Volunteer Application Form