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History and approach
Africa AHEAD was founded in 1994 by Juliet Waterkeyn, a Zimbabwean interested in leveraging existing community strengths for rural African development. Waterkeyn's research led to the Community Health Club (CHC) concept, whereby regular community level meetings, facilitated by Africa AHEAD, help to focus the community's attention on issues of health and hygiene. Over time, the community's focus generates projects, and those projects in turn develop outputs (such as latrine construction, accepted local rules on handwashing, income-generation businesses) that enable the community to improve its health and hygiene situation.
The CHC concept differs from traditional aid approaches that are heavily input-based, and has led to a number of articles in development journals.
The CHC concept has been employed to date in several African countries from Sierra Leone to South Africa, and has been supported by organizations such as the U.K. Department for International Development and Danish International Development Agency.