The Afya Foundation
The Afya Foundation’s core mission is to help improve healthcare delivery in disadvantaged communities and disaster areas across the globe by coordinating with local medical professionals and delivering shipments of medical supplies.
The foundation supports causes that improve healthcare in disadvantaged communities around the world and that provide support in disaster areas.
Every project undertaken by the foundation is unique and is modeled around specific needs. Healthcare professionals and administrators are invited to specify the medical supplies and equipment they require to be able to deliver care. These supplies are sourced, sorted, and packed in the Afya Foundation warehouse in the United States and shipped to where they are needed. All biomedical instrumentation and equipment must pass FDA, WHO, BSI, and AAMI standards before leaving the Afya warehouse.
Some of Afya Foundation’s main projects are:
- Afya Disaster Relief – As a proactive first responder when natural disasters strike vulnerable communities, Afya is able to deliver wide-ranging help to those most in need. As part of the foundation’s efforts in relief services, millions of kilograms of emergency supplies have been sent to Pakistan, Japan, Haiti, Syria, and Greece after these countries were devastated by brutal natural disasters.
- Afya Luggage for Life – This program is yet another way in which Afya Foundation gets essential medical equipment and supplies to disadvantaged areas. The project involves enlisting the help of travelers to deliver a duffel bag of supplies when they arrive at their destination. So far over 1,500 duffel bags have been transported by ordinary people across the world.
- Relief for the January 2020 Puerto Rico Earthquakes – After a massive earthquake and a series of aftershocks rocked the island of Puerto Rico, hundreds of people were left homeless and without food, water, power, and other essentials. Afya Foundation launched a project to help them by calling for volunteers and asking for donations of materials and money.
The Foundation's History
Afya Foundation was founded in 2007 by Danielle Butin. Butin worked for years as an occupational therapist and served as the director of health services for United Health Group at the time the foundation was launched. Butin was inspired to start the foundation when she visited Tanzania and came across a British doctor who was volunteering in Africa and was visibly upset about the lack of medical supplies and equipment. After making the decision to affect positive change in communities with compromised healthcare, Butin called on hospitals to inquire about discarded materials and whether they would be prepared to donate some of them to be redirected abroad to areas suffering because of natural disasters or limited resources. Hospitals started making donations almost immediately, and so the first few shipments of critical supplies were collected.