Leading initiatives and bridging the gap...helping families navigate
the school system, county resources, and community resources
in Northern Virginia.
The West African Community Collaborative (WACC) is a collaborative civil association of community organizations; nonprofit, faith-based and direct-service organizations that provide services to the African community in Northern Virginia. Referrals received by WACC are serviced by individual member-organizations within the collaborative, and partnerships with local schools and the county.
Member organizations include:
Guiding the Journey; youth leadership and college admissions specialists
Ngozi; Community fundraising and event organization
Heritage & Multicultural Services; Mental health advocates
Dark is Lovely; Youth personal development organization
African Post Newspaper; local community media organization
WACC specializes in working with the West African immigrant community, who may not know about or understand resources and civil processes due to language, cultural, and status barriers.
WACC sponsors various grassroots community events that engage the African community such as Guiding the Journey’s summer college program that has helped 100s of students navigate the college admissions process; the Baffour soccer tournament which raises funds for various causes affecting the community; and various workshops on resume building, access to healthcare, and youth empowerment.
The collaborative, through it’s specialized programming, educates and provides workshops to Adults and youth in the areas of mentoring, youth programs, adult programs, county and community resources, to encourage and create cultural engagement in their neighborhoods. The Collaborative members serve on committees that address cultural issues, education, workforce development, human services, and community-building programs. Within this framework, the members in WACC strive to serve a broad range of closely inter-related challenges that face the West African community as a whole.
The collaborative is volunteer-run, volunteer-funded and volunteer-led. In addition to member organizations, it consists of volunteers from schools, community members, FCPS parent liaisons, and support from Fairfax county Neighborhood and Community Services.
Since 2011, we’ve provided more than 10,000 volunteer hours to educate our African community and help bridge the gap with county and community resources and to promote youth leadership.
Over the years the collaborative has received many requests and inquiries from members the community, faith-based groups and county agencies to provide, facilitate, and organize workshops that address the needs of the African community. We have provided over 50 workshops since the collaborative was established in November 2011. We provide workshops in our community in the areas of:
Access to community and county resources
Youth college preparation and leadership skills
Adult education about healthcare