Byram Students Make a Difference Through the Afya Club

By Hailey Jacobs

While you may be familiar with the Afya Foundation, few know that Afya means “health” in Kiswahili. This simple meaning of their foundation’s name embodies their true mission: to improve the health of people around the world.

The Afya Foundation’s main goal is to collect and ship gently used medical supplies and other needed equipment mostly to third world countries. The organization operates out of a warehouse in Yonkers where it sorts and ships critical supplies to countries in need, particularly areas hard hit by recent hurricanes and other natural disasters. Although the Afya Foundation operates across the world, it has finally been brought to Byram’s community.

Junior Olivia Tantleff created the club at our school in order to collect supplies and raise money for the organization. The club does this through bake sales, events, and fundraisers. Last year, they held a spin class at Equinox in order to raise money for the Afya organization. 35 high school girls contributed to this worthy cause by donating in order to take the 45-minute spin class. The money raised through the class was donated to the Afya organization. Samantha Krevolin participated in the spin class and said, “It was a fun experience that not only benefitted me, but it was for a good cause.” This was a fun way Olivia was able to get the high school involved in the club.

Additionally, the members of the club went to the Afya warehouse for a sort-a-thon. Each student sorted supplies in order to make the process easier for the organization. At the sort-a-thon, Olivia “sorted medical supplies that were going to help people involved in the Syrian Refugee Crisis.” The sorta-a-thon helped her gain firsthand experience regarding what the organization does.  

All in all, the Afya club at our school not only inspires students to get involved in a fun way, but it also gives them insight into what is going on in the world. It shows students that they can make a difference and help students. If you are interested in getting involved with this club, contact Olivia Tantleff.