Educational Institutions

International Foundation for Education and Self-Help

  • Scottsdale, AZ

This organization has not appeared on the IRS Business Master File in a number of months. It may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

This organization's exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence are warranted.

Mission Statement

The mission of IFESH is to support African nations in their efforts to eradicate poverty, disease and inequity through self-help partnership programs.

Main Programs

  1. Program
Service Areas



Since 1981, IFESH has worked in 34 sub-Saharan African Countries and curretly operates programs in Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.

ruling year


Principal Officer since 2004


Dr. Julie Helen Sullivan Ph.D.



Education, sub-Saharan Africa, Leon H. Sullivan, teacher-training

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Also Known As







Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Management & Technical Assistance (Q02)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

Our vision is an Africa where everyone reaches their full potential through access to quality education, health and good governance.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1


In support of the Africa Education Initiative, with support from USAID, IFESH implements the African Education Initiative Support program, utilizing the knowledge and expertise of "International Educators for Africa," American volunteer educators deployed to rural and urban setting to enhance the competencies of primary and secondary level pre- and in-service teachers, and building the capacity of ministries of education to implement educational reform strategies that serve the holistic needs of children and families.

The number of people and families living with HIV/AIDS, including orphans and vulnerable children who need care and support services, is continually increasing. This phenomenon poses tremendous challenges to the health care and community systems that struggle to keep up with responding to the pandemic, particularly among women in rural and remotes areas. Our HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention projects are currently operating in the Imo and Delta States of Nigeria through funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS curriculum is also incorporated in each of IFESH's education projects.


Our Conflict Management Program has played an integral part in the development of African nations since 1981. We implement the Conflict Abatement through Local Mitigation Project in Nigeria that engages youth in the Delta, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and Rivers States. The project seeks to prevent and reduce conflict by strengthening the capacity of Nigerian society to address the factors responsible for violent conflict by:

• Engaging youth• Developing early warning systems• Training local organizations in conflict management techniques• Providing conflict management interventions in other states

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, under a grant funded by USAID-Kinshasa, we implemented a project that promoted community reintegration of children involved with armed conflict and other militia groups in Northern Katanga. We provided industrial skills training to former child soldiers and adult ex-combatants and reintroduced them back into their communities. Ex-combatants and their community members received training on how to resolve and manage conflicts.


Working with communities is at  the heart of all IFESH education, health and conflict mitigation programs. In addition, we have previously worked to build the capacity of communities in Liberia and South Africa through reconstruction and reconciliation projects.


International, Foreign Affairs & National Security

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)



Service Areas



Since 1981, IFESH has worked in 34 sub-Saharan African Countries and curretly operates programs in Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.


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Fiscal year: Oct 01-Sep 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.


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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

International Foundation for Education and Self-Help



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2012, 2011 and 2010
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Dr. Julie Helen Sullivan Ph.D.


Julie Helen Sullivan Ph.D. is President and CEO of IFESH and is responsible for the expansion of self-help programs in sub-Saharan Africa. She employs the self-help model of her father and IFESH founder, the late Reverend Dr. Leon H. Sullivan, by focusing on the delivery of results-based sustainable projects that utilize expertise from local Ministries of Education and communities in helping to articulate national reform efforts.

Dr. Sullivan leads IFESH in the development and implementation of holistic integrated development projects that focus on poverty reduction. These projects engage local governments, communities and organizations in addressing the needs of vulnerable populations, particularly women and youth, by creating greater access to quality education tied to health and job creation.

Dr. Sullivan holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Arcadia University, a Master's Degree in Journalism from Temple University, and a Doctoral Degree in International Development from Tulane University. She is credited with developing the concept and philosophy behind a community-based functional literacy project based in Nigeria, that later won an award by UNESCO. In 2007, Dr. Sullivan was recognized by Congresswoman Diane Watson for her work in sustainable African development at an event sponsored by the American Red Cross and the TPC Foundation.

In 2008, Dr. Sullivan received the Yunus Humanitarian Award, an award for humanitarian efforts contributing to world stabilization.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"IFESH is one of America's premier non-governmental organizations working in sub-Saharan Africa. My late father, Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, founded IFESH with the goal of providing developing countries with the educational, economic and social tools and resources necessary to lift people out of poverty. I am honored to carry on my father's legacy and to lead IFESH in fulfilling his promise of building a bridge between Africa and America by assisting the "poorest of the poor" in the areas of education reform, preventive healthcare, capacity building, and conflict resolution. Fulfilling this promise means ushering in a new wave of development in order to make a greater impact in countries that have made some progress, but still lag behind in achieving the U.N. Millennium Development Goals for 2015. Instead of looking to the past for models, countries' leaderships are looking forward to new paradigms that meet country-specific developmental needs and that are relevant to culture and traditions of the region.

Smart development entails prudent investment in social programs that empower individuals to realize practical, sustainable solutions to the problem of poverty, disease and inequity. It entails new paradigms that successfully integrate education with health, agriculture and capacity building. Development also engages both the public and private sector in collaborative initiatives that harness the knowhow of the African people in laying the foundation for future generations.

Research shows that education is essential for developing nations to institute sustainable economic and social reform and significantly reduce poverty. IFESH's education model makes a significant impact on the quality of education for primary and secondary school students by increasing the number of skilled teachers at all levels. Over the years, we have trained more than 180,000 African teachers who have been able to support the educational growth of their country, students and communities. In turn, these teachers have positively impacted millions of African children. The strong relationships that we have built and sustained with the ministries of education and health of our host countries, and our emphasis on engaging local communities in the design of self-help projects, have been fundamental to our success.

Our work could not be accomplished without the generous support of our partners, including: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, the World Cocoa Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and corporations including Shell, Chevron, Chrysler LLC, General Motors, the Hershey Company, Mars Inc., and many committed individuals. We continue to build public-private partnerships to enable the implementation of innovative and self-sustaining programs, and to ensure that flagship programs, like our International Educators for Africa program, continue. I am especially grateful for the support of our Board of Directors, worldwide staff and volunteers.

Although much progress has been made, there is much more to be done. We should all be concerned that 23 countries remain at risk of not achieving universal primary education by 2015 and that 77 million of the world's children are still not enrolled in primary schools. Moreover, the nearly 50 million orphaned children in Africa will not be able to participate in the process of economic and social renewal in their countries unless they are provided access to education, health care and employment opportunities.

Please explore our website at  to learn about our programs and how we are making a big difference in the lives of disadvantaged people in sub-Saharan Africa. I hope you'll be moved to get involved. There are volunteer opportunities available to educators, and we always welcome new donors and sponsors. Thank you for your support!"



Dr. Eamon Kelly

Tulane University


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