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Anita Ayers Henderlight

Anita Ayers Henderlight's picture
Executive Director at Africa ELI

Meeting some of the “Lost Boys of Sudan” in 2005 along with co-founders of New Sudan Education Initiative (NESEI) in 2006 propelled Anita to dedicate herself to supporting education in South Sudan.

With members of the Africa ELI (formerly NESEI) team and international development colleagues, she coordinated the launch and inaugural celebration of Africa ELI’s first school in 2008. To increase the number of student beneficiaries, she negotiated Africa ELI’s first public-private partnership (PPP) agreement with Yei Girls Boarding Secondary School in 2009, effectively increasing Africa ELI’s educational outreach from the original 18 scholars to more than 1,000 students in the Yei region.

While in the US, Anita works to educate the American public about Sudan’s young people and their great leadership potential. She travels the nation to mobilize individuals and groups to invest time and resources in Africa ELI students and school projects.

A graduate of Patricia Stevens College in Missouri, with courses of continued study in Sociology at George Washington University, Anita considers her greatest classroom to be life in Sudan. Prior to her work with Africa ELI, she worked for 17 years with a faith-based institution in program development for children, youth, and adults.

Originally from central Illinois, she has lived in the Washington DC area, St. Louis, and currently has a residence in East Tennessee.