The Friends of Hope Africa is a committed and engaged board. mission of the FHAU board of directors is “to mobilize in North America prayer, educational and financial support for Hope Africa University.” These have been the guiding words from its beginning in 2000. The board was originally seen as a parallel to the governing board of the university in Africa and was called simply “the US Board.”
In 2005 the US Board was reorganized and incorporated as Friends of Hope Africa University, Inc. and in 2006 received approval as a 501(c)(3) charity able to acknowledge gifts with receipts for tax purposes.
The members of the board of directors of Friends of Hope Africa University come from across the United States. They bring a variety of professional and avocational talents and experiences to the work of Friends of HAU. Some are retired, some are working and many have hands on experience in mission ministries in Africa.
Aware of past troubling issues of colonialism in Africa, the Board is committed to assure close collaboration and support from Friends of HAU to Hope Africa University, the Rector of the university serves as a member of the Friends of HAU board and the president of Friends board is a member of the Governing Board of the HAU in Burundi. The Rector is involved with all major commitment and decision by the Friends board.
Currently, there are seventeen members of the board serving three year terms on a rotational cycle with about six members elected each year. The board is self-perpetuating but open to adding members who bring qualities of character, skill and commitment to further the work of Hope Africa University. The Board’s governance structure includes a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Member at Large. These persons constitute an Executive Committee responsible for overseeing board operations.
Board members are expected to be actively involved in support of Hope Africa University, including occasional visits, teaching, or consultation. Most have accepted specific leadership responsibilities for organization, planning, development and fund raising.
The commitment of the board can be best understood by what some have said about their commitment to the school:
“For some of us, Hope Africa University has become a second home. We are invested in its future not just with our financial resources but with our time and talents. We are committed to its development and growth as a calling on our lives, and we understand that our greatest gifts to the institution are our prayers and our work to introduce this young institution to people who will continue to love and nurture it for years to come.”
“People have forgotten that Hope Africa University opened in Burundi while there was still a war going on. This act of courage and faith was a vote of confidence in the future, making a contribution by its very existence to stability and hope in the region. Out of half a century of international involvement, I must say personally that this kingdom institution has a multiplier potential through its graduates to permeate society and to literally change the moral tone of a whole region of Africa, perhaps with influence on the whole continent.”
“What excites me about Hope Africa University are the facts that...
- It originated as, and continues to be, a truly African university – conceived and developed by Africans with African administration and faculty to serve the needs of 21st century Africans.
- It is a Christian liberal arts school to help young people develop the moral and professional skills to impact their communities through lives of dedicated service.
- By teaching in both French and English it prepares students to succeed in the two most common languages of commerce in sub-Saharan Africa.
These mean that students can come from almost any part of Africa and return with all the skills they need to serve with excellence, integrity and commitment.”
"Imagine a region wracked by over a decade of civil war. Imagine that during that war, when people are fleeing in masses, God calls a group of his people to stand and begin building a Christian university. Imagine that within a few years that university has secured land, built facilities, and has over 1400 students enrolled in higher education courses with full accreditation. Imagine that within seven years the university is serving over 4,000 students, has opened a medical school and nursing program and completed a 47,000 square foot, three story classroom administration building containing labs, classrooms offices, a three story library and radio studio. That is the incredible story I witnessed while in Burundi at Hope Africa University."