About US

Asylum seekers were forced to flee their countries because of constant war, persecution, or violence. They seek sanctuary in another country where they apply for asylum, a right to be recognized as a refugee and receive legal protection and material assistance. Currently, asylum seekers cannot return home or are afraid to do so. Today, nearly 40,000 African asylum seekers live in Israel. Of this total, more than 95% lack legal status. Of the 95%, less than 1% of them attend college. So far, after years’ working with attorneys and the courts only one person of the 1% has been granted asylum status.

The African asylum seekers’ journeys to Israel were harsh, mostly walking through the Sinai desert and subjected to torture, rape, and kidnappings on the way. In Israel, they face daunting challenges, including poverty, discrimination, human rights violations, scarce resources, and low social status. The Israeli government has built a prison and a detention camp in the desert to hold them for varying violations that are often unclear or unexplained and seemingly capricious. Further, the government encourages and pays asylum seekers to go back to Africa (though the government surely is aware of the common knowledge that returnees risk torture and death in their own and other war-torn African countries).

Our Leadership

CEO

Alhaji Fofana

CEO & Co-founder
Usumain Baraka

Usumain Baraka

Co-founder & Public Relation
Precious

Precious Udoh

Chief Marketing Officer
Aron Weldemhiret

Aron Weldemhiret

Co-founder & Chief Financial Officer
Osman Ali

Ali Keday

Project Coordinator
Fatoumata Sako

Fatoumata Sako

Auditor
Students Profile

Salam Mamusha

Auditor
Student

Toussaint Bouda

Board Chair
Melat-Michael blog

Melat Michael

Board Vice Chair
Monim

Monim Haroun

Board Secretary
Adam Bashar

Adam Bashar

Board Member
Chisom

Chisom Victoria Jude

Board Member
Tesfazghi-Tekle-Asgedom

Tesfazghi-Tekle-Asgedom

Board Member
Barik Saleh

Barik Sale

Board Member

ASO Students currently come from eleven countries — Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and Sudan-Darfur.

These men and women, ages 18 and higher, singles and those with families study full time for three to four years to earn a bachelor’s degree at one of nine colleges — Academic College of Netanya, Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo, College of Law and Business in Ramat-Gan, Seminar Hakibutzim, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Sapir Academic College in Ashkelon, Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, , Ben Gurion University. To earn a master’s degree, they study more than a year.

Students specialize in a range of areas — Biology, Business Administration, Business Economics, Business Finance, Communications, Government, Government and Economics, Government and Sustainability, Law and Political Science and Communication.

In 2021, 18 students are undergraduates and 5 are graduates students. We plan to increase the number of undergraduates in 2022.

To date, 16 alumni have graduated with bachelor’s degrees, and 8 with master’s degrees.

Precious-Udoh

Precious Udoh

From Nigeria. Digital Society Studies at Tel Aviv University.
Abdallah Kyuma

Abdallah Kyuma

From Darfur-Sudan. Studying Communication at IDC Herzliya.
Tasfazgi

Tesfazghi Tekle Asgedom

From Eritrea. Studying Business and Economics at IDC Herzliya.
Melat

Melat Michael

From Ethiopia. Studying Communication at IDC Herzliya.
Osman-Ali1

Osman Ali

From Darfur-Sudan. Studying Communication at IDC Herzliya.
Teame Habteab

Teame Habteab

From Eritrea. Studying Business and Administration at IDC Herzliya.
Christina

Christina Bazia

From South Sudan. Studying Government at IDC Herzliya.
Adil

Ishaq Ibrahem Adil

From Darfur-Sudan. Studying Business and Economics at IDC Herzliya.
Sana Hassan

Sana Adam Hassan

From Darfur, Sudan. Studying Art at Seminar Hakibutzim
Monim

Monim Haroun

From Darfur-Sudan. Studying Government and Economics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Muawia

Muawia Adameisa

From Darfur-Sudan. Studying Community and Social Work at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Naka Elias Kerba

Naka Elias Kerba

From South Sudan. Studying Government at IDC Herzliya.
Tekle

Tekle Tesfamariam

From Eritrea. Studying Business and Economics at IDC Herzliya.
Salam

Salam Mamusha

From Ethiopia. Studying Art at Seminar Hakibutzim
Motaz Osman

Motaz Osman

From Darfur-Sudan. Studying Economics and Business Administration at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Alsadig-Ahmed

Alsadig-Ahmed

From Darfur-Sudan. Studying Government and Law at Sha’arei Mishpat (Academic Center for Law and Science)
Simon Joseph

Simon Joseph

From Nigeria. Studying Psychology at IDC Herzliya.
Mariam

Mariam Ashley Matenje

From Malawi. Studying Government and Sustainability at IDC Herzliya.
Abdul Hassan

Abdul Hassan

From Darfur-Sudan. Studying Physical Education at Wingate College.
Moise Workerman

Roussel Moise Wokam

From Cameroun. Studying Molecular Biology at Ben Gurion University.

Mohamed Diabate

Mohamed Diabate

From Guinea. Studying Government and Sustainability at IDC Herzliya.

Taj-Haroun

Taj Haroun

Lives in Canada, Montreal. From Darfur-Sudan. MA in Political Science and Communication from Tel Aviv University. BA in Government IDC Herzliya.
Gabriel Thom

Gabriel Thom

Lives in Canada. From South Sudan. BA in Government from IDC Herzliya.
Chisom-Victoria-Jude

Chisom Victoria Jude

From Nigeria. BA in Communications from IDC Herzliya.
Abou-Bakar-Sako

Abou Bakr Sako

From Ivory Coast. MA in Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution and BA in Government from IDC Herzliya.
Dawit-Demo

Dawit Demoz

Lives in Canada, Toronto. From Eritrea. BA in Psychology from McGill University.
Issac-Bundu-Kamara

Issac Bundu Kamara

From Sierra Leone. MA in Public Policy and Diplomacy and BA in Government from IDC Herzliya.
Yikealo-Beyene

Yikealo Beyene

Lives in America. From Eritrea. MA in Organizational Behavior Development and BA in Psychology from IDC Herzliya.
Dian-Diallo

Jean Diallo

Lives in Germany. From Guinea. MA in Business Administration and BA in Government and Society  from Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo.
Usumain Barka

Ususmain Baraka

From Darfur-Sudan. MA in Public Policy and Diplomacy and BA in Government from IDC Herzliya.
Aron Weldemhrit

Aron Weldemhiret

From Eritrea. MBA & BA in Business Administration from IDC Herzliya.
Alhaji

Alhaji Alpha Fofana

From Ivory Coast. MA in Organizational Behavior Development and BA in Communications from IDC Herzliya.
Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 14.09.56

Mutasim Ali

Lives in Washington. From Darfur-Sudan. MA in International Human Rights Law from George Washington University. BA in Law from College of Law and Business in Ramat-Gan.
Fatoumata-Sako

Fatoumata Sako

From Ivory Coast. Studying Masters in Business finance, BA in Business Economics from IDC Herzliya.
Tesfu Teweldemedhin Bariagab 

Tesfu Teweldemedhin Bariagab 

Lives in Canada, Montreal. From Eritrea. BA in Business Finance from IDC Herzliya.
Barik

Barik Sale

From Sudan-Darfur. Studying MA in National Security at Haifa University. BA in Government from IDC Herzliya.
Haider Ismail

Haider Ismail

From Darfur-Sudan. Interdisciplinary Studied at Open university, Ben Gurion
Magos Kedani

Magos Kedani

From Eritrea. Studied Business and Economics at IDC Herzliya.
Dahir Sair

Dahir Said

Lives in America. From Somalia. BA in Government from IDC Herzliya.
Students Profile

Afeworki Tesfayesus

From Eritrea. Studied Art at Mintshar College, Tel Aviv.
Musa Kesso

Musa Kesso

From Darfur-Sudan. Studying MA in Disaster Management at Tel Aviv University. BA in Government and Sustainability from IDC Herzliya.
Arbab-Ali

Arbab Alie

From Darfur-Sudan. BA in Government from Sapir Academic College in Ashkelon.
Emmanuel Lam

Emmanuel Lam

From South Sudan. Studied Agriculture at Oranim College.
Adam Bashar

Adam Bashar

From Sudan-Darfur. BA in Government from IDC Herzliya.
Bouda

Toussaint Bouda

From Ivory Coast. Studying MA in Diplomacy and International Relation at Haifa University. BA in Government from IDC Herzliya.
Sedig-Yousif

Sedig Yousif

From Darfur-Sudan. Studying MA in National Security at Haifa University. BA in Government from IDC Herzliya.

Hassan  Shakur

Hassan Ahmed Shakur

From Darfur-Sudan. Studied Business and Economics at IDC Herzliya.
Jackson-Magac

Jackson Magac

From South Sudan. Studied Government at IDC Herzliya.
Ali Adam

Ali Adam

From Darfur-Sudan. MA in Law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Q

CO-FOUNDERS

In 2015, thirteen African asylum-seeking students met to discuss their key needs: tuition scholarships, student visas, and internships following graduation. They also discussed ways of outreach to the community to increase the number of students in higher education. In March 2017, the group organized and founded the African Students Organization in Israel and registered it as an NGO in Israel.

Joey Low

Joey low

In 2009, when African asylum seeker Adam Bashar from Sudan-Darfur was studying at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya he met Joey Low, an American entrepreneur and philanthropist. Joey had established the NGO “Israel at Heart” to support Israeli students at IDC.

Adam told Joey of his journey to Israel, and Joey immediately connected with the asylum-seeking experience. Joey’s own mother was a refugee in Europe seeking asylum in many countries till she immigrated to the USA where Joey was born.

Adam introduced Joey to the Sudan-Darfur community in South Tel Aviv where he pledged to provide scholarships for asylum seekers qualified to study. Initially, Joey pioneered the “African Refugee Scholarship Program” to help students from Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan-Darfur enter IDC and complete programs there. Today, the program helps all African asylum seekers wherever they are studying in Israel. Joey also supports the African asylum seeking community by advocating for and championing them in the media and at public forums.

Joey is our education and empowerment backer, mentor, advocate, and booster; in short, Joey is our “angel!”

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