A Silent Hero: Mavis Hagan


I first met this hero at the Heroes vs. Villains 5K & Flag Gauntlet event where she was promoting her Etsy shop for accessories: handmade African beaded jewelry, purses, sandals and clothing. I didn’t know at the time that all proceeds were slated for her non-profit organization, African Youth Development & Health (AYDAH) Foundation. The group is organized to establish, prevent and maintain a comprehensive and efficient healthcare delivery system to youth and underserved communities. It also provides opportunities and inspires the youth through education, employment and empowerment. Although she was very humble, I could tell she was very passionate about her purpose.

In honor of Women’s History Month, Mavis Hagan is truly a female leader who should be celebrated. She is creating change in her community, both here in the United States and abroad in Ghana, Africa. It all started 20 years ago when her husband, Mowbray Hagan, an American-trained medical doctor, recognized a need for an improved healthcare delivery system where no one could be turned away from immediate care. As a result, Dr. Hagan liquidated most of his assets to fund and operate a 50-bed urgent care hospital in Achimota, Ghana that employs mostly locals.

In order to support their cause, the Hagans started AYDAH Foundation. Throughout the year they have fundraisers so that they can give back to their communities:

  1. Fill My Cup (Henry’s Mini Van) – Helping individuals in the Inland Empire, one cause at a time
  2. Vision Works / Give Beads for Health – Saving lives, one fair trade product at a time
  3. Healthy Families Fundraiser – Educating and coaching individuals, families and members of charitable organizations on living a healthy lifestyle and securing a financial future, one person, one family at a time

AYDAH Foundation has given back in so many ways including:

  1. Providing  free health screenings monthly at their Urgent Care in the Inland Empire
  2. Enrolling youth in healthcare training
  3. Buying / promoting fair trade products from artisans to allow school-age boys and girls (who usually sell the products to support their families) to get needed education
  4. Contributing to the development of youth in the communities
  5. Providing free back packs and school supplies to children in underserved communities
  6. Providing small community centers with learning necessities for reading time and book exchange via the Spark of Wisdom (SOW) program.

Every year, AYDAH Foundation makes a trip to Ghana to deliver much needed medical supplies and equipment to the hospital and school supplies and books for the Youth Development Program in Achimota, Ghana. And this year is no different. In February, a 40-foot container began its six- to 10-week journey to Ghana. The container is filled with items such as hospital beds and mattresses, metal folding chairs, portable toilets, wheelchairs, adult diapers, walking canes, respiratory tubes and a refrigerator. It also contains items for the villages that AYDAH supports such as school supplies, education on health and wellness, teaching aids, oral and feminine hygiene items, used computers, backpacks and vitamins. Finally, 1,000 books for all ages will be delivered to a team of seven volunteers in order to open a SOW program in Ghana.

If you’d like to support or donate to AYDAH, send your inquiry to: contact@aydnhfoundation.org or visit: www.aydnhfoundation.org.