Our Story

It all began in May 2008, when fifteen year-old Shannon McNamara was planning a service trip to Africa. She learned about the gender bias that prevents many girls there from getting a quality education, and she was determined to help. Shannon rallied her neighbors and friends, and together they collected donations of thousands of children’s books, school supplies and used laptop computers.

That summer, Shannon and her family brought 500 pounds of these donated school supplies to a rural village in Tanzania, and transformed a dilapidated classroom into a fully functioning library. From that initial project, SHARE in Africa was born.

Why focus on Africa?

SHARE supports girls' education in Tanzania. This east African nation is one of the poorest countries in the world. To be born a girl in rural Africa often means being doomed to a life with little education, babies coming too early, too many births, babies who die of preventable diseases, subordination to a husband and his family, and an early death.

Why focus on girls?

To educate girls is to reduce poverty. All the evidence shows that taking girls out of the fields and homes and putting them in classrooms raises economic productivity, lowers infant and maternal mortality, reduces fertility rates, and brings better environmental management.

Why focus on education?

Studies prove that investing in girls' education delivers huge returns for economic growth, women's health and disease prevention. Research has shown that a single year of primary education creates a 10-20% increase in a woman's wages later in life. A young person with a secondary education is three times less likely to contract HIV. Education leads to more efficient agriculture and improved nutrition.

Together we can change the world, one girl at a time.

Our Team

Karen McNamara, Executive Director, SHARE in Africa

Executive Director

"Shannon McNamara" "Shannon Hill McNamara", Founder, SHARE in Africa

Founder and Spokesperson

Sean McNamara, SHARE Treasurer

Treasurer

School Manager of Hekima Girls Secondary School

School Manager

Headmistress of Hekima Girls Secondary School

Headmistress, Hekima

Sr. Henrietha, Teacher at Hekima

Teacher

Diane Ashton, SHARE Director of Communications

Director of Communications

Brendan McNamara, SHARE Media Consultant

Media Consultant

Megan McNamara, SHARE in Africa

Photographer

Edith Duggan, Accountant

Accountant