top of page

About us

African Community Health Institute (ACHI), is a nonprofit organization founded in 2005 to provide appropriate linguistic and cultural sensitive services that promote and enrich the health and well-being of underserved immigrants and refugees.


Our Story

ACHI was founded in response to the increased incoming refugees from Africa, largely from East Africa with an exceptionally large percentage of children and young adults. Because of their low education and cultural background, culturally and linguistically competent support services would be needed for their prolonged settlement. As a result, ACHI was founded exclusively to develop and provide culturally competent services to the underserved local refugee and immigrant communities. ACHI programs and services focus on bridging the gap between service providers and the clients by delivering effective services that include orientation with intake client needs assessment and referrals, various health and skill development educational programs, peer-to-peer support systems, immigration and citizenship services, activities for socialization, civic engagement and other specific group programs such as women, youth and senior’s programs. When appropriate, some of these programs are provided using native African languages and utilizing various progressive cultural activities. Leveraging the experiences developed working with immigrant communities, ACHI currently is prioritizing services that contribute to the efforts of combating the ongoing community health crisis such public health practices and education and programs. ACHI operates heavily by mobilizing passionate volunteers, as a result provides the most efficient services with limited resources. Our unique dedication and strategy have been acknowledged by FIRST 5, which awarded ACHI for the best service-providing agency in 2009. Check also a brief summary of previous activities, programs and funding.   


Mission and Goals

Our Mission

The mission of ACHI is to eliminate cultural and linguistic barriers while striving to help individuals learn new coping mechanisms for healthy and easy settlement to their new social environment.  By defining “health” in a Holistic manner, the African Community Health Institute strives to address issues of community health as well as physical and mental health. The major goals are:

  • To promote physical, mental, and social well-being 

  • To develop early coping mechanisms for any cultural shock, mental and other stress related problems.

  • To provide support for quick re-settlement and integration to their new community.

  • To provide prevention and intervention awareness outreach and education to reduce health disparities within the community

ACHI unique approach is  to provide culturally and linguistically sensitive support and services.



Our Vision

ACHI’s vision is to strive and enrich the livelihood of the vulnerable members of the community, including African immigrants and refugees, by addressing issues of community health as well as physical and mental health. By defining “health” in a holistic manner, ACHI strives to eliminate cultural and linguistic barriers while helping individuals learn new coping mechanisms for healthy and easy settlement to their new social environment.


Our Values

Mission Driven



Mutual Respect

Inclusiveness and diversity


Our Team
Manna Teclemariam, MPH
Founder and President

Manna Teclemariam, MPH in public health, Executive Director/President of ACHI and Public Health Educator, has been working in public health for twenty years. Stress Management Specialist, Leader of the Eritrean Women’s Association and Founder and Program Director for the African Community Health Institute.  Former Counselor on behalf of immigrant community, organizer of educational and community services for Eritrean children in Santa Clara County, as well as formerly on behalf of orphaned children and youth in Eritrea.


bottom of page