Synergy: AKDN & Hilton Foundation project to benefit children affected by HIV/AIDS

Children affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa will have a chance for a better start in life and a more promising future because of the educational initiative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), in partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. This new partnership, a joint venture between the two organizations, will train community leaders to help improve the odds for young children affected by HIV and AIDS. The first in a series of training courses was launched today in Nairobi, Kenya for the inaugural cohort of 25 participants.1,2

Synergy: AKDN & Hilton Foundation – $1.5 million grant leverages AKDN institutions for the benefit of HIV/AIDS affected children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Partner Institutions:

  1. Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  2. AKDN’s Advancing Institutions and Knowledge for Improved Early Human Development  – Africa project
  3. Aga Khan University – Institute for Human Development
  4. Aga Khan Foundation – USA
  5. Aga Khan Foundation – Switzerland
  6. Red River College, Canada

Enabling Languages:

  1. English
  2. Kiswahili
  3. Portuguese

Beneficiary Countries:

  1. Kenya
  2. Malawi
  3. Mozambique
  4. South Africa
  5. Tanzania
  6. Zambia

References & Learn more at:

  1. Aga Khan Foundation USA – Partnerships in Action Press Release Aga Khan Development Network Training Boosts Africa’s Support for Children Affected by HIV and AIDS
  2. Aga Khan University: Aga Khan Development Network Training Boosts Africa’s Support for Children Affected by HIV and AIDS
  3. Conrad N. Hilton Foundation – Recent Grants


Conrad-hiltonConrad N. Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels, never lost his sense of responsibility for others. He left nearly his entire fortune to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation with a mandate to “relieve the suffering, the distressed and destitute” without regard to race, religion, or country. True to form, his gravestone inscription reads, Charity is a supreme virtue and the great channel through which the mercy of God is passed on to mankind.

In his last will and testament, he charged us to relieve the suffering of the distressed and the destitute.

Excerpts from Conrad Hilton’s last will:

  • There is a natural law, a Divine law, that obliges you and me to relieve the suffering, the distressed and the destitute. Charity is a supreme virtue, and the great channel through which the mercy of God is passed on to mankind. It is the virtue that unites men and inspires their noblest efforts.
  • Love one another, for that is the whole law; so our fellow men deserve to be loved and encouraged—never to be abandoned to wander alone in poverty and darkness. The practice of charity will bind us—will bind all men in one great brotherhood.
  • As the funds you will expend have come from many places in the world, so let there be no territorial, religious, or color restrictions on your benefactions, but beware of organized, professional charities with high-salaried executives and a heavy ratio of expense.
  • Be ever watchful for the opportunity to shelter little children with the umbrella of your charity; be generous to their schools, their hospitals, and their places of worship. For, as they must bear the burdens of our mistakes, so are they in their innocence the repositories of our hopes for the upward progress of humanity. Give aid to their protectors and defenders, the Sisters, who devote their love and life’s work for the good of mankind, for they appeal especially to me as being deserving of help from the Foundation.

agakhanHis Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the AKDN, is the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, the first Imam, and his wife Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter.

The Aga Khan has emphasised the view of Islam as a thinking, spiritual faith, one that teaches compassion and tolerance and that upholds the dignity of man, Allah’s noblest creation. In the Shia tradition of Islam, it is the mandate of the Imam of the time to safeguard the individual’s right to personal intellectual search and to give practical expression to the ethical vision of society that the Islamic message inspires.

In Islam’s ethical tradition, religious leaders not only interpret the faith but also have a responsibility to help improve the quality of life in their community and in the societies amongst which they live. For His Highness the Aga Khan, this has meant a deep engagement with development for over 55 years through the agencies of the AKDN.

AKDN is a contemporary endeavour of the Ismaili Imamat to realise the social conscience of Islam through institutional action.

The agencies of the AKDN are private, international, non-denominational development organisations. They work to improve the welfare and prospects of people in the developing world, particularly in Asia and Africa, without regard to faith, origin or gender. Its programmes are designed to bring a critical mass of economic, social and cultural activities to bear on a given area.

The AKDN works in 30 countries around the world. It employs approximately 80,000 people, the majority of whom are based in developing countries.

Learn more about the ethical framework that informs the AKDN’s work.

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