In 1998 my godmother, Dr. Margaret Wright took her first trip to Senegal, West Africa. While she was there she visited a school and was moved by the contrast in this learning environment. Upon returning, she shared with her students at McDade Classical School in Chicago about the conditions of the schools that she visited on her trip. Students in her classes became intrigued and sought out ways to help make a difference. For the next ten years I participated with her preparation for annual trip to Senegal.
In 2008, with support from my godmother, I was able to join her on this pilgrimage. The most impactful part of this trip was my visit to Goree Island. Goree is one of the islands located on the coast of Senegal, which was instrumental in the slave trade. While on the island, I was overtaken by a wide range of emotions as I learned about the atrocities that my ancestors endured. It was in that moment that I made a decision to do something to provide a vehicle of reconciliation and hope. After learning that; “Every 30 seconds a child in Africa, under the age of 5 dies of Malaria,” my goal was to provide 1,000 mosquito bed nets to fight against malaria in Senegal. After returning to the United States, I sought support from individuals and organizations. I was able to raise $48,000 through Rotary International. This funding allowed us to:
Distributed over 16,000 mosquito bed nets
Donated over $10,000 in school supplies
Established a 20 bed maternity ward
This was the beginning of my nonprofit organization Project Safety Nets. Our mission is to “Create and provide resources that offer a sustainable support system for citizens of developing communities”
"The difference between charity and love-love goes the extra mile to change things" -Ann Dillard
Ann M. Dillard, MA, LMFT
Educational Trainer and Consultant
President, K.I.P. Consulting Services, LLC
Founder and Executive Director of Project Safety Nets,
I also enjoy the global component of my work which led me to start a non-profit organization called Project Safety Nets where we empower residents of underserved communities in Senegal, West Africa while fighting against malaria. Over the past nine years, I have taken as many mission trips back to the same region of Africa as well as participated in relief efforts for other countries. I have partnered with multiple individuals and organizations to provide resources that help bring hope to the people of this developing country and to save lives.
Serving as the president of the Rotary Club of Plymouth and Visionary/Special Representative to the newly established Rotary Club of North Minneapolis has provided the perfect venue to practice my philosophy of service above self. I am a graduate of DeVry University, Chicago with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Operations and from Argosy University/Twin Cities, with my Masters of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy for which I hold the credential of Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). I recently gained employment as the school linked mental health therapist for Guadalupe Alternative Program, serving 6-8 grade students and families at Northeast Middle School in Minneapolis, MN. I am a trainer/educator who is credentialed through the Minnesota Center for Professional Development. I am also the owner of K.I.P. Consulting Services where we offer educational training and consulting while sharing knowledge and strategies that empower others to reach their goals. As a member of Shiloh Temple International Ministries in Minneapolis, MN, my husband of 29 years, Min. Joseph Dillard and I serve as Under-Shepherds for the Family Services Division. I currently serve as the Global Missions Chairperson for the Minnesota Wisconsin Dakotas District Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. My husband and I are blessed with four wonderful children, Luvell (Karla), Monisha (Anthony), Joseph, Jr. (Samantha), Aaron, and three grandchildren, Joey, Noah, and Maya.
The best and most important parts of this work are impacting children and families in the community and around the world, by empowering learners and having the opportunity to establish new relationships.
Knowledge is power and the possibilities are endless.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Founder / Executive Director
Elorm is a new addition to Project Safety Nets and is currently an intern on the team. She is handles and organizes all the social media. She was also born and raised in Ghana, West Africa and is very passionate about the work Project Safety Nets has done and continues to do.
Mayssa is the program director in Senegal. He has been instrumental in protecting the interests of Project Safety Nets on the ground. He also serves as the main translator and organizer for the team. Without his support, the team would be immobilized due to lack of fluency in the many languages that spoken in Senegal.
LaVerne has been a lifelong friend of Ann Dillard. She has supported Project Safety Nets since its inception and has traveled to Senegal six times. As one of the primary supporters of our work, LaVerne has been instrumental in making presentations and securing funds to execute initiatives like: Feeding The Lepers and The Girls' Conference in Gambia. Over the years, LaVerne has supported many families and students to create sustainable living.