Four African American Sisters Launch ‘No Limit International’ to Uplift U.S. and Sub-Saharan Communities During the Pandemic and Beyond

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The COVID-inspired nonprofit organization is also addressing gender inequality, youth development, hunger and poverty.

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Our long-term vision is to expand our organization’s endeavors in other African nations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. We are helping people believe in a better society. -Orlyana Tantchou

Led by their oldest sister, Orlyana Tantchou, four African American girls formed a nonprofit organization, No Limit International, to fight COVID-19 both in the U.S. and in Cameroon, West Africa, and then to pursue initiatives addressing gender inequality, youth development, hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Tantchou family found itself in shock along with the rest of the world a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic forced countries globally to impose public-health lockdowns. It didn’t take long before the Tantchou sisters — Orlyana (17), Orlyanka (15), Orlyola (12) and Orlybella (8) — decided they had to find ways to help people at home and abroad stay healthy.

At first, Orlyana and her sisters — all four are Girl Scouts — learned to make face masks and batches of hand sanitizer. They created a logo for their effort, which they then put on t-shirts and caps to help rally others to take strong measures against the coronavirus.

Next, they enlisted their family’s help to incorporate No Limit International as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the United States, then initiated a fundraising campaign with family and friends who welcomed the initiative and helped raise money for the endeavor.

Expanded Scope
As the girls realized how poverty, hunger and other factors contributed to the impact of COVID-19, they expanded No Limit International’s scope to focus on three priority initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa: gender equality, youth development, and fighting hunger and poverty.

  • Gender Equality: No Limit International will organize workshops for young girls with specific themes and topics that emphasize their uniqueness and sense of self-worth. Some African cultures are gender biased and prevent girls from going to school, aspiring to equal opportunities or even dreaming of a future that includes more than marriage and making babies. Orlyana and her sisters want to provide education and campaign awareness platforms to give young girls in sub-Saharan Africa their own voice.
  • Youth Development Programs: No Limit International will organize after-school programs for youth and enable them to acquire lifelong skills that enhance their overall fitness, social, emotional and intellectual abilities.
  • Fighting Hunger and Poverty: No Limit International will organize seminars for rural populations that teach proper farming techniques to maximize crop production. They will also advocate for land-to-farm opportunities for underserved communities. Reducing poverty will improve public health by addressing malnourishment and related factors.

No Limit International has helped more than 10,000 people so far in the U.S. and Cameroon, West Africa. The sisters hope to raise US$250,000 by the end of the year to help fund their global initiatives. The organization is approved as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization.

“Our long-term vision is to expand our organization’s endeavors in other African nations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” explained Orlyana Tantchou. “We are helping people believe in a better society.”

The Tantchou sisters have created a website and blog for No Limit International that includes COVID-19 statistics, trends, expert advice, and frequent updates of their community engagement efforts:

Highlights of Accomplishments:

  • Made donations and provided face masks to homeless shelters, undocumented immigrants’ shelters, domestic violence and pregnant women shelters, and food pantries/distribution centers, as well as to Ronald McDonald House Charities of El Paso, which provides a home away from home to families of seriously ill children receiving medical care in El Paso, Texas.
  • Donated face masks and sometimes hand sanitizers to the U.S. consulates of El Salvador, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, Barbados, Paraguay, Belize and Panama.
  • Visited the Navajo nation and donated face masks (including KN95’s) for healthcare professionals.
  • Donated face masks to the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department to help mitigate the spread of the virus in New Mexico’s Native American communities.
  • Designed and distributed a special and inspiring t-shirt and Teddy Bear to healthcare heroes and COVID-19 survivors.
  • Recruited volunteers in Cameroon, West Africa, who understood the sisters’ vision and executed tasks locally.
  • Initiated a campaign for a COVID-free school zone in Cameroon to promote a safe learning environment for students who had to go back to school despite the severity of the pandemic. Also donated masks, hand sanitizer, buckets and cartons of soap for hand washing, disinfectants, gloves, ThermoFlash thermometers. Additionally, more than 10,000 students were given educational fliers to learn about the virus and preventative measures.
  • Built a well to serve as a handwashing station in a Cameroon community of 4,000 people that did not have easy access to water. The station is staffed daily by No Limit International volunteers.
  • Collaborated with public health experts to deliver information sessions in prisons as well as to disabled and needy communities in Cameroon, on the dangers of the virus and the preventive measures required to reduce its spread; also donated face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and ThermoFlash thermometers during those sessions.

Orlyana, who graduates from high school this year, has received the Girl Scouts’ highest level of recognition — the Gold Award. She also received a Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Certificate of Excellence as a top-10% volunteer in the state of Texas, and is under consideration for the President’s Volunteer Award. Additionally, she has attracted $4 million in full-ride scholarship opportunities from a number of colleges/universities that have already accepted her, although she has not yet decided which one to choose.

About No Limit International
No Limit International as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in El Paso, Texas, and Cameroon, West Africa, working to address public health and related issues in underserved communities both in the United States and in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Kathy Fowler
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