Focal Point Global was found by identical twins – Hassanatu and Hussainatu Blake, who were born in Limbe, Cameroon, raised in Baltimore, MD, and traveled, studied, lived, and worked with youth in several countries such as Namibia, South Africa, Jamaica, Dominica, Zambia, and Germany. In 2009, the Blakes embarked on a journey to make tough conversations like HIV and child trafficking the norm for all young people and inspire them to be the change. Upon their return to the US, after living and working in Southern Africa, the twins gained a sense of urgency to start conversation about HIV after reading an article about HIV prevalence in Washington, DC. They knew youth have a high risk of contracting HIV and began to understand the parallels between youth in underserved communities globally. They believed that regardless of geography, youth around the world could learn from and empower each other to create change in their communities around HIV.
At that moment, Focal Point Global was born and incorporated in 2010. Since then, nearly 50 youth have participated in Focal Point Global projects in the US, Cameroon, and Namibia. Focal Point Global will continue to reach more youth through global education, youth empowerment, and social change.
Hussainatu and Hassanatu were 2013 TEDxEmory Speakers and were awarded 2013 Tufts University Young Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2012, Hussainatu and Hassanatu were named 2012 White House Champions of Change for their work with Focal Point Global and featured as 2012 AfroElle Magazine 35 under 35.