African Family Health Organization
Spitfire Strategies was connected with the African Family Health Organization (AFAHO) through our partnership with the National Network of Public Health Institutes. A nonprofit, AFAHO provides culturally sensitive health, human and educational services to African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees (ACIRs) in the greater Philadelphia area. With the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on that community, AFAHO began its work on the Vaccine Equity Project. As part of that initiative, AFAHO focused on combating misinformation around the COVID-19 vaccine and providing a community-centered space for ACIRs to be vaccinated. Spitfire worked with AFAHO to develop strategic, culturally sensitive messaging to spread the word about its work with vaccine-hesitant community members.
AFAHO recognized that different immigrant communities have unique reasons for their vaccine hesitancy, so we worked with the organization to develop questions for focus groups with different ACIR communities. The information we gathered provided context for tailoring our messages to make them truly effective. One important learning was to write easy-to-read and easy-to-translate content, because much of AFAHO’s target audience either spoke English as a second language or not at all. Spitfire worked with AFAHO to create a strategic messaging guide, which we then used to develop social media toolkits, updated webpage content, tailored community health guides, and a regional media list and pitch highlighting AFAHO’s work. We acted as a pinch hitter for its team, helping raise awareness among the greater Philadelphia ACIR community by posting to AFAHO’s social media platforms and reaching out to regional media.
Spitfire strengthened AFAHO’s communications by filling gaps in its small-but-mighty team’s capacity, with an aim toward bolstering the ongoing success of its Vaccine Equity Project and providing a safe, welcoming and culturally sensitive space for ACIR community members to receive the vaccine.