Meaning Of Aya

Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Ashanti of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa. Aya is the symbol representing the fern plant. The fern grows and prospers in and around unusual terrain and is recognized as a rugged and hardy plant. Consistent with the qualities of a fern, Aya symbolizes endurance, independence, defiance against difficulties, hardiness, perseverance and resourcefulness. We feel this symbol represents not only our values as an organization but our commitment to change the lives of ourselves and others thru our service. 


Mission Statement 

Aya Project Inc. is a not for profit organization dedicated to improving the health and education of rural communities in The Ivory Coast. We will accomplish this goal through short term mission trips and programs that work with local agencies in the Ivory Coast empowering communities to sustain and improve the health and education of their people. Aya Project and its partner organizations are committed to providing assistance to those in need regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion or political affiliation.


Aya project was founded by Carrie & Yao Jules after visiting family in the Ivory Coast. Carrie and Yao Jules were inspired to use their talents and dreams to help the communities that they fell in love with during there visits.

Yao has a background in sports, martial arts and traveled international representing the Ivory Coast at international karate championships. Yao's goal is to use sports and fitness to help inspire communities to live in peace and take on healthy lifestyles. 

Carrie is a registered nurse with a Master's Degree in Nursing Education, who has a background in international global health nursing. Through her travels she has worked internationally as well as developed international nursing mission trips and programs. She has lead medical mission trips to Guatemala and established the Happy Healthy Bellies Initiative which provided treatment for parasitic infections in children in rural communities in Guatemala. She has dedicated her life to helping others. In May 2016 she was award the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Service Award for her service both internationally  and her involvement in her community. Carrie is currently a nurse educator teaching nursing students in ADN programs in upstate New York.

Carrie's sister Jenifer, who is also a Registered Nurse and Wound Care Certified joined efforts with Carrie in 2015 and traveled as part of Happy Health Bellies Mission to Guatemala. After taking part in her first mission  her life was forever changed. During a recent mission trip to Ghana she put her wound therapy skills to work. She is focusing on teaching simple wound care to local communities to improve the outcomes of those with skin aliments and wounds. Together this family hopes to not only change the lives of those that they help but change the lives of those who choose to serve.