Vicki Conaway

Vicki Conaway, also  known as Efuwa Nyarkoma, is the founder of The Beauty of Afrikan Sisterhood, a non-profit organization established in January 2023. She is the Former President of Tabernacle Baptist Church Mission Ministry, Burlington, N.J.  During her tenure, she opened a children’s playroom at Salt pond Municipal Hospital and shipped numerous toys, medical supplies, clothing, shoes and other supplies to the Saltpond Community with the assistance of her church. 

Vicki found her passion helping women suffering from Obstetric Fistula and since June 2021 she has raised funds for 21 life changing surgeries. No woman should have to live with childbirth injury for life.  Vicki received the 2022 Burlington County Outstanding Women of the year in Volunteerism, Dr. Aaron McMillian Scholarship for Medical Missions, 2022 Rancocas Valley Links Mother’s Day and 2023 Exhale Ministries Women of Excellence Award. 

Please share with us your early childhood experience 

 I was born and raised in Burlington, New Jersey. I attended Saint Mary’s Hall-Doane Academy, a small private school in my hometown. I was fortunate to be raised in a household with both my parents, a brother and my maternal grandmother who was a profound influence in my life.  I have the most amazing memories of my resilient and proud grandmother. She was a Missionary and a Black Cross Nurse for Marcus Garvey’s UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association). I grew up watching a circle of missionaries in our living room praying. When we were sick, she used her skills as a Black Cross nurse to concoct a homemade remedy to break our fever. My brother and I would sit in the back of her station wagon filled with African American newspapers and magazines that she delivered to South Jersey customers weekly.  

My grandmother was proud and tenacious. She enrolled my mother in an all-white school in Burlington in 1946 where my mother became the first black student.   On the first day of school, the school opened late that day after hours of protest. My grandmother brought a chair and sat outside the school while my mother went inside. She refused to leave. This is the same person that went back to school in her sixties because she wanted to learn how to print her name. This is the ancestral lineage of my upbringing.  I was raised with a strong cultural identity that has manifested so much in my travels back home.  I still reside in Burlington, New Jersey where I am the proud mother of two beautiful daughters, Autumn (33) and India (29) and one amazing grandson Malachi (2).  

Please share key moments in your life that led you to volunteer work.  

I started volunteering at the Bus Stop Cafe, a summer meal project that would bring nutritious meals to local playgrounds during the summer months. At my church I joined the Missionary Ministry. My first project was a coat drive for children living in foster care. I received about 100 new coats. It was at that moment I fell in love with mission service.  I began to volunteer at different events and held various positions within the ministries at church.  I took my first short term mission trip to Haiti in 2018 with 12 Missionaries.  We planned a tea for the women in the community. We brought colorful paper plates and matching cups along with small tasty cakes. At the tea, we gave out inflatable solar lights.  This lady was so upset when we ran out of lights, she hit me. There are so many things we have taken for granted each day and all this sister wanted was some lights to illuminate her home.  

My next mission trip was to Ghana which has undoubtedly changed the trajectory of my life.  My church began supporting a school in Ghana for about 10 years and in 2020 we planned to visit the school. I was one of 24 missionaries that were going for a 9-day visit. Everyone dropped out due to the fear of covid, but Jah sent me. This was my first solo mission trip.  The trip exceeded my expectations. The Motherland was so spiritual and unlike anything I have ever experienced. I toured a local hospital in the Central Region. When I went to visit the Children’s ward there were no toys for the children to play with. The vision of seeing children hospitalized from severe burns to malaria affected me. I returned home and with the support of my church I started shipping toys, clothing, and medical supplies to Ghana. To date, we have shipped 87 barrels of supplies to the Saltpond Community in Ghana.  

What inspires you? 

As a repeated traveler to Ghana, I have witnessed the struggle through my own lens. I see the appreciation for the most mundane things we take for granted. Last year I filmed a documentary on obstetric fistulas. One of the sisters in the documentary said, “you removed the shame from our lives.”  What gives me inspiration is when I see the transformation that occurs after surgery as these women reclaim their life and their infinite beauty is undeniable.  


I am inspired by the beach, writing in my journal, meeting other expats living on the continent, and donating the remaining 27 barrels of supplies to the community.  

On my  third trip to Ghana, my neighbor asked me to visit Mercer Catholic Women’s Center Fistula Unit. They were in dire need of adult diapers. I went to the center and was given a firsthand account of how the women are suffering with incontinence. They have uncontrolled leakage of waste, urine, recurring infections, and the need for help.  The Beauty of Afrikan Sisterhood supports women by raising funds for fistula surgeries in Ghana. We have raised money for twenty-one surgeries thus far. Last year, we were able to install wash basins in the center. The patients and nurses no longer need to leave the building to wash their hands. Last month renovations were made for upgrades of the doors, locks and replacing the mosquito screens on the windows and adding a fresh coat of paint.  

What advice would you give anyone looking to start a nonprofit? 

Research, Research and more Research!  

Hire a CPA! That is the best advice that I can give someone looking to start a non-profit. A CPA that specializes in non-profits can guide you through the steps to remain compliant with the IRS. There are so many details from choosing the right board members that share your vision and want to see the non-profit reach its goals. At times it is a thankless job.  

I am up early working before I start my full-time job as an analyst. People do not see the sacrifices that are made. I have worked my fair share of overtime to cover expenses on my journey. I would not give up the sacrifices or dedication I have made for anything in this world.  


How can readers support your cause?  

Readers can visit my website and sponsor a sister in need of fistula surgery. All donations are tax deductible. No donation is too small. We also accept donations of adult diapers and toiletries. Please visit “We are Saving our sisters, one Surgery at a time”. 

When you are not working or volunteering what do you do? 

I love spending quality time with my grandson. I enjoy long walks, riding my bike and spending time taking care of me.  

What is next for Vicki? 

I want to spread Sisterhood Love throughout the world. 

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