Our Team

GHTA’s Family

Monika Fox – Founder and Executive Director (volunteer position)

Hello!  My name is Monika and, as all of us on our team, I am a former volunteer. I had the privilege and incredible opportunity to volunteer in Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Nepal, and Thailand. I worked with children who were orphaned and HIV positive yet had an incredibly strong and vivacious spirit and an irresistible smile. I also worked with women who were struggling to find their place in a home and community as most developing nations are extremely patriarchal societies, yet yearned to learn and comprehend new concepts and information.

Volunteering is a unique way not only to contribute to those who are less fortunate but also to learn, experience and truly appreciate a very different culture. I was amazed at how hospitable and friendly the people I met were. Even if you walk down the red dirt roads men and women say hello, children wave, smile, giggle and walk along the side of you. Their innocence, spontaneity and willingness to trust seem to transcend the poverty in which they live.

When my volunteering adventure came to an end and I moved back home to Canada I could not stop thinking of all the children I met and women I worked with…. I fell in love with Africa and knew I had to return. And as much as I enjoyed my experiences I was disturbed by how little of the money I paid to the various volunteer organizations actually went to contribute to the local community. My goal is to make volunteering more affordable and productive. I have many dreams for Africa – big and small – so come and join us and find out how you can be part of Give a Heart To Africa. Come and volunteer in Tanzania.

Feel free to contact me at monika@giveahearttoafrica.org. I will be more than happy to answer all of your questions.

Rhiannon Chainey – General Manager, Moshi

Rhiannon

Having come to Tanzania for the first time in 2010 to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a charity tour leader, I quickly fell in love with the country and its people.  Tanzania is just special.  People who have very little in material things, have an incredible sense of community and spirit.  The women at our school have great determination and positivity and it is a huge privilege to work alongside such passion every day.  I moved to Moshi in August 2012, at first managing a volunteer hostel and working as a tour consultant.  Seeking a better way to use my skills and experience, I discovered Give a Heart to Africa were looking for a new manager just at the right time!

It is never dull!  There are many challenges, but I would not change it for the world!  To come to work every day and see these wonderful women working hard to improve their lives and those of their families, hearing their laughter, holding their hands as they tell me their struggles and knowing that the education they receive here can help in some small way, drives me on!  Seeing them grow in confidence, strengthening their ideas and watching them form friendships and support networks that would not be possible outside, makes me smile inside and out.  How many people are lucky enough to feel this inspired by the people around them every day?

Join us here at school and share the lives of these wonderful, intelligent, hardworking and totally inspiring women!  rhiannon@giveahearttoafrica.org

Sara Cousineau – Director, Treasurer (volunteer position)

Mambo!  My name is Sara and my first encounter with GHTA was when I volunteered as a teacher in the summer of 2011.  I had participated in other international volunteer projects in the past but I was extremely  excited about the opportunity to apply and share some of the knowledge I had gained throughout my business degree with the students studying business at GHTA.  I was also thrilled that all of my volunteer fees would have a direct impact on the community in Moshi.  During my time in Tanzania I experienced so many unforgettable m0ments.  Monika ensures that volunteers have a fulfilling and diverse experience by providing opportunities to teach, help with the children’s program and attend home visits.

Tanzania is absolutely beautiful and the strength and warmth of the people is extraordinary.  If you are looking for a meaningful volunteer experience with a direct and sustainable impact, GHTA is the place for you!

You can contact me at sara@giveahearttoafrica.org

Zuwena Twalib Saddy – Teacher and Translator

Zuwena graduated from GHTA in September 2014 as one of the top students and was selected by her peers to be a translator.  She is now working at GHTA as a teacher/translator and assists with Vocational and Business classes.  She loves the students, is very patient and dedicated.   She is raising her little girl by herself and aspired to being a small business owner one day.

Furaha Ayubu Msemo – Teacher and Translator

Furaha graduated from GHTA in September 20014 and because she studied very hard, she was selected to work in our school as at a teacher/translator.  She is very calm, optimistic and motivated.  She is raising her teenaged son by herself and hopes that one day he will have a bright future.

 

Tausi – Teacher and Translator Tausi

Tausi graduated from GHTA in September 2014.  Given her success at school, following graduation she was provided with the opportunity to run the GHTA kiosk with two former students.  When a position later opened at the school for a Teacher/Translator in the Business class, Tausi was top of mind.  NOt only was she very good translating between Swahili and English, but she was also strong in business and wanted to grow beyond her role at the kiosk.  Tausi is excellent with the students and the volunteers, and does a great job explaining various business concepts.  She has definitely found her niche, and loves her job.  Married, with a teenage son, and twin boys, Tausi hopes to continue to work at the school for many years to come.

 

 

Alison Savage – Director, Secretary (volunteer position)

Mambo!  My name is Alison and I am a marketing professional with a successful career in business. I volunteered with Give A Heart To Africa in 2010 and it was one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences of my life. I volunteered for 3 months in total – after one month I loved it so much that (after some pre-planned travel) I came back for another 2 months.

The women and men who are students at GHTA warm your heart beyond words. They are so open, so welcoming, and want to learn so badly. It made me realize just how much we take education for granted in our Western countries. Tanzanians have been denied education and want nothing more than to learn as much as they can. I was honoured to be one of their teachers.

I became so passionate about GHTA and the work that Monika and the team are doing that I have continued to be involved with the charity as much as possible from home, including implementing strategies to increase the number of volunteers and aiding in the development of a new GHTA website.

You can contact me at ali@giveahearttoafrica.org

Margret Samsoni – Cook

Margret is truly the nicest person you have ever met and she brightens everyone’s day.  She sings in the kitchen, loves when our volunteers teach her to cook a new meal and genuinely loves her job and all of our volunteers.  She always goes above and beyond, helping everyone in any way she can.  She is a single mom and her son George is her pride and joy.

Cecilia – House Keeper

Following her graduation from GHTA in 2013, Ceci started working at the school as a house keeper.  She is responsible for maintaining the house the volunteers live in, and throughout the school week spends each day on property cleaning and helping with chores around the house, including washing the volunteers’ clothes for a small fee.  Everyone enjoys having her on the team, and she loves working at GHTA and being around the students and volunteers gives her a chance to practice her English.  Ceci lives with her daughter and granddaughter, and working at GHTA has enabled to support her family and help care of her ailing mother.

 

Stephanie Muccilli – Social Media Guru/Twitter Queen (volunteer position)

Mambo! My name is Stephanie Muccilli and I am proud to be a part of the incredible team at GHTA. After graduating with a degree in International Development, I was in search of a meaningful volunteer experience that would enrich the understanding that I had gained from my studies. After researching various other organizations, I was attracted to GHTA because 100% of my volunteer fees would go right into the GHTA community rather than to support administrative costs. During my time with GHTA, I witnessed this first-hand. Volunteering with GHTA proved to be an incredibly rewarding experience! I developed personal relationships with our students and was exposed to the immense positive impact that GHTA has on the lives of women who attend its school. It makes me very happy to continue to receive updates about my former students’ continued achievements. I am honored to be a part of the legacy at GHTA.

I invite you all to join our incredible volunteer team and contribute to GHTA’s valuable work in Moshi.

Caroline Umali – Social Media Guru & Website/IT assistant extraordinaire (volunteer position) Caroline Umali

Hi all. My name is Caroline, and as you may have guessed, I too am a former teaching volunteer at GHTA.

Having worked in the corporate world as a web developer for 10 years, I had been toying with the idea of doing something to give back through volunteering; so when I came across GHTA, I was instantly attracted to the concept of empowering local women through education.

Words cannot begin to describe the impact the students had on me. I was originally booked to be teaching IT skills for 2.5 weeks, and found it difficult to tell the students I was leaving just before their finals.  You do not realise how much of an impact you make on their lives until you see the gratitude.  I ended up extending my stay to 5 weeks in total, helping run after school classes, prepping the students for their exams, and attending the graduation.

With educational institutions in Tanzania costing much more than what most can afford, being involved with GHTA to provide free education cannot be anything more than rewarding and inspiring; so much so that since leaving Moshi, I am still actively involved with spreading awareness of the cause within London, UK; and working with universities in London to encourage students to volunteer.

Next to that, I’m a dab hand at helping out with the social media platforms, website, and all IT skills which are needed when Monika needs a helping hand 😛

Please get in touch if you have any questions: caroline@giveahearttoafrica.org

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