Our Team

GHTA’s Family

Ceci

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.

Gabriele Brown – General Manager, Moshi Gabriele

Mambo! I am Gabriele ( Gabi)  and I am very exited about the opportunity to share some of my knowledge and life experiences. My first journey to Tanzania started with a dream to explore, and a promise that I had made to my late husband, Kenton. Before he had passed away in 2012, Kenton and I had planned to complete the climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Unfortunately, we were not able to make this trek together. On December 31, 2012, I reached the summit of Mt. Kili, where I spread Kenton Brown’s ashes on Uhuru Peak. Since that day, Mt. Kilimanjaro has held a very, very special place in my heart. Traveling has allowed me to witness and record amazing grace and beauty…as well as some hardships. Throughout my journeys I attempt to discover new ideas, experience unique cultures, challenges, preconceptions, and learn from diverse beliefs and opinions.  Over the years I have developed a unique relationships with the Tanzanian people and worked in collaboration with several NGO’s.

After working in corporate America for over 35 years, I have dedicated my life to traveling, while helping others discover themselves in exciting adventures and new surroundings. I am is fluent in English and German, with basic command of Spanish and Swahili. I am is also an avid Photographer who photographs wildlife, nature, people, and events as well as a Collage Artist. From the moment I heard about GHTA , I have been deeply curious about the cause and fight for empowering women of East Africa, and I looks forward to the journey ahead with this team of strong, inspiring women.

You can contact me at gabriele@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.

 

Tausi Kweka – 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.

Bahati Abdallah – Teacher and Translator  Bahati

Bahati graduated from GHTA in 2017 and has been translating English since 2018.  She learned English by watching foreign movies and perfected it in our school. She lives with her daughter and mother in Moshi.

 

 

Herman Chelesi – Business Manager Herman

Herman graduated from GHTA in 2009 and completed a diploma in HR in 2015 at Tumaini University. He has been translating business at GHTA for 4 years and mentored many of our graduates.  He is currently working as a Business Manager, offering guidance to our past and current businesses such as Moshi Mamas and Kili Kitchen as well as individually owned businesses sponsored by former volunteers, donors and corporations.

 

 

Mary Michael – Childcare provider Mary

Mary graduated from GHTA in 2014 and has been looking after our students’ children for the past 4 years.  She has her hands full every morning making sure the children are well taken care of and stimulated.  She is a mother of two beautiful children, Annette and Ezekiel.

 

 

 

Sophia Ally Komu – Bookkeeper  Sophia

Sophia graduated from GHTA in 2013 and completed a diploma in Accounting from Tumaini University in 2017.  She has been gaining professional experience as a bookkeeper in our school, while she continues to complete her degree. She lives with her husband and two children, Hamisi and Mwanaidi in Moshi.

Sarah Hurrle – Director, Treasurer (volunteer position)

I first learned of Give a Heart to Africa while sharing an office with Monika in 2007 and had a chance to finally meet the wonderful students and staff team in Moshi a few short years later in 2013. During my time volunteering at GHTA I had the pleasure of teaching English to an engaged and curious class as well as experience the positivity and resilience of the people of Tanzania and experience the beauty of the country. It was an honour to work with the students studying for their exams, meeting their families and seeing them graduate and move onto starting their own successful businesses.
Back home in Toronto, Canada, I have over fifteen years experience in the non-profit sector as a development professional primarily raising funds for grassroots social services and has a passion for social justice. Before working as an Advancement Director at Sinai Health System, I worked at York University, Stella’s Place and United Way Greater Toronto. In addition to my work with Give a Heart to Africa, I serve on the Board Executive of St. Stephen’s Community House, a social service agency specializing in programming for the homeless, disadvantaged youth and newcomers from all over the world.
You can contact me at sarah@giveahearttoafrica.org

 

Laurie Mackechnie – Director, Secretary (volunteer position) Laurie

I first visited Tanzania, and GHTA as a volunteer in 2013. Before choosing GHTA, I spent months researching, and looking for the right organization because I wanted to know that money was going directly to support students, and not administration fees. I was impressed by the fact that GHTA is run by volunteers, it is a program that support women’s empowerment, and before going I talked directly to Monika (the founder). I was not disappointed in my choice. I fell in love with the students, GHTA, and Tanzania. It was truly the most amazing, and impactful experience of my life. I learned so much from the students, and from stepping outside of my comfort zone to grow my understanding of life in different countries. At the end of my five weeks I was already hatching a plan on how I could return the next year.

Since that time I have returned two more times to volunteer in a teaching role, and now in 2018 I am thrilled to be joining the board, to help GHTA continue its success, and support the vision for its growth.

If you too are looking to help empower women, and truly see the long term, positive impact GHTA has on the women who attend the school, start the conversation with us. I am happy to answer questions, and share my experiences. You can reach me at laurie@giveahearttoafrica.org.

Margret Samsoni – Cook and Manager’s Assistant

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. In 2017 she started assisting our General Manager with administrative tasks. Margret graduated from GHTA in 2009 and has been part of our family ever since then.

Cecilia  Ngowi – House Keeper Ceci

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.

Gabriel, Frank and Johachime – Watchmen

watchmen

GHTA employs 3 wonderful watchmen who are very caring and responsible men, providing 24 hr security to our school and volunteer house. They are part of our family as area all of our team members.

 

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