Hope Taft is President of The Tandana Foundation's Board of Trustees. She has committed most of her life to volunteerism, not only working with Tandana but also with young people in alcohol and drug prevention programs and on various environmental and native plant projects. As the first lady of Ohio, she helped to create the Heritage Garden at the Governor's Residence. Hope has seen the positive changes that Tandana has made in her role as a board member as well as as a participant in Tandana's Volunteer Ventures. When she is not busy with her many community efforts, Hope likes to work in her garden and enjoys helping keep the Little Miami River watershed in good condition.
Since she grew up and lives in a small rural farming community in Ohio, Alta has a special connection with the agrarian population Tandana works with. It's rewarding for her to be involved with an organization that is making positive changes in the lives of others, which she witnessed firsthand on Tandana Gardening Volunteer Ventures in Ecuador. She is retired but brings to the board a vast amount of knowledge gained from 16 years in human resources, sales and marketing, and customer service. Alta served as a secretary in the Department of Agriculture at Ohio State University, worked for a U. S. Congressman, and owned Oxbow Business Consulting. She continues to do strategic planning and research consulting on a part-time basis. She has a bachelor's degree in Business from Northern Kentucky University. Alta enjoys collecting vintage clothes and accessories. She owns 300 hats from all eras. Alta and her husband own and operate a 143 acre angus cattle and hay farm. She cans and preserves food from the large vegetable garden that she and her husband plant on their farm.
After he and his wife Kit traveled to Ecuador with Tandana on a gardening Volunteer Venture, Dick Duval was hooked on the foundation and found it only natural to join the Board of Trustees. He believes in Tandana's mission and wants to give back. His years in the real estate business have made him a good team player and team builder. Dick, who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, purchases and rehabs old houses and manufacturing properties. His hobbies include golfing, gardening, sketching, painting watercolors, and spending time with his seven grandchildren.
Ken Gates It seems as if Ken was destined to join the Tandana family as coincidently his first two international trips were to Ecuador and Mali. Ken likes the unique and effective relationships Tandana has formed with the communities with which it works. He saw this firsthand when he accompanied three different groups of students on their group service learning programs to Ecuador for the Orfalea Foundation's REACH Program, of which he has been the director since 2014. He graduated from Gettysburg College with a bachelor's degree in Biology. Ken grew up in Madison, CT and now lives in Santa Barbara, CA. His hobbies include skiing, rock climbing, and backpacking.
Peter Glaubitz, Treasurer
In 2014, Peter participated in a Health Care Volunteer Venture. He experienced being part of a group of 20 folks from diverse backgrounds providing much needed healthcare services in remote areas. This made him more committed to being a positive and active member of our “Global Community”, which he has the opportunity to do as part of Tandana's board. Peter has led a successful career in advertising and hotel/restaurant management, ultimately overseeing multiple operations. Later, he operated his own property in Eagles Mere, PA with his wife, Susan. He has been a board member for 14 local, national and international organizations.
Tony believes Tandana’s mission aligns well with his own interests and networks and he appreciates Tandana’s work to increase cultural awareness. Tony is a certified public accountant and a Managing Director at BDO, a global accounting and consulting firm. He previously worked at Commercial Vehicle Group as Director of Corporate Development and as Treasury Manager. Tony has also worked for several banks and as an adjunct faculty member for The Ohio State University Fisher School of Business. He has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Central Missouri and an MBA from Rockhurst University. Tony is married and has two children and two greyhounds. In his spare time, Tony enjoys the outdoors and endurance sports. He lives in Westerville, Ohio.
Joyce Johnson, Secretary
In 2011, Joyce witnessed Tandana's impact firsthand on a volunteer venture to the village of Kansongho, Mali. She appreciates the fact that people of all ages can learn and contribute by participating in Tandana’s volunteer programs. Joyce is a retired teacher who spent 35 years working in inner-city Columbus, Ohio, and the rural village of New Concord, Ohio and is deeply passionate about literacy. She has degrees from both Heidelberg University and The Ohio State University. Joyce and her husband Thomas live in Columbus, Ohio, and have two grown daughters and four granddaughters. Joyce enjoys spending time with her family, knitting, reading, traveling, and volunteering.
From 2010-2011 Beau joined Tandana as a long-term volunteer in Quichinche, Ecuador. Beau, his wife Amy, and their three children spent the year learning about Ecuadorian culture and forming cross-cultural friendships. They decided to commit themselves to a service-oriented lifestyle, and in 2011 Beau joined the Tandana board. He now teaches law at the University of Hong Kong's business school. He also leads two experiential learning classes every year to the Philippines, where students live with local families and help small businesses. He and Amy are working to instill the values of service in their children. In his free time, Beau likes to go exploring and spend time with his family. His background in law and clear thinking provide an enormous benefit to the organization.
Susan is a retired physical therapist and physical rehabilitation manager from Columbus, Ohio. In 2010, shortly after she retired, Susan went on Tandana's Volunteer Venture to Mali. After this trip, she was completely hooked on the Tandana experience and returned to Mali the following two years. After directly experiencing the positive impact Tandana's work had on the villagers in Mali, she was eager to join the board in 2013. Working side-by-side with villagers on community projects has given Susan's life more meaning. She and her husband enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family, attending sporting events and musical and ballet performances. This past April Susan and Bill participated in Tandana’s Spring Family and Friends Volunteer Venture in Ecuador with their twin grandchildren, Max and Yana, who will be high school juniors in the fall. All the Napiers highly recommend a multi-generational Volunteer Venture with the Tandana Foundation!
Rick O’Hara served for 40 years as a teacher, coach, principal, and head of independent schools, where his special areas of interest included service learning and global education. Since April, 2018, he is Development Director for Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baltimore, a non-profit organization providing a safe environment, education, and mentoring for disadvantaged youth. Rick appreciates the lasting significance that Tandana's work can have on the lives of others and on nurturing bonds among peoples of the world. He is excited about helping to shape Tandana's future so that the organization continues to grow and increases its resources. Rick and his wife Jane have three children, Caitlin, Christopher, and Meg, and one grandson, Theodore. His hobbies include playing the keyboard in a "classic rock" band, enjoying a variety of sports, trying out new restaurants, spending time at the beach, and traveling.
Lindsey Smith Lindsey first began working with Tandana in 2008, when she lived with a host family in Ecuador and served as a long-term intern. From 2008-2011, she returned to Ecuador annually to serve as a program coordinator for Tandana's Health Care Volunteer Ventures, and she joined the Tandana board in 2014. Lindsey has two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector and currently works as Director of Foundation Giving for Wasatch Community Gardens. Lindsey earned a bachelor's degree in Women's Studies and Environmental Studies with a minor in Spanish from Bowdoin College, and she holds a TEFL certification. She lives with her family in Salt Lake City, Utah and enjoys hiking, skiing, and gardening.
Jill has been on Tandana's board since the very beginning. She and her husband Chris were able to witness personally the impact Tandana has on the lives of others when they went to Ecuador on a Health Care Volunteer Venture. This trip was unlike any other volunteer vacation Jill had ever taken. She felt like she was traveling with her friends and they were visiting family. She was completely amazed to see the relationships Tandana's staff have formed and how these relationships are at the heart of all their trips. Jill lives in Columbus, Ohio and works part-time as a law clerk for a federal judge. She has recently taken up sewing, which she enjoys when her two children give her time.
Ash Varma, M.D.
Ash was born in India and spent two years in Europe before moving to the US, where he completed his residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, followed by a fellowship in Open Heart Anesthesiology in Columbus, Ohio. He worked as an Assistant Professor at Ohio State University before moving into private practice at Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus. Giving back to the community has always been an important part of Ash's life. During his time in Columbus, he supported two charter schools as well as various museums and fine arts organizations. Ash has been a supporter of Tandana from the beginning. Given his medical expertise, Ash has contributed not only to the board, but also to Tandana's Health Care Volunteer Ventures. Always on the move, Ash now lives in California where he serves on the Boards of Library Foundation and the Rotary, and is involved in several local projects.
Julie Anderson, P.A. Julie has been a family-practice Physician Assistant for over two decades, for both Livingston Healthcare in Livingston, Montana and Norton Sound Health Corporation in Nome, Alaska. Before that, Julie worked as a registered nurse for 30 years. Julie has been involved with The Tandana Foundation and its health care programs in Ecuador since the first Health Care Volunteer Venture in 2007. In addition to her work with Tandana, Julie shares her time and talents with a number of medical missions around the globe including projects in Alaska and Haiti. Julie has a degree from the Medical School at the University of North Dakota and is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
Kate Driscoll, M.D. Kate inherited her love of traveling to Ecuador with Tandana from her father Dr. Mark McGovern. Kate has gone on many Health Care Volunteer Ventures, and on one trip, she was humbled and almost brought to tears by the appreciation of an elderly patient. This appreciation crossed language, cultural, and generational barriers. Kate is a pediatrician living in Cincinnati, Ohio, and she practices at Anderson Hills Pediatrics, Inc. Kate has a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from Ohio University and a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She is a fellow and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Kelly McCosh, P.A.-C. Kelly is passionate about providing high-quality and compassionate care as a Physician Assistant. Kelly first volunteered with Tandana in 2008 and has gone on many Health Care Volunteer Ventures since. Through her work with Tandana she realizes each individual has the ability to make an impact in this world. Kelly, who lives in Lewiston Maine, works for Central Maine Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine. She has a bachelor's degree in Health Sciences from The University of Sciences and a master's degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Kelly is a member of the American Association of Physician Assistants as well as Physician Assistants for Global Health.
Mark McGovern, M.D. Mark brings to this committee the knowledge he has gained from over 40 years of practicing pediatric medicine. He went on his first Health Care Volunteer Venture in 2007 and since then he has gone on a trip with Tandana every year. His experiences in Ecuador have been both life-changing and amazing. Before retiring in 2013, he was a professor at the University of Cincinnati and worked at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Mark has a bachelor's degree from St. Peter's College and a Doctorate of Medicine from Creighton University College of Medicine. He is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Risk Management Committee
Lander Cooney Lander has had life transforming experiences in Ecuador. After college, she lived and volunteered on a nature preserve outside Misahuallí, and since then, she has returned to Ecuador numerous times. In 2007 Lander helped coordinate Tandana's first Health Care Volunteer Venture, and she has also served on the Board of Trustees. Lander is now the Executive Director of Community Health Partners, a nonprofit that provides medical and dental care to patients in southwestern Montana regardless of ability to pay. She previously worked for the Traveling School and Deer Hill Expeditions. Lander has a bachelor's degree in Biology from the Colorado College and a Master's degree in Science Education from Montana State University. Lander lives in Bozeman, MT with her husband and two kids.
Paul was born in South Africa, moved to the US as a child, and has sought out travel and adventure ever since. Paul has over two decades of expertise in experiential education, leadership development, risk management, and team building, especially in remote and challenging environments. He's worked with a variety of organizations such as the Cottonwood Institute, Where There Be Dragons, and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and he currently serves as the CEO with Avid4 Adventure. Paul also instructs first responder courses with the NOLS Wilderness Medicine. He has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Master's degree in School Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado.
Shannon calls Bozeman, Montana her home but extensive traveling has made her a citizen of the world. She has been involved with Tandana from the organization’s early stages and was instrumental in developing the Mali Volunteer Venture Program. Shannon has also contributed greatly to Tandana's work in Ecuador. Shannon is an Adjunct Professor at Montana State University. She previously worked for The Traveling School as a teacher, Academic Program Director, and a Visiting Senior Educator, where her many responsibilities included creating emergency and evaluation plans. She also served as the president of TTS's Board of Directors. Shannon has a bachelor's degree in Biology from Humboldt State University, a master's degree in History from Montana State University, and a master's degree in Creative Writing from Naropa University.
Paul Dreyer (see above)
Lizzie Falconer Lizzie never feels more alive than when she is speaking Spanish and working in cross-cultural situations. Lizzie started with Tandana as a Volunteer Coordinator Intern and returned as a group coordinator. She is currently working in Malawi for Catholic Relief Services after previous assignments in Ecuador and Bolivia. Lizzie previously worked for the Lakeside School's Global Service Learning (GSL) program. While working for GSL, Lizzie led student trips to rural communities in South America where she was responsible for the students' safety and crisis management. She has a bachelor's degree in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Oregon and a Master's degree in Public Affairs and International Education Management at the Monterrey Institute of International Studies.
Shannon Ongaro (see above)
Danika RobisonDanika has served as Tandana’s volunteer coordinator intern, the lead coordinator for many Tandana programs, and is currently on the program committee. She spent several semesters working for The Traveling School in South America and Southern Africa, where she taught history, Spanish, and global studies. Danika is passionate about creating meaningful and accessible educational opportunities. She worked with Anna to begin a collaboration with REACH, a youth development program from Southern California, to bring motivated scholarship students to participate in Tandana programs in Ecuador. Danika has a bachelor's degree in international affairs and government from Skidmore College, and is currently studying public administration at Middlebury Institute for International Studies. Her experience with Tandana served as a catalyst for building her understanding of the vibrant and resilient indigenous culture and history of the area. She is grateful for the many opportunities to introduce students and program participants to the amazing friends of Tandana that share their unique knowledge and stories with visiting volunteers.
Anna Taft, Founding Director After graduating from high school in Ohio, Anna spent four months in Panecillo, Ecuador, where she taught at an elementary school and built the connections that inspired her to start The Tandana Foundation. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Whitman College with honors in Politics and a minor in environmental studies. After graduation, she worked for The Traveling School, teaching Spanish, history and literature to high-school students in the Andes and New Zealand. She gained additional experience through eight summers of leading teenagers in wilderness and community service for Deer Hill Expeditions. Anna founded Tandana to increase opportunities for intercultural sharing in experiential education programs. For the last ten years, she has led the foundation in its partnership with communities in Mali and Ecuador, developing relationships, guiding projects, creating volunteer programs, managing staff, fundraising, and overseeing the innumerable details necessary to the organization’s success.
Aaron DiMartino, MSc, Operations Director
Although he became Tandana's Operations Director in September 2016, Aaron has been a member of the foundation's family for a long time. In 2012, after spending two years in Ecuador as a Peace Corps Volunteer, he joined Tandana's Ecuadorian team for a year as a Program Coordinator and long-term volunteer. After leaving Ecuador, he joined Tandana's Advisory Council program committee. As Operations Director, he is responsible for managing staff, developing Tandana's volunteer programs, keeping track of progress, generating reports, participating in financial planning, and fundraising for the foundation. Previously, Aaron worked in the youth development and experiential education fields. He has aB.S. in Expeditionary Studies from SUNY Plattsburgh and a M.S. in Recreation Park & Tourism Administration from Western Illinois University. Aaron is originally from upstate New York and in his downtime enjoys bird watching.
Shelley Kawamura, Volunteer Program Administrator
Shelley has always been fascinated with cultures that are different than her own. She is amazed by the fact that no matter how different cultures may seem individuals are bound together by their similarities. Shelley shares her enthusiasm for different cultures and travel with Tandana volunteers in her position as Administrator of Volunteer Programs. She is responsible for working with volunteer venture participants and volunteer groups on their travel logistics to ensure they have successful and transformative experiences with Tandana. Prior to working for Tandana, Shelley held several positions at SAGE Global Education. Shelley has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a master's degree in Sustainability Management from Colorado State University. In her free time, Shelley enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, creating new things out of existing materials and reading nonfiction books. She lives in Windsor, Colorado with her husband and 18-year-old son.
Molly Klarman, Special Projects Assistant
Molly began working for Tandana in 2010 as an intern in Ecuador, coordinating several programs including the Health Care Volunteer Ventures and several Group Service Projects. She has also been taking care of administrative details for Tandana since the spring of 2011. Originally from the Boston area, Molly is now in Haiti working for the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation at a rural hospital, where she helps in the foundation's efforts to offer access to quality, affordable health care, educational opportunities and community development programs. She previously worked for a conservation organization in Belize and on a conservation project in Costa Rica. When she has downtime, Molly’s favorite thing to do is to take long hikes which end at a swimming spot.
Susan Koller, Public Relations Specialist
Susan has been doing pro bono public relations work for Tandana since 2009, expertly getting the news out with press releases, blog entries, and updates to Tandana supporters. Susan previously worked for the Checker Book Publishing Group as Publicity Director, and she has volunteered for both the Access Center for Independent Living and Breakthrough Cincinnati. Susan has a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a master's degree in public administration from Wright State University. She volunteers for Tandana because she can use her writing skills to advance the foundation's mission of cross-cultural experiences and relationships. She learned the value of such experiences first-hand while growing up in Saudi Arabia. Susan lives in Dayton, Ohio, and she enjoys reading and going for walks with her service dog Chia.
Bridget Vis, Communications Specialist
Bridget uses the knowledge she gained from managing her own website and blog to expertly manage Tandana's blog. She works with translators to get blog posts translated into English, French and Spanish and then enters the information and pictures that make up the posts on the blog. By day, Bridget is a Public Relations Specialist at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Prior to joining Michigan Ross, she was an Account Coordinator for Eisbrenner Public Relations in Royal Oak, Michigan. Her background is in journalism, and she previously worked for many different publications, including Crain’s Detroit Business, the Cincinnati Enquirer, Patch.com and Hour Media. Bridget has bachelor's degrees in Journalism and International Studies from Miami University of Ohio and a master's degree in Marketing from Walsh College in her hometown Troy, Michigan. Bridget enjoys reading, walking her dog, cooking, running her own gluten-free and vegan blog and going to her CrossFit gym.
Kaitlyn Paulsen, Social Media Specialist Kaitlyn participated in a Tandana volunteer program in Ecuador with a group from her high school when she was 16 years old. She enjoyed volunteering, learning about the culture, and spending time with her host family so much that she kept in touch and later decided to become part of the Tandana team as Social Media Specialist. Originally from Seattle, WA, she is currently working toward an engineering degree at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA. Kaitlyn brings to this role her prior experience managing social media accounts at Sail Sand Point and the Holocaust Center for Humanity. In her free time, she enjoys running, dancing, and calligraphy.
Marilyn Peterson, Financial Coordinator
Marilyn became Tandana's Financial Coordinator in May 2016. As Financial Coordinator, she is responsible for the foundation's accounting operations. Her duties include preparing financial reports, maintaining a system of accounting records, reconciling accounts, overseeing accounting procedures and processing payroll. Marilyn brings a lot of professional and educational experience to her position. She has her own accounting/bookkeeping business, Peterson Bookkeeping & Consulting, which she has owned for the past 12 years. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Ohio University. Her hobbies include spending time with family, doing Jazzercise, going to the beach, reading, gardening, and walking her dog. Marilyn, who grew up in Athens, Ohio has lived in Springboro, Ohio for the past 26 years. She is married and has two grown daughters.
Diego Soto's vast amount of experience working in Ecuador's nonprofit sector and his passion and curiosity for learning about different people and cultures are tremendous assets to him as Program Manager. He is responsible for overseeing all Tandana's programs and projects in Ecuador. Diego previously worked as a tutor and mentor for Ecuador Connection, as a project leader for the Yanapuma Foundation, and as a program coordinator for Global Glimpse. He studied Labor and Organizational Psychology at the University of Azuay in Cuenca, Ecuador. He also received his IELTS certification from Middlesex University in London. Diego was born and raised in Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, Ecuador and enjoys training for Brazilian jujitsu competitions, being outdoors, reading, and participating in competitive sports.
Vicente Pazmiño, Logistics Manager Vicente Pazmino has lived in Panecillo, Ecuador his entire life, and he has dedicated much of his time and energy to bettering his community. Along with his father, Vicente was instrumental in the installation of the Panecillo Regional Potable Water System, which serves five communities. He first met Anna Taft in 1998, when his family hosted her during her first volunteer experience. Vicente has worked with Tandana from the outset, assisting with coordinating service projects, placing volunteers, and making arrangements for scholarship recipients. Thanks to Vicente's strong community relationships, he excels as Logistics Manager, and his dedication to helping others and the integrity of his work are great assets to Tandana. Vicente and his wife, Cecilia Sierra, have four daughters and five grandchildren.
Verónica Pazmiño, Scholarships Coordinator
Verónica Pazmiño is an empathetic Scholarships Coordinator because she has dealt with the same issues scholarship students face. Veronica grew up in Panecillo, Ecuador and developed a love for English, which she got to practice when Anna Taft lived with her family in 1998. Veronica went on to work as an English teacher while continuing her education at the Polytechnic Army University. In 2008, Veró began interpreting for Tandana's health care volunteers and since then has supported Tandana in innumerable ways. Verónica enjoys helping community members with projects, sharing her customs and traditions with the volunteers, and learning more English. Veronica lives in Otavalo with her husband and two children.
Virginia Sanchez, Patient Follow-up Coordinator Virginia's knowledge of Ecuador's health system, gained from 15 years as a financial controller for the Ministry of Public Health, is invaluable in her position as Patient Follow up Coordinator. One of the reasons Virginia chose to work for Tandana is because her position allows her to help individuals in rural communities obtain access to medical care. Her favorite part of her job is seeing the smiles on patients' faces after they have finished all their treatments. Virginia has an impressive professional history. In addition to working for the Ministry of Public Health, she managed a pharmacy in Ecuador. Virginia is from Cotacachi, Ecuador, where she enjoys reading, cooking, walking, and spending time with her young grandson.
Margarita Fuerez, Accountant and Program Assistant
In 2007, Margarita received a scholarship from Tandana that helped her finish high school. A few years later, she became Tandana's first university scholarship recipient (studying Accounting and Auditing at the UNIANDES University) and pioneered the community service requirement of Tandana's scholarship program. Margarita began working with Tandana's Electronic Medical Record System in September 2015, and once that work was complete, she has continued to use her sharp mind and cheerful disposition to keep Tandana's programs in Ecuador running smoothly and its accounting in order. She likes working for Tandana because it gives her the opportunity to learn new things. Before working for Tandana, Margarita worked at a childcare center and helped her uncle make crafts. She lives with her father and older sister in Panecillo.
Group Coordinators A diverse group of experiential education professionals work on a short-term basis to lead the volunteer programs. They plan and lead the program activities, oversee safety, coordinate logistics, facilitate discussions, provide orientation and support to volunteers, and also make sure everyone has fun. Knowledgeable about the area and activities, they serve as guides and cultural liaisons, providing a meaningful volunteer experience. See here for bios of some of our past Group Coordinators.
Moussa came to Tandana with over 10 years of experience in development with a wide variety of NGOs, including Action Mopti, Amprode Sahel, and PRBP (Projet de Rehabilitation des Barrages et Pistes). He has an academic background in both agronomy and community development, and he is a Superior Agricultural Technician with the Malian Ministry of Agriculture. Having grown up in the village of Kansongho in Dogon Country, Moussa brings deep familiarity with the languages, culture, customs, and social organization of the region. Moussa's enthusiasm for helping villages reach their goals, his skills in project design, and his dedication to providing continual support make this vital work possible.
Housseyni Pamateck, Local Supervisor
Housseyni comes from the village of Sal-Dimi and has a degree in Geographical Development from the University of Social Sciences and Management in Bamako (USSG). Housseyni served as an intern for Tandana for two years, working with several Mali Volunteer Venture groups and completing follow-up work on various projects. Housseyni also conducted research on the impact of Tandana's work in different villages during his internship, before taking on the role of Local Supervisor. He has a deep appreciation for the impact Tandana's work has had in his village and many others, and he also understands the importance of getting feedback from villagers. He dedication and cheerful personality increase Tandana's success in Mali.
Kessia Kouriba, Program Assistant and Literacy Instructor
Kessia is committed to being a role model and a leader for other women. She has worked as a literacy instructor for Tandana since 2014, teaching in several villages in Wadouba, Ségué-Iré , and Ondogou Townships. She enjoys learning about the different cultures and customs in the villages she visits. Prior to working for Tandana, Kessia spent two years working for the Evangelical Development Agency of Mali as a teacher for their Strategic Program for Accelerated Schooling/Gateway Program. Kessia obtained her high school diploma in human science and is from the village of Kansongho. As Program Assistant, she collects feedback from program beneficiaries, compiles and translates posts for Tandana’s blog, and helps to organize meetings and events in the villages.
Moussa Timbiné, Savings for Change Coordinator
Moussa Timbiné (not to be confused with the Program Manager of almost the same name) is proud of his work with Tandana, helping women form savings groups, provide credit to one another, and become more self-sufficient. He brought several kinds of teaching experience to his position, including work as a teacher at the school in Temba and as a Dono So literacy instructor for women in the village of Banakane. After receiving training from the Association of Jurists of Mali (AJM), he gave lectures and led discussions on the rights of children, women, and family as well as on the consequences of early and forced marriage, excision, and land problems to help raise awareness of these issues in 10 villages in Ondogou Township. Moussa also works as a civil registrar and serves as a member of the Ondogou Township Council. Moussa is from the village of Ondogou-Da and achieved an eighth-grade education.
Anouh Tembiné, Literacy Instructor Born in Kansongho, Mali, Anouh attended school until seventh grade, when he left school due to difficulties finding a place to live. He spent four years working abroad in Ivory Coast and then returned home. Since Tandana began working in his village, he has been involved in all of its activities, helping to welcome the volunteer groups, supporting the Savings for Change program, and serving as a member of the committees that manage the grain bank, community garden, and orchard of Kansongho. Anouh was the first instructor recruited when the literacy program began in 2012 and has been a leader in the literacy team ever since. He is married and has five children.
Ada Kanambaye, Literacy Instructor Ada began as a student of Tandana's literacy class in Sal-Dimi in 2013 and was the best student in her class. In 2014, she became a literacy instructor, sharing her knowledge with other women. Originally from Ouroly Gagnaga, Mali, she attended primary school and left middle school in seventh grade. She now lives in Sal-Dimi with her husband and five children. Ada also serves as administrative secretary of the cotton bank of Sal-Dimi, the civil status agent of her village, and president of the women's association Moue toumon yaan.
Hama Kansaye, Literacy Instructor Hama was born in Sal-Sombogou, Mali and attended primary school and middle school before leaving school due to problems finding a place to live. He then traveled to Ivory Coast, where he worked for five years. After returning to his village, he became the civil status agent and community health worker for his sector. In 2015, Hama became a literacy instructor for The Tandana Foundation, and he is proud to continue this important work.
Sekou Tembiné, Literacy Instructor From Sandian, Mali, Sekou attended primary school and began secondary school until he left school in eighth grade due to difficulties finding a place to live. He worked for two years in Bamako before returning home and then traveling to Ivory Coast, where he worked for twelve years. Sekou became a literacy instructor with Tandana in 2015 and continues to share his knowledge by teaching. He is married and has fourteen children.
Oumou Kansaye, Literacy Instructor Oumou abandoned school in the seventh grade and went to Bamako to work as a maid for one year before returning home and marrying. In 2015, she was selected to participate in the training session for new instructors, but she had to leave early to take her husband to the hospital during an illness that led to his death. Although she had not been able to complete the training, she stayed in contact and tried to support the literacy program until she was able to become an instructor in 2017. Oumou is an outstanding leader, serving as a township councilwoman for Wadouba Township, President of the women of Wadouba, member of the township organization commission, and President of a political party known as UM RDA. She is delighted to work for women's advancement alongside The Tandana Foundation.
Adiaratou Ouologuem, Literacy Instructor Born in Tedje, Mali, Adiaratou now lives in Ondogou Guinekanda with her husband and two children. She attended primary and secondary school, but was not able to pass the baccalaureate exam on her first try, and when she returned home for the school vacation found that her parents decided to give her in marriage. In 2015, she was a student in Tandana's literacy class in Ondogou Guinekanda. In 2019, she became a literacy instructor and is excited to attain good results for her students.
Aissa Tembiné, Literacy Instructor Aissa attended elementary school in Ondogou Dah until sixth grade, when she had to leave school to get married. She was a student at the literacy class in Ondogou Dah in 2017, and in 2019 became a literacy instructor. She is also the adminstrative secretary of both her Savings for Change group and the NEMA women's association of Ondogou Dah. Aissa is married and has seven children.
Aissietou Tembiné, Literacy Instructor Born in Sol Dogon, Aissietou attended elementary and middle school in Kani-Gogouna until ninth grade. She is the village health worker for the village of Sol Dogon and secretary of her Savings for Change group. She is also administrative secretary of the BELE M'BEN women's association of Sol Dogon. In 2017, she was a student in the literacy program, and in 2019 she became a literacy instructor. Aissietou is married and has two children.
Hawa Yalcouyé, Literacy Instructor Originally from Nalou, Mali, Hawa attended primary school in Kilegou, secondary school in Ningari, and earned a bachelor's degree from the university in Bamako. She had not had a chance to use her degree for employment until she became a literacy instructor for The Tandana Foundation in 2019, and she is excited to work for the promotion of women. She is married and the mother of two sons.