Ensuring we run efficiently and effectively
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ripple Africa Inc’s Board of Directors are responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of the charity. Between them, they have many years of charity and business experience and use this to ensure that we run efficiently and effectively, and meet the objectives of the charity.
I never imagined that my daughter’s one-month volunteer stint in Malawi in 2007 would change not only her life but mine as well. Upon her return, we looked for ways to help the people and country that had captured our hearts and searched for an on-the-ground partner with a proven track record and impact. Ripple Africa stood out above all the rest because of its emphasis on ‘providing a hand out and not a hand up’ and range of projects addressing the educational, healthcare, and environmental obstacles facing the Malawian people.
After years of a successful partnership, we officially merged in 2013, becoming Ripple Africa, Inc. here in the US. For almost a decade, I have managed the American side of operations and love nothing more than taking others to Malawi so they can meet the incredibly warm and welcoming Malawian people and witness the many ways in which Ripple Africa is providing opportunities for them to help themselves.
I stumbled upon Ripple Africa in 2008 during a trip to Malawi to explore some of the country’s NGOs as potential partners to the nonprofit I had started in the US. To say that I was immediately impressed with the charity would be an understatement. Ripple Africa’s unique approach of addressing multiple needs within a certain region, rather than one project spanning several countries, was especially appealing. And, their unwavering commitment to empowering people with the skills necessary to transform their own lives, reflected my own philosophy of how best to help.
Since that fateful trip, a successful partnership ensued, with Ripple Africa implementing our education projects for the next several years in the community where they are based. As I was preparing to begin medical school, a decision was made to join forces under the Ripple Africa name, and has been operating that way ever since. Throughout this entire experience, one of my greatest joys was having the opportunity to share my love for the country and people of Malawi with my mother, Kay, who has since become the Director of US Operations.
Currently, I am an OBGYN in Colorado and hold a special interest in both women’s health and education.
Stan is a retired IBM executive. In 1998, he founded Global Outreach to introduce computer literacy into the Tanzanian secondary school curriculum, as a way of improving student skills and increasing educational opportunities. He is a leading advocate of the power of computer and internet technology to change the quality of education in developing nations. In 2015, he received the Thomas J Oddo Award from the University of Portland (Oregon) as its Alumnus of the Year for Public Service.
Stan has embraced Rotary International’s commitment to international partnership to leverage his impact. He is a past club president of Sarasota Sunrise Rotary Club and served as their Foundation Treasurer for many years. In 2019, he was the recipient of the prestigious District Governor Award for International Service. Currently, Stan is working with the Rotary leadership of Uganda/Tanzania to experiment with intermingling local Rotarians with international members to help Rotary thrive in developing countries.
After learning about Ripple Africa from a local newspaper article, Stan reached out to Kay Yoder and a friendship ensued. Since that time, he has been a mentor, sharing his insights and knowledge learned through his professional experience and work in Tanzania, as well as serving on the US board as a director.
In addition to his involvement with Ripple Africa, Stan has served on the boards of Easter Seals and The Woman’s Exchange.
Kisa Nyirenda Lee
After moving to Florida, I decided to volunteer some of my free time and focused on finding a nonprofit doing work in Africa because I was born and raised in Malawi, and my parents and a couple of my siblings still live there. To my great surprise and pleasure, I stumbled upon Ripple Africa, learning that it not only served in Malawi, but was located in the northern region which is where my family and ancestors originate.
Luckily, the Ripple Africa US office was nearby to where I was living, and I met Kay for coffee to find out more about the organization. Through her, I learned about all the amazing work Ripple is doing in Northern Malawi. My personal passions include education and environmental efforts which are right at the heart of Ripple’s mission.
The variety of education projects, including preschools and the girls’ dormitory at the secondary school, especially resonates with me. In addition, the impact of the fuel-efficient cookstove project, coupled with deforestation and fish conservation efforts, cannot be overstated.
I’m proud to be involved with Ripple Africa and happy to have run into Kay and her team here in the US that have the hearts to make a difference in my birth country of Malawi.
My general interest in international service began in Rotary and took me into disaster relief through my involvement with ShelterBox USA. Although Shelter Boxes provide immediate emergency survival shelter, tools, and equipment, for families for an extended period of time, I always wondered what the sustainable future held for the mothers and young children living in developing countries who represent the majority of victims in natural or man-made disasters.
That’s when I came across Together Women Rise and met some like-minded women living in the US who share a passion to support gender equality and specific women’s causes. Through Together Women Rise, I met Kay Yoder, who serves as the Director of US Operation for Ripple Africa, and learned how the organization takes international service to a new and deeper level.
During a June 2022 trip to Malawi, I was able to witness Ripple Africa’s work in action, seeing the incredible impact made possible by the amazing Malawians who administer a wide variety of projects in the country. While there, I better understood how many of the projects intersect. For example: tree planting and conservation impacts the availability of an ongoing firewood source, erosion prevention, lumbering as a revenue source, as well as fruit for improved nutrition and supplemental income. These practical win-win solutions are what makes the work of Ripple Africa fascinating.