Jeff and Ugandan Vice President Ssekandi.

Jeff and Ugandan Vice President Ssekandi.

Jeff Fonda: Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board

Jeff was inspired to create this organization after volunteering in Uganda in 2009. During his time in there, Jeff saw that there was an overwhelming need for books in the community he was working with, and after speaking with many locals, he discovered that books were a scarcity for Ugandans nationwide. Realizing the gravity of this situation, Jeff began to take action, and in 2011 The Literate Earth Project was born.  Jeff graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 2010 where he studied International Relations and Black Studies. In addition to his work with The Literate Earth Project, Jeff is currently an MBA candidate at Temple's Fox School of Business. He is also an assistant coach for Swarthmore College Women’s Soccer Varsity team and plays soccer in CASA Soccer League, where he is a board member.

 

Joseph giving an informal interview

Joseph giving an informal interview

Joseph Lukwago: Executive Director, Uganda and Board Member

Joseph Lukwago discovered The Literate Earth Project through the Rotary Club of Makindye. Since joining the team in Spring 2014, he has advised board executives on Ugandan culture and helped to coordinate the vetting of all new sites for 2015. Currently, Joseph works as the Private Secretary (comparable title to a Chief of Staff in the US) for H.E. Vice President Edward Ssekandi and acts as a liaison to the Ugandan government in an effort to foster a long and lasting partnership. A dedicated public servant, Joseph frequently visits needy schools and is known as ‘Uncle Jo’ to the students he works to inspire.

 

Alex speaking at our Kyazanga opening.

Alex speaking at our Kyazanga opening.

Alexandria Moore: COO and Board Member

As COO Alexandria manages and fosters relationships with school library partners. She is also the direct superior to our staff on the ground in Uganda and works with them on a daily basis. Having done most of her undergrad work at SUNY Stony Brook, Alexandria is currently pursuing her degree completion in Accounting at Empire State College. In addition to her work with The Literate Earth Project , Alexandria is the Vice President for textbook company Belltower Books. In her free time she enjoys taking runs with her dog Riley and playing soccer.

 

Sauda inspecting a library prior to opening.

Sauda inspecting a library prior to opening.

Sauda Nakasinde: Senior Project Manager

At 24, Saudah holds a Bachelor's degree in Library and Information Science from Makerere University. In addition to her degree, Saudah has also worked as an English teacher and a librarian for Nkumba Quran Primary School. With her extensive knowledge of the Ugandan syllabus and teaching methods, she is working to implement our training program for library staff. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and dancing, and posing for snaps with CEO Jeff Fonda. Inspired by authors like Robert Kiyosaki, Saudah strives to close the gap between rich and poor in Uganda. She is excited to put her education to use with The Literate Earth Project and help to bring her country to the next level of growth.

 

Danielle training one of our new librarians

Danielle training one of our new librarians

Danielle Sweetman: Director of Literacy Programming and Board member

As the Director of Literacy Programming for the Literate Earth Project Danielle works to create and implement effective training's for our staff at Library Sites in Uganda.  Danielle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s Degree in Literacy Education. She is passionate about the work of education and strongly believes that literacy is the key lever in social, political and economic change.  Currently, Danielle is a lead kindergarten teacher  for the Richmond County School District in Augusta Ga . She lives with her husband and step daughter in Georgia.

 

Dominic speaking at St Paul KAASO Primary

Dominic speaking at St Paul KAASO Primary

Dominic Mukwaya: Central Uganda Coordinator

Dominic is a native Ugandan from Kabira, a town that was the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Uganda. Despite his humble beginnings, Dominic worked hard to pay for his own schooling at the National Teacher’s College and eventually returned to his home town to give back to his community. Together with his wife Rose, Dominic founded Kabira Adult Attention and School of Orphans, or KAASO to provide support and education for those children orphaned as a result of the AIDS epidemic. Since its opening in 1999, KAASO has flourished into the model primary school, becoming one of the top performing campuses in the entire district.

 

Joe visiting a Literate Earth Project library.

Joe visiting a Literate Earth Project library.

Joseph Gentsch: CFO

As CFO, Joe ensures The Literate Earth Project is compliant with all financial obligations of a registered 501c3 non-profit and provides guidance on all financial related matters for the organization. Joe graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 2011 where he majored in Accounting. For 5 years, he has worked as an accountant, exclusively in the non-profit sector. Last year, Joe relocated to Seattle, WA landing a job as a Sales Analyst with Amazon Web Services. In his spare time, he likes to teach himself computer code, explore the Pacific Northwest, and partake in the occasional 200-mile bike ride.

 

Richard during a site visit for a northern library

Richard during a site visit for a northern library

Richard Chaford: Northern Uganda Coordinator

A social worker by profession, Richard dedicated his life to making a difference in the lives of others in his communities ravaged by the two decades of LRA war in Northern Uganda. He studied Social Work and Social Administration at Makerere Institute for Social Development, Gender and Development at the Institute of Social Development and received a Bachelor of Community Leadership and Development at Uganda Christian University. He began his career way back in 2004 at Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) as a Counselor. He also worked with Gulu Support the Children Organization and Comboni Samaritans of Gulu as social worker supporting the rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers and war affected communities in the Northern Uganda. He currently works with Charity for Rural Development as Program Manager and is involved promoting functional adult literacy among rural farmers for improving on their livelihoods.

A book is the most effective weapon against intolerance and ignorance.
— Lyndon Baines Johnson, President of the United States