APU Malawi Education Foundation (APU-MEF)
Canadian Charity Registration Number 808514657RR0001
The Atsikana Pa Ulendo (Girls On The Move) Malawi Education Foundation was founded in 2009 as a society in BC whose purpose, as defined in our Constitution, is:
- To advance education in Malawi through the construction and operation of schools, including the provision of uniforms, dormitories, food, clean water and electricity.
- To advance education in Malawi through the provision of scholarships.
More specifically, APU – MEF is a foundation committed to supporting the operation and construction of Atsikana Pa Ulendo Girls Education Project located in rural Malawi. This school, founded in 2006 by Canadian teacher Christie Johnson, and Malawian teacher Memory Mdyetseni, is an all girls secondary school that provides high quality education to 360 students, most of whom are on full scholarship.
The Atsikana Pa Ulendo Malawi Education Foundation (located in Canada) works in collaboration with the APU Malawi Trust (located in Malawi) to create Operation and Construction Budgets. Our Program Definition (version 14b) is a collaborative effort with our Malawian partners and is a dynamic document that is updated on a yearly basis. There is an Operating Agreement in place that is signed by both partners.
APU-MEF held its eleventh Annual General Meeting (AGM Minutes, November 2020) on November 16, 2020. The Executive Director’s Report contained in these Minutes summarizes our progress to date. APU-MEF Financial Statements, 2019-2020 may be read at this link.
APU – MEF Directors
All of our directors are sponsors of students and or donors towards construction projects as well as active volunteers serving on various committees.
After beginning her career with the YMCA of Edmonton, Helene Weir spent 13 years working with YMCA Calgary as a Branch Manager, General Manager and Vice President of Operations. She left Calgary in 2000 to become a Vice President and subsequently Senior Vice President of Operations at Valley of the Sun YMCA in Phoenix, Arizona, and later spent two years as CEO of the Westport Weston Family Y in Westport Connecticut. Helene became YMCA Calgary’s President and CEO in August, 2008, and is working to advance the organization as a leader in health and wellness. She is happy to be back in Calgary and looking forward to continuing the great work of the YMCA in Calgary. Helene has been involved with APU for many years, originally sponsoring one of the first 24 girls and later becoming a full sponsor to one of the current girls. Helene’s experience with Non profit organizations is vast and her knowledge will certainly strengthen the APU MEF fledgling board.
Patrick Killoran – Treasurer
Pat was born in Toronto, Ontario, and obtained his B Sc in Agricultural Economics and Business for the University of Guelph in 1971. As an Agricultural Specialist with Scotiabank, he served in the Corporate offices in Toronto, as well as numerous appointments in Barrie, Ontario, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Brandon, Manitoba before relocating to Lethbridge in 1996. In Lethbridge, his most recent role was managing the agricultural business line for the Prairies prior to his retirement in 2009. Pat has been a Rotarian for 19 years including short periods in Barrie Huronia (District 7010) and Saskatoon (District 5550) as well as 16 years as a member of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge (District 5360). He served as the President of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge in 2007–2008 and will be District Governor in District 5360 for 2013-2014. Pat is a strong believer in the service value and cultural understanding associated with the International projects and programs of Rotary.
Tricia Timmermans – Secretary
Tricia is a professional photographer/writer (a 1996 graduate of the Western Academy of Photography) living in Nelson, BC. She has travelled and volunteered in Africa, Asia, North, South and Central America, the Philippines, and Australia, and has lived in 6 Canadian provinces and territories. As a graduate teacher of the deaf from Australia, she has taught in Brisbane, Queensland, and in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1989 she completed a three-year double-handed circumnavigation in a 43-foot sailboat. In 2005, Tricia completed a Masters degree in Communications at Royal Roads University in Victoria.
In November 2007, Memory and Henry most graciously hosted Tricia for a week when she visited Lilongwe and the APU site after a Rotary polio immunzation trip to Ethiopia and a visit to Rotary projects in South Africa. This trip solidified her decision to work towards helping Memory and Christie in the development of a Girls’ Secondary School.
Christie Johnson – Executive Director
Christie is a biology teacher (B.Sc. And B.Ed.) with 13 years of teaching experience in secondary schools in Alberta and British Columbia. She is currently working at Lester B Pearson College of the Pacific (http://www.pearsoncollege.ca/), as a House Parent in East House. In the past four years she has taught Biology and Marine Science at both Pearson College as well as St. Michael’s University School in Victoria. Her first teaching position was at the Oliver School, Nellie McClung Girls’ Program in Edmonton. She has also worked for Public Education at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Center on Vancouver Island.
David and Frances Stocks live near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. David obtained a B. Eng. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada. He is a management consultant. His professional activities include strategic planning and the design of business architectures in the public and private sectors. He has designed and delivered a variety of training courses in the fields of consulting practice and consultative sales. David has served on several non-profit boards and commissions. He recently served as District Governor for 5,000 Rotarians in 88 clubs on Vancouver Island and western Washington State. In 2009, David & Frances visited Malawi, met with the APU Trustees, and visited the school. They are delighted to be assisting Christie and Memory to support the young women of Malawi.
Dean has had a varied career from the early days of being an Operating Room Nurse on Professor Christian Barnards’ first heart transplant team to running a Nursery School in Malawi. She has been a moderator or workshop panelist at many International Conventions and is often asked to be a Plenary speaker at District Conferences and Zone Institutes. Dean has served on District and Zone committees which have included:
- 17 years of Youth Exchange in both District 9300 and 5040.
- Group Study Exchange Team Leader to New Zealand
- D5040 GSE Chair
- D5040 District Governor 2007/2008
- Regional Rotary International Membership Coordinator
- Rotary Coordinator Zone 24 West
- Pacific Northwest PETS Chair 2013
- Co-Chair for the 2011 Zone 24/32 Institute
- Rotary Foundation Alumni Coordinator for Zone 24 West 2012/2013
- 2013 Council on Legislation Representative
- Workshop Leader/Facilitator at the Coordinator training 2013 and 2014
- Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator for Zone 24 West 2013/2017
- Rotary International Director Nominee Zone 24/32 2016-2018
However, her best experience is leading teams of Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors to Africa and seeing how this volunteer experience changes their lives.
Lance Shaver is currently finishing his Master of Public Health at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. He enjoys following his many passions, including community service, social justice, promoting equity, and public health. Lance, being an avid learner, is taking the next steps towards furthering his education, hoping to pursue an M.D. Combining this education with his passion for serving his community, he hopes to improve the health of the communities around him. Lance is a member of the Rotary Club of Downtown Victoria as a Charter Member, sitting on the Board of Directors. He has been involved in Rotary since 2008, in both Rotary Interact and Rotaract.
Lance believes in the work of APU as he has learned how invaluable education is, both formal and informal, recognizing that an enormous influence on his life hasn’t necessarily been the material he learned, but rather the opportunity to learn freely has been of most value. Recognizing the impact that this has on community health is another place where Lance’s interest ties in to APU. Last but not least, Lance emphasizes the importance he sees in APU teaching the importance of community service, believing that by engaging one’s community they will also become more aware of the diversities that give value to our humanity.
Dariol has been an educator for 22 years. She has taught in both public and independent schools over her career, working with children from Grade 3 to 12 level. Dariol is currently working at St. Michael’s University School (SMUS) in Victoria where she is a Vice-Principal with Middle Years’ children. Dariol has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria, and a Bachelor of Education and a Masters of Education from the University of British Columbia.
Dariol has always had a passion for travel. This started at an early age when Dariol was lucky enough to spend a year in Argentina as a Rotary Scholar. Since that time she has lived and worked in the United States, Belgium, and Spain. Two years ago she took advantage of a sabbatical year from SMUS and travelled around the world with her family. Dariol speaks French and Spanish fluently and lives in Oak Bay with her husband, Robert, and two children, Bryn and Georgia.
Lori Messer – Chair of the Board
Lori is a retired administrator/consultant/facilitator with an extensive background in non-profit governance leading many local, provincial and national boards. She holds diplomas in nursing, library science and health administration. Lori was involved in the initial planning and fundraising of APU through the Sooke Rotary Community Organization. She has published several articles and conducted many workshops on governance, performance management and workplace health. Lori completed her professional career as an administrator with the Sooke School District.
Her enthusiasm for APU rests in the integrity of its grassroots, community development approach that emphasizes culturally competent plans and solutions. Championed by Christie and Memory from APU’s inception, Lori believes this trust and respect for local decision-making is the key factor in the school’s resounding success.
Michele has served as a senior leader in post-secondary education for 14 years, and is presently the Associate Vice-President, Faculty Relations and Academic Administration at University of Victoria. She is trained as a lawyer and has a Masters degree in Business Administration. She has served on many non-profit boards as director, and has provided governance and strategic planning support to others. In 2016 Michele volunteered as a consultant to the tea industry in Malawi and saw first hand the need to educate its women and provide them with meaningful employment, as a means to ensuring the wellbeing of the country’s families and its economy. Michele has been a proud Rotarian since 2009, and has worked to support education related initiatives in several developing countries.
APU Malawi Trust
Atsikana Pa Ulendo Girls’ Education Project is a secondary school in Malawi that is guided by the APU Malawi Trust, with the assistance of a dedicated core of staff and volunteers. The Trustees make decisions on policy, construction and operating budgets, staffing and salaries, etc. The school is registered with the Malawian Ministry of Education and follows the Malawi curriculum.
An orphan from a young age, Memory struggled hard to complete her education. In 2006, Memory graduated from university with a degree in education, a lifelong dream she once thought to be unattainable. She is now the Director of APU Secondary School for Girls in rural Malawi. She is putting her considerable talents and passion into improving the lives of hundreds of other young girls who are suffering the same hardships that she has overcome. Through her work with girls and education, Memory has become a respected role model, and has single-handedly changed the views of the male leaders in her community. They are now encouraging their daughters to continue with their schooling. Not only are they willingly accepting leadership from a woman, but they are actively seeking Memory’s advice. Because of Memory, thousands of little girls now believe that they too can have a future – a future that includes education, health, independence and empowerment.
Richard Mdyetseni Jackson is a Professional Public Financial and Economic Management Expert in the Ministry of Finance, Malawi Government through Public Financial and Economic Reforms Unit of the to ensure good economic government. He is an accountant by profession. He has over 10 years proven hands on experience in Public Finance and Economic Management (PFEM) disciplines and reforms in the Public Sector both in the main stream Civil Service and Donor funded Projects in the area of Financial Management and Advisory. Married with three kids, a boy (8 years), and two girls (3 years and 1 year). As a Trustee of APU, he plays a big role in accounting, financial management and project management.
Nahid has a doctorate degree in Education majoring in Guidance Counseling and Educational Administration. She also has a Masters Degree in Education and a Bachelors degree in Psychology. Nahid has been working in Lilongwe as a Counselor since 1990, providing individual and family counseling on stress management, loss management and HIV counseling. Nahid’s experience in the nonprofit sector is vast. She was the Director of Worlds Of Women Together: A Centre For Immigrant Women, an organization she founded in 2008 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. Nahid is currently serving as the Secretary for the APU Malawi Trustees.
Monica is married to McAlly; they have two girls, Takondwa, who is 11 years old and Tayamika, who is 7 years old. Monica is currently working as a Psychosocial Support and Early Childhood Development Coordinator for NOVOC, which is a network for all the organizations working with orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi. She is an MBA student majoring in management. She has experience in educational work and library work so her involvement is in the actual running of the school (ensuring there are students, staff, teaching and learning materials, etc.). Monica is from the area where APU is located so she is very happy to have “this wonderful opportunity offered to the girls in my area”.
Godfrey is the treasurer of the Malawi Board. An accountant by profession, he is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). A graduate of the University of Malawi, his main experience is in Development Finance having worked with both Malawian and International Non-Governmental Institutions working in the areas of Agriculture and Food Security, Nutrition and Rural Livelihoods.
Henry is an engineer by profession. As her husband, Henry has been supporting Memory in all her work to get APU on the road by handling the construction side of the project, starting with getting the architectural designs completed, the building planned, and the actual construction.