Who We Are
Team in North America
Co-founder and West Coast Branch Manager. email@example.comCelina Guich, M.A.
Celina graduated from The George Washington University in 2001 with a B.A. in International Affairs and Political Science, and received her Masters Degree from Pepperdine University. She has visited and learned from many experiences in India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and many other countries in the world. She has worked for several NGOs most recently including the Coalition for a Sustainable Africa (see 'Links' page for more info). After attending the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007 she worked on the UNHCR refugee camp in Buduburam, Ghana. While there she worked as the administrator at The New Liberian Women's Skills Training Center and at the Carolyn A. Miller School.
Penelope Chester, M.A.
Co-Founder and Director
Penelope is the co-founder and director of the Niapele Project. She graduated from Tufts University in 2005 with a BA in International Relations and Political Science, and recently completed her Masters in International Affairs at Sciences Po in Paris, France. She has worked with a number of NGOs over the years, including the United Nations Association of Greater Boston and the Clinton Foundation. Her passion for African issues brought her to Cape Town in 2003, where she studied at the University of Cape Town and worked with a women’s empowerment project in the Kayelitsha township. In early 2007, she volunteered as the health coordinator at the Carolyn A. Miller School in Buduburam refugee camp, in Ghana. Penelope also worked for the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative as Program Associate in 2008/2009. She now lives in Toronto, Canada and works for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Penelope blogs over here.
Clemence Pelouze Landers
Clemence graduated from Cornell University in 2006 with a BA in Sociology and in 2008 completed a double Masters in International Affairs and Economics at Sciences Po in Paris, France. Her academic research has focused on the financing and delivery of health care in Sub-Saharan Africa. Clemence was introduced to refugee and forced migration issues when working as a Researcher at the Social Science Research Council in New York in 2005. She traveled for the first time to Africa with Penelope in 2007 and returned to Buduburam a year later before going to Liberia. Clemence is currently working as advisor to the Liberian Ministry of Finance.
Megan has worked for various social service agencies on programs for vulnerable and refugee youth. A desire to engage at a grassroots level in post conflict settings led Megan to Ghana where she spent 3 months of spring 2007 collaborating with a Liberian NGO on community development projects at Buduburam Refugee Settlement. While searching for ways to remain engaged with the Liberian community in a support role from the US, she discovered the work of The Niapele Project.
Consultant for finance and operations firstname.lastname@example.org
Marlene Barzana joined the Niapele team in May 2010. She has been volunteering her time and skills to work closely with the Niapele management team advising them financial and operations-related projects. She first learned of The Niapele Project during a Tufts Alumni event earlier in the year where Penelope gave a presentation on the organization. Marlene's interest in rebuilding communities devastated by war goes back to hearing stories of her family living in and eventually having to flee from Cuba during the revolution and, after hearing about Niapele's sustainable community building programs in Liberia, she was inspired to take a more active role in the rebuilding effort these displaced communities. She brings to Niapele her business management experience which she developed and honed while working with top-tier financial investment research teams and her passion for improving the lives of those victimized by war.
Team in Liberia
Henry Advertus Snyder
Program Manager email@example.com
Henry is a 1999 graduate of African Methodist Episcopal Zion University College with a BSc degree in Management and minor in Economics. He also holds an AA in Business Administration with an elective in Social Science. He worked as Food Aid Monitor for the United Nations World Food Programme in Liberia, supervising partner organizations to conduct general food distribution on refugee and IDPs camps around the country. He served as focus person for Food Support to Local Initiatives (FSLI) under WFP to oversee and implement community based recovery projects for war affected returnee communities. He was Field Officer in collaboration with other United Nations agencies and international organizations for the de-registration and resettlement of over 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.
Elsie attended Cuttington University in Liberia and Iowa State University where she received her degree in Dietetics in 1967. Upon returning to Liberia she has worked at various hospitals and schools while attending several international conferences over the years. In 1975 she joined the staff of University of Liberia and has worked as an assistant professor and chairperson of the Home Economics Department. She has conducted numerous nutrition surveys in the country, funded by FAO, WFP, and the Liberian Government. During the war Elsie worked with the Lutheran Church’s income generation program for women. Her specialization is promoting good nutrition during the weaning stages in Liberia’s small villages. The Niapele Project is grateful to have the opportunity to utilize Elsie’s expertise and vast local knowledge to benefit the health of the students of CAMES. She advises on the menu and trains the cooks. Her students at LU will conduct the assessments and analyze the data to monitor and evaluate the impact of the school feeding and to provide the university students with hands on experience. (read her story here)
The Niapele Project wishes to thank our amazing, dedicated and generous former interns, who donated their time and energy to helping improve the lives of refugee children. Working directly with our partners, they have been essential to the success of our mission:
Ben Molland (December-February 2008)
Jess Leombruno (February-April 2008)
Dana Binnendijk (May-July 2008)
Rachel Goldstein (September - December 2008)