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Diversifying our Board was a step toward better governance!

We are proud of our diverse board at The Angaza Project! "It doesn’t get any better than this," says our President and Founder. Over the years of her work in both Mexico and Kenya, she has met so many people and volunteers and it was there in the field that she has met each one of the now Board Directors.

Looking back over the years, she met Xiomara Laureano in 2011, Joe Gichuki in 2013, Vidhi Patel in 2015, Juan Montufar in 2016, Kylee Henneman in 2017, and finally, April Huang earlier this year in 2018.

“I truly feel like we have one of the best boards out there! Of all the hundreds of volunteers I have met, especially in Kenya over the years, each of them really stood out for their passion, strength, and tenacity for making a difference.”

Each of these board members has different strengths and each comes from a different background educationally, culturally, and by experiences. Reading and knowing the communities we serve is key in determining how and where we can make the greatest impact.

Having a strong connection to locals in the communities we serve is just as important which means we need to speak the local language! Our board fluently speaks the languages of English, Spanish, Mandarin, Swahili, Kikuyu, Luo, Gujarati, and Hindi. Some of our Board Directors reside in the communities we serve, such as Kenya and Mexico, while other Board Directors once lived in China and India. This keeps the local connections to our current work ongoing and very strong while helping the planning process on future work in other places.

On the organizational and administrative side, additional skills are needed in business (to include accounting and finance), fundraising, marketing, planning, and the navigation of legal requirements. Each of our Board Directors is able to directly contribute to those needs due to their formal education, certifications, and professional experiences and connections.

One other thing about our Board is that our entire board has traveled to and spent ample time in one or more of the locations that we serve, not to mention several lived in other countries at one time or another! This means that our Board Directors fully understand local customs and processes on just about everything we are involved in and they would probably say that….. things don’t work the same everywhere in the world. When a Director e mails the Board to check in from the ground and says an activity got moved to another day, there is no concern or panic since time is often not kept in some locations and sometimes meetings with locals run late or so late they are moved to another day. Traffic in some places might hold you up for several hours when trying to get to the next activity! Hakuna Matata (no worries), we still get it all done!

Overall, having a diverse board allows for better decision making, better utilization of the talent pool and it enhances our reputation and community relations by establishing the organization as a responsible global citizen. A diversified board provides different perspectives and emotional styles that allows for creativity in the planning of our work and comprehensive oversight in all that we are doing. The excellent diversity we have in our boardroom creates informed judgment in the planning and activities on the ground. Meet our Board Directors on our website by clicking the Meet the Team tab! Have a question for the Board? Just e mail us at info@theangazaproject.org.