Geoff Foster, MD
Consultant, Ministry of Health, Zimbabwe Pediatrician
Geoff Foster, MD, has served on the Firelight Foundation’s Advisory Board (since renamed the “Advisory Council”) since 2002 and the Firelight Board since 2009.
He has worked as a pediatrician for the government of Zimbabwe since 1985 and is a leading expert on health care and other forms of support for children affected by HIV/AIDS.
Geoff founded Family AIDS Caring Trust in 1987, one of Africa's first AIDS service organizations, after diagnosing children with HIV/AIDS. As FACT Director, he piloted community care & prevention responses and shared lessons learnt through regional training programs for NGOs and through publications. He initiated innovative research around orphans and vulnerable children and piloted model community-based OVC support programmes resulting in numerous publications.
Geoff consults with many national and international organizations in strategic planning HIV and child health and welfare services, funding of civil society responses, disability and faith-based responses. He was a co-chair of the Joint Learning Initiative on Children and AIDS and since 2011 has led the Eliminating Pediatric AIDS in Zimbabwe project sponsored by the World Health Organization that expects to report in 2016.
Founder & Executive Director, Jerusalem Children and Community Development Organization (JeCCDO)
Mulugeta Gebru is the Executive Director of JeCCDO in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. JeCCDO was started in 1985 with the intention of working in childcare, having six orphanages accommodating 1000 children with a starting budget of USD 100,000 and 35 Employees.
Today, JeCCDO is involved in development work focusing on children, women and youth in different parts of the country, with a budget amounting to USD 3 million per year and 300 employees. JeCCDO funds 12 NGOs directly and supports 21 CBOs with capacity development. JeCCDO also serves as the secretariat of the OVC Network, which is comprised of 140 Ethiopian organizations. As Executive Director of JeCCDO, Mr. Gebru’s role is to raise funds, establish relationships with stakeholders, and develop strategic plans and policy. He reports for the Board of Directors on overall coordination and management practices and, above all, accountability to the community they are serving.
Mr. Gebru has been involved as a board member of several NGOs and has served as a parent committee member in five schools. A native of Ethiopia, Mr. Gebru holds a degree in Business Management and an Advanced Diploma in Development Studies. He is married with four children.
Executive Director, HakiElimu
Ms. Missokia has over 13 years of experience in organizational and institutional capacity development, program management, gender, basic and girls’ education issues. She has a strong passion in education and child’s rights issues. Her other capacities include policy analysis and budget work, participatory monitoring and evaluation, program design, strategic planning, community facilitation and development, communication and media.
Currently she works with HakiElimu as the Executive Director. Prior to this she worked for USAID as the Gender Advisor and Program Management Specialist for two years; and prior to that, she worked with CARE International in Tanzania as the Project Manager for Basic and Girls’ Education Unit for about nine years. She also serves as the Board of Director/Advisor in several reputable organizations in Tanzania and outside Tanzania.
Elizabeth holds a Master of Science in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University/OUT and a Degree in Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Dar Es Salaam.
Program Director, WEM Integrated Health Services (WEMIHS)
Wairimu Mungai is the Executive Director of WEMIHS, an NGO that provides integrated health and development services in the Central Province of Kenya. WEMIHS is a nationally recognized program with a track record of best practices in prevention and behavior change for youth, ART adherence education, psychosocial support for people living with HIV/AIDS, and sustainable livelihoods to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on vulnerable communities.
Ms. Mungai has a wealth of experience in capacity building, policy development, gender, and HIV/AIDS mainstreaming. From 1997-2000, Ms. Mungai served as Capacity Building Deputy Manager for Catholic Relief Services, where she focused on capacity building for child survival programs in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2003, Ms. Mungai worked as the Project Coordinator with Futures Group Europe providing technical support required by key national level policy making and coordinating organizations, such as the National AIDS, STI Coordinating Program (NASCOP) and National AIDS Control Council (NACC).
A native of Kenya, Ms. Mungai received her B.S. in Nutrition and Food Systems Administration from State University New York at Buffalo and a M.A. in Education from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where she specialized in Curriculum Development and Training. Ms. Mungai is married and has three children.