The Start of Many Beginnings
In 2003, our founder spent 2 months volunteering in Jambiani, working with Deaf children and teaching English to elders in the village. It was during this time that Kristi identified key struggles villagers faced in meeting everyday needs. She quickly realized that some basic projects could provide assistance to meet those needs.
Signs of Hope in Africa began to take shape. Projects to meet basic needs expanded into projects that enable villagers to develop economic self-sufficiency using locally available resources.
With successful implementation of each project, the quality of life for villagers in Jambiani slowly improves. With improvement comes growth that opens opportunities for the villagers and the community, and spills over to neighbouring regions.
Your support is making a positive difference for the lives of many children and their families. We look forward to sharing many more beginnings with you as we continue our work.
The board members of Signs of Hope in Africa are all volunteers who passionately invest countless hours to this organization. We also have many dedicated volunteers who donate their time and energy to ensure the success of our fundraisers. The employees we hire from the village to maintain our programs are integral to our progress.
We are based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Our key focus in Africa is in the village of Jambiani, Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Kristi Falconer, President and Founder
A born and raised Victorian and a registered Sign language interpreter in Victoria since 1992, Kristi has travelled extensively and participated in many community building projects both locally and internationally. She strongly believes that positive role modeling and mentoring of children prepares youth to become future global citizens and humanitarians. She inspires others through her passion, commitment and dedication to Signs of Hope in Africa and she truly believes that, “Together, we CAN make a difference.” Kristi loves spending time outdoors with her young son Kylen.
Carol Mowat, Vice President
Carol grew up listening to her father’s adventurous stories of tree lions, rhinos and elephants in his birthplace of Kenya. Her father’s wonderful stories and love of all things East African, led Carol to travel there herself in 1995. She fell in love with the land, the people, and the wildlife. A highlight of her visit was a stay in Zanzibar, near the village of Jambiani. Back home in Victoria, through her involvement with Signs of Hope in Africa, Carol happily has a connection to East Africa again. She believes in contributing her time and energy locally and globally. Carol cares deeply about helping children and families in Jambiani to break the cycle of poverty and lead healthier lives.
Sue Andrews, Secretary
Sue was born in a small town near Mandela’s home town and grew up in one of the poorer areas of South Africa. She came to Canada in 2000, but Africa does not let go so easily. She had been looking for a project that would support African people in projects that were based on the needs and decisions of local people and was thrilled to find Signs of Hope in Africa. Sue spent two years volunteering before joining the board in 2015 as the Secretary. Sue holds very deep beliefs in the importance of social justice, resilience and sustainability. Sue also volunteers with Greenpeace, Wilderness Committee, Sierra Club of BC, Bike-to-Work Week, and the Dogwood Initiative. She works full-time as a technical writer but loves sailing, travelling, reading and cycling.
Therese Eley, Member-at-Large
Having grown up in middle-class, small town Canada, Therese did not have a true understanding of what a privileged life she led until, in her 20s, her travels took her to a rural village in Egypt. While there, she spent time in the homes of families, away from the typical tourist areas. Her experience there, getting to see and learn about the challenges of women and children in developing countries, inspired her to want to volunteer with an international organisation that was working to support families like them. Now a mother of two young children, it is important to her that she is able to expose her kids to not only an awareness of how lucky we are to live in Canada, but also how we can all do our part to help people who need it, even if they are half a world away.