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.
Farah Motani, Member-at-Large
Farah was exposed to various local and international social and environmental issues from a very young age while living in Toronto with her parents who are from Kenya and Uganda. In her early 20s she spent time backpacking around Europe and during her travels realized the importance of travelling, working and volunteering in a sustainable and ethical manner. Farah had a tremendous opportunity to intern for four months for a locally-based renewable energy company in Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania. Farah was elated to find Signs of Hope in Africa shortly after moving to Victoria in May 2015. Farah spends a lot of her time hiking, dog walking for the BC SPCA and helping protect the island’s old growth forests. In 2014, Farah completed her B.E.S in Environmental Studies and History, with a specialization in Culture at York University.
Mrisho Haji Vuaa, Director
Born and raised on the island of Zanzibar, Mrisho provides a wealth of cultural knowledge and an understanding of the people of Jambiani. He directs project work while mentoring and training families receiving start-up costs in establishing their family businesses. Mrisho has completed training programs in Project Planning Management and Human Resource Management and is a trained HIV/AIDS Educator. Having completed a Hotel and Tourism Program, Mrisho manages a local hotel in Jambiani.