MEET THE STAFF
The iACT staff is a lean, nimble team ready to adapt to the situation at hand.
MEET THE STAFF
Katie-Jay graduated from Portland State University with a B.A. in Sociology and a focus on Community Development. Through her positions as a founding Board of Peers member of Education Network for Global and Grassroots Exchange (ENGAGE), AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Coordinator with “I Have a Dream” Foundation-Oregon, and Founding Coordinator of the Portland Coalition for Genocide Awareness, Katie-Jay brings extensive leadership, community organizing, and development experience to iACT. As COO, she coordinates day-to-day and overseas trip operations; manages volunteer team members and interns; oversees the Carl Wilkens Fellowship program; handles community partnerships and sponsorships, development opportunities, and runs the U.S.-based programs and presentations including iACT’s Camp Darfur exhibit; and is often the first point of contact for anyone interested in supporting iACT projects with time, in-kind donations, or financial contributions. Katie-Jay has traveled to the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad eight times and is available for educational workshops, training sessions, and speaking engagements.
Why Katie-Jay Acts:
“I feel we are all part of one community and one humanity. It’s a value that runs deep and I feel obligated to not only share this but to help build the next generation of leaders. I’ve always felt that I will leave this world a better place, and each day there is something I can do to work towards this. Educate. Activate. Empower.”
Sara-Christine manages the development, implementation, and evaluation of iACT programs in refugee camps; serves as the primary grant writer; and contributes to marketing content. Sara-Christine graduated from the University of Hawaii Manoa with an undergraduate degree in Political Science, and from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Master of Public Health degree. Her interests lie in improving the health of the most vulnerable through community-oriented approaches that not only provide access to food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, and education but also inform and empower citizens. She has previously worked at Direct Relief and has traveled and worked on health and development projects in Kenya, Chad, and Senegal. Sara-Christine is currently on the Board of Directors for The Chad Relief Foundation.
Why Sara-Christine Acts:
“Because everyday, men, women, and children with hopes, aspirations, talents, and skills, just like you and me, must live in a refugee camp with little opportunity, making incredibly difficult choices just to survive.”
Founder, Chief of Vision and Strategy
Gabriel became involved in supporting populations displaced by genocide and mass atrocities out of a sense of personal responsibility. He believes that the power of community and compassion, combined with personal empowerment, can bring about meaningful change. He graduated from California State University at Dominguez Hills with a degree in Behavioral Science, and previous to founding iACT, Gabriel worked as a Family Consultant, providing in-home therapy for abused children and their families. In addition to making over 30 trips to refugee camps on the Chad-Darfur border, Cameroon, Tanzania, and the Central African Republic, Gabriel has spearheaded campaigns such as the 100-Day Fast for Darfur, Darfur Freedom Summer Vigils, Camp Darfur, Darfur Fast for Life, as well as iACT’s innovative and award-winning programs such as Little Ripples, the Refugees United Soccer Academy, and Darfur United. He is featured in The Enough Moment, a book written by activist John Prendergast and actor Don Cheadle.
Why Gabriel Acts:
“Because it’s personal. I am a father and cannot help but thinking what it would be like if it was my kids sitting in the middle of the desert, with so much danger and so little hope. I know so many refugee fathers,mothers, and children. They are friends. I must act.”
Oumda Al-fateh Tarbosh
Al-fateh Tarbosh is the Program Coordinator for iACT, an international organization whose mission is to aid, empower, and extend hope to those affected by mass atrocities. Tarbosh oversees iACT sports, education, nutrition, and human rights programs across five refugee camps in eastern Chad. Before becoming a refugee in camp Goz Amer, eastern Chad, Tarbosh was an accounts manager and traditional leader, or oumda, in his village in Darfur, Sudan. Since becoming a refugee in 2003, Tarbosh has served as a primary school teacher and an English teacher, and has maintained his traditional leadership role as oumda for his community in camp Goz Amer.
Refugees United Soccer Academy Manager
Coach Souliman was the captain of the original 2012 Darfur United Men’s Team (DU) that traveled to Iraq. He returned to his camp with pride, energy, and the determination to share the skills he had learned through DU with the children of his camp. Souliman works alongside coaches Issag, Sadiya, and Thouhilia to manage the program on and off the field.
Why I Act…
“Football, to me, is everything. Football is support. Football is health. It means relationships and it means peace.”
Since graduating from NYU, James has worked with nonprofit and activist organizations that assist marginalized communities both locally and around the world. James specializes in combining new media with traditional activism methods on the web, in print, and on the street. He likes to draw.
Why I act:
“I act because I believe everyone has a fundamental human right to food, education, health, housing, and freedom from fear.”
Team and Operations Manager
Danielle Kercher is a graduate from Pepperdine University with a B.A. in Psychology. Through her work with populations suffering from mental health issues, youth and adults with physical and mental disabilities, and at-risk youth providing crisis interventions and trauma-informed care, Danielle brings a grounded work ethic centered around patience, compassion, and empathy. She uses her attention to detail and organizational skills to manage iACT’s internal operations, provide logistical support to U.S.-based and international programs, onboard volunteers, and maintain donor and community partner relations. She currently works from iACT’s main headquarters in Southern California.
Why Danielle Acts:
“Because surviving isn’t living. We are all human beings and we need more than just food, water, and shelter. We need to feel safe, to feel connected, to have purpose, and to have opportunities to realize our potential.”
Kellie graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills in 2019 with a B.A. in English Literature –with a focus on underrepresented voices – and has also taken many Childhood Development classes through El Camino College. She has traveled and volunteered in many African countries including Tanzania (and Zanzibar), Rwanda, Uganda, and South Africa. A few of her volunteer experiences involved working at an orphanage, working at a special education boarding school, and helping manage a childcare program dedicated to keeping youth out of the streets and engaged in sports and creative activities. Her goal is to bring her skills in critical research, writing, and child development to iACT’s social justice and global activist projects.
Why Kellie Acts:
“I act because children are the future. Every child deserves a peaceful and nurturing school environment where they can develop their young minds.”
Remy has been an ECCD teacher for 2 years and specifically a Little Ripples teacher for 1.5 years. He arrived in Nduta in 2016 with his elder brother.Read More
Cebestin has been an ECCD teacher for 2 years and specifically a Little Ripples teacher for 1.5 years. He arrived in Nduta in 2015 alone and his mother and 8 siblings joined him later.Read More
Jean-Claude has been an ECCD teacher for 2 years and specifically a Little Ripples teacher for 1.5 years.Read More
Vénérand has been a Little Ripples teacher for 6 months. He arrived in Nduta in 2016 alone, but reunited with his mother and 6 siblings who had previously arrived in 2015.Read More
Nestor has been an ECCD teacher for 2 years and specifically a Little Ripples teacher for 1.5 years. He arrived in Nduta in 2015.Read More
Diomède has been a Little Ripples teacher for 1 year. He arrived in Nduta in 2015 alone and his mother joined him later.Read More
Djimil has been an ECCD teacher for 2 years and specifically a Little Ripples teacher for 1.5 years. He arrived in Nduta in 2017 with his wife and child.Read More
Adeline has been an ECCD teacher for 2.5 years and specifically a Little Ripples teacher for 1.5 years. Her previous husband was killed in the violent conflict in Burundi and she arrived in Nduta in 2016 with her 4 children.Read More
Jeane has been working as an ECCD teacher for 2.5 years and specifically a Little Ripples teacher for 1.5 years.Read More
Goodeberth has been an ECCD teacher for 3 years, but only recently started working as a Little Ripples teacher.Read More
Peline has been an ECCD teacher for 2 years and specifically a Little Ripples teacher for 1.5 years.Read More
Innocent has been a Little Ripples teacher for 3 months as part of the mobile unit, traveling to different camp zones to deliver the Little Ripples program to children who live far away from the child-friendly spaces where the other Little Ripples activities take place.Read More
Virginie has been an ECCD teacher for 3 years and specifically a Little Ripples teacher for 1.5 years.Read More
Ernest has been a Little Ripples teacher for 4 months. He arrived in Nduta in 2015 alone and has a secondary school education.Read More
Nathanael is currently a Little Ripples teacher and is the Coordinator of all other Little Ripples teachers in the Nduta camp. He arrived in Nduta in 2016 alone.Read More
When violence broke out in Burundi in 2015, Daniel’s father was killed due to his involvement in a government opposition party.Read More
Violette spent 15 years living in the Kanembwa refugee camp in Tanzania due to violence in Burundi in 1993, which is where she met her husband.Read More
When Innocent was younger, youth military groups regularly tried to recruit him. When things got so bad, his family encouraged him to flee.Read More
Delphine and her family fled Burundi due to threats of violence from militia groups and the zone leader where her family lived.Read More
Esther loves being a RUSA coach and was proud to see one of her girls’ teams win a camp tournament last year. She shares her love of football with her husband who is very supportive of her work.Read More
When Jannette married her husband, they both dropped out of school at grade 9 to run a small business together.Read More
Eliana was born a refugee in the Kanembwa refugee camp in Tanzania. She dropped out of school in grade 7 because the the Tanzanian government shut down the schools in her camp.Read More
Jean-Marie loved playing football since childhood. Growing up, he realized that he wanted to share his football skills with children to help them grow up into good football players.Read More
While Anaclet was born in Burundi, when he was 7-months old, his family sought asylum in the Mtabila refugee camp in Tanzania. Eventually the family repatriated back to Burundi.Read More
Due to political violence in Burundi in 2015, Irene’s father and grandfather were killed. At this time, youth militias also tried to recruit Irene and her sister due to their athletic nature.Read More
When conflict broke out in Burundi in 2015, some of Chantal’s family members were killed. When her family received further threats of more violence, they decided to flee to Tanzania.Read More
Etienne was born a refugee in the Mutabili refugee camp in Tanzania in 1993. He completed primary school there and eventually repatriated to Burundi with his family in 2008.Read More
When violence broke out in Burundi in 2015, Claudin’s father was killed due to his ethnicity and her mother eventually re-married.Read More
Emery was born a refugee in the Myuovozi refugee camp in Tanzania. He and his family were eventually transferred to the Mutabili refugee camp in Tanzania in 2007, but were force to return to Burundi in 2012.Read More
In Burundi, Happy grew up in the care of his grandmother and considers himself an orphan. He was in secondary school when the conflict in Burundi broke out in 2015.Read More
Hilaire got married in 2013 and arrived with his wife in Tanzania in 2015 where they spent 1 year in the Nyarugusu refugee camp before eventually transitioning to the Mtendeli camp.Read More
Pascal arrived alone in Tanzania in 2015 where he spent 1 year. While there he was reunited with his parents who had arrived a few months before him. He also met his wife in Nyarugusu and they got married in 2015.Read More
Beatrice arrived in Tanzania in 2015 where she spent 2 years in the Nyarugusu refugee camp. She was eventually transferred to the Mtendeli camp in 2018 where she met her husband and got married in the same year. She completed secondary school and is a trained teacher.Read More
Anita arrived to the Mtnedeli refugee camp alone in 2016. There, she met her husband and got married in 2017. She dropped out of secondary school in Grade 10 because her family was no longer able to afford her school fees. If she receives the opportunity, she would like to finish secondary school someday.Read More
Deo arrived alone to the Mtendeli refugee camp in 2016. There, he met his wife and got married in 2017. He has a secondary school education.Read More
Denise arrived to Mtendeli alone in 2016. She met her husband there and got married in 2017. She dropped out of secondary school in Grade 11 due to her first pregnancy. If she receives the opportunity, she would like to finish secondary school someday.Read More
Leubain married his wife in Burundi in 2015. They arrived together to Mtendeli in 2016. Leubain finished secondary school and is a trained teacher.Read More
Diana arrived to Mtendeli in 2016 with her mother and 2 younger siblings. She dropped out of secondary school in Grade 11 because her mother was no longer able to afford her school fees. If she receives the opportunity, she would like to finish secondary school someday.Read More
Diana married her husband in 2015 in Burundi before traveling to Tanzania with her husband and arriving in Mtendeli in 2016. She dropped out of secondary school in Grade 12 due to her first pregnancy. If she receives the opportunity, she would like to finish secondary school someday.Read More
Renovat arrived alone in Tanzania in late 2015, where he spent the first 6 months in the Nyarugusu refugee camp. He eventually was moved to the Mtendeli refugee camp, where he met his wife and got married in 2016. Re?novat has a secondary school education.Read More
Enoch arrived alone in Tanzania in late 2015, where he spent the first 8 months in the Nyarugusu refugee camp. He eventually was moved to the Mtendeli refugee camp, where he met his wife and got married in 2017. Enoch has a secondary school education.Read More
Shadrack arrived alone in Tanzania in late 2015, where he spent the first 3 months in the Nyarugusu refugee camp. There, he met his wife and got married. In 2016, they were moved to the Mtendeli refugee camp. Shadrack finished secondary school and is a trained teacher.Read More
Edyssa arrived in Tanzania alone in 2015 and spend the first year in the Nyarugusu refugee camp. She was eventually transferred to Mtendeli where she met her husband and got married in 2017. She has completed secondary school.Read More
Audrey arrived to the Mtendeli refugee camp with her Uncle in 2016. There she met her husband and got married in 2017. She finished secondary school and is a trained teacher.Read More
Remegie arrived in Mtendeli in 2016 without any family. He met his wife in the camp and got married in 2019. While he doesn’t have any children yet, he is looking forward to starting a family. He has a secondary school education.Read More