Myrna Ronald is a nurse by training, a wife, mother and grandmother by vocation. While accompanying her husband (an Infectious Disease physician) to Africa, Myrna has spent significant time over the past 30 years getting to know the faces and hearts of the people who have been directly affected by the HIV/Aids pandemic. Whether taking the bus with orphans to their doctors’ appointments, counseling teens about re-entering school, helping women to better their tailoring skills, learning how to build schools or making sure money is allocated appropriately to designated projects; Myrna keeps busy on her trips to Africa.
Myrna typically spends 8 to 12 weeks per year in Africa. When in North America, she lives in Winnipeg with her husband Allan and is within close proximity of 3 of her 12 grandchildren.She belongs to a Winnipeg-based group called Focus Africa and besides raising funds for HIV-affected women at Beacon of Hope, Kenya, they set up their African Market at many places during the year selling beautiful hand tailored items made by these women of Beacon of Hope. All of the funds raised go back to BOH for empowering homes in this slum community and also to move out to empower other Kenyan and surrounding African communities that have requested their help.
I was born in Kenya and came to Canada almost three decades ago to pursue an advanced education. I am married with three adult children. I joined Focus Africa in 2011, drawn by witnessing what they had achieved within in a few years at Beacon of Hope. FA’s mission to bring hope and economic empowerment to women and children in African communities ravaged by HIV/AIDS communities felt right with how I felt inspired to live my faith.
I live and work in Winnipeg as an Environmental Projects Coordinator for a major utility. I have volunteer experience with my community, Canadian Blood Services, LEAF (Legal Education and Action Fund) or WISE (Women in Search for Equality) and Development and Peace.
Ms Rose Kimani is an Intercultural Support Worker at the Winnipeg School Division 1, integrating newcomer students and their families into the school and Canadian system. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons) at the Kenya Methodist University majoring in Entrepreneurship and Minoring in Marketing. Rose has also earned an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) UK – General Management Diploma and a Higher Diploma in Psychological Counseling.
In summer of 2013, Rose did her ESL Teacher Certificate at University of Winnipeg. Before moving to Winnipeg in July 2012, Rose held a Managerial post in Kenya’s corporate world, specifically at the EABL – DIAGEO for 25 years. Rose volunteered with Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) International, an American Bible Study organization that has over 1000 classes all over the world as a Group Leader for 11.5 years and was Chairperson of the Women’s Fellowship Retreat in Nairobi, Kenya. Rose also served with BSF here in Winnipeg for 6 months.
Rose also volunteered at Viewpoint Junior School as a Payroll Manager for 10 years. Rose served as a Board Member in the capacity of Fundraising Director at the Congress of Black and was MC at their Global Flair Fashion Show that took place on 28th June at the MTYP here in Winnipeg. She has also with great success coordinated fundraisers for Congress of Black Women for two consecutive years.
Jane has been involved with Focus Africa since its conception in 2004. She was part of the approximately ten women who gathered at the University of Manitoba in November 2004 to brainstorm how immigrant women in Canada could meaningfully get involved in alleviating the excruciating pain, caused by the HIV/AIDs pandemic as it wreaked havoc, decimating whole African villages and leaving thousands of children orphaned or plagued in dire poverty, disease and deprivation. Jane has volunteered with Focus Africa for more than ten years now. She has served as the organization’s secretary for two terms and is currently a member of the board. Jane has volunteered with Focus Africa with passion and purpose, contributing her African music, dance and poetry to enhance the Fund-raising efforts that have catapulted a small HIV/AIDS initiative in the slum of Kawangare, Kenya, to a Multi-use Resource centre fully equipped with a state of the art medical clinic, an elementary school, a vocational training college and other wholesome, self-sustaining projects.
PHYLLIS NYOKABI GITONGA , BSc Math
Phyllis Gitonga is a Management and Financial Accountant having held various accounting
roles in the corporate world for a period of 15 years. In the last five years, prior to coming to
Winnipeg in July 2016, Phyllis worked with Small and Medium-size Enterprises, doing
Financial Systems Reviews and Business Case Appraisals. Phyllis obtained a Bachelor of
Science (BSC) Hons in Mathematics from Egerton University, Njoro – Kenya. She is a finalist
of the Chartered Public Accountant (CPA) Kenya, and is undergoing assessment to pursue the
CPA Canada. Phyllis has pioneered a support ministry to a children’s home in Nairobi for both
material provision, counseling the children and Christian education. This ministry has now
been handed over to a church in Kenya, namely Nairobi Baptist Church where Phyllis and her
husband George served as Elders for the church, for sustainability. Phyllis has to date adopted
three families, counseling and supporting siblings to develop themselves spiritually, education
wise and financially until they gain employment. She has equally pioneered community work
including a project to start recycling waste for a cleaner environment and creation of
employment for the youth in recycling activities.