Our village

Tonya Roy, Founder, President, Chair, RN, BSN, MN

Tonya is a mother of two children, a wife, a Registered Nurse, and an expert in Maternity, Acute care, Forensic and Global Health Nursing. She is also Nursing Faculty teaching in the BSN Nursing Program at Douglas College. Helping vulnerable and disadvantaged populations has always been her passion. She has been teaching and setting up medical clinics in disadvantaged areas where the vulnerable need support since 2017. Tonya has been working to create Ubuntu Hope since 2019, and in March 2023, Ubuntu Hope Charity Society was born. Ubuntu means 'humanity towards others' and it reminds us that 'I am what I am because of who we all are".  Tonya believes that kindness is a reminder that we are here and to use our lives to help others. She hopes to increase capacity to deliver fruit and vegetables to other orphanages, and to ensure the communities she serves have access to food , clean water, education and healthcare. As current projects are completed, she hopes to expand and serve other countries and communities in need.

Leisha Vandermey, Secretary, Board Member, RN, MSN, FNP

Leisha is grateful to be witness to the extrodinary passion Tonya has put into the creation of Ubuntu Hope Charity. She is excited to be a supportive board member since the inception of Ubuntu in 2019. Leisha has been a Registered Nurse for over 20 years and recently completed graduate studies to become a Nurse Practitioner. Nursing education, pediatrics, transplant, palliative care and global health care are a few of the strong passions Leisha has focused her career on. Connecting nursing education with global health initiatives and projects has been a dream come true through Ubuntu. Leisha is often heard saying, 'there are no poor people in this world just those that are disadvantaged'. The meaning behind this, is that every situation has a solution. Leisha strongly believes this it is the small, sustainable investments that change the world and people around us. Connection, relationship building, compassion and passion are often the investments that are needed to inspire and create sustainable change. Leisha lives and enjoys life in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, with her husband and two sons. 

Nicole Christensen, Treasurer, Board Member, CPA, CGA

Nicole has a background that includes over 20 years as a Professional Chartered Accountant. She is an active volunteer in her community. Volunteering for the New Westminster Minor Lacrosse Association and St. Thomas More Collegiate, is one of her favourite activities. She is a wife and mother of 3. 

Kimberley Jansz, Project and Event Coordinator

Kim is a successful business oriented project manager, most importantly staying the course of timelines, tasks and deliverables of the project. She keeps members of a project team on time, on task and on target. She is also a creative and imaginative event coordinator whose visions and talent create unforgettable events. Kim volunteers to help disadvantaged communities, enjoys spending time with her two girls, she loves to travel and spend time in her garden.

Danielle Connelly, Communications and Public Relations

Danielle has a background in communications and public relations and has worked in the non-profit, public and private sectors and is also an entrepreneur. She has been actively involved with issues affecting the well-being of children throughout her career.  She worked at UNICEF as an Information Officer with their Education for Development program and at ICBC as a Communications Specialist where her portfolio included road safety and children. Danielle is currently serving her second term as an elected school board trustee for the New Westminster School District. 

Jaxson Roy, Junior Director

Jaxson is a 17 year old grade 12 student who has been part of the creation of Ubuntu Hope from the beginning. He has a desire to help underserved and disadvantaged populations and to create change where he can. Jaxson has volunteered in  Kenya, Costa Rica and Ghana. Jaxson plays lacrosse for his high school and club travel team, and has goals to play lacrosse at university when finished high school. He was able set lacrosse camps in Frankadua, Ghana and share the game he loves with children there.

Please read more about Jaxson in our Joining the Community page.

Josh Vandermey, Sports Project Developer

Josh joined the Ubuntu family at 17 years old. Josh had the opportunity to visit Frankadua, Ghana to participate in organizing, implementing, and creating sports activities for children of varying ages in local schools. During his time in Frankadua, Josh recognized the potential in the kids he met and that the only barrier to their success in sports was lack of access. Josh made a promise to himself that he would do what he could to provide equipment, access, and opportunity to children that currently are lacking these resources. 

Christine Mensah, Nurse, Midwife, Frankadua, Ghana

Madam Christine, is our version of a real life hero. Her commitment to her community is beautifully inspiring. Madam Christine advocates and provides care for individual patients and entire communities. Her clinic is never closed. Madame Christine lives next door to the clinic and is available when ever her patients need her. She delivers all the babies in Frankadua, provides preventative care clinics, maternal care, infant care, pediatric care, infectious disease care, cardiovascular disease care and chronic disease care.

Madam Christine has been a nurse for 22 years. She arrived in Frankadua 14 years ago, to join her sister. Unfortunately, the day Madam Christine arrived in Frankadua her sister unexpectedly died. That day Madam Christine made a commitment to build a fully supported, successful health clinic for this region. She lives up to this promise every day. She has doubled the size of the clinic, provided running water and plumbing to the clinic, and expanded the services offered at the clinic. She also supports the nursing profession both in Frankadua and in Ghana by educating new nurses and nursing students.

Her retirement dream is to build a maternity home and orphanage that she can manage during her retirement! Madame Christine our inspiration, our hero.

The bottom picture is one of our favourite pictures of Madam Christine. Her smile, laughter and playfulness is part of why we just love her so much! She is trying on new reading glasses we bought for her!

Joe Senakey, Community Partner, Frankadua, Ghana  

We had the honour of meeting Joe on our first volunteer trip to Frankadua. His compassion and positivity captured our attention. He loves his community fiercely, and his community loves him. Joe, being a previous high school teacher, has a strong passion to support youth and provide them with opportunities for success. Joe is also the eldest in his family, which comes with great responsibility. So grateful for Joe's insight and uplifting, wide smile!

From Joe:

Hi, I am Jonathan Senakey. I was a primary school teacher in Frankadua. A rural community in the Eastern part of Ghana. During my time as a teacher, I met several learners with learning inadequacies and genuine signs related to lack of attention (due to lack of resources). I dedicated my time and resources to providing safe and reliable environment and opportunities for these learners. For some students this included; educational needs, health needs, accommodation, food/nutrition, and clothing/uniforms. Some of these successes were due to the tireless efforts and resources made available by donors and volunteers.

I am proud of what we have achieved as a team, and I look forward to putting smiles on more faces of the children in Frankadua. Let's touch a heart by staying together.

Oliver and Maggie, Agape Hope Children's Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

Oliver and Maggie are an amazing couple who run, help educate, mentor, guide and are really involved in every aspect of the children's lives at the Agape Hope Children's Centre (Orphanage). They are an inspiration. Their commitment to these children, and trustworthy approach to running the orphanage, is one of the reason's Jaxson and I started the fruit and vegetable program there.

Our village partners

We are forever grateful to those partners who support us.

These ongoing village partnerships provide sustained support that directly supports the work we are doing.

Village Ambassador - $7500.00 and over

Village Supporters - $1500.00

Alain Roy, Jennifer Tooley

Village Partners - $ 0 - $500.00

Ricardo Forrester, Angie Hanchett, Kimberley Jansz, Albert Vandermey, David Mueller, Lani Kim, Phyllis Leung