A Message from the Founder
Growing up in Uganda, everyone in the village used firewood to cook their food. Although I was fortunate enough not to be required, a lot of my friends would hurry to get home in time to collect firewood to cook their food. The use of firewood is still widespread in East Africa. At school, each student was required to bring two pieces of wood two days a week. The wealthier in the community would use charcoal which requires burning wood to harvest it. At that time, it was normal for everyone to depend on firewood as their main source of energy. And it still is! To this day, both my primary and secondary schools still use firewood to prepare meals for over 1,000 students every day.
I felt a strong sense of responsibility to change the alarming rates of deforestation and respiratory illness due to indoor pollution. In the last 25 years Uganda has lost over 63% of its forest cover due to heavy reliance on burning of wood. This results in high energy prices and prolonged droughts. While doing research on using biodigesters as a lasting solution to the energy problem in East Africa, I stumbled upon a company in Kenya that builds them - but their prices were much too high for an average East African. This was the problem I wanted to solve. I invited my friend Josh, and together we built an affordable, user-friendly and sustainable biodigester which will be effective in meeting energy needs for the people of East Africa.
GODFREY "JEJE" NZIRIMU
Godfrey "Jeje" Nzirimu has been working with nonprofits and youth leadership development in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Kenya for the last 9 years. During his free time, he enjoys a football kick about with friends, hiking (including Mt. Kilimanjaro), meeting new people and experiencing new cultures.
Media & Operations Manager
Nikki Humphries has been working with nonprofits for the past three years with a passion in cross-cultural understanding and identity development. When not working, she enjoys the simple things in life like seeing friends and family, trying out new food spots, and walking along the beach.
Josh Burke grew up in Chad and Cameroon right in the center of Africa before coming to the US to study Global Development and Culture for the past six years. Both in work and in life he loves anything that has to do with creating, building or a good competition.
Wyatt has a degree in electrical engineering and has been an engineer for almost 20 years. He has a very entrepreneurial mindset as he believes that individuals can make great changes for the community, especially when they work together for the betterment of all. He helped start up a sustainable well project in Kageyo, Rwanda in 2017 after helping start a keyhole garden project to feed the community. He gives his time, talent, and resources to non-profit organizations to help give opportunities to others as he has been given. He loves a good game of chess, a hike with great friends as they try to solve all the world problems, and loves a good philosophical conversation. He is a family man with a beautiful wife and three kids who are growing up way too fast.
Jeff Jenkins is an award winning content creator and Founder of Chubby Diaries. A true renaissance man, this musically gifted travel influencer is also a speaker and philanthropist. Jeff has been featured in several notable publications such as Forbes, New York Times, Google, Travel Noire, Essence, The Matador Network, and Facebook. He helps people travel the world no matter their size through community, branded content, and motivational talks. You can expect 100% authenticity, transparency, and lots of fun. While being a full time content creator, Jeff also co-founded a sustainable well project in Rwanda back in 2017. He has a skill of drawing out big dreams in people and every time you are around him you can expect to enjoy yourself! Jeff’s enthusiastic personality, charisma, and contagious big smile makes him one of a kind!
Greg chairs the Global Studies Department at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon where he teaches in the Master’s degree program in Global Development and Justice. Greg and his family have lived in Venezuela and Costa Rica where they were involved in ministry with street-living children and training missionaries and others in serving vulnerable children around the world. He is married to Christina and together they have two children and live in Oregon City, Oregon. Hiking, surfing, and kayaking are some of his favorite activities when he’s not in the classroom teaching.
GARY & KELLI WADSTEN
Gary and Kelli Wadsten founded The Wadsten Group, Inc. (TWG), a real estate marketing and project sales strategy firm. TWG has offices in Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Jekyll Island. The company creates and implements project marketing plans for Carolina Holdings Group as well as other developer clients. It staffs project sales personnel and is responsible for all brokerage activity. TWG serves as Managing Partner for Carolina Holdings Group (CHG); a real estate investment/development company whose primary focus is the creation of resort/residential communities.
Gary and Kelli have traveled to Rwanda numerous times over the past 10 years and have a heart for helping the children of Africa. They have been joyfully married for 31 years and share their time between Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Jekyll Island. They feel blessed to have three grown children and two grandchildren.
Jeremy Bergstrom is the Deputy Chief Attorney for the Forest Preserves of Cook County (Illinois), the nation’s oldest forest preserve district and, with 70,000 acres of protected land, its largest. In his current role, he serves as corporate counsel for the district, which employs approximately 500 people and has a budget of $134 million. Throughout his 20 years as a lawyer, Jeremy has practiced in various public interest roles with a focus on improving our human and natural environment. He previously worked to fight poverty and discrimination as a Senior Attorney at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and has served as an Assistant States Attorney.
We provide access to alternative sources of energy that are environmentally friendly and affordable by building biodigesters across East Africa in order to save forests from the growing rates of deforestation and promote economic development.
OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Action International: Canada
Calvary Community Church
Global Development and Justice