As a grass-roots, volunteer organization, our members wear many hats and are passionate about helping youth in Ethiopia through our projects and mission. Learn more about who we are and what we do below.
Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. –Mattie Stepanek
Rani Hussein (Founder/President)
Rani was born and raised in Ethiopia where she spent her childhood in Addis Ababa. She pursued a higher level of education in Canada. She holds a Bachelor Degree (Economics) and Social Work (Diploma). Currently, Rani is a consultant at Canada Immigration and Employment Consulting Services Inc.Being on Board of Directors at Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS) for over 5 years, she gained immense experience in promoting human development, understanding empathy, and changing the vision of new comers to a brighter future.As the president of Calgary Ethiopian Community Association (CECA), she overcame challenges that associated in meeting the organization’s goals smoothly and effectively. As spokesperson for the community, she ensured the community’s well-being.
Chimoné Dalton (Vice-president)
“My first visit to Ethiopia was in 2013. I learned about the rich history, the unique cultures, and the motivated people that comprise Ethiopia. When I heard APPHASS provides opportunities to directly make a difference, I enthusiastically become involved. In the summer of 2014, I returned to Ethiopia and was able to see first-hand how donations through APPHASS flowed into the community and supported the lives and education of children. I am proud to be a part of this organization and look forward to furthering our impact.” Chimoné is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary. She enjoys teaching undergraduate students laboratory skills, molecular biology techniques, and bioinformatics.
Leif Prebeau-Menezes (Treasurer)
Leif completed his BSc and Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Calgary. He has diverse experience in field operations, project management, IT and engineering services. Leif has travelled extensively and counts Ethiopia as one of his favorite country to visit, teach and volunteer. On his free time he enjoys reading, running, coaching and playing soccer. Leif shares a home with a former RCMP service dog.
Chantelle Anderson (Secretary)
Chantelle has been helping raise awareness in her community and organizing fundraising events for over 20 years. Her APPHASS career began three years ago as a volunteer and now she helps lead the charge in her role as Secretary of the Board. Chantelle strongly believes in the Right to Education and giving back to the community, both of which she is able to foster with her involvement with APPHASS.
Dale Greene (Public Relations Liaison)
Dale is a successful engineer who has held various positions in 15 years of professional practice. He is currently employed as the office manager for an professional engineering partnership responsible for delivering success of energy storage projects that range in cost from $5 to $50 MM. When not at work, he can be found volunteering to make his community a better place. Community focus is important to Dale – including supporting the valuable initiatives of APPHASS.
Jovan Kljajic (Crowdfunding Liaison)
Jovan became involved with APPHASS because of the organization’s grass roots efforts to provide young people in Ethiopia the same opportunities to build their lives we often take for granted. He is excited to be a part of the organization’s newest initiative, the Girls’ Centre Project. Jovan is using his knowledge and experience to help develop the Girls’ Centre Project crowdfunding campaign. Jovan obtained his BA in Political Science from the University of Calgary, his JD in Law from the University of Alberta, and he also completed the intensive Space Studies Program at the International Space University. He is currently working towards completing his year as an Articling Student at a corporate/commercial law boutique. In his spare time, Jovan enjoys watching films, reading, skateboarding, and figuring out a way to hitch a ride to the International Space Station.
Sim Pattar (Social Media Liaison)
Sim became involved with APPHASS to further his efforts in facilitating the development and future success of children in their communities by supporting their right to education. He is excited to share stories about our most recent initiative, the Girl’s Centre Project, and to share the success stories of children that APPHASS continues to support. Sim completed his B.Sc. – Cellular and Molecular Biology and B.Sc. – Anthropology from the University of Calgary. Thereafter, he obtained his Master of Biomedical Technology at the University of Calgary, and now aims to matriculate into the MD program. Sim has a passion for medicine and innovation and seeks to bridge the two in his career. In his spare time, he finds pleasure in skiing, food blogging as Founder of YYCBites, and riding his motorcycle.
Elias Gedamu (Sponsorship Liaison)
Elias is an entrepreneur who believes in giving back to communities through the application of sustainable programs and providing opportunities for people to achieve their own personal success. He became involved with APPHASS because of the organization’s core values and dedication to building a better future. He is excited about the most recent project; the development of a Girl’s Centre. The Centre aims to provide girls with an equal opportunity for achieving their long term goals. A few of his successes include 8 patents (one licensed to Samsung), 7 publications, and building H3ALTH TECHNOLOGIES INC. from the grassroots.
Lashitew Gedamu (Senior Networking Advisor)
Lash has trained several Master of Science and PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates and assistants, technicians and undergraduates in his laboratory at the University of Calgary. As part of capacity building in molecular biology in Ethiopia, Dr. Gedamu has organized and provided training in laboratory-based Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics course at different institutes and universities in Ethiopia.
Lina Ben-Harhara (Volunteer)
Lina is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration majoring in Marketing and is passionate about the economic and educational development in Ethiopia. Throughout high school, Lina participated in several volunteer mission trips educating students in Accra, Ghana and built housing units at an orphanage in Johannesburg, South Africa. After visiting Ethiopia as a child, Lina was amazed at how determined the children were to receive an education regardless of their circumstances. “I remember driving away from one of the elementary schools and witnessed young students running after the vehicle. When we stopped and offered them money, they refused and begged us for pencils and pens.” That being said, she knew at a young age that she needed to give back to this driven community and help them achieve their academic goals by supporting the initiatives of APPHASS.
Rebecca Manion (Volunteer)
“I first became involved with the APPHASS through a school-related project in Global Health. What I enjoy most about being an APPHASS volunteer is that this is a grassroots organization; there is a lot of potential for us to be flexible with our strategies, so that we can best achieve our target goals. Being able to travel to Ethiopia and see how our charity operates at the ground level was an incredibly rewarding experience for me. We saw how children who once thought they had no chance at attending secondary school became inspired once they were able to realize their potential. Children are the future and by bettering the future of Ethiopia’s children, we believe we can better the future of Ethiopia by extension. ” Rebecca is currently enrolled in the MD program at the University of Calgary, AB, Canada.
Ivona Hammarstedt (Volunteer)
Ivona recently became involved with APPHASS after learning about our newest imitative, the Girl’s Home Project. She jumped at the opportunity to help give girls in Ethiopia a chance at success, and has been tirelessly working to develop and deliver our crowdfunding campaign. Ivona obtained her B.Comm in Finance from the University of Calgary before beginning her career as a Management Consultant with PwC. She has a passion for travel and has enjoyed her trips across Europe and SE Asia. She hopes to one day visit Ethiopia to learn more about this amazing country and culture, and to visit the site of the Girl’s Home she hopes to build.
Adel Ben-Harhara (Volunteer)
Adel is a manager of the Project Management Office, for the Alberta Cancer Prevention Legacy Fund, under the Alberta Health Services (AHS). Prior to that he has spent over 8 years working for IBM, as a Transition Executive, within the Consulting and Outsourcing business division. Adel was asked if he would serve as part of the APPHASS team, and has been dedicating his time since 2010 as part of a giving back mission.
Romie Christie (Volunteer)
Romie is a former journalist and producer with CBC Radio, and manager with National Mental Health non-profit organization. Romie has a unique leadership background in both the communications and people development sectors. For over 3 decades, she has demonstrated this through leadership roles with the Mental Health Commission of Canada and as a Producer and Journalist with CBC Radio. Her career-long communications experience coupled with superior interpersonal skills enable her to work with individuals and cross functional teams. These attributes have also equipped her to develop creative content for national communications strategies and then to execute programs. A driving goal throughout her career has been to communicate information in a practical and accessible manner, and to inspire members of the public with new and useful knowledge. She is committed to making a difference for disadvantaged children and youth in Ethiopia, and to provide opportunities for them to thrive over time and become active members of their communities.