Leadership

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

_NH14467Lou Radja

Co-Founder/Executive Director

A true humanitarian at heart, Lou Radja has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of many across the globe. As Executive Director of EduCongo, Lou’s energy is devoted to generating awareness and support to provide quality education for underprivileged children in the Congo. As an International Speaker and founder of Lou Radja Enterprises, Mr. Radja has addressed and engaged global citizens all over the world on topics such as; diversity, globalization, humanity, leadership,…and education.

Before starting EduCongo, Lou worked with organizations both in the U.S and in Africa to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and to reduce health disparities. Lou’s experience in the health field spans over five years of intensive health education, outreach, coordination, dissemination and training of trainers. A graduate of Portland State University, Lou’s background is in International Affairs with a focus on African development issues. Over the years, growing up in the Congo or living in the United States, he has found that education truly is at the heart of human progress, and that’s the spirit of EduCongo!

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2015

Jeanne Farr, MA _NH14502

Board President

Jeanne is a respected nonprofit leader, recognized for her leadership expertise, business skill and legislative advocacy. She has been in nonprofit executive management positions for over 30 years and has multiple awards honoring her professional contributions to society. She is the President of Disability Services and Strategic Projects at Albertina Kerr Centers, where she has been a leader for 23 years. Kerr has been serving vulnerable Oregonians since 1907, partnering with the community to: support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health challenges to lead self-determined lives and realize their full potential.

Jeanne serves as the President of the Board of EduCongo, a non-profit organization. This fundraising organization is committed to enriching the lives of underprivileged children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, by providing funding to support and sustain high quality and functional education to help them become successful adults and contributors to the development of their community. The school supported by the efforts of EduCongo is award winning and considered a model for educational best practices in that region of Africa. Jeanne is also a current board member of the Portland-based Coalition of Advocates for Equal Access for Girls and the California-based University of the Pacific, School of International Studies Advisory board. She also serves on a variety of other nonprofit and state advisory committees.

In 2008, Jeanne founded Coexistence Collaborative, a social enterprise, which offered intercultural coaching to executives and leadership consultation to organizations, working to build upon their capacity to work in multicultural environments. She specialized in work with Latin American executives.

Throughout her life, Jeanne has been committed building bridges across difference and between people. She excels at working in ways that foster partnerships across cultural lines where people have the opportunity to develop an expanded sense of themselves and others as global citizens. She completed a Master of Arts degree in Intercultural Relations in 2007 from the School of International Studies at the University of the Pacific. Jeanne speaks Spanish fluently and has spent time in 25 countries.

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Collaine Kelly, MPH, LMT
Portland Code School
Board Member

A lifelong Agent for Social Change, Collaine Kelly, is the Secretary of EduCongo’s Board of Directors. Collaine has a Masters of Public Health from Oregon State University, and she has worked in the field for over 15 years, both overseas and locally, in multiple sectors. Her expertise is in health education and promotion; program design, implementation and management; and development. She has worked with diverse populations and forged broad-based partnerships to improve equity and to reduce health disparities across the lifespan and across cultures. She has served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and has a passion for understanding and addressing the complex root problems of global health, of which improving Education is paramount.

She is a promoter of holistic health and wellness, which is one reason that she is also a Licensed Massage Therapist and a business owner, specializing in Ayurvedic massage. Collaine has been a Faculty member and Clinic Supervisor for the University of Western State’s (UWS) Massage Therapy training program. Currently she works as an Operations Manager at the Portland Code School, a vocational education program designed to teach students the coding skills needed to become software developers in the Tech Industry.

Her commitment to EduCongo is demonstrated by her involvement as a founding Board Member, and she continues to be moved every day by the progress and potential that EduCongo has for bettering the world, one child at a time.

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Naim Hasan
Entrepreneur
Board Member

Naim is a respected and beloved community leader here in the “City of Roses” Portland, Oregon. Mr. Hasan embodies leadership managerial skills that will keep EduCongo in the right direction. Currently Mr. Hasan is working as the Director of Business Development for N2H TEC, a company he founded over four years ago to promote physical, mental and financial growth strategies. Mr. Hasan earned numerous top sales awards during his fourteen years experience in Sales and Management in the Telecommunication Industry. He’s a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo and competed in with the United States Olympic Team in Seoul South Korea in 1988. He now coaches the Taekwondo Regional High Performance Team. He earned his BS in Business Administration from Portland State University and is a Certified Personal Trainer and served as Weight Management and Conditioning Instructor for the African American Health Coalition, Inc. Mr. Hasan track record speaks for itself and with him on Board, EduCongo is on the right path!

_NH14509Ahman Dirks,

B.A. Sociology, B.S. Business Administration
Board Member

Ahman has been a life long learner and has seen how the seed of education has born fruit and the opportunities it nurtures. Ahman realized the importance of instilling in individuals, at an early age, the love and passion of reading by volunteering time to the SMART (Start Making a Reader Today); A great organization that seeks to provide an ancillary environment for children in public schools to pursue and hone their reading abilities. This approach to learning has transferred to Ahman’s personal life as he continues his goal of achieving post baccalaureate studies in economics. “The opportunity to be on the board of EduCongo is an honor and provides an occasion to help individuals with a surfeit of potential but a paucity of resources to achieve their goals” he says. Currently, Ahman is a Private Equity Associate at Pension Consulting Alliance in Portland, Oregon.

 

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

 

_NH14483Sengu Thomas
Community Advisor

Since the tender age of eight, building an orphanage or help underprivileged children of her native country the Democratic Republic of Congo has been Sengu’s dream and life’s passion.

Today she stands on the shoulders of God, family, friends and strangers who weave the fabric of her life and she is determined to pay it forward by serving not only the underprivileged children at La Découverte, a school founded by her father Dr. Pierre S. Radja, but underprivileged children everywhere.

She knows firsthand the many doors the key of compassion and investment can unlock in one’s life. She also knows that education is one of the most powerful tools that can change an individual yet alone the world. To that end, she has decided to commit her life to ensure that an investment in education can be afforded to every child and that compassion will become the motivational means to the eradication of poverty and illiteracy in the world, and Congo in particular.

Her ultimate goal is to impart and carry her father’s vision for his beloved country. Sengu is a minister at Oasis of Praise, in Portland, Oregon, as well as vital team member of the accounting firm McDonald Jacobs for over a decade. She also faithfully serves at Union Gospel Missions in Portland where she strives to touch lives through compassion.

 

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Matthew Bateman
Coordinator & Support Specialist

Matthew graduated from Willamette University this past May, with a degree in Philosophy and as a member of the Oregon Gamma chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. During his time at Willamette, he helped to coordinate the international student-written news blog and provided tech support to the language-learning academic services. Since graduating, he has worked at a daytime drop-in shelter for homeless youth and is currently working for Lou Radja as an operations manager in Portland.

He is passionate about removing the barriers to stability, health and education that are faced by populations around the globe. He serves his community through regular volunteerism with the Rotaract Club of Salem.