Jean-Claude Munyezamu is a Rwandan Canadian who escaped the genocide in 1994 and volunteered in refugee camps in Somalia and Sudan before moving to Canada in 1998. In 2010, learning that children in his neighbourhood were getting into trouble, Jean-Claude took some soccer balls to a nearby green space on a Saturday morning resulting in the children starting to play together and build friendships. He continues to nurture community relationships with each participating kid and parent, while directing our growing organization.
A born and raised Calgarian, Jaime has been involved in the local communities in this city in some way for most of her life. She played community sports growing up and experienced firsthand the benefits of team sport, community involvement and the positive impact sports can have on a person. As a mom to 3 incredibly active boys, she has been involved in a more impactful way, from fundraising to volunteering for events, to coaching. She has been a critical team member with a start up business, actively engaged in the organization of everything from the office admin to the planning of trade shows. She brings a unique style of organization, and a get-it-done attitude to everything she takes on. She is currently in charge of the replacement of her children’s school playground, planning for and learning about backyard chickens, and managing the lives and schedules of an incredibly busy family. She is eager to bring her experience and enthusiasm to the Umoja team and excited for the new experiences she will have.
Born and raised in Calgary, then moving to Syria for 15 years, Wedad volunteered with Soccer Without Boundaries for over 5 years before coming on staff. As of March 2020, Wedad is the Food & Nutrition Program Coordinator and manages and prepares the food hampers for families in need around Calgary, delivered mostly by volunteers.
Nurishah was born in Congo, lived in Uganda and was raised in the UK before emigrating to Canada for her education in Vancouver. She’s lived in Calgary for 11 years. Nurishah is a Communications and Marketing professional with a focus on community and social justice issues. Her broad experience as both a professional and volunteer ranges from not for profit organizations, government, private sector, food industry and politics. Nurishah is motivated by the grassroots changes that Umoja has affected in the lives of the community it serves, and has joined with an open mind and heart.
Abby was born and raised in Ethiopia and migrated to Canada, Calgary, when she was 11 years old. From a very young age, serving the community was her passion and a true calling of hers. Everyone has valuable potential if they are allowed to embrace it, and it’s her goal to shine a light on those struggling to see their potential. Abby is happy to serve and connect with resources for Umoja’s youth and their families. Her community studies education has helped her understand the importance of inclusivity and to empower youth to reach their dreams.
Nina began volunteering for Umoja when the pandemic first began and the call was put out for food hamper drivers. Over the past year and a half, she has also been working on small projects with the team, supporting the vital work that needs to be done in Calgary’s underserved communities.