SUZY BENSON GILLIES
Suzy Benson Gillies is the founder of African Promise Foundation, a partner organization with APE that helps employ women in Uganda and pays school fees for vulnerable children. In 2005 she was a typical soccer mom until she had the opportunity to work first hand with a family of Somali refugees who immigrated to the United States. As she learned about the suffering they had endured in their country, she began to look more closely into the lives of the people in Africa, specifically Uganda. At the time, Northern Uganda was nearing the end of the bloody reign of Joseph Kony and the Lords Resistance Army or LRA. She was outraged that the suffering of these people had gone unnoticed by the rest of the world. Determined to do something, she traveled to Uganda for the first time in 2008 and the country instantly captured her heart. In 2009 she returned to Uganda as the co-coach of an American girls soccer team. While there, the team played games, ran soccer clinics and did other service activities. After this experience, she was determined to do something more and formed African Promise Foundation. African Promise Foundation began taking volunteer groups to Uganda, led by Suzy in 2010. They provided opportunities for volunteers to serve in different capacities including digging wells to bring clean water, making and distributing rocket stoves, educating girls about health and hygiene and distributing reusable feminine hygiene kits. Realizing that many volunteers wanted to see "Africa", African Promise Expeditions (APE) was formed as an offshoot of African Promise Foundation. APE provides opportunities for individuals and teams to work side by side Ugandans, form relationships, experience adventure and do personal development. In addition to APE, Suzy is also a Certified Professional Coach and owns suzybensoncoaching.com. She uses her gifts of kindness and authenticity to facilitate personal growth that transforms APE participants. Suzy has been to Uganda countless times and is well connected with other NGO's that help partner with her when choosing projects. There are few people as well connected in Uganda as Suzy and she prides herself in leading safe, fun, and fulfilling expeditions.
FREDRICK OCAYA BESE
Fredrick Ocaya Bese is President & CEO of Engineers in Green Actions-Africa, a Non-Governmental Organisation started in Gulu, Uganda and is devoted in Climate Change mitigation, Adaptation and Research in Africa. Mr. Ocaya is widely acclaimed by circles of friends and professional persons for his leadership, hopes, and extensive contribution, experience in humanitarian interventions in the fields of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Construction in the Internally Displaced People’s Camps/villages during war or insurgencies in Northern Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia.
Frederick, as most of our volunteers call him, has a knowledge and enthusiasm for the Acholi culture that is infectious. He has volunteered for African Promise Foundation for 6 years, facilitating and paying school fees for disadvantaged children. His heart for the children in the Gulu region often leads him to give others the shirt off of his back. Frederick shares his enthusiasm with APE volunteers when they visit Gulu. He is like a personal tour guide and storyteller and definitely enhances the volunteers experience! Frederick has been known to invite volunteers into his family home for an authentic Acholi meal and great conversation!
Mr. Ocaya Bese is an Author, Story teller, Speaker in Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Construction, Environment, Business, and Social issues. He is socially blessed and well travelled globally: China, UAE, Germany, Spain, France, Belgium, USA, UK, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea ,Sudan and The Netherlands. In his free time, he is active in aerobics, yoga, dance, swimming , jogging and camping. Caution: His enthusiasm, hopes and drive to get things done can be contagious!