Who We Are


Board of Directors

The Board is responsible for the overall management of the Africa Village Project Association, its mission, and the staff’s work to achieve its goals.

Sheena Ashdown, the Africa Village Project Association project director, hitchhiked through North and West Africa as an adventurous young person and has since had a special affection for the continent. Her journey forever impressed upon her the good fortune of Canadians and the disparity between developed and developing countries around the world. Email: sheena@africavillageproject.org Phone: 1-604-357-1050
Dale Hamilton is one of the founders of the AVPA. He is an artist who works in charcoal and landscaping. He creates outstanding West Coast gardens using only indigenous plants and featuring waterfalls, pools, stone walls and rock designs, crafting idyllic mini-Edens of peace and beauty. An avid hiker, environmentalist and mountain man, he is currently working on a book of his artwork and reminiscences from his years exploring the Coastal and Cascade Mountains in BC and Washington State. Email: dale@africavillageproject.org Phone: 1-604-357-1050
Valerie Neil is a librarian with many years of experience in adult and children’s information literacy projects in public and academic libraries. She is a passionate believer in the power of books and reading to transform the lives of children. Email: valerie@africavillageproject.org
Diane Van Paridon Email: dvp@telus.net
Kerri Franz Email: kerri@africavillageproject.org



Contributers have assisted the Project in various areas using their unique specialties to help achieve the mission of the organization.

Val Baddorf works at ETS in New Jersey. She taught English as a Second Language at the University of Delaware. In her youth, she travelled widely through Latin and South American, Mexico and the Carribean, and continues travelling today through Europe and the United States. She is fluent in Spanish and French and has worked as a technical writer and editor. Email: val@africavillageproject.org

Zack Baddorf
, the Africa Village Project Association webmaster, is an award-winning communications professional and multimedia reporter. He created and maintains the Africa Village Project Association website. He has worked in about 30 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and Kosovo. After working five years in the U.S. Navy as a journalist, he served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Romania and also worked as Assistant Resident Journalism Advisor for Internews in Sudan. His portfolio is accessible at http://www.baddorf.com.  Email: zack@baddorf.com Cell: 1-202-630-4310
Tumaini Minja, Okaseni Village project liaison, helped coordinate the Project’s initial work in Okaseni Village. A lawyer and a peace activist, Tumaini lives in Okaseni with his mother and sister. He founded the Kilimanjaro Environmental Conservation Centre in the village while working at the University of Tumaini in Tanzania. In 2005, he was studying on a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of San Diego when he became interested in peace activism and co-founded the Professionals Peace Activism Initiative (ProPeace). He is currently working on his PhD at York University in England.
Melkizedeck (Melki) Mushi, the Okaseni Village chairman, comes from the family of the Chief (Mangi), who ruled the area around the village before colonialism. A qualified primary school teacher, he has also studied management and finds his work as the village chairman takes all his time.
Patricia Sackville is a friend and colleague of Project Director Sheena Ashdown. A course she took on the Internet provided contacts to possible villages in Africa.


Former Board Members

These members have served on the Project’s board of directors.

Charleen McBeath was the assistant director of the AVPA and an invaluable board member for several years. She is a fitness consultant and exercise instructor who has been committed to many social and environmental causes since her youth. She was very active in the West Coast Wilderness Committee, has created a personal permaculture garden, and has been involved in many projects, both independent and formal, to help children locally and around the world.
Robert Trowhill served for several years as a wise and knowledgeable AVPA board member whose contributions were much appreciated. He is a computer expert and business consultant who has had a long and varied career in telecommunications and business development. Engaged and civic-minded, he has served on the boards of numerous profit and non-profit organizations and volunteered countless hours for various causes. Although semi-retired, he continues to give generously of his time and to help companies achieve business success.

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