Who are we?
Gretchen Seibert: Gretchen is a public school teacher and director of Mtaala US. She has earned a Master's Degree in Education, a certificate in Special Education, and Administrative and Supervisory certificates. Gretchen has presented at local and national education conferences, and received awards for excellence in teaching. She first came to Uganda in 2007 on a fellowship to research the war in the North and complete volunteer work. Gretchen helped create the Mtaala Foundation after meeting Alice.
Nick Taussig: Nick is a British novelist and film producer, co-founder of Salon Pictures and director of Mtaala UK. He is the author of four novels, most recently, The Distinguished Assassin. His recent film productions include the crime thriller Offender and Plan B's BIFA-nominated debut iLL Manors. His commitment to charitable work was born while writing his third novel, Gorilla Guerrilla, which tells the tale of a child soldier. Nick, like Gretchen, helped create the Mtaala Foundation after meeting Alice.
Bob Fest: Robert taught biology and environmental science in the public school systems of New Jersey for 14 years prior to becoming a registered nurse. He has a Master's Degree in Biology. He is the recipient of many national and international awards in education and science, and recently was chosen as a representative for the US Department of State's Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program and the International Leaders in Education Program to Sumatra, Indonesia. Bob serves as a Mtaala board member and project leader of the health clinic, which the foundation has built at the school.
Amy Mullarkey: Amy is an accomplished professional photographer and member of the Mtaala board. Amy has spent many years involved in charitable work, and joined Mtaala after volunteering to teach a photography workshop at Awegys.
Doug Seibert: Doug has been a senior project manager of construction for more than 25 years, working for large companies and running his own consulting firm. Doug’s projects have included: multi-million dollar mixed-use town centers; Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey; Pleasure Island at Disney World; and AMC's 42nd Street Theater in Manhattan. Doug joined the board as treasurer in September 2008 after traveling to Uganda and witnessing both the tremendous need and resiliency of its children.
Rhi Patel: Rhinal Patel is a highly experienced communications director and publicist. She headed up communications for leading UK independent film company Revolver Entertainment, and before this worked as a publicist at Avalon, the UK's leading comedy entertainment company. She has traveled extensively. Born to East African parents, Uganda holds a special place in her heart.
Agnes Nabulo: Agnes is our director in Uganda. She is responsible for managing the foundation's day-to-day work at the school, working very closely with Alice, teachers and students to ensure Awegys' continued development and to oversee the physical, emotional, intellectual and social well-being of the school's students.
Andrew Wegoye: Born to a family of ten children, Andrew grew up in Kigo, the home of Awegys. Great need and scarcity characterized his family life, but he was fortunate enough to obtain an education. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Agriculture from Makerere University. He was Mtaala's director in Uganda until 2010. He subsequently moved to the US and has just obtained another Bachelor's, in Nursing. He looks forward to using his newly acquired skills to impact the lives of the children in yet another way. “The need in my country is diverse, great and hardest on children, but giving them access to education will turn their lives around in a matter of time,” says Andrew.
Our dedicated community volunteers in Uganda include: Robert Nam, Lawrence Okullo, Francis Douglas Ayo and Francis Okema.