Officers of the Board of Directors
John and Beverley Bossuyt
Founders and Managing Officers
John and Beverley were both born in Southern Manitoba and grew up working along with their families on the family farms. John engaged deeply within the family farm while Beverley involved herself within local community activities. From an early age Beverley exhibited a strong interest in children, youth and the broader community. Volunteering and teaching has always been a major component of Beverley’s life. For many years Beverley worked as an elementary school teacher and school principal. John and Beverley married in 1968 and have raised 3 daughters who are now raising families of their own.
Now making Cochrane, Alberta, their primary residence John and Beverley have worked among the needy village people in Eastern Africa since 2008. From a very early age it was obvious that John was a “plant and animal” minded young man. Upon completing his formal education John assumed the responsibility of managing the large family dairy herd. While dairy farming became his primary activity and source of financial provision, horticultural related interests were always present. The fruits of his imagination and the labours of his hands can be clearly seen around the family farm to this day – some 40 plus years later. In 1979 John and Beverley relocated to the Calgary area along with their young family. Shortly thereafter John established his 1st formal landscaping service where he specialized in larger acreage design and construction services while Beverley focused her attention to the needs of their growing family. In 2008 John and Beverley shifted their focus to humanitarian work working among the needy village farmers of western Kenya before ultimately co-founding Humanity’s Promise Int’l in 2011.
Bill Fitzsimmons, MA
Chairman of the Board
(Leadership International Development)
Bill Fitzsimmons graduated from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Construction and later in Marketing. He spent his career in Sales and Marketing within the construction industry.
During his career Bill held senior management roles at Canadian Independent Distributors/Thunderbird, Grace Construction Products and Lehigh Hanson/Inland Concrete. He retired in 2016.
In 2005 Bill graduated from Trinity Western University with a Master’s Degree in Leadership with a focus on International Development. He has volunteered for Sports and Charitable causes throughout his career. Bill had a role on several not-for-profit Boards including the American Concrete Association and served as President on his Church Council.
Bill and his wife Patricia participated in and led Build Initiatives for Habitat for Humanity. During these projects they travelled within Canada and the US, Portugal, El Salvador, Cambodia and Zambia.
Since joining the Rotary Club of Calgary West in 2016 Bill has been involved in micro finance and water projects in Honduras. Currently, he leads Phase V of the Honduras Economic and Community Development Project. He has twice travelled to Honduras to plan and evaluate project opportunities. Until recently, Bill served as the Director of Services and Grants for the Rotary Club and serves on the Board of Directors. Bill is the President elect nominee for 2018.
“I was born in Obbo, (Acholiland) within East Equatoria, South Sudan and was one of 4 girls and 3 boys born into a hardworking farming family. Although our farm was a 2 hour walk to and from elementary and high school, I consider myself very fortunate to have had access to a good education. Shortly after finishing my schooling I left the area and eventually made my way to Canada in 1996. I am the mother of 5 children, all of whom are now self-sufficient. From the onset of my arrival in Canada I have advocated for the betterment of the South Sudanese people living in South Sudan and North America. My current employment with the Calgary Food Bank is a direct result of my desire to help my people. I am an active member of The Obbo Community of North America and serve as the Assistant Project Manager responsible for fundraising activities within North America. For the past 5 years I have served as the treasurer of HPI and have played an active advisory role with HPI'S farming activities in the Obbo region of South Sudan.”
Neale Johannesson, BSME
Neale Johannesson was born in Wynyard, Saskatchewan in 1953 and grew up on his parent’s farm. He graduated from Wynyard Composite High School in 1971. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering he joined Gulf Canada in Edmonton as a pipeline engineer.
In 1978, Mr. Johannesson moved to Calgary to work with Gulf’s Supply and Distribution Department as a Supply Planning Analyst. From 1980 to 1983, Mr. Johannesson advanced from Field
Engineer to Project Manager on the Foothills Pipeline and upward to become Operations Manager for the Canyon fabrication facility.
In 1984, Mr. Johannesson and a partner cofounded Cyntech Resource Services Ltd. Johannesson and his partner also founded Cherhill Resources Limited and were active in oil and gas production. In 1988, the partners formed Shunda Energy, to undertake a $2.5 million dollar a natural gas field. Upon completion, Johannesson and his partner re-organized the businesses. Johannesson assumed 100%
ownership of the steam stimulation business (Cyntech). In the early 1990’s, Shunda divested of most of its oil and gas assets and Mr. Johannesson pursued a new business venture.
Late in 2010, prior to the North American acquisition, Cyntech had started a solar energy venture, and Mr. Johannesson and Ms. Fulawka re-named the company to Azgard Corporation and retained ownership of the solar business.
Anthony O. Merah, LLB (Hons.); BL
Anthony O. Merah “Tony” is a lawyer practicing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Tony studied law and started his practice in Nigeria. He practiced law in Nigeria for about twenty years before migrating to Canada. He recertified as a lawyer and established the Merah Law Office in Calgary.
His firm offers a full range of legal services. His experienced staff of lawyers provide assistance in the areas of Real Estate, Civil and Commercial Litigation, Employment and Labour Law, Wills and Estates, Powers of Attorney, Corporate Services, Criminal Law, Family Law/Uncontested Divorces, Occupational Health and Safety Law.
Tony’s passion is to represent and help the downtrodden who are unable to effectively represent themselves. With over 7 years of practical experience with Canadian immigration-specific legislation and procedures, Tony has the knowledge and experience to help newcomers navigate the Canadian Legal system. Tony Merah Law Office also has a heart for working with churches with charitable status and to assist these groups with legal matters.
He is actively involved in ministry work and is a volunteer as a counselor and preacher at the Calgary Correctional Centre, the Calgary Remand Centre, and the Calgary Young Offenders’ Centre.
Tony is married to his lovely wife Ann and they have three children. Tony’s heart beat is for the eradication of poverty, and the emancipation of souls.
Visual Communications Officer
Brian Smith was born in Saskatchewan. He has one daughter and lives in Calgary, Alberta with his wife. He graduated from the Alberta College of Art (and Design) in 1980. He has been a Designer/Illustrator since 1975.
His forty plus years of experience and skill was developed through a wide variety of advertising and visual communication projects for clients ranging from small private companies to provincial and federal government departments. Smith served as Art Director and Creative Director for a number of advertising agencies and graphic design firms and his 15-years-plus experience in the energy sector came from subcontracting.
Brian has worked closely with writers, photographers and printers and Smith’s motivation is to assure that projects are completed with quality, on time and within budget.
With his voice-trained abilities he has narrated a number of promotional and broadcast presentations. Currently, Brian is the graphic designer and a cantor for the Messianic congregation that he attends.
South Sudan Team Members
Oluku Andrew Holt
HPI Team Leader and Spokesperson,
Born in Obbo (Acholiland) in Eastern Equatoria State in South Sudan, Andrew spent his early years there while he attended primary school at the Palotaka Catholic Mission. He was said to be a precocious pupil in his class and he always rose to the top. He attended intermediate school at Apostles of Jesus Seminary, Rejaf—East of Juba City. He went to high school at St. Mary’s Seminary-Nazareth in Wau and continued in Juba Day Senior Secondary School where he completed his high school studies with flying colours in the Sudan School Certificate Examinations in 1987/1988.
Thereafter, Andrew studied philosophy at St. Paul’s National Major Seminary Munuki in Juba, continued one year at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and then into Social Development at Uganda Catholic Social Training Centre (UCSTC) in Kampala – a College affiliated to Uganda Martyrs University.
For several years Mr. Oluku taught in a number of high schools such as in Comboni College in Port Sudan, Sudan, St. Edmund Rice High School in Arusha, Tanzania and St. Bakhita Girls’ High School in Narus, South Sudan. He also worked for different organizations in Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya and South Sudan and widely travelled throughout Africa, Europe and Latin America.
He is a social worker by profession and currently works as the National Coordinator, Child DDR/Protection with the National DDR Commission in South Sudan. He is a volunteer for the Foreign Relations and Project Affairs Secretary for the Obbo Community Development Association (OCDA) and is Secretary for the Obbo Farmers Association (OFA).
Mr. Oluku is a designated Chief Coordinator for HPI’s South Sudan Programs. He believes that the Acholi area, and South Sudan at large, has potential for an agribusiness and that its produce can be exported to other Africa countries and as well to the world. He spares his time to help others to be able to help themselves. Each year, he also does some farming in his home village of Obbo in Ayaci County of Greater Magwi.
He is married to Aol Vicky and was blessed with a daughter (Lalum Lynn) and three sons (Obbo Joshua, Makmot Ian and Loum Jeff). Andrew has a very strong belief in God and that with Him, everything is possible.
Mr. Oluku’s love for his country and his dream for its development in agriculture remains big and he also believes that his dream could be realized through HPI support.
Martin Obonyo Hakim
Born in Torit, Eastern Equatoria State in South Sudan. Martin Obonyo Hakim holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from Al Neelain University in Khartoum-Sudan.
Martin Obonyo Hakim acquired his Primary School education at Nakapirit Refugee Camp and his High School at King’s College Budo in Kampala (Uganda) while his parents were in exile during the first Sudanese Civil war that lasted for 17 years. He went to Loka Boys Senior Secondary School after returning to Sudan and successfully achieved a Sudan Higher Secondary School Certificate (A Level). Mr. Hakim was awarded a Diploma in the English Language in 2002 by the United Nations English Proficiency Examinations, and speaks English, Arabic, Kiswahili, Luganda and Acholi, his mother tongue. He has proven himself to be good at interpersonal verbal communications, management, leadership skills and team work capabilities. Martin is married, has children and is a devoted Christian.
Mr. Hakim worked for the United Nations for thirty-one years and has a working knowledge of the United Nations Systems, their humanitarian work and guideline processes. He has accumulated significant management and problem solving skills. For more than ten years he was an active member of the UN/WFP Sudan Staff Association. Starting as Secretary General, he became Chairperson after four years and then later became an advisor to the new Executive Committee. He served as the Secretary General of the UNSFS (United Nations Staff Federation in Sudan) and a Senior Member of UN Sudan Local Salary Survey Committee.
Mr. Hakim currently works as a Resource Officer for the South Sudan National Olympics Committee and looks forward to contributing to the success of the HPI Project within his community in South Sudan.
Hellen Achan Martin
HPI Financial Officer
Ms. Hellen was born in Torit, Eastern Equatoria State. She attended Buluk Primary School in Juba, intermediate school in Yambio (Western Equatoria) and High School in Omdurman (Northern Sudan).
Ms. Hellen is an accountant by profession with many years of experience. She earned her diploma from Khartoum Institute of Accountancy (KIA) and was employed as an accountant with the Ministry of Finance in Khartoum (Sudan). Hellen currently works as a Senior Inspector of Accounting in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Juba, South Sudan.
Ms. Hellen is a mother of six (four boys and two girls) who relates to a wide range of people. She enjoys working in a team environment and specifically wants to be proactively involved in the development of sustainable agriculture in her home area of Obbo in Ayaci County, Acholiland and in South Sudan at large.
Working as an accountant with the HPI/South Sudan, Ms. Hellen will oversee all HPI financial matters. She trusts that God will guide her in every challenge that lies ahead.
Hillary Onaba Paul
HPI Construction and Maintenance Manager
Mr. Hillary was born in Obbo Eastern Equitoria State, South Sudan and began his education in Torit and finished after graduating from Don Boszo Institute in Alexandra, Egypt. Hillary speaks three languages; Arabic, Dutch and English.
He is married and has two children aged four and nine. Hillary is South Sudanese with Dutch citizenship. He lived in the Netherlands for 18 years where he worked 16 years in the field of metal fabrication. Mr. Hillary’s specialty is metal fabrication and was trained to be an industrial welder as well as an underwater welder. He has worked on projects that have included oil tanks ranging in size from 25 to 10,000 litres and on oil pipelines and boats. He is mechanically inclined and will oversee various HPI building projects along with mechanical maintenance of HPI farm equipment in South Sudan.
American Team Members
Team Member, USA
“My name is Teresa Alal Marino from South Sudan Eastern Equatorial. I was born in the village Obbo Palotaka Ayaci County. I left South Sudan because of the civil war and went to Kenya refugee’s camp in 1994 with my three sons and a nephew it took us five (5) years before resettlement to United States of America. In Feb11, 1999.
I am the founder of South Sudan Farmers Without Borders (SSFWB) a U.S.A. 501(c)(3) non-profit Organization.
As people who face war for almost 30 years they need new farming skills. Organize them in groups and educate them with skills to improve their farming for food security and empower them to be economically independent.
I have come to know John Bossuyt and Humanity’s Promise Int’l and wish to become fully engaged with them to develop an agricultural based economy for my people in South Sudan.”
HPI Public Relations Director, USA
Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nyamuon Nguany Machar, also works as the Regional Coordinator for Youth Move Maine, a youth advocacy organization that helps at-risk youth find their voices and advocate for themselves.
Nyamuon uses her personal experience with childhood trauma and the gaps she has seen in her community to drive her work and passion for policy change. More recently Nyamuon has partnered with the State of Maine where she co-created and co-facilitates a cultural competency course offered to service providers and consumers, called “Why I can’t trust you”.
Nyamuon is also a board member of Spring Harbor, an inpatient mental health facility working to provide the most beneficial support to those struggling with mental illness. This year Nyamuon is honored with receiving the Pearl Johnson Award from NARPA, the National association for Rights Protection and Advocacy.
She often creatively uses her platform to raise awareness on the hardships going on back home and calls for an end to tribal conflict and tensions.
Ongee George Olaa
Team Member, USA
Ongee Olaa was born in the Palotaka area within East Equatoria of South Sudan. Professionally he is a Medical Clinic Technology graduate from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He resides in South Dakota with his wife and 3 children. Ongee has a burning desire to assist his village friends by working on a part-time basis with HPI within South Sudan.
Kenya Team Members
Team Member, Kenya
“My name is Agnes Kariuki. I was born and raised in Kenya, Africa. Though a Kenyan born, I am also honored to have dual citizenship as a citizen of Canada.
After my elementary and high school education, I trained as an elementary school teacher at Kericho Teachers’ college in Kericho County, Kenya. After a few years of teaching in a number of schools in my country, I was deeply moved when I observed children from very troubled, deprived, and indeed, very disadvantaged families. It always touched my heart when I saw them struggle with even the most basic needs that, at times, would cause them to frequently miss school. Some would come to school hungry, while others were forced to terminate school altogether because their parents could not afford the school fees. From this experience, I deeply felt prompted to do something more than just classroom teaching. I felt a need to gain more skills that would enable me help address the root cause of this state in living standards among our people and for humanity in large.
I joined the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, (CUEA), where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Anthropology. I was later offered a scholarship by Loyola University, Chicago in the United States in the year 2000 and undertook my Master’s program in Pastoral Counseling.
The reason I chose this area of study was that after having taught young children from diverse family backgrounds, and indeed very deprived families; and having achieved my university education, I had come to identify more with the area of family counseling as my passion and calling. This is where I saw myself down the road; helping the deprived, the displaced and traumatized of our society, through a holistic approach to counseling. Pastoral Counseling seemed to be the program for me, as it merged both psychology and spirituality thus addressing the social, physiological, psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the challenged in our society. I saw myself empowering and alleviating their livelihoods with skills that would enable them reclaim their dignity and self-worth and thus, be able to alleviate their own livelihoods.
While Loyola University offered me very vital skills in the field of counseling, I felt that I needed to be more enlightened in the area of working with diverse cultures through a family systems approach to family counseling. Therefore, after graduating from Loyola, I enrolled in a two-year family therapy certificate program at the Multicultural Family Institute in Highland Park, New Jersey.
After graduating from this program, I was offered a job as a family counselor by an agency called Interfaith Works Center for New Americans, a refugee resettlement program in Central New York at Syracuse. I was the only family counselor in the entire agency for six years. I served clients from different war torn countries of our world, namely from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan, Congo DRC, Somalia and many others. By working with these extraordinary survivors, and after attending to them through a holistic approach to their basic needs, to the trauma issues caused by the atrocities they had to endure, their social physiological, psychological, emotional needs and their spiritual needs, I was amazed to learn about their resiliency, inner strength and capacity to pick up their broken pieces as they courageously set forth to new beginnings.
However, most of them worried about their relatives who they left back home in their war torn countries. While some, like those in Congo, may have escaped to the forests, they were not sure whether they could still be a live or whether they had died. This was a constant stressor to many due to a lack of closure. This would always touch my heart deeply. In the year 2010, while I attended to one client with this disturbing stressor, I felt that I had to raise the bar of my counseling to a higher level by helping two of her families get out of the Congo forest. They later got resettled to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, where I am able to empower their children with education.
I believe the hope for the future of refugee families and the disadvantaged of our society lies in empowering the youth and their families by addressing their holistic healing, empowering them with education and calling forth in them their God given talents and gifts so they can help turn our broken world around for a better tomorrow.”