ACFOLA Board of Directors (2023-2025)
Saheed Garuba, President
Saheed is a foreign trained medical doctor from Nigeria. He is currently completing his Masters program at Western University and works as a healthcare and research professional. He is part of the executive committee of Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL). He is also an advisory member of the African Institute. As the Chair of Board of directors of the Federation (ACFOLA), the values that Saheed brings include but are not limited to effective communication with all African community stakeholders, transparency, teamwork, leadership, commitment, and accountability. Saheed has learned to lead with heart and align with growth, gratitude, service, and being a voice for his community. Saheed is client service oriented with the ability to effectively work with diversity and appreciate that people with different opinions, backgrounds, and characteristics that bring richness to any challenge.
John KoK, Vice President
John Kok, holds MD Degree from University of Medical Sciences of Havana from Cuba, Master of Public Health from Western University and Certificate in Project Management from Fanshawe College. Currently, he is a Planning and Community Liaison Officer of Entité 4, French Health Services Planning, which covers the Francophones communities of Ontario Health regions of Centre-East, Centre, and Simcoe Nord Muskoka. Dr. Kok is multilingual. In addition to English, he is fluent in French, Spanish, Arabic and Dinka (Thong e Jieng). He has over 20 years of community service experience holding different positions that includes as Immediate Past President of ACFOLA. He believes in community service with humility, and a community as a source of dignity when all the needs of its members are addressed.
Hussein Omer, Secretary
Hussien Oumer, originally from Ethiopia, with an educational background in Forestry (BSc), Watershed Management, and Hydrology (MPS), and certificates in Applied Digital Geography and GIS. Currently he works for Ontario Public Service, where he provides geomatics services for environmental applications. Over the years, he has volunteered in various areas: Mother’s with A Heart for Ethiopia, City of Toronto Environmental Office, and Daily Bread Food Bank. He is passionate about cross-cutting topics such as health, education, environment, sustainability, community engagement, and food security. He has also worked as a teacher in the international languages program run by the London District Catholic School Board teaching Amharic to Ethio-Canadian kids, fostering cultural heritage, multi-culturalism and building self-confidence. Currently, he is interested in documentation and work-flow that make the federation lean and efficient.
Mr. Menghesa Beyene, Sprots and Youth Director
Mr Menghesha( a senior member of the board) has a diverse career that spans almost five decades. He worked as an Elementary School Teacher, Physical Education Instructor for YMCA in Ethiopia, and Juvenile Counselor in his native country Ethiopia. While in Ethiopia, he had traveled to various countries such as Libya, Moscow, Algeria, Yemen , Germany, Belarus and others on official sports related functions representing his country, including sports related different training. When he moved to the USA, he continued to work for YMCA filling different managerial roles. He also earned his BA degree in Social Sciences from Western Connecticut University. Later, he moved to London, Ontario, and worked for the Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC) for 18 years in the refugee settlement. During this period he has also worked as PR person for the Ethiopian Church, managed the Wafrika Soccer Tournament in London, and participated in Black History Month. It is from this diverse experience that Mr. Menghesha is holding the Sports and Youth Director position of ACFOLA. Sport and youth have always been the focus in his long career.
Yvan Tresor Nzitonda. Public Relations and Communications Director
Mr Yvan T Nzitonda (Van) originally from Burundi has an MBA in Marketing and Management with the background in Media Studies and Communication. Mr. Van wants to promote the true and real community service of the federation with the view of expanding the public’s understanding of the organization with the goal to expand the support base of ACFOLA. He wants to use his training in enhancing the true image of the federation.
Serah Jegede, Employment and Settlement Director
Serah Jegede is a mother of three beautiful daughters, a certified social service worker from Mohawk College, and owner/manager of Serah’s Kitchen. Coming from the Nigerian Association of London and Area (NALA),Serah was elected to the position of Employment and Settlement Director of ACFOLA’s board. Serah is passionate about, cultural awareness, empowering communities, food security, education, and suicide prevention that tie with her social service training.
Rosemary Ehiemua, Research and Proposal Director(RPDD)
Jean Baptiste, Treasurer
Sybil Makou, Events and Social Affairs Director