Shannen, the founder of Create Change, has been living and working in Ghana since 2005. Shannen started the Ghana Girls Education Project in 2007, through which she came up with Create Change's video concept.
Although Shannen holds the title as Executive Director, she has thus far acted as: administrator, accountant, field manager, field staff, web designer, graphic designer, camera person, film editor, musician, and fundraiser. With all the time Shannen has spent in the field, she has developed strong relationships with the people and communities that Create Change works with.
Shannen has a BA in International Development and a Masters Degree in Human Rights, and has traveled extensively from Cuba, to Tanzania, to Mongolia. Shannen grew up snowboarding in the mountains, and boating on the Pacific Ocean, and not surprisingly, is from Vancouver.
With a passion for design and a diverse background working with government, the construction sector, and as a policy analyst for non-profits, Jesse Cathcart assists to turn project and enterprising concepts into reality. From originating creative initiatives to developing appropriate policy around new projects, Jesse has an aptitude for designing systems that assure the smooth implementation of projects from start to finish.
As Project Manager, Jesse coordinates a team of consultants that work to develop projects from the planning phase right through to monitoring and evaluation. His creation of corresponding policy for Create Change has served as a vital tool to ensure projects are effectively administered. Additionally, his experience living and working in Ghana previously as Create Change's Donor Relations Manager has provided him significant insight towards the limitations and constraints of working in West Africa.
A passionate advocate for social justice, Jesse is proud to be a member of the Create Change team where his creativity and dedication to improving the status quo in all sectors can make a real difference.
Kristen’s academic background in political science and anthropology combined with her extensive travel experience has motivated her to act to benefit society at large. Kristen is passionate about promoting better ethics in international development, women’s rights, and environmental issues in both the local and global community. As an enthusiast of out of the box thinking, bodacious goals, and innovative strategy she is determined to make a difference and Create Change!
If you ask anyone who works on the Creating Change Team, Samson is an absolute pleasure to work with. He has taken on the daunting position of Program Manager, making him responsible for overseeing our staff, and all of the water and education projects we have to implement.
Samson has worked with non-profits for years, and due to his diplomatic people skills and his strong ability to organize, he quickly rose to become a leader in non-profit organizations. He also spent a year in Texas, learning about agriculture and development.
Having struggled with poverty while growing up himself, Samson has deep compassion for the people with whom we work. A professional teacher by trade, Samson has a notable connection with the girls under sponsorship, and has used his connections with teachers to deepen our knowledge of our sponsored girls personal situations. He is also well versed in community development, and has a wealth of knowledge regarding community politics, and the way projects should be implemented so that everyone’s voice is heard.
Samson is happily married with a son, and everyone at Create Change is thrilled to also have him as part of our family.
Having grown up in Tamale, Northen Ghana, Eunice is very familiar with the poverty that the majority of Northern Ghanaians face. Eunice, who is acting as field staff, has a passion for development work. With a diploma in Journalism and aBA in Integrated Development Studies, and having worked with various development initiatives like AIDS education, Eunice has a lot of experience with finding out information in the field.
With her gentle demeanor, authentic spirit and knowledge of local nuances, Eunice has so far been an extremely effective staff member in getting the inside story from rural communities and disadvantaged children. She is currently head field staff for our Girls Education Project, and continues to strengthen Create Change's relationship with all supported students.
Eunice is married with a four year old daughter and a two year old son, and as someone who has seen members of her own family facing poverty, Eunice is committed to making a difference in her community and her country. Eunice has been doing a great job and the Create Change Team is proud to have her on board!
Eunice's staff video coming soon!
Emmanuel grew up in Tarikpaa, a community in the Northern Region in the Savelugu Nanton district, where he still lives. After elementary school, Emmanuel chose to go to technical school and pursue Building and Construction, where he began to realize the potential of construction work in a rapidly developing country.
After technical school, Emmanuel entered into serious construction work. He joined up with some mason contractors, who taught him the practical step-by-step process of building. From there, he registered his own business.
As part of the Creating Change Team in Ghana, Emmanuel is responsible for the construction of our rain water harvesting tanks, latrines, school renovations and school buildings. With a decade of experience building these things, we are excited to have Emmanuel on board.
Benedicta Ziem, otherwise known as ‘Mama’, is a field worker for Creating Change, and one of our most dedicated staff members. From spending hot days buying school supplies in the market, to conducting research in communities, Benedicta is a great driving force behind our projects.
Having worked as a volunteer teacher in an impoverished rural area for some time, Benedicta was able to witness the struggle parents, students, and teachers face in terms of providing an education with little to no resources. She is also happily married with a daughter, and has a diploma from Tamale Polytechnic.
In addition to her involvement in virtually every Creating Change project, Benedicta’s background made her perfect to head our ‘Rural Education Material Projects’. These projects aim to provide rural schools with a reading and writing materials, art supplies, sports equipment, and whatever other supplies will serve to improve the quality of education in rural areas.
All staff agree that Benedicta’s enthusiastic attitude and lovely smile make her a delight to work with.
Benedicta's staff video coming soon!
Adebayo, better known as 'Bayo', the fourth among five children, was raised by his mother in Nigeria. Bayo was brought by his mother to Ghana to continue his education at Secondary School, followed by Polytechnic and University. He has had an array of jobs including restaurant manager and teacher, until he discovered his talent for accounting and administration. With his attention to detail and meticulous nature, Bayo is perfect for tackling the great responsibility of managing Creating Change's bookkeeping and administrative affairs. Although often found in the office, Bayo remains involved in the implementation of projects, lending his eight years of experience working in the non-profit sector. Bayo is happily married with two daughters.
Mary Dramani, Creating Change Ghana's hardworking intern, is from Bilpiela, a rural community outside of Tamale. Mary managed to graduate from high school and went on to pursue a diploma in Business studies, focusing on Accounting. Mary is now in the process of completing a degree from Tamale Polytechnic in Accounting, but spends the time she has outside of her studies working with Creating Change. Mary enjoys working with Creating Change, most especially when the office is full of girls who are seeking assistance.
Mary says "Creating Change has taught me a lot. I didn’t know how to file documents, scan and print in the computer but now I can do these things."