Ben Porter – Founder and CEO
Ben is a trained psychotherapist and has been working in the field of psychosocial support in conflict and post conflict contexts for the past ten years. As a Psychosocial Advisor to the Concerned Parents Association, Ben developed curriculum and implemented a ten module training-of-trainers project that has reached over 20,000 children and their families. Ben has also worked as a trauma therapist and has training in: EMDR, TFT, NET, and CISM. He has worked in Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Sudan, Uganda, and London.
Ben enjoys playing the cello, going on long runs, and all types of traditional dancing. He lives in Gulu, Uganda, where he directs TRP operations, with his wife and two children.
Mr. Okema Cirlo Stafford – Grounds Maintenance
Mr. Okema is a well-respected elder (Mzee) in the community and has worked throughout the area in various capacities. Previously Mr. Okema worked for three years as a watchman at Bishop Negri College and was working at Gulu High School prior to that. With 9 children, Okema has had a very rich life. We have grown to love his ever-positive attitude and quick wit.
Mzee Okema provides care for the grounds as well as assists with the construction and beautification of the site.
With so many years in the community we are lucky to have such a well-respected and capable groundskeeper.
Okwonga Robert—Development Coordinator
Okwonga Robert is currently undertaking a Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies from Ndejje University. He has a diploma in Social Work and Social Administration from Makerere Institute of Management in Kampala, Uganda and a certificate in Peace Building and Conflict Transformation from Gulu University. Over the last several years he has gained skills in psychosocial support for war-affected young people. Robert’s dream is to see that the youth in northern Uganda are being both physically and mentally transformed so that their full potential can be reached as the region transitions out of long-term conflict.
Robert’s hobbies include listening to music, dancing traditional dances, playing football and going hunting with friends . He likes listening to soul, oldies and country music.
Ogeno Charles – Program Coordinator and Lead Facilitator
Charles received a Bachelors degree in Public Administration and Management from Uganda Christian University. In the past two years he served as an administrative and finance assistant (intern) with Athletes for Africa (A4A)-Uganda and worked as an intern and facilitator with The Recreation Project.
He is very excited to be one of the first to learn about ropes courses in northern Uganda and to work with youth and children who are experiencing a brand new way of learning. Charles believes TRP provides a “compass” that gives a sense of direction to guide young people in life.
Charles hobbies include swimming, drama, playing and watching football, making friends, and learning new things. He finds joy in facing and overcoming challenges and is looking forward to doing just that in his position at TRP.
Okiya Joachim Kagwa – Program Coordinator
Joachim is an active member of his community. For the last 7 years he has served on a child protection committee in Layibi division. He has also been on the Village Health Team (entry point for most health issues) for the past few years. He is a respected elder in his village and is known for his friendliness.
Though Mzee Okema and Joachim have alternating shifts, it is not uncommon to see them sitting together sharing the happenings of the season.
Nyeko Patrick Kilama – Operations Manager, Waveland Academy
Patrick, aka “Goofy” has a Bachelors degree in Information and Communications Technology from Gulu University. His hobbies include smiling, meeting new friends, basketball, and baseball. He loves working with TRP, “The project has been a family that I can always lean on. TRP consistently provides a good working environment where I have created a lot of friends and learned things about myself that I never knew before. Baseball has inspired me to work as a team and has given me the opportunity to reach out to the youth of my country. Working with them has been life changing for me.”
Leni Fioni – Operations Manager, Waveland Academy
Leni is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. She enjoys traveling, playing baseball, hockey, badminton, making new friends and dancing. She enjoys working with TRP and says, “Working with the project has helped me gain confidence in my skills as a coach. It has been a privilege to know more people and the chance of working with people from different parts of the world and different personalities. I played softball for a period of four years during high school and am glad to say that through this I have become an inspiration of the youth we work with at the primary schools. This motivates me to want to work even harder to see them get opportunities not only in sports, but in life. Training the kids has helped me create a relationship with them that is worthwhile.”
Kimbal Kurtz – Design Lead and Accountant
Inspired by his time spent in Africa, India and Nepal, and his work for Architecture for Humanity, Kimbal brings his skills in architecture to The Recreation Project to oversee the design and construction of the site. Kimbal’s core belief that creative, thoughtful design can be used to more effectively create spaces for healing and restoration is a welcomed asset to the team. In addition to his creativity, Kimbal also serves as TRP’s accountant.
Kimbal is based in Denver, Colorado, where he lives with his wife and two sons.
Zach Hoins – Sports Advisor and President of Waveland Sports Academy