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.
Ogeno Charles – Program Coordinator and Lead Facilitator
Charles has recently returned from The London School of Economics were he is pursuing his Masters degree. He also holds a Bachelors degree in Public Administration and Management from Uganda Christian University. In the past two years Charles 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 – Grounds Maintenance
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.
Among Fosca – Hospitality Volunteer
Among Fosca is a full-time volunteer in charge of hospitality at TRP sent to us from the congregation of The Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu. She is a Sister in training with the LSMIG and has a certificate and diploma in Public Administration and Management from the Nsamiza Training institute of Social Development. Fosca felt the call to serve as a Sister at a young age and is excited to be a part of changing the lives of other young people. “I know from experience,” she says “that there are many young girls suffering in the village. My dream is that I can be the encourager and to teach important life skills to the hurting, just as I received from the Sisters.”
Lamunu Irene – Program Coordinator and Lead Facilitator
Irene has a Business Administration degree in Accounting and is currently pursuing a MBA from Gulu University. She has been a course facilitator at TRP for three years. TRP has nurtured her passion for working with fellow young people and has provided her with a platform to help them learn new ways to solve their problems. “Nothing blows my mind more,” she says, “than the chance TRP gives young people through the activities to know how useful they are and can be in all aspects of life no matter what.” Through her work, Irene strives to both better understand herself and new avenues of positive change for young people. In her free time she also enjoys listening to Christian songs, chatting with friends, and cooking.
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.”
Akello Faith Orama – Program Coordinator, Waveland Academy
Faith’s compassion for youth is clearly evident in both her work with Waveland Academy on and off the baseball field. She enjoys developing personal relationships with the youth, saying “the children inspire me every day.” She particularly enjoys seeing the positive impact of the determination, discipline, and teamwork taught at Waveland manifest in the lives of the youth with which she works.
Faith is currently pursuing Bachelors in Development Studies at Gulu University. She is also a youth leader at a local church and likes reading books, making new friends, watching TV, and sports.
Paito Mike Kilama- Program Manager, Waveland Academy
Mike aka “Big mike” has worked for TRP for three years, first as a facilitator at the ropes course before heading the team at Waveland Academy. He has a diploma in accounting and finance and is currently completing his bachelors in Business Administration at Gulu University. “When I was introduced to TRP, I felt like it was my calling to be part of this dream of making a difference in the lives of people in the war recovering community” says Mike. As an athlete and sports lover he was drawn to the idea of touching the next generation through youth sports and enjoys experiencing the transformation of the youth from beginners to experienced players overtime.
Mike plays a lot of sports including baseball, basketball, volleyball, and tennis among others. He loves coaching, swimming, reading books, Church ministry, movies, and watching sports.
Dan Unterheiner- Operations and Agricultural Coordinator
Dan is the newest member of the TRP team. He previously spent 18 months project managing a UK-based charity in Gulu. Dan will be working to develop and initiate agriculture and animal husbandry livelihood projects to accompany TRP’s phychosocial therapy programs. He enjoys spending time outdoors and getting his hands dirty. He is also a keen farmer and is looking forward to getting started on the new agricultural wing of TRP. Dan is in Uganda with his wife Jody.
Kimbal Kurtz – Media Design Lead
Inspired by his time spent in Africa, India and Nepal, and his work for Architecture for Humanity, Kimbal brought 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. Additionally, Kimbal helps oversee the website and manages some of the day-to-day stateside administration work. 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