The WHISCA Team
Khayanga Jenipher Wasike was born and raised in Musembe village, Lugari district, Western Province, Kenya, Khayanga holds a B. Ed. from Nairobi University, Teaching Certificates from Kenyatta University and Kericho Teachers College, a Masters of Social Work (MSW) and Diploma in counselling from the University of British Columbia and Cornerstone Academy in BC Canada .
Ms Wasike brings her skills in community and public engagement, education and training both at elementary and high school levels acquired through working in several countries: Kenya, China, Japan, and Canada. She has extensive experience in human services and vast knowledge in community health and program development providing medical support, legal advocacy, counselling and crisis intervention.
She is the founder of the Lugari Community Resource Centre (LCRC) in her native village Musembe in Kenya. A community – based and driven enterprise which focuses on comprehensive involvement and direction, encouraging collective action and maximum participation in stimulating economic growth and social transformation of the community members
Khayanga believes in a realistic all-inclusive process of assessment and planning to promote gender equality, holistic health, democracy and long term sustainability for rural expansion, enhancing the ability for the community to recognize its Security, Peace building and conflict management through Transparency and Accountability.
She is involved with various sustainable economic development projects both locally and internationally. Khayanga worked for over seven years as a Health Promoter at Reach Community Health Centre in Vancouver and as an Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for an aboriginal agency on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Island) in British Columbia. Negotiating and mediating solutions to disputes and developing cultural sensitive programs on traditional and contemporary approach to healthy communities and networks.
Ms Wasike currently works full time for Willing Hearts International Society- Canada as the President and CEO of the organization.
Michelle Nicholson holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters in Engineering in Chemical Engineering and has been employed in the environmental consulting industry for the last seven years. Roles have included Project Manager for contaminated site investigations and remediations, throughout British Columbia and more recently, as Client Manager, responsible for a portfolio of contaminated sites projects.
Ms. Nicholson’s interest in human development issues was piqued after a life-changing three month teaching experience in Kenya’s Western Province during her last year of high school. Since that time, she has been involved with international development in various capacities, including an active role on the Executive Committee of Queen’s Project on International Development (QPID) and a three month project with QPID, improving drinking water quality in rural Bolivia. From 2008 to present, Ms. Nicholson has been involved with Engineers Without Borders and was a member of the Executive Committee from September 2008 to December 2010, where she acted as a Fundraising Director and Corporate Engagement Leader. She has also volunteered locally with Team Vancouver Volunteers, Habitat for Humanity and Fair Trade Vancouver.
Since graduating from University Ms. Nicholson has travelled extensively on six continents (only Antarctica to go!). Most recently, she travelled for three months in Africa where she had the privilege of volunteering at WHISCA’s Lugari Community Resource Centre and met an exceptional group of bright, determine and hardworking individuals.
Jen was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia but was always drawn to the African continent. She has had the opportunity to travel to Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Mauritius, and Egypt. Jen lived in South Africa for almost 3 years and looks forward to many more adventures on the African continent.
Jen graduated from UVIC with a bachelors in Fine Arts, majoring in Visual Arts. Her career has taken many paths from Hospitality at a 5 star resort, leading afterschool programs for children
new to Canada, 7 years as an entrepreneur building and then selling her business, to her current role as a marketing specialist. Jen's heart has always been philanthropic and she have been involved in many volunteer and fundraising efforts for local and international organizations throughout her life time, starting in elementary school.
Jen was on the WHISCA board in 2009 - 2010 but took a break due to the demands of starting her business. She is thrilled to be back and to be a part of the next phase of growth with this wonderful organization.
Ryan has a 20-year background in project management, business development and customer experience management with a proven ability to execute strategies and deliver results. Ryan currently works for TELUS Communications, one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies and has over 13 years of experience within the industry where he has primarily been focused on developing initiatives supporting call centre and field services team members to better serve customers. Ryan is certified in both traditional and Agile project management methodologies; his experience allows him to strengthen his skills particularly in the areas of strategic problem solving, program leadership and communication. Ryan’s community involvement includes acting as a mentor for new immigrants through BC IEC and acting as a guest speaker at BCIT on how to Lead People and Teams Across Cultures. During his spare time, Ryan likes to practice martial arts, spoil his nieces and eat food.
International Volunteer Coordinator
Dr. Ana Boskovic is a resident physician at Vancouver Coastal Health, having completed her medical degree at the University of British Columbia. She also holds a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree from UBC, where she studied as a Loran Scholar after being awarded the national scholarship. Due to her interests in sustainable development and the opportunities offered through the Loran scholarship, she was the first international intern at the Lugari Community Resource Centre. Her belief that sport is an invaluable medium for physical, mental, and social development lead her to develop the centre’s sports program. Since her 3-month internship in Musembe, Ana continues to volunteer with WHISCA as an international volunteer coordinator. Her deep interest in women’s health makes her a strong supporter of the programs/events hosted at the centre which help to educate and better the lives of women and their families.
Outside of the hospital wards and clinics, Ana is avid traveller - she takes any opportunity to explore a new part of the world, with her favourite destination being her home country of Croatia.