James Ayuen received a Master’s degree in Public Administration (BYU 2017) and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science (La Salle 2009). Further, he completed the International Affairs Policy Fellowship Program at Carnegie Mellon in 2008.
Mr. Ayuen is an accomplished lecturer and advocate for South Sudanese people. He helped mobilize U.S. support of South Sudan independence via speaking at the United Nations headquarters and at various universities and churches. He worked with the government of South Sudan and the World Bank to foster economic development and political stability in a highly unstable region of the world (Juba, South Sudan). Mr. Ayuen is a practicing motivational speaker, speaking on topics such as: “Conflict in Sudan”; “The Lost Boys Story”; “Independence for Southern Sudan”; and “Effects of War on the Children of Sudan.”
Currently, Mr. Ayuen is the president of the Greater Bor Community of the USA, a community-based organization dedicated to help members of the Bor community (a principal tribe in the South Sudan state of Jonglei) adjust to life in this country and to assist Bor peoples in South Sudan with the necessities of life.
Mr. Ayuen Is a co-founder and CEO of Ayuen & Nutakor Services, LLC, a community-based service for individuals with developmental disabilities. He is also currently a financial analyst for the Global Services Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Before coming to USA in 2008, Blema Fangamou was a pharmacy owner in Guinea Bissau and worked as a pharmacist and economy operator. Being caught up in the political turmoil within his country, he was forced to flee his home in 1998 and entered the camp as political refugee.
After the death of his youngest son in the camp and feeling compassion for the suffering of his fellow refugees , Blema began soliciting donations of medicines from a pharmaceutical company in Cotonou, a city about 25 miles away. When the medication was received, it was Blema responsibility to distribute it to those in need.
After Blema was resettle in BOISE IDAHO in 2008 he created African Trade Development Center ATDC to blesse the peoplo of Guinea Conakry with facilities for animals and crop production.
Fred J Roberts, Chairman of the Board, has been involved in charitable work for many years and with refugee work since 2016.
In 2016, in association with Refugee Action Network, he initiated a host family network with like-minded neighbors, to engage with the needs of refugees in Utah County. It was a wonderfully, enlarging experience for us all. We began with a desire to help others and marveled at the blessing it was in our lives.
He works for Advanced Health Care as an administrator of Aspen Ridge of Utah Valley, a short term skilled nursing facility in Orem, Utah.
Following graduation from BYU in Business Finance he co-owned and operated a row crop farm (Potatoes, Onions, Peppermint, Sugar Beets, etc.) in Eastern Oregon for 25 years. He served on numerous local, state, and national commodity associations, boards and commissions. He and his wife, Mary are the parents of nine children.
He served an LDS mission in England and has lived a life of community and church service. He has served in numerous church leadership positions giving him broad experience with people from many different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Cassandra Southam Eggertsen is a mother of three, a member of the Utah Marriage Commission, a facilitator for the Strengthening Families Program, and currently owns and operates two art studios. Her current studio teaches youth (ages 10-16) art projects that incorporate 12 life skills. Cassandra also has a special interest in tribal leadership and has traveled to “the bush” in Kenya, Africa. She has researched the Maasai way of life and has gathered data on their unique tribal leadership roles. She is passionate about helping the Maasai women learn to create art, stay in school and stand up against harmful traditions. Four years ago, Cassandra fell victim to an auto accident that nearly killed her. This near-death experience and second chance at life gave her a new perspective on what it means to be a human being, not a human doing. If you meet Cassandra she will tell you that we are all equally valuable and important. We are all children of God…… and that is ENOUGH. She would give you the following advice: Listen to what others say without anticipating. Sit without waiting. Get out of your comfort zone and let yourself just BE, without judging or succumbing to expectation.
Ivy Running became interested in humanitarian work in Africa while volunteering with Liberian refugees in Philadelphia. After seeing the needs of the schools in Malawi while on an anthropology research internship, she changed her course of study to engineering and graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Her undergraduate research resulted in a patent for a solar energy technology she designed for use in developing countries. Her capstone was a humanitarian project in Mongolia addressing pollution, heating, and energy efficiency. She also helped the Department Chair develop BYU’s first renewable energy course, a study abroad that took her and the students across Europe studying solar, wind, hydro, and waste energy, as well as energy storage and grid mechanics. Upon graduation, she worked for OC Tanner as a Product Development Engineer, where she developed new designs, materials, and processes for both Marketing and Manufacturing. She loves traveling, singing, gardening, training horses, and raising her baby boy.