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Our Staff

Concurrent with our phase out of direct management of the Kiteto CERC, Jifunze currently maintains a minimal staff headed by Thomas Oelberger, our part-time Executive Director. Thomas is supported by Donna Ruane, our volunteer Office Manager, as well as other a number of other past volunteers and staff members on an as needed basis. Over our ten years in Kibaya, we have been fortunate enough to work with over 25 highly skilled staff members, volunteers, and interns from around the globe. We greatly appreciate the contributions of these individuals and have therefore highlighted their past service below.

Thomas Robson Oelberger
Executive Director
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Thomas first joined Jifunze as a volunteer in Kibaya from July 2003 to March 2004. While in Kiteto he assisted us with the design of the first playground in our region, direction of a documentary film, computer repair and maintenance, administrative tasks, and many other projects. Upon his return to the United States Thomas continued to volunteer for Jifunze by editing & producing our DVD documentary, as well as acting as the Volunteer Coordinator & Treasurer. After two years of dedicated volunteer service we were pleased to offer Thomas the position of Senior Program Manager in March 2005. Thomas excelled in his new position, which saw him traveling to Tanzania every six months to check up on the CERC and it was then only natural for him to take over the role of Executive Director when Carrie Oelberger stepped down to become Chairperson of the Board in September 2006.

Thomas Photo
Donna Ruane
Office Manager
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Donna became interested in Jifunze while working with Carrie Oelberger at the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College during 2004/2005. She has been a great asset to our U.S. office and provides much needed support to all of our staff members. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Donna still lives nearby in Media, PA with her husband Jerry, and her loveable dog, Smudge.

Donna Photo

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Advisory Board

Jifunze is overseen by a small, diverse and talented group of individuals who are committed to supporting our work and helping us achieve our goals. Our advisory board works to publicize the CERC model, develop broad-based international support, and provide continuing support to our staff.

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While we have shared best practices and collaborated with many different organizations around the world, our closest partnerships have been with the International Collaborative for Science, Education, and the Environment (ICSEE), the Kiteto District Council (KDC), and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). If you are interested in forming a partnership with the Jifunze Project, please contact our Executive Director, Thomas Oelberger, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Over the years we have been supported by a large and diverse group including, institutional foundations, governmental entities, family foundations, individuals, corporations, and non-profit organizations. Below is a complete listing of all of our supporters, both financially and in-kind, since our inception in 1999. If you are interested in joining this group by making a contribution please visit our donations page.

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