Our Team

Your Ally Foundation, Inc.

Your Ally Foundation, Inc. is an International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) registered in the state of Massachusetts, USA in Dec/2019. YAFI entity was incorporated in Uganda in May/2021 and in Zambia in July/2021. As an organization, our primary mandate is to bridge the gap between supporting Primary caregivers including immediate family members, friends, policy makers, educators and the recovery community in the African Diaspora in the New England area, Uganda, and Zambia. Our approach is one of collaboration and not competing; with local non-profits vested in addictions treatment and family support. As such, we believe that it is not fruitful to re-invent the wheel when it comes to substance use disorders, treatment, and related mental health conditions. Our community collaborators are identified to be committed to their various countries and are rigorously vetted.

In Uganda, Break Free and Focus on Recovery Uganda are well established entities with a reputable background in the addictions and recovery community. In Zambia, GOPY has been bridging the gap for substance awareness in the Youth and Young adult for more than 5 years. While our collaborators are supporting the patient, we step in to support the patient’s family, friends, advocate for nonpunitive measures with policy makers, educators, and the public in general. By doing so, we are cultivating and providing empathetic space, equipping families (and other Caregivers) to have the bandwidth to continue supporting their loved ones.

As such, Your Ally Foundation Inc’s Board of Directors comprises of various backgrounds who are dedicated to Public Health oriented causes. Additionally, it’s the founder’s intention to have the communities being served have a seat at the table when it comes to the decision making process. Below is our Board of Directors to reflect the intent.

Board of Directors

Mrs Susan Wilkinson MSN PMHNP-BC

Susan Wilkinson, MSN, PMHNP-BC

Founder / President

Susan Wilkinson, MSN, PMHNP-BC is a trained substance use expert. In her clinical work, Susan assesses, diagnoses and creates treatment plans for individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders. She completed a Master of Nursing from Boston College and is a board certified Psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner. She has completed numerous trainings related to substance use treatment including medication assisted therapy (MAT), she is a registered Buprenorphine and Naltrexone provider. Susan has loved ones who have struggled with substance use and are in long term recovery — this is what drives her empathy and passion to help others struggling with substance use.

Musonda

Musonda Simwayi, Ph.D.

Secretary/Clerk, Compliance Chair and Board Member

Dr. Simwayi is a former Director General of the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) in Zambia. He is a seasoned Law Enforcement expert with over 25 years’ experience in investigations, security management and change management. Prior to his appointment at DEC, he worked for the Zambia Police Service, Zambia Sugar PLC and the Central Bank of Zambia. Among his qualifications are a PhD in Management, a master’s degree in Business Administration, a master’s degree in Corporate and Commercial Law and a bachelor’s degree in Law. He is a certified Franklin Covey trainer of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and the Disciplines of Execution. He teaches law and supervises research work in the School of Law at the University of Lusaka on part-time basis. Dr. Simwayi is passionate about the application of best change management practices and the law to social challenges including drug abuse, crime in general and gender imbalances. He believes strongly that the family, particularly parents and guardians are very key to reversing the devastating effects of substance abuse. He is serving as a Senior Elder overseeing the Youth Ministry at Breakthrough Worship Centre in Lusaka. In his spare time, he does a lot of aerobics and plays football.

Dr. Nandawula Mutema Kanyerezi

Nandawula Kanyerezi Mutema, MD

Board Member

Nandawula Kanyerezi Mutema, MD is an internal medicine physician. In her role as a clinician treating a wide range of patients, she comes in contact with many people who struggle with substance use disorders. She completed her medical degree at Nehru Medical College. She went on to earn a Doctorate in Internal Medicine from Marshall University, West Virginia. She later worked as an attending physician in Ohio, where she rose from Primary Care Physician to Managing Physician at the Braxton Cann Health Center under the Cincinnati Health Department; working with the poor and uninsured and partnering with the Cincinnati School of Medicine and Nursing School to provide outpatient training for medical students, residents in internal medicine and nurse practitioners. In 2015, Dr. Kanyerezi Mutema returned to Kampala to practice at The Clinic at The Mall, a clinic and diagnostic center she founded with her husband Dr. George Mutema and another colleague. Dr. Kanyerezi Mutema continues to work in the areas of health maintenance, diagnosis and management of acute and chronic disease and is passionate about educating and empowering patients to take part in their own healthcare.

Dr. Engineer Bainomugisha, PhD

Engineer Bainomugisha, PhD

Board Member

Engineer Bainomugisha has long been committed to the development of technology driven solutions that have a positive impact on people’s lives and the planet. He is an Associate Professor and Chair of Computer Science at Makerere University where he is enthusiastic about contributing to the quality of Computer Science education that is of sufficient breadth and depth, practical and fast enough for the African continent. As engineer, he leads a number of social impact projects such as AirQo, a Google-supported initiative for air quality monitoring and analysis. He is a co-founder of Sunbird AI, a non-profit organization which develops scaled Artificial Intelligence systems for social impact in Africa. He holds a BSc. in Computer Science from Makerere University and MSc. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

Dr Arnold Bhebhe MD

Arnold Bhebhe, MD

Board Member

Arnold Z. Bhebhe graduated from the Rostov State Medical University in Russia and is currently a Neurosurgery Resident with the Zambia College of Medicine and Surgery (ZACOMS) and the College of Surgeons of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA). In his career, he has had vast experience in the Zambian rural and urban setting both as a medical doctor and a hospital administrator. He has been involved in counseling adolescents and adults about the dangers of substance abuse and violence related to substance abuse. He has generally encouraged improved access to mental health for all. Arnold is currently focused on helping patients born with neural tube defects and their guardians cope with the mental and psychological stress that comes with such diseases that often lead to permanent mental, physical and cosmetic disability. He is passionate about improving access to mental health for all in Zambia.

Rose

Rose Ssajjabi

Community outreach co-chair and Board member

Rose is a Mental Health Counselor with skills in leading situation-specific counseling sessions. Her expertise is rooted in working with young adults and older adults in crisis. She has counseled over 100 individuals and families using professional fluency in English, and Luganda Language. She is Intune and gifted with an extensive knowledge of trauma related body language. Among other trainings, Rose has trained at The World Federation of Mental Health and is certified as a trainer. As such she works and functions in a mentoring capacity to others at the Trauma Center at McLean Hospital, where she co-facilitates trainings. As part of her job, Rose works extensively with Doctors, Hospitals and Geriatricians in providing counselling services to patients, older adults, and their families.

malama

Chanda Marian Malama, MBBS, MPH 

Board Member

Dr Chanda Marian Malama is a licensed Medical Doctor and hold the position of Head-of-Department for Internal Medicine at Thomson Hospital. She is a well-rounded medical officer with astute acumen for management of general medical conditions in resource-limited settings. She is a life-long learner with an insatiable appetite for professional development. Dr Malama is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the University of Zambia.

She is also licensed to instruct people in the use of electronic medical record systems. Dr Malama continues to work in this position with a wide range of healthcare facilities throughout Zambia, demonstrating her extensive knowledge and commitment for HRH development. She supports the Ministry of Health's efforts to enhance quality and continuity of service by transitioning the delivery of healthcare from a paper-based system to a nationwide computerized system known as SmartCare.

Dr Malama recognises the value of ploughing back expert knowledge and other resources back into her community. She continues to devote her time and resources to helping the less fortunate and those who are battling with substance misuse in her community by participating in feeding programs, promoting good health, and giving lectures about health on various platforms, as necessary. Her personal experience with family members and friends who were misusing alcohol and other substances gave her a burning desire to help survivors and families affected by substance abuse restore health and wellbeing.

Administrative Assistant

Julie

Nakityo Juliet, BA.

Administrative Assistant

Ms. Nakityo Juliet is a seasoned virtual assistant with over 2 years' experience in the field. She is a highly skilled, computer savvy professional with extensive experience in all administrative tasks including scheduling, and correspondences, word processing, filing and social media management.

She completed her bachelor's degree at Makerere University before joining the Medical Research Council / Uganda Virus Research Institute as an administrative assistant. Additionally, Julie has worked for nonprofits in Uganda whereby she was involved in project management and implementation.

Ms. Nakityo joined Your Ally Foundation as a virtual assistant (based in Uganda). With her lived experience caring for a loved one struggling with mental health conditions, Julie brings to Your Ally foundation a passion for advocating for families that struggle with supporting their own. Having grown up in Uganda, Julie has also witnessed firsthand how destructive substance use can be especially among college age students.

Through her community organizing, she has dedicated herself to raising awareness about the effects of substances use, especially alcohol. Her strongest skill is social mobilization. She is passionate about health education about substance use disorders and related mental health disorders in low and middle-income countries. Additionally, she is dedicated to raising awareness about trauma especially Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and related role in substance use disorders. Julie is passionate about changing people's lives for the better, especially the youth. She is a liaison between Your Ally Foundation, Inc. and community/ business networks, as well as the education and health sectors in Uganda."

Advisors

Mr Jeremie Witlin

Jeremie Witlin

Jeremie Witlin, is a banker and commercial lender with over 10 years of experience in banking. Jeremie is passionate about helping companies and non-profit organizations succeed in accordance with their business plans and objectives. In his role as business development manager, Jeremie works with companies to review their balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and prior years' tax returns to review the health of the organization and its capacity to manage their budgets and to stress test their business models. Jeremie has previously worked for Credit Unions and has experience working with organizations including the YMCA, Hopkinton Community Access Television, and the Knights of Columbus to review their operating budgets and run rates out of their bank accounts. Jeremie has volunteered his time promoting financial literacy at public schools throughout Middlesex county and is an ambassador for the Middlesex West Chamber of Commerce where he helps local business owners with business planning and reviewing their lending needs. Jeremie has a Bachelors of Art degree at Florida Atlantic University and an Associate of Art degree at Indian River State College.

Ms Mable Mpanga

Mable Mpanga

Mable Mpanga is empathic, energetic, dedicated and hard-working. She has extensive experience working with the Department of Mental Health services and Department of Developmental services’ clients in Boston, MA since 2005.  She completed a diploma in Sociology from Nkumba University in Entebbe, Uganda. She has additional training and certifications as a transitional work and community support specialist. Through the recovery model, Mable works with others who struggle with developmental challenges and mental health disorders transition from institutions to the community where they live productive lives. Additional passions include substance use community sensitization in the Ugandan diaspora in the Boston area.

Dr Shakhnoza Shamsieva

Shamsieva Shakhnoz, MD

Shamsieva Shakhnoz, MD is a general practitioner physician (GP) who treats the whole spectrum; from pediatrics to geriatrics. She trained at the Middle Asian Medical Pediatric Institute (present name is Tashkent State Medical Pediatric Institute), Tashkent, Uzbekistan (former USSR). Shamsieva completed her pediatric residency at Tashkent State Institute for Postgraduate Training. Additional certifications include a basic course in lactation management from WHO (world health Organization) Lusaka, Zambia; AIDS management training course from The Salvation Army Chikankata health services in Chikankata, Zambia; Reproductive health and mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS from Chainama Hills College of Health Sciences in collaboration with the University of Zambia in Lusaka, Zambia. She is currently the Supervising Doctor at MedProf Clinic in Livingstone Zambia and is registered with Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). In her line of work, she is in close contact with a wide range of people struggling with substance use disorders on a daily basis.

Country Director Uganda

Violet N. Musoke, MPscm, BIB

Violet N. Musoke, MPscm, BIB is a graduate from Makerere University Business School (MUBS) Kampala, Uganda with a Master of Science in Procurement and Supply Chain Management (MPscm) and Bachelors in International Business (BIB) from the same academic institution.

Currently, Violet is an office manager at a leading Japanese technology agricultural machinery supply company in Kampala-Uganda. She is also a Country Director for Your Ally Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Massachusetts, U.S.A. Having grown up in Uganda, Violet has seen firsthand how destructive substance use can be especially among college age students. Through her volunteer work, she has dedicated herself to raising awareness about the effects of substances use, especially alcohol. Her strongest skill is social mobilization. She is passionate about health education about substance use disorders and related mental health disorders in low and middle-income countries. Additionally, she is dedicated to raising awareness about trauma especially Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and related role in substance use disorders. Violet is passionate about changing people's lives for the better, especially the youth. She is aiming at promoting Your Ally Foundation, Inc. to business networks as well as the education and health sectors in Uganda.

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