Make a difference.

Staff and Board

Contact us to learn more about Saidiana and how you can make a difference.

Our Team

We believe in our clients in ways no one has before. We raise visibility of the tragedy – and the hopes – of the DR Congo in the Twin Cities.

Board of Directors

HQ: Edina, Minnesota
501(c)3 with working board

  • Makes funding decisions
  • Conducts fundraising
  • Governs Congo operations and US administration

Congo Team

Operations: Lubumbashi Katanga Province
Staff of 3

  • Receives, evaluates, and submits grant proposals from collectives of women
  • Disburses funds
  • Reports on project progress

Meet the US Team

BECKY JASPER

Board Chair
Becky's Bio

Becky, a former Peace Corps volunteer, served in the DRC (then known as Zaire) during 1989-1991, developing sustainable funding projects at a hospital in Mushenge. Today she is Director of International Purchasing at Entrust Datacard. In her spare time, she volunteers with non-profits, including Pro Player Foundation who has raised over a million dollars to find a cure for multiple sclerosis. Becky is still active and spent ten years on the board of Peace Corps Friends of the DR Congo.

RISHA RATHORE

Board Member
Risha's Bio

Risha is a Financial Analyst in the Finance Leadership Development Program at General Mills. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in finance and healthcare management. Risha earned her Master of Business Administration degree from the Olin School of Business.

LOIS DIRKSEN

Board Member

Lois' Bio

Lois is President and Partner of LEVEL Brand, a brand development and advertising agency based in Minneapolis. She is a graduate of Arizona State University. Lois has made many trips to East Africa on behalf of Wellshare International and has spent time in Goma, DRC.

GEORGETTE NYOUM

Board Member
Georgette's Bio

Georgette is an experienced Senior Social Worker and a graduate from National School For Social Welfare Officers Yaoundé. She worked with the Ministries of Women’s Affairs and Social Affairs in Cameroon to empower women and fight against poverty.

ANDREW JENSEN

Board Member
Andrew's Bio

Andrew is the Cost Accounting Manager at Entrust Datacard located in Shakopee, MN. He graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, NE, with majors in accounting, economics, and dance. Andrew also holds additional accounting credentials with a Certified Management Accountant designation from the Institute of Management Accountants.

TOI GIBBS

Board Member

Toi's Bio

Toi is a senior procurement professional for a leading aerospace company in Redondo Beach, CA. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles. Her passion is customer service and making the impossible possible for both internal and external clients. Toi seeks to contribute and make a difference for the women supported by Saidiana.

Angela Peterson

Board Member
Angela's Bio

Angela graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a double major in international affairs and political science. During her undergraduate studies, she took a year to work in Washington D.C., where she interned for the United States Senate and the Council on Foreign Relations. Since graduating, she has worked for international non-profits located in both Chile and Uganda.

Congo Board Members

Bea

Board Member/Staff
Bea's Bio
Coming Soon!

Nancy

Board Member/Staff
Nancy's Bio
Coming soon!

Christine

Board Member

Christine's Bio

Coming Soon!

Mgombe

Board Member
Mgombe's Bio
Coming Soon!

Gasigwa

Board Member

Gasigwa's Bio
Coming Soon!

Grace

Board Member
Grace's Bio
Coming Soon!

Iragi

Board Member
Iragi's Bio
Coming Soon!

Mazombe

Board Member

Mazombe's Bio
Coming Soon!

Our Founder

Chingwell Mutombu

Founder
Chingwell's Bio

Chingwell Mutombu was born in West Union, Iowa, while her father studied at Upper Iowa University. When she was two, her family returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her family friends’ generosity and the financial support from her Iowa-based godmother allowed Chingwell to return to the United States to complete her high school studies and attend Luther College. After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science, French and international studies, Chingwell attended Seton Hall and received a master’s degree in public administration and international relations.

Growing up in a remote part of the DRC, Chingwell noticed how self-reliant and creative people were to support their families. Chingwell began sending her mother small amounts of money to give to women to strengthen their businesses. Saidiana grew out of Chingwell’s small first step.

As Chingwell says, “Others saw the potential in me and helped make my dreams come true. My mission is to do the same for others.”

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