FOUNDER AND CEO
Tamara Davy is the founder of the Okala Foundation. Tamara attended Concordia University in Montreal in between her travels and volunteer work. She graduated in 2006 with a specialization in Sociology.
During a trip to South America from 1998-1999, she had a chance encounter with a German woman who was looking after a recovering alcoholic monkey named Charlie. This was when Tamara developed a fascination with primates.
Upon her return to Canada from South America, she volunteered for two and a half years at the Fauna Foundation a sanctuary for former bio-medical chimpanzees. This is where she developed an interest in traveling to Africa in order to see the chimpanzees living in their natural habitat.
Tamara’s next calling took her to volunteer at a Cameroonian chimpanzee sanctuary from 2005-2006, deep within the forest of the Eastern province which is where she developed a love for the people of the surrounding villages and the country.
While working in the villages for the sanctuary, Tamara realized the schools in the area were severely lacking the supplies and necessities for the children…they barely had what could be considered a school and so her journey started to make a difference in a small corner of the word.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Darlene was born and raised on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and has been with her husband Nick for the past 16 years. She's been in the service industry for 22 years, which she enjoys because she's a "people" person.
She has always enjoyed helping other people and, from a young age has volunteered her time to various organizations and charities.
She had the wonderful opportunity in November of 2008 to accompany Tamara to Cameroon to see first hand the work that Okala Foundation was doing there. Meeting the 3 boys that she and her husband sponsor was an amazing experience, and one that she will never forget. It really was her dream come true.
She hopes to travel to Cameroon many times in the coming years to see the progress and positive changes that have been made through the work of the Okala Foundation and it's supporters.
Stephanie was born in Montreal and has been interested in helping others, humans and animals alike, from an early age. Her love of animals sparked an interest in the natural sciences and she soon discovered her passion for primates.
While working towards a bachelor's degree in anthropology, she was introduced to the charitable work of the Fauna Foundation, an organization which provides care for animals recovering from years of mistreament in show business, biomedical labs or the food industry. Volunteering for Fauna Foundation showed Stephanie a new way of thinking and the importance of respect, love and compassion for all beings. She spent three months in Florida, floowed by nine months in Cameroon, volunteering at three different ape sanctuaries. During her time in Cameroon she fell in love with the culture and the beautiful spirit of the people of the nearby villages.
Stephanie and Tamara Davy, Okala Foundation founder, met at Fauna Foundation. After learning about Okala's project to build a school for the villagers, she becme determined to do everything possible to support Okala Foundation and the vilagers she had grown to love. Upon her return to Quebec, she sponsored several children through Okala and not a day passes on which she does not think about the children she was able to meet in the villages. She is grateful to be a member of the Okala Foundation Board of Directors and hopes that her efforts will contribute to the success of such a worthwhile charity.
Dennis works in Information Technologies for a Montreal English University.
From Dennis: “Why did I join Okala? I like to help people out when I can and if I can affect someone half a world away and they appreciate it then it’s worth it for me. I’ve done things closer to home but always feel like whatever I’ve done has been insignificant. Okala makes a difference, maybe not a country or with millions of people but with small villages with schools and med clinics, that’s no small feat either. Seeing how Okala started and where they are now shows the determination and effort they have put in. People doing it because they want to do it, I respect that. I'm honored to join the Okala and I look forward to helping in any way to point it into a positive direction.
Susan was born in Montreal and has lived there all of her life. She enjoys traveling, camping and canoeing. Susan finished high school in Montreal and then took business secretarial courses at night. She worked at the Reddy Memorial hospital for a year in the office. She enjoys helping people.
Since 1979 Susan has worked with her husband in their motorcycle retail business. Susan has also been a part time caregiver to her older aunts.
When Susan was younger she always wanted to work with children and is finally, later in life, realizing her dream. The one person Susan is most proud of is her daughter and founder of Okala Foundation, Tamara. Her hard work dedication and optimism is inspiring. Susan was honored to accept the position of co-founder and work on this worthy cause with her daughter Tamara. The children have touched her heart in a special wayDanielle Kaiser was born and raised in Montreal. She studied special care counselling at Vanier College and studied languages and travel management at Concordia.. She has worked in the travel industry for the past thirty years.
Julie Muzzerall is a nurse, a mother of two boys, and an experiencgrass-roots organizer in Nova Scotia.
Julie has 25 years nursing experience, including 21 years as a Plastic
Surgery and Burn Unit Nurse. She has acted as a counsellor for burn
survivors summer camps, and as a preceptor/mentor to new nurses. She
is trained in nonviolent crisis intervention, suicide prevention and
peer support. Julie frequently acts as a patient advocate for friends
and family members who need help navigating the health care system.
Julie has a long history of enthusiastically organizing and
participating in charitable efforts including bowl-a-thons,
bike-a-thons, and 5k runs. She regularly contributes time to
"Spare-a-Click," a Facebook application that raises funds for
charities. Her first experience in supporting international efforts
was in making finger puppets and "Izzy Dolls" to distribute to
February 16th Join us at the Crest Hotel in Prince Rupert, for an international buffet created by local and international Chefs. Live auction, lots of beautiful items up for bid. An inspired live music performance with an Okala flavour by some of Rupert's talented youth, a night to remember. Tickets are $50 per person, contact Willy Beaudry.