Our Team

Our organization is volunteer based, and all the Canadian staff serve as volunteers just as the Sierra Leoneans in our youth programs do. The youth in Sierra Leone are trained in facilitation and leadership skills, and they lead our projects and programs.

Executive Director

Christina Bucholtz

The founder of TPFSL and a passionate educator, Christina has a BA from Simon Fraser University with joint majors in World Literature and Teaching English as a second language. She first traveled to Sierra Leone in 2008 with her high school Surrey Christian, and instantly felt a passion to work alongside youth to create real, sustainable change. She has been to Sierra Leone every year since then, and now lives there full time volunteering with TPFSL and working as a teacher. Christina is honoured to have such an amazing team working alongside her, and she is thrilled to have learned so much about community, development, and sustainability through her work – she hopes TPFSL will continue to grow and impact lives.

Assistant Director

Hali Downs

Hali has a BA from Simon Fraser University with a major in International Studies and Sociology and a minor in Gerontology. Her education has taught her the importance of taking a grassroots approach to development for creating sustainable change. She decided to get involved with TPFSL after she visited Sierra Leone and meet the TPFSL students. She believes the organization embodies the development practices that have proven to be most effective such as community development and education. Hali enjoys travelling, dancing and learning.

Board Chair

Adelana Gilpin-Jackson

Adelana is a Sierra Leonean – Canadian who is married with three children and lives in Vancouver, B.C. He is the Vice President of Smol Pawa Energy Inc. and is also a Specialist Engineer and Business Leader in B.C. and beyond. Adelana is committed to issues around unity and service and been involved in infrastructure and social development across Africa and Canada for over 20 years. He spends as much time as possible outdoors engaged in sports or gardening, is an avid reader and loves philosophy, art and travel.

Board President

Johan Melissen

Johan Melissen is a teacher at Surrey Christian School, where he taught Christina Bucholtz. For 14 months in 2008/2009, he and his wife Adrienne lived and volunteered as a teacher and a nurse in Kabala, Sierra Leone. As such, he brings local knowledge and experience to the board, as well as a passion for responsible and patient development work. As an educator, he knows the impact that a good education can have on individuals and communities, and is committed to seeing TPFSL work toward these positive ends within Sierra Leone. 

Board Vice President

Yabome Gilpin-Jackson

Yabome is a Sierra Leonean-Canadian, who was born in Germany. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and three children. Yabome is empassioned by issues of education and the human development potential of seeing difference from the perspectives of equality, honouring and learning. She is a leadership and organization development consultant within the Canadian health system, lectures undergraduate and graduate courses and is a multi-award winning scholar-practitioner, including being named an Institute for Social Innovation Scholar at Fielding Graduate University for her research into the growth and development needs of war-affected people in Africa.

Board Treasurer

Abigail Owusu

Abigail Owusu is a Ghanaian Canadian. She currently lives in Kamloops BC with her husband and daughter where she runs her own accounting firm. Abigail graduated from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and subsequently obtained her Chartered Professional Accounting designation.
 Abigail had a great family and community support growing up in Ghana and is always looking for ways to support the youth growing up in Africa. It is this desire which drove her to join TPFSL to “empower these youth to create a change in themselves and their communities”.

Board Secretary

Albert Mackoty

Albert is a Sierra Leonean – Canadian, born and raised in Sierra Leone who now lives in Abbotsford, BC with his wife and four children.

Albert currently works at Fraserway RV as National Accounting Manager, and enjoys trying out his entrepreneurship projects Alsia Foods. He is passionate about helping Sierra Leone become a better place and is committed to issues around leadership, entrepreneurship, and community development.   

Board Events & Planning 

Admire Agbayewa

Admire is a Registered Nurse with six years of experience with Fraser Health Authority. She graduated from Trinity Western with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and later pursues a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Douglas College. Driven by the need to succeed in life, she takes pride in providing the best possible client centred care grounded in theory.  In addition to her primary job functions, Admire is a mother to four beautiful girls. Being a Sierra Leonean immigrant, and having the opportunity to get a post secondary education. Admire is dedicated in  assisting TPFSL continue moving into new heights.

Donor Relations & Communications

Caitlin West

Caitlin is the children and youth program coordinator for the BC division of the Salvation Army. She is committed to improving the lives of children and youth in this province through camping ministries and access to positive role models. In 2013 she graduated from Surrey Christian and that year went to Sierra Leone. After meeting Christina Bucholtz and seeing the incredible work that TPFSL does she knew this was an organization that was fully inline with her beliefs and passions. While in university she realized the incredible power that higher education gives to a person and became re-inspired by the importance of TPFSL bringing that power to young people living in Sierra Leone.

We Need Your Support Today!


Email: peoplesfoundationsierraleone@gmail.com

Director: director@tpfsl.org
Assistant Director: asstdirector@tpfsl.org

Phone: +1-604-729-4634

Registered Charity: 80047 2714 RR0001

Donations or Inquiries

32784 Lissimore Avenue, Mission, BC. V2V 7P5

Sierra Leone Office

Kawusu House
Off Yembeh Street
Gbawuria II, Kabala
Sierra Leone

© 2021 The People's Foundation of Sierra Leone

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