Reverend Dr. Gopar Tapkida
API Coordinator and Committee Chair
Gopar serves as API Coordinator and MCC Rep in Zimbabwe. Before then, he served for 6 years as MCC Regional Peace Advisor for West and Central Africa. Gopar has facilitated training at Summer Peacebuilding Institute, Eastern Mennonite University, USA; Africa Peacebuilding Institute Zambia/South Africa; Great Lakes Peacebuilding Institute in Burundi; Great Lakes Institute Uganda; Peacebuilding Training Center in Jos, Nigeria; as well as in several Seminaries. Gopar has further done training in many countries in Africa and North America. He is conversant with conflict transformation, religion and identity issues, EPRT, restorative justice, reflection on peace practices, trauma healing, conflict sensitivity development, Do No Harm, interfaith/inter-ethnic issues and a host of others. He has contributed to the writing of books chapters and several publications. He received Doctorate Degree on transformative approach to interfaith peacebuilding. Masters in Conflict Analysis and Transformation. Bachelors in Pastoral Theology, Diploma in Public Administration.
Vurayayi Pugeni is the Area Director to Southern and Central Africa and Nigeria for MCC. Prior to this role, he worked in the Planning, Learning and Disaster Response department of MCC. Pugeni serves on the Board of Reference for the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, whose goal is to advance thinking and action in Anabaptist and other faith communities to mitigate climate change.
Ann Rita K. Njageh, Ph.D.
Committee Member and Facilitator
Ann Rita K. Njageh is an educator, researcher and skills coach. Rita has over 18 years experience in the university education sector, 17 of those at her alma mater, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Kenya. She is a visiting scholar at St. Mary's University Twickenham London. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree (English and Literature), a Master’s in Educational Research and Evaluation, and a PhD in the same field from CUEA. Rita’s research interests are multidisciplinary and include: education for peace, arts and peace building, research, monitoring and evaluation, and quality assurance.
She has several publications to her name and is a passionate mentor of undergraduate and graduate students in the conduct of research. Rita’s peers have evaluated her as a good trainer who is focused on bringing out the best in the people she educates at various levels. Her students have rated her as a transformative educator who educates the mind, the heart and touches the lives of her students. As a consultant, Rita has conducted trainings for multicultural groups at national and international levels. She has a practical orientation and focuses on translating theory into practice. She is a beneficiary of the United Nations affiliated University for Peace (UPEACE) peace research trainings and the 2009 UPEACE-IDRC Doctoral Research award. Rita has been a trainer for Africa Peace Institute (API) since 2017 and is a member of the API Advisory Committee.
Issa Sadi Ebombolo
Committee Member and Facilitator
Issa Sadi Ebombolo currently serves as Mennonite Central Committee Zambia and Malawi peacebuilding coordinator. He provides peace resourcing to MCC Zambia and the MCC Southern Africa region. He is the former chair of the MCC Africa Peace Network (MAPN). He is a specialist in setting up peace clubs with expertise in building peace with young people, church and community leaders, prisoners and refugees.
He worked as the director of a non-profit organization Peace Club Zambia for 10 years. Prior to that, Issa worked as a Peace Education Facilitator in Zambian refugee camps with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and Project Coordinator for Maheba Messengers of Peace. He received a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo in Canada and Bachelor of Art in Development Studies at Zambian Open University. Email: email@example.com
Milcah Lalam is a Ugandan development specialist and self-starter with 15 years of technical expertise and practical experience in leadership development, gender equality, advancing women and youth empowerment, trauma awareness, nurturing resilience, conflict-sensitive rights-based development approaches, and theatre for development in fragile and conflict-affected countries. She is a mentor and coach to men and women in organizational leadership that disrupts power dynamics and inequalities. She is an expert advisor and frequent speaker on the important role of women and gender in communities and peace building. She has led teams of women mediators in realizing ethnic reconciliation and rebuilding relationships. She facilitates seminars and trainings on nurturing resilience, psychosocial support, reconciliation and the application of theatre for development in trauma recovery in post-conflict communities in the Great Lakes region of East Africa. Milcah has a MA in Theatre and Development Studies from University of Leeds, UK, BA in Drama from Makerere University, Uganda and specialised certificates in Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) and Theatre and Peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University, USA. Milcah is the CEO of Kwe Cwiny Consulting, an organizational systems development firm.
Dr. Mulanda “Jimmy” Juma
Dr. Mulanda Jimmy Juma is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is a holder of a doctoral degree (PhD) in Politics, Human Rights and Sustainability from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy. He also holds a master’s degree in Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and another master’s in Electoral Policy and Administration from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy. Dr. Mulanda is the Country Director of the Mennonite Central Committee in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.
He is also a Research Fellow for the Department of Systematic Theology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa and part-time lecturer for the master’s program in Electoral Policy and Administration (MEPA) at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy. He is the former Coordinator of Dag Hammarskjöld Center for Peace, Good Governance and Human Rights in Zambia, former Coordinator of Africa Peacebuilding Institute, former Southern Africa Peace Coordinator for MCC and former Coordinator of Peace Studies and Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics at St. Augustine College in South Africa.
Dr. Mulanda has lectured at various Universities in Africa, Canada and the USA as a visiting Lecturer. He has more than 10 publications in peer review journals and book chapters in the areas of peacebuilding, conflict resolution and elections. Working with others, Dr. Mulanda has introduced many practical peace initiatives in Africa, including peace clubs in Zambia and Women’s Situation Rooms in Congo. He has also led the development of many peace studies curriculum in Africa. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
API Administrator and Committee Member
Melinda Norris Mdluli currently serves as the Administrative Assistant to the MCC Area Directors of Southern Africa and as the Administrator of Africa Peacebuilding Institute (API). She holds a dual BA in Peacebuilding & Development and Environmental Science from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Virginia, USA, as well as a BA Honours in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Melinda has spent most of her time in Virginia’s great outdoors, organizing environmental campaigns and educational outreaches as a representative on the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition (VSEC) and EMU’s Creation Care Council. She has over five years of volunteer and environmental leadership experience, engaging and educating communities on the natural world around them both as a social club president and as a youth camp director. In 2015, Melinda volunteered with MCC as a Peace Club Coordinator in South Africa, a country she now calls her home. She is passionate about the intersections of faith, environmental education and conflict transformation. As API Administrator, Melinda is an active member of its Advisory Committee as well as a co-chair of MCC Africa Peace Network (MAPN).