Our Dedicated Team
Anita Sundqvist Paden started working with grieving children in Rwanda and Congo in 2000. She opened the New Hope Center in 2006 and was was Executive Director until 2017. Her husband Bruce Paden assisted with financial administration of the New Hope Center until 2017.
Bruce and Anita are now retired and live in Federal Way, Washington. They continue to be involved in the activities of the New Hope Center providing operational support to the Country Director as needed. Their current role is to assist in donor development, to provide updates of NHC activities to donors, and to foster partnerships with other like-minded organizations in the U.S.
Chantal Mandro was appointed National Director for the New Hope Center in June 2017. As National Director, Chantal supervises the staff at New Hope Center, ensuring all programs run smoothly. She liaises with community leaders to encourage and engage local support. She also supervises the work of satellite centers where NHC is involved. Chantal arranges workshops and trains community facilitators in effective grief support techniques. She overseas all HNC financial reports and ensures transparency with funders. Chantal has a university degree both in nursing and in administration and accounting for hospitals and medical centers. She is the one responsible for HIV/AIDS teaching as well. She is very dedicated to the work of the New Hope Center and a great teacher.
Fitina is a teacher/trainer at the New Hope Center. She does a lot of work as facilitator for the grief support groups at NHC and is always available to help the children. She is also in charge of the people working at the center and a liaison for the schools in the area and the community in general. She is very responsible and takes good care of the center and loves the kids.
Dieudonne is a trainer/facilitator and a pastor in a village called Buvunga. He is very dedicated and interested in this work. At the moment, he supervises 9 different grief support groups for orphans, former child soldiers, widows, and rape victims in his community. He has helped many traumatized people and has an excellent reputation in the community for helping many victims of war. He has also helped to start and build a church, primary and secondary schools, and a wood shop for former child soldiers and vulnerable teens. He always has big dreams for his small village.
NHC also has about 35 volunteer grief facilitators in Goma and nearby villages who lead grief support groups for grieving children, teens, widows and former child soldiers. All of these volunteers have been through our grief facilitator training.