Our Staff

Our small but mighty staff has a strong commitment to serving the many constituents of our organization. But first and foremost, they focus their energies on those who take advantage of our programs and services.

Nana Ama Yeboah

Director, Ghana

Dr. Samuel Nkrumah “Powerful” Yeboah is the Founder and Director of Project OKURASE in Ghana. He is a master drummer, drum maker, teacher, and performing artist. Above all, he is a strong humanitarian. In 2008 he was awarded the prestigious Doctor of Humane Letters from the Medical University of South Carolina and walked in the medical school graduation. He spends most of his time between Ghana and England. His dream is to bring people together to solve everyday life's most challenging problems and make the world a better place for everyone. From the time he was a small child, he has had a desire to work to eliminate hunger and poverty. He is exceptionally hard working. His heart is full of kindness and his laugh is contagious. 

Director, USA

Dr. Cynthia Cupit Swenson is the Founder and Director of Project OKURASE in the United States. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from The Florida State University in 1991.  Currently Dr. Swenson is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Division of Global and Family Health at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is the developer of a treatment model for families who come before Child Protective Services due to an abuse or neglect report. The purpose of this model, Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN) is to safely keep families together and prevent violence or neglect in the family. Dr. Swenson has published many journal articles, book chapters, and three books. She is incredibly hardworking and dedicated to the vision of Project OKURASE and to the people of Okurase. 

Shelley Kawamura

Director of Immersion Partnerships, USA

Shelley Kawamura is the Director of Immersion Partnerships for Project OKURASE in the United States. She is based in Windsor, Colorado and has worked with groups from all over the world on community-based project travel. Her experience in this area is invaluable. It allows us to provide the most immersive project based travel experiences for our groups while maintaining the highest level of project integrity for the people of Okurase. Her warmth and sense of liveliness bring fun to all of our immersion experiences.

Isaac Owu

Nkabom Organic Garden Manager, Senior Volunteer Guide and Field Assistant, Ghana

Isaac Owu lives in the village of Okurase with his 9-year-old daughter called Lauren. By training he is a farmer and carver but he has been involved with Project OKURASE since it began. Owu is fully fluent in English so he has been a very effective guide for visitors. He has also worked in the field. He has worn many hats for Project OKURASE from delivery and pick up from Accra to monitoring the safe water system. In 2015 Owu spent 10 months in the United States helping with a child who was losing his vision. While there, in his free time he volunteered in the Medical University of South Carolina Urban Farm, an organic farm on the medical school campus. This volunteer work led Carmen Ketron, Farm educator to come to Okurase to help Owu and others develop a ¼ acre organic garden. His training in Charleston made him a natural for Nkabom Organic Garden Manager.

Auntie Esther Offie

Cook, Ghana

Esther Offei is a 52-year-old Ghanaian who lives in Okurase. She has 4 children – 2 boys and 2 girls. She lives at Nkabom House with her grandchildren. She stays alone because she is divorced. She works for Project OKURASE as a cook. She is a quite, kind, hardworking, wonderful woman.