"If you don't try, you don't get."
Helga-Liz Haberfellner - Founder & Executive Director
As well as being a multi-award winning documentary film maker for over 30 years Helga spent 15 years as a media writing and filmmaking instructor at Ryerson University and the University of Guelph in Toronto, Canada. She was known as the storytelling queen and frequently worked as a story doctor, reviving films that were rejected by broadcasters.
Today she works with storytellers of all kinds helping them find the best way to tell their stories
She is also an advisor, judge, workshop pleader and panelist for Ghana's Black Star International Film Festival and often runs visual storytelling workshops for Ghanaian and Namibian film makers.
She currently lives in south-west France with her husband, 5 rescued dogs, 1 cat, 8 geese, 15 ducks, 25 chickens, 6 rescued donkeys, and 6 of the rarest donkeys on earth, the Baudet du Poitou.
She felt compelled to create Friends of Adaklu after volunteering in Ghana in 2013.
"Okay! Let's go; we need to do this."
Paul Andrew - CFO &Media Director
Paul is a multi-award winning master editor who specializes in documentary projects. He taught editing at Humber College and Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, and worked with a long list of broadcasters, professional film makers and corporate clients. He is known for his ability to find the story that's in the footage. He runs editing Master Classes and story structure workshops at Ghana's annual Black Star International Film Festival.
Today he lives deep in the countryside in south-west of France. When not playing his 1868 Grotrian-Steinweg piano he can be found on the patio researching and writing a book about Paris and Pianos.
He is FOA’s chief financial officer and media director and is very popular with Puis Puis a little orphaned hen.
Taking an interest in what others are thinking and doing is often a much more powerful form of encouragement than praise. - Robert Martin
Policy & Program Advisor
Robert is FOA's advisor in every sense. He understands the true meaning of empowerment and defines his own success through the success his efforts bring to others. His knowledge of the cultural morés and politics of Ghana are the reason FOA has rarely put a foot wrong and is so deeply respected and trusted in the Adaklu communities. He is a superb and compassionate negotiator who likes to think outside the box to find win-win solutions.
Robert is especially drawn to ideas that add to the success of women, children and young people. His extensive experience and education in community development have taught him that while it is possible to build capacity and change in communities, transformational, sustainable change can only be achieved by helping others motivate themselves.
Robert has a Masters degree, is married and the father of two beautiful, vital daughters. He currently lives in Toronto, Canada.
You can do everything you put your mind to, and in doing it, do it so that no one with your skills and capability can do it better. - Ghanaian Proverb
FOA Director for Ghana
Stella Dzifa-Kudah, is FOA'S Director for Ghana - she is literally FOA on the ground in Ghana. She is a tireless dynamo who rises selflessly to every occasion and challenge. It is due to her efforts that FOA has achieved success and recognition in the Adaklu communities. Her winning ways, combined with her sparkling intelligence and her ability to read people make her a formidable leader and motivator. She is deeply committed to the well-being of the people of Adaklu and is indefatigable in her quiet determination to make their lives better.
FOA is not the only one to have noticed Stella's extraordinary abilities and dedication to humanity; in 2022 Points of Light, an organization that celebrates the power of the inspired individual posted Stella to their Inspiration Honour Role. Her abilities were also recognized by the University of Health and Allied Science School of Medicine (UHAS-SOM) who appointed her the Field Supervisor for the Adaklu Goefe Community. The appointment charges Stella with the responsibility of providing a safe environment and engaging the Adaklu community in quality Health Care Delivery.
Stella is currently building her own home in the Adaklu district and is the headmistress of Adaklu Goefe District Assembly Junior High School.
USA Communications Liaison
Christina first met Stella in 2019 while volunteering with the African Library Project. Impressed by Stella's warmth and dedication, Christina soon became involved in supporting FOA's other projects. Recently Christina assisted with the pen pal program between Adaklu Goefe District Assembly Junior High School and The Academy school in Berkeley, California. She was also instrumental in FOA's partnership with Waloyo.
Christina lives in California with her husband and two children. She has a Master's degree in Nutritional Sciences.
FOA's INSPIRATION AND MUSE
Dr. Mimi Divinsky was a well known and much beloved Canadian physician and psychologist who transformed every life she came in contact with. She worked tirelessly and selflessly for people in need. A staunch advocate for the underprivileged and voiceless she spoke for those who were too abused, exhausted or terrified to speak for themselves.
She and Helga were friends for more than three decades and spent many Thursday evenings exploring the role and uses of of narrative in medicine. When Mimi passed away Helga was determined that her friend, and what she had stood for, would not be forgotten.
It is Mimi's endlessly generous spirit and relentless determination to make the world a happier place that prompts Helga to continue with her dear friend's work of making a difference.
© Copyright Friends of Adaklu