This charity has been created by a group of Canadians committed to providing economic opportunity to women in developing countries by delivering trade and business skills.

We incorporated as a Registered Society under the Alberta Societies Act in January, 2011.  Nafasi-Opportunity Society was granted status as a Registered Charity by Revenue Canada in April, 2012. Our BN Registration Number is 819828203RR0001.





Nafasi–Opportunity Society is governed by up to 10 Board of Directors elected from amongst our membership.  


Ron C. Cherlet, MBA, CHRP – President

With a career spanning more than 35 years in Human Resources Management, Ron Cherlet has specialized for many years in workplace training and development along with industrial relations.  Working mainly within the heavy construction industry in Alberta, Canada, Ron’s experience also extends to mining, government and manufacturing industries.  Ron holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Business Administration degree.  

Ron is proud to be married to Fredda and have two young adult children with whom he is engaged in active family life.  Volunteer work and travel have been big parts of Cherlet family life for many years.  One assignment in particular as a member of the Board of Governors for Athabasca University for 6 years has been a valued part of Ron’s career.  


Dr. Frits Pannekoek, – Vice President

Frits Pannekoek, past President of ICDE (International Council for Open and Distance Education), and a Board member of ICDE is committed to building communities and opportunities based on learning.  Frits was President of Athabasca University - which is committed to open and distance education. He did most of his academic work in Alberta and Ontario with a Ph.D. from Queen's University (1974).  He is also involved in helping the Nepalese diaspora establish the Open University of Nepal in that country.


Karin F. Schwab LL.B., B.A. - Secretary


Shelley Brett - Treasurer


Nicole Hill - Director


Doug Hill - Director

Doug Hill has had a career in the Mechanical Electrical industry for over 30 years. He is presently the President of an Edmonton based Mechanical and Electrical construction company. Doug spent 40 months living in Accra Ghana during his secondary school years and has many fond memories of Africa. Doug, and his wife Nicole, feel that the Nafasi Opportunity Society is a charity that can bring change and hope to the women of Tanzania, and he is very pleased to be on the Board of Directors.


Jack Underschultz - Director

Jack Underschultz is a medical student at the University of Alberta, with a prior Bachelor of Commerce degree.  He is passionate about international development having participated in many projects within Tanzania focussing on improving access to education and limiting poverty.  Jack is taking his passion and applying it to the research field within the Faculty of Medicine, again focussing on Eastern Africa.  He is really excited to be part of Nafasi's project and strongly believes this work is critical in improving access to education for young women in Tanzania.


Alex Russo - Director

Alex Russo, born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has been passionate about the art of hair for more than 30 years. He has worked as a portfolio artist and educator for over 12 years. Alex has owned and operated Russo Innovative Hair Design for 32 years and believes that people and education are his fuel. Always competing and having work published in many Canadian magazines and journals. Alex has appeared on television shows and radio programs that circle around the fashion industry. He believes that balance in life is crucial. Alex is also an accomplished musician and says that he finds his peace and escape through music. He continues to live by the words, "stop learning...stop living."


Tumaini Mhehe, BSc, BEd- Director

Tumaini Mhehe is a Certified Alberta Teacher and holds a Bachelor of Science with Education degree from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. He has a major in Physics and Chemistry and is currently working as a teacher with Edmonton Catholic Schools.  He also worked as a sessional instructor at Concordia University College of Alberta where he taught Chemistry and Mathematics with the University and College Entrance Program (UCEP)

Tumaini is an active member of Tanzanian Association of Northern Alberta (TANA) and is very proud to be part of the Nafasi Opportunity Society. He spent 25 years in Tanzania and over 14 years in Canada. He is married to Rachel and they are raising up two girls.


Dr. Edith Mhehe - Tanzania Project Advisor

Dr. Mhehe holds a Ph.D. in Education Administration and Leadership and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta, with a Masters in Education from The University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  She taught in local Tanzanian schools, The International School of Tanganyika, and spent 15 years as Curriculum Developer for the Tanzania Institute of Education.  In 1994 Dr. Mhehe became the Founding Dean, Faculty of Education at The Open University of Tanzania and remained with the University until 2012.  During her term as Dean, she helped to initiate the Foundation Course to bridge Certificate holders to Diploma qualification so that more women could qualify to register in Degree programs at the University.   In 2005 Dr. Mhehe founded the Gender Unit for the University’s Institute of Continuing Education.  Edith is currently National Executive Director, NGO WAMATA - for HIV/AIDS prevention to support the affected, orphans, vulnerable children and youth.  Nafasi Opportunity Society thanks Dr. Mhehe for her instrumental role as Tanzania Project Advisor, and in turn Edith is grateful for her own educational support that she received from CIDA and the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Plan.  Dr. Mhehe is married with three adult children (triplets).  


Keshubi Rwegasira, B.Eng. — Project Representative

Keshubi Rwegasira is the project coordinator for the Nafasi Opportunity Society pilot project currently being run in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A Tanzanian national, Keshubi holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree and Certificate in Computer Software Technology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Keshubi’s career has mostly spanned the fields of I.T. and social media, though she has recently held several contracts in fields as diverse as development, education research, and community coordinating.

Keshubi has lived in six countries across both Africa and North America and has traveled extensively across the world. She looks forward to helping improve the plight of her fellow Tanzanian woman through the activities of Nafasi Opportunity Society.