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Jacqueline Hyde

Jacqueline Hyde is a photographer who has lived in Paris, France for over 50 years. Jacqueline was the former first assistant to Man Ray. She has known Issa Nyaphaga for many years and she has advised him as he has pursued his personal vision. She encouraged him to speak before the French National Assembly, where he defended the Geneva Convention in collaboration with the U.N. High Commission on Refugees. Hyde is also known for her work with Botero, Zao Wou Ki (Nobel Prize in Literature) and Nicolas de Stael. Riopelle and Joan Mitchell are two iconic North American painters who have collaborated with Hyde for many years. Hyde and Issa have developed a very lasting and deep friendship over the years. Issa always says, "Hyde is my spiritual mother. " They collaborated on several art projects while Issa was living in Paris. The bond between painting and photography could never be as strong as the one between Issa Nyaphaga and Jacqueline Hyde. The first time Issa packed recycled items for indigenous Tikar and Pygmy people in the rainforest in Cameroon, Hyde took the trip with him to ship these much-needed supplies. When Issa decided to create HITIP, Jacqueline said to him "You have my blessing." Art is really not that far away from Social Justice. This community-based organization could never have a better godmother.

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Issa Nyaphaga

Issa Nyaphaga is an exiled artist, activist, and the founder of HITIP. As a way of remaining in contact with his native country, Mr. Nyaphaga founded HITIP. In 1996, Mr. Nyaphaga left Cameroon to seek asylum in France, where he engaged in innovative social work projects with a wide variety of at-risk groups, including child soldiers from Africa. Because of his devotion to refugee and immigrant issues, Mr. Nyaphaga was invited to speak before the French National Assembly on the 50th anniversary of the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees for the U.N. High Commission on Refugees in 2001. Mr. Nyaphaga also co-founded the organization JAFE (African Journalists in Exile), which defends and protects journalists in danger. Mr. Nyaphaga currently divides his time between France and the United States, where he shares his work and advice with students and young artists. Mr. Nyaphaga also has been working on the development of a philosophical concept called “Urban Way,” in which he paints his body and stages live performances that include live music. It is an act of protest against not being able to return home freely. Mr. Nyaphaga has collaborated with organizations, schools, and institutions around the globe and has more than 10 years of teaching experience. Since early 2008, Issa has been co-directing "Return to the Belly of the Beast", a documentary project with Nicoletta Fagiolo. Mr. Nyaphaga speaks seven languages and holds an MFA in French Literature.

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Marcie Davis

Marcie Davis, M.S., Executive Director of SP, has more than 20 years of experience working with local, state, tribal, and federal nonprofit and governmental entities in program development, management, training, research, grant writing, and evaluation, specializing in disability advocacy and other human services programs. Ms. Davis has been a leader in developing programs that respond to individuals with disabilities programs including sexual assault and domestic violence. She is currently working with the National Center for Victims of Crime to develop and conduct the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) 2009 National Training Conference: Responding to Victims with Disabilities. She has created many innovative programs and tools including a series of DVDs and informational guides designed to assist Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) to conduct a forensic examination on individuals with mobility and developmental disabilities. Ms. Davis has been recognized by numerous entities for her achievements and contributions. She speaks nationally on a variety of victim service and disability related issues. She has been a paraplegic for over 35 years and has been partnered with a service dog for over sixteen years. Ms. Davis recently published the award-winning Working Like Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook.

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Oumarou Mebouack

Oumarou Mebouack is a visual artist, photographer and videographer. He is the Treasurer of HITIP and he has been the most active Board Member since HITIP was created in 2002. Oumarou is the vital link between the Tikar and Pygmy region in Cameroon (where HITIP is based) and the rest of the world. Oumarou has collaborated on several publications, magazines and documentary films, most notably the latest film "Return to the Belly of the Beast," co-produced and directed by Nicoletta Fagiolo and Issa Nyaphaga. He is well-known for his artistic work, and his works have been shown in several countries around the world. In 2008, one of his videos was shown at Prospect 1, the premiere Biennale in New Orleans in the United States. The aim of this video project was to compare the trauma experienced by the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with the daily life of the inhabitants of certain regions of Africa during the rainy season. Because of his deep knowledge of the traditional, rural world and the urban world, Ourmarou's valuable research has allowed HITIP to establish a solid base in the Tikar region of Cameroon. Oumarou Mebouack works and lives in Cameroon. He has been a volunteer since the creation of HITIP.

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Jenny Sanborn

Jenny Sanborn has 15 years of experience working in sustainable community development in Latin America and the United States. She has worked and traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America. As the International Program Director for Coffee Kids, Ms. Sanborn implemented participant-driven projects, facilitated international exchanges, and developed collaborative working relationships with local women’s organizations. She also provides bilingual violence prevention and personal safety trainings to at-risk populations as an instructor for IMPACT Personal Safety. Ms. Sanborn has been engaged in public speaking, teaching, group facilitation, and professional trainings for more than ten years. She holds an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology.

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Lou Kosak

Lou Kosak is a web developer and yoga instructor, and holds a BA in International Development. He has been involved in progressive food initiatives, working a McGill University soup kitchen, and has raised funds for Médecins Sans Frontières by bicycling across Canada. He is currently living in New York, where he works and consults in web technology, teaches yoga at several Manhattan studios, and occasionally volunteers with the Time's Up bicycle coop.

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Anita Shontel Woodley

Anita Shontel Woodley is an award-winning journalist/producer for North Carolina Public Radio. In 2006, she moved from her hometown Oakland, California to Chapel Hill, NC. In 2008, she earned the Harry Chapin Radio Media Award for Hunger and Poverty. She holds a B.A. in Radio & Television Broadcasting from SFSU. Under her artistic name, Rie Shontel, she's an actor, mixed-media artist, and inspirational speaker. In 2009, she wrote, directed and performed the one-woman show, "Mama Juggs: Three Generations Healing Fractured Body Images." Anita is an active member of HITIP in North Carolina and she is committed to supporting the Tikar community's access to healthcare and education. Her family's maternal roots trace back to the Tikar people of Cameroon and she feels deeply compelled to connect with the souls of her ancestors from the "land of red soil." View the trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU_WQndEReM. Learn more about her art at http://rieshontel.blogspot.com/

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Mr. Christian Messina

Mr. Christian Messina holds a Masters in Public Law and Political Science. He is a native of Cameroon and is a world citizen in the true sense of the word. Previously, he was engaged in major work for the rights of the handicapped and street children. Mr. Messina has invaluable knowledge of conditions and challenges in the urban areas of Africa and he has implemented community-based projects several sub-regions of Central Africa. Mr. Messina has known Issa for almost ten years and his advice is always sought and helpful. Despite a busy family life and work schedule, Mr. Messina has managed to make his presence felt at HITIP and is quite involved in the daily operations.

Supporter Profiles


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John Ogren

John Ogren has been the manager of the Carlton Arms Hotel in New York City for over 25 years. John collaborates with many organizations that defend the rights of activists and artists around the world. Every year, ArtBreak Gallery hosts events to support non-profit organizations to reach their goals. John is a very important supporter of HITIP in the NYC community.

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Georges of the Jungle

Georges of the Jungle is the Robin Hood of Africa. Georges Bwelle is a surgeon at the Central Hospital in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. He works at the hospital during the week and on the weekends he travels with his team into the jungle to treat the sick. His method is simple: Provide free medical care to marginalized, destitute populations in the rainforests of Africa. After studying medicine in Cameroon, Georges-Roger Motto Bwelle spent 15 months in Brussels to further his knowledge of vascular surgery. When he returned home, he ran the medical center in Bengis, a small, impoverished community in southern Cameroon. Then he got the idea to build a global network of medical professionals and student interns to provide free health services to poor regions throughout the African continent. In July 2008, Georges created the non-profit organization ASCOVIME www.ascovime.fr which focuses on health and education issues. HITIP and ASCOVIME are partners that share the same goal. If we could, we would nominate Georges for the Nobel Prize but, for now, we are giving him the “Golden Stethoscope” award. Georges loves sports and music. Bravo “Georges of the Jungle”!

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Ira Gordon

The Vocalist. Ira Gordon grew up in Southern California listening to some of the best radio in the world, never dreaming he would wind up on the air himself for over thirty years. He spent the mid 70’s in small California towns before landing in Denver. For twenty years Ira was one of the most recognized air talents in Colorado, working at legendary Progressive Rock stations like KBCO and KAZY, and programming KFML and KDHT. In 1995, he moved to Santa Fe to create KBAC Radio Free Santa Fe www.kbac.com and has remained the one constant presence throughout its history, doing the afternoon shift. His focus has always been on providing community service and new musical discoveries. Ira is an active supporter of HITIP in the Santa Fe community and has generously donated his time and talent to support our projects. We deeply appreciate his passion for helping others and we celebrate his global vision.

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Nicoletta Fagiolo

Nicoletta Fagiolo is a former UNHCR staff member who wrote created the “Gallery of Prominent Refugees” for the agency's 50th anniversary. The online gallery can be visited at www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c74.html. During her time at the UNHCR, Nicoletta conducted research and evaluations in countries experiencing conflict and crisis. Nicoletta was one of the first filmmaker to make a documentary film about Muhammad Yunnus, the founder of the Grahmeen Bank. She collaborated with Yunnus before he received the Nobel Prize for his innovative microcredit program. Nicoletta is currently working on several projects including "Return to the Belly of the Beast", "The Pen in Exile” about the life of Issa Nyaphaga, and the "The Rebels of 9th Art", which is a documentary about African cartoonists. Nicoletta films and produces documentaries that focus on current socio-political issues. Fagiolo lives and works in Paris.

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Hunter Campbell "Patch" Adams

Hunter Campbell "Patch" Adams is a social activist, citizen diplomat, professional clown, performer, and author. He founded the Gesundheit! Institute in 1972. Every year he organizes a group of volunteers from around the world to travel to various countries where they dress and perform as clowns, bringing hope and joy to orphans, patients, and others in need. His life inspired the film Patch Adams, starring Robin Williams. Adams promotes a different health care model (i.e. one not funded by insurance policies) in collaboration with the Gesundheit! Institute. His path crossed Issa's because of John Lent, an American writer and cartoon and comic art critic, who has published articles about Issa and Patch. Because of their connection, Issa and Patch are working on a project to combine art and clown's play, which will be provide humor and healing for people in hospitals and clinics in Cameroon.
www.patchadams.org

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Martin Elouga, Ph.D

The Curator of the Center. Martin Elouga, Ph.D, is a professor of Archaeology and Arts at the University of Yaoundé 1 in Cameroon. Dr. Martin Elouga is the Head of the Archaeological and Cultural Property Management Section and a member of the National Commission for the Rehabilitation of the Cameroonian National Museum (Ministry of Culture). Dr. Martin Elouga is the co-author of Tikar Art in Cameroon (ed. L’Harmattan. 2000) and is the creator and General Manager of the Center for Environmental and Social Studies (CEES). CEES is a multidisciplinary research center that focuses on social and environmental studies in rural and urban zones. HITIP is collaborating with Dr. Martin Elouga on the Center for Tikar Studies at the University of Yaoundé 1. Dr. Elouga is convinced that the soil in the Tikar region is a material memory that has many stories to tell us and he has spent many years in Tikar villages discovering these stories. The Center for Tikar Studies will encourage research and scholarship focusing on the preservation of Tikar culture and language and welcomes competent individuals, organizations, and institutions from around the world to participate in its ongoing projects. The Center will strive to solve some of the mysteries surrounding the Tikar people, their origins, their socio-political institutions, their perceptions and management of Gender, their Diaspora, and their art by providing competent native Tikar people with the opportunity to take a leadership role in telling their own story. The Center will also publish the results of its research for a better understanding of Tikar history. Read more
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