kevinKevin Okumu, Program Director

A 2009 graduate in Microfinance from Kyambogo University in Uganda- Kampala, Kevin has 6 years job experience in social work with various NGOS in Northern Uganda. She has been involved in many humanitarian and social relief projects in Gulu, and has had great success in helping to empower the local community through her work with Volunteer Action Network. She has two children, Travis and Daniella, and she loves eating and cooking for our volunteers!


IMG_0236Mirriam Orong
, Head Teacher and Program Officer

Mirriam graduated from Gulu University in 2013, where she studied Information Technology and Computer Science. She does an amazing job of handling all three age groups of students enrolled in our Youth Literacy Program- thats almost 70 kids at once! When she’s not busy inspiring HCU’s children or working in our office, she is at home with her daughter Christabelle.




Grace Oruma, Program Coordinator

Grace is known for her public speaking genius, advancing the mission of female equality both locally and internationally. Her counseling expertise has saved family businesses in our Uplift program and drastically improved girls’ and families lives and helped solve deeply-rooted community issues. She is respected from the villages to the local government, where builds political advocacy for women and girls.



Esther Opoka, Program Coordinator

Esther’s help in office operations, Girl Power, and Uplift programs is hugely impactful. Her relationships in the community ensure she can closely counsel beneficiaries and monitor the progress of our programs at a grassroots level.




nSofw+b9Q%Ciy4WS8vuJVA_thumb_21d4Brandon Colby,  Online Content Coordinator

Australian travel videographer Brandon overstayed his position as a volunteer videographer and became a permanent part of the organization’s fabric with his storytelling abilities, photography skills and digital media expertise. He’s a constant source of encouragement for the team and was one of the leading forces behind the Nodding Syndrome Intervention. Check out his work at



Anna Shuford, Girl Power Gulu Founder, U.S. Community Outreach and Fundraising Coordinator

Anna studies public relations and entrepreneurship University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She started as an intern for HCU in 2016 and co-founded the “Girl Power Gulu” project with fellow intern, Lucy Russell. Anna uses her love for photography to document, share, and connect donors to the Gulu community they are helping support. She continues working from overseas by organizing fundraisers and creating partnerships with local businesses to fund HCU’s programs.


ella_picElla Simmons, Founder & Head of Finance

A Venture for America fellow and UNC-Chapel Hill graduate, Ella combined her start-up mentality with her passion for working with children and to co-found Hope Center Uganda in 2015. After she and Jamie spent that summer working for Women’s Global Empowerment Fund, the two noticed a disproportionate lack of supplementary education programs for local youth. Together with Kevin, they founded Hope Center Uganda, and the rest is history.


jamieJamie Stuart, Founder & Head of Communication

Jamie graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a Bachelors’ in Media and Journalism and a Minor in Entrepreneurship. Her hobby of playing music in dark corners (DJing) gave her a sustainably-focused, community-oriented  belief in arts accessibility for all.