Our Team

OUR CAUSES

The Rayjon Board (Canada)

Rayjon Board photo 2021-2022

Top row: Joanna Catterson (Chairperson), John Barnfield (President & Co-Founder), John Spinozzi (Financial Director) Mary Weerdenburg (Secretary & Eyeglass Liaison), Deborah Austin (Projects Director), Peterson Benjamin (Haiti)

Bottom row: Dr. Glen Maddison (Medical Director), Terry DeMarco, Bryce McGarvey (Trips Director), Cheryl DeGroot, Brian Rea, Kurtis Lush

Left: Heather Smith (Executive Director & Project Manager)

With Rayjon since 2016, Heather loves her role  facilitating dialogue and cooperation between Rayjon and our partners in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She’s passionate about community-centric fundraising, creating space for voices of our partners, and developing communications to engage the Canadian public in global citizenship. 

Right: Piera Spinelli Barille (Program & Communications Officer)

Piera joined the Rayjon team in 2021. Born and raised in Haiti, she freely shares her cultural knowledge and communication skills (she’s fluent in Haitian Creole, French, English & Italian!). She holds a Master’s in International Development, and focuses on empowering international partners and sharing stories of their success back home in Canada. 

Haitian & Dominican Leaders

Andre director 2022 our team

Andre Jean-Pierre, Director (Centre for Nutrition & Education of Women & Children – C-NEW-C), Cap Haitian, Haiti

Andre has been responsible for oversight and management of the C-NEW-C since 2011, where he puts his passion for progress into action to support programs in Nutrition, Microcredit, Adult Literacy, and Education.

Andre deserves special mention for his ability to build relationships, empower young leaders, and support Haitian-led initiatives. He’s also been a steady and compassionate leader through many natural disasters, occasionally leading the C-NEW-C into trauma-response mode, and serving some of the most marginalized families in urban Cap Haitian.

He’s a wonderful husband and father to three beautiful children. He is also just one of our favourite human beings,  freely sharing his insight and contagious laughter. More about Andre

Renaud Thomas, Director (Rayjon Share Care Haiti – RSCH)

Renaud has been a powerful force on the Rayjon Haiti team since 2018. He is a qualified agronomist, with specializations in permaculture design and breadfruit cultivation–knowledge which he enthusiasticly shares with rural communities seeking to increase food security, combat climate change, and achieve self-sufficiency. (Read more about the “Breadfruit Project” here). 

Renaud has extensive experience in internation cooperation, and is a fierce advocate for gender equality and the empowerment of women. 

In 2021, Renaud and his wife became proud parents of little Noa 🙂

Listen to Renaud explain how he believes Haiti will find solutions to its most difficult problems here. 

 

Renaud 2022

Elida Jeanty, Women’s Federation Liaison 

More about Elida coming soon!

Georges Thertulien, Director, Dominican Republic

More info about Georges coming soon!

“It just feels good to know that I am not only giving back to my community but also to know that I am investing in the next generation of Haitian leaders and young people coming up.”

—Andre Jean-Pierre

 “Yes, we have a lot of problems here…But, if you ask me a question like, ‘What can we do now for Haiti?’ My answer would be community solutions.” 

– Renaud Thomas

“How much humility these people must have; they have so little, still, they seem to be so thankful for so much. I came to discover my own spiritual poverty.”

– Scott Burns

“My one week in Haiti taught me more about human dignity than anything else I have ever experienced. For anyone choosing to go next year, they will find as I did, that they will receive much more from the Haitians than we could ever hope to give them.”

– Elly Vukobratic

Read more about Haitian and Dominican leaders creating positive change here

Our Mission

 Rayjon Share Care supports partners in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to enhance their well-being and capacity. Rayjon provides a bridge between those who can help and those who need and want help in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and other developing countries.

 Our Vision

A world in which people have an equal opportunity to thrive ─ empowered, independent and self-sufficient.

Rayjon Volunteers & Committees

Projects Advisory Team

The Projects Advisory team provides support to the Projects Director and Project Manager to oversee the three Community Development areas supported by Rayjon in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They are actively involved in building and maintaining relationships with Haitian & Dominican partners, supporting Haitian/Dominican led initiatives and direction, empowering local leaders, monitoring and evaluation, and  ensuring all project activities align with Rayjon’s overall mission, goals, and Strategic Plan. 

Trips Committee:

The trips committee reviews all requests for Rayjon Trips including Awareness Trips, Work Trips and Project Engagement Trips and makes recommendations to the Board with respect to trip approvals, safety and policies. More about Rayjon Trips

Community Engagement & Fundraising

Volunteers are busy in our local community raising awareness and sharing stories about the work of our incredible partners in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Volunteers organize fundraising events, sell Rayjon coffee/vanilla/atizani, and always have a lot of fun in the process!

Finance Team: 

The Finance team is comprised of the Financial Director, the Executive Director and Rayjon volunteers who carry out financial activities including donation receipting, accounting, account reconciling and audit readiness. 

The Eyeglass Program:

The Rayjon Eyeglass Program is coordinated by a committee of volunteers who meet regularly to plan all activities related to Eyeglass Trips. It takes many volunteers in Canada who receive, clean, sort, and enter glasses into a database for use in clinics. Additional volunteers become members of the Eyeglass Teams, travelling to dispense prescription glasses to those in need. More info

Rayjon’s Impact on the World

Vaccinations for children and adults

Children educated from preschool to grade 13

Pairs of prescription eyeglasses prescribed & fitted in 9 countries

Elementary, secondary & post-secondary students received tuition support/scholarships

Malnourished children received life-saving treatment

Women received loans & training to start small businesses

Adults learned to read & write