Our Team

Our team is an an eclectic group of people who joined together to form the RainShine Foundation. We are a small international charity that punches well above its weight to deliver programmes that make a difference to people’s lives.

Australian Executive Team

President – Mrs Louise Marsden

On her return to Australia Louise was committed to starting RainShine Australia so that we could encourage people in this part of the world to become involved in our projects in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Louise started her involvement with RainShine Australia as a volunteer. She traveled to Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018 as part of the Turn the Lights On Project. Louise and her husband Marty were trained by Solar Now in Uganda on how to install a 500 Watt Solar System. This project was completed successfully.

Louise brings her years of experience in President roles for local clubs and associations to RainShine Australia. Currently she also holds the position of Secretary for RainShine USA.

General Secretary and Treasurer – Ms Ethel Blair

Ethel has been involved in projects in Democratic Republic of Congo since 2012. She was previously employed by ABB Enterprise Software as a Program Manager. And prior to this she worked in a private software engineering company as a project manager, and as a software engineer in Queensland Treasury.

Her responsibilities in RainShine Australia are corporate policies, contract management, and delivering our programs and projects in DRCongo. She is regularly in Uganda and DR Congo to manage our projects and liaise with our Congolese team.
She is committed to ensuring our programs deliver improved access to education and living conditions for families and children living in remote areas of DR Congo. Ethel holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in Information Technology and Marketing. She is also an ordinary director on the RainShine Foundation USA Board.

Vice-President – The Late Mr Mike Cave

Mike became involved with our work in RainShine through his ownership of the Basenji dog, which is an indigious dog living in various geographical pockets in Congo, in particular, in the northern area of Congo near the Southern Sudan border. After Louise and Ethel returned from DR Congo in 2018 he became very interested in our work and wanted to assist us to start RainShine Australia. He is committed to ensuring that RainShine can successfully deliver its mission. Mike brings his many years of experience working in the Australian Bureau of Statistics to RainShine.

Director – Mr David Havig

The passion for travel particularly in Africa began from an early age for David while studying at the University of Queensland for a Batchelor of Arts Degree.

This eventually led to years of charity work in underdeveloped countries specialising in education, housing and community infrastructure projects. David also has broad expertise across the private corporate sector in Australia and overseas within sales, compliance, strategic planning, training and leadership roles.
Fluent in a number of languages including French David brings this wealth of knowledge to RainShine and a desire to improve from the grass roots level up peoples lives in this underdeveloped and often forgotten region of Africa.

Democratic Republic of Congo Team

Program Administrator – Dieubéni MBOLIANGBA YASANAKO, Dungu

Dieubéni MBOLIANGBA YASANAKO is the Program Administrator for the RainShine Foundation in DR Congo. He has worked with various Non Government Organisations (NGOs) in Haut-Uele, Bas-Uele, and Central African Republic (CAR). His expertise is in rural development implementating, monitoring and evaluating community projects

Project Liason – Father Robert Batikote, Kinshasa

Father Robert is a Project Liaison for RainShine in DRCongo. He was the Project Manager responsible for building the DEKPE primary school building located in Ngilima in durable materials of tin, brick, and hardwood.

Project Liason – Father Nicolas Meya TAKIS, Kinshasa

Father Nicolas is a Project Liaison for RainShine in DRCongo. In Early 2021 he successfully completed our Desks for Learning project, and managed the Place to Land project in Bas-Uele Province. He is also pivotial in liaising on RainShine’s behalf with various Government agencies.

Swedish Team

Team Leader – Maria Löwbeer

Maria and her team in Sweden were the original supporters of the Epi Primary school for many years during the John Valk era prior to the commencement of RainShine USA/Australia. Maria works tirelessly to raise funds for Epi and Mamili primary schools. She visited Haut-Uélé in 2008.

USA Team

President and Treasurer – Robert Freedman

Rob holds a bachelor of arts degree in politics from Loyola University in Chicago and a master’s degree in teaching from National Louis University. Rob has over 15 years of experience in marketing and public relations. He was one of the co-founders of the RainShine Foundation USA. Rob is driven by his passion for social justice and the belief that access to education is fundamental to a community and for a country to develop.

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