North America Chapter
Working together to make the world a better place!
We can't wait to hear from you! Call us today and be part of the change you want to see in the world!
Thomas G. Szabo, PhD., BCBA-D
Jennifer Nardozzi, PsyD
Carolina Gaviria, LMHC, NCC, CEDS
Katelyn Kendrick, M.Ed., BCBA, QBA
Georgiana Koyama, MSc. BCBA
How we met
I first met Beate Ebert, the Director of commit + act, through her wonderful husband Alexander and Landmark Education. He was flying from Germany to California and I was flying from Miami to California to attend this powerful seminar on transformation and creating possibilities for your life. One of my possibilities was to do work in Africa. I met Beate on the last day of that seminar in California while she was assisting. When I learned about her work in Sierra Leone, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. That next year, I was on a plane to Sierra Leone, that was 9 years ago.
Fairly quickly, those of us inspired by the possibility of transformation in Sierra Leone, realized that to fulfill this big dream, we needed a powerful team, people with unique “geniuses” whose values were about making a difference in the world even in a place that most of us barely knew much about.
I invited a colleague and friend to this project, Carolina Gaviria, for her big heart, her creative spirit and her many talents. I knew she’d be instrumental to the team. She has participated in multiple fundraising projects and developed our website and social media.
Fairly quickly, we realized that beyond those versed in psychology and behavioral analysis, we needed individuals who had financial acumen and could help us create and manage our money at a high level. I invited Ruben Rozental to join the team because of his financial expertise, his desire to impact Africa, and because he had been a leader with Landmark Education and was trained in the distinctions of managing a possibility.
Tom Szabo came to us when Joanne Steinwachs, a clinical social worker supervising Hannah Bockarie, asked him to train male social workers in Sierra Leone working with perpetrators that wanted to change their behavior. Tom began training social workers and found that they too needed help. When their lives and relationships began to change, Tom wrote a grant and went to Sierra Leone to begin investigating a new program DARE to Connect: ACT for Couples. DARE helped nine couples learn essential partnership skills; and word spread. Soon, paramount chiefs in two chiefdoms asked Commit & Act to train others, and the team up-scaled DARE into a train-the-trainer model in which the original nine couples served as champions. Since then, DARE has trained over 300 couples in towns all across the Bo District. Since then, our Sierra Leonean team has worked with Tom to develop other iterations of the DARE program, such as DARE to Connect for School Gang Members.
Tom invited others to the team. A few of our most recent team additions include Georgiana Barzey and Esther Ferri. Georgiana and Thomas were introduced to one another through mutual friends on social media. Thomas approached Georgiana with the opportunity to join the North America Chapter as a research volunteer working on the DARE to Connect for School Gang Members and ACT for couples. Since joining the Chapter Georgiana has supported with fundraising initiatives and is now part of a sub-group based in London with Esther Ferri.
We became the core North America team launching our first big fundraiser through a benefit concert and thereafter completing other local and online fundraising efforts. One hundred percent of our profits go toward commit and act. We meet on a bi-monthly basis as a team along with Hannah Bockarie, the Director of the Commit and Act foundation in Sierra Leone to create projects in alignment with our values and mission for commit and act. During each meeting we discuss the goal that we are working on such as acquiring a shelter for the centre and how we can achieve the goals. Ruben provides updates on our financial contribution, Carolina provides updates on the progress of the website, Hannah provides updates on the shelter, and we determine the fundraising efforts needed for the month. We do this because we want to make a difference in the world and we invite you to join us! Contact us to learn more!
By, Jennifer Nardozzi, PsyD
We are a group of committed professionals and social change enthusiasts!
We focus on fundraising
What is GLOBAL GIVING and how does it relate to Commit+Act?
Global Giving is a nonprofit that supports other nonprofits by connecting them to donors and companies. Since 2002 it has helped trusted, community-led organizations from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and hundreds of countries in-between, to access the tools, training and support they need to make our world a better place.
In 1997, Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle were convinced that many key innovations in global development weren’t getting the attention they deserved. Believing that there had to be a better way to do aid, they started an experiment. In February 2000 they invited social entrepreneurs to pitch his or her earth-changing ideas at the World Bank. The 300+ participants ranged from a group of NASA scientists to a woman who had never before left her Ugandan village. The event was a success and Mari and Denis realized good ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, at any time. They also realized there were many others who wanted to support good ideas. So, they left the bank to launch the world’s first crowdfunding community in 2002.
Today, more people in more than 165 countries can easily share their ideas and individual donors and companies can easily support vetted nonprofits through crowdfunding.
How did Commit+Act connect with Global Giving?
Commit+Act has participated in many activities with Global Giving over the last several years that has included trainings on fundraising, participating in Global Giving matching fundraising campaigns, and even having a sight visit by Global Giving to our shelter in Sierra Leone. We have raised $32,493 through our collaboration with Global Giving that has gone to many aspects of our shelter and has even assisted us duing times of crisis.
Our shelter for abused girls became the victim of a terrible water flooding due to the torrential rains and winds in Bo, Sierra Leone. It had housed 20 abused girls, and the shelter had recently begun its construction. Funds were needed to make major repairs to the shelter including creating a way to protect the shelter during the rainy season moving forward.. Through Global Giving, we raised over $7,000 USD which helped in shoring up the building structure so work could continue to expand the shelter and serve the community.
We are very grateful for our continued collaboration and partnership with Global Giving that has expanded the mission of commit + act in the world.
By, Ruben Rozental
be a part of our team
We would love to have you join our team and contribute to social change by helping us raise money for our programs! We have biweekly meeting where you will be assigned a project to participate in or lead. This is a great way to get connected while making a difference in the lives of many!