Roots Africa Team / Leadership
Cedric Nwafor, Executive Director
Cedric Nwafor is the founder of ROOTS Africa. A passion for agriculture and its people drives Cedric, a social entrepreneur and public speaker who has organized, facilitated and spoken at various events across Africa and the US. While earning his Bachelor's degree, he visited farms in Idaho and Maryland as well as in Rwanda, Liberia, Cameroon, Ghana, and Uganda to learn different approaches to farm life and management. Along the way, Cedric became an agricultural evangelist, engaging African youth in civic affairs in cities and rural communities. He believes that engaging the young generations in agriculture is vital to the African continent's future and its people's socio-economic well-being.
Cedric earned the Nonprofit Management and Leadership in the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.
Chuck Schuster, Extension and Innovation Experts
Chuck Schuster recently retired from the University of Maryland Extension. Chuck earned a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in Education from McDaniel College. Before coming to Extension work, Chuck taught high school vocational agriculture in Westminster, Maryland, and farmed for twenty years, raising cattle, field crops, and vegetables. Chuck had the opportunity to serve abroad in an educational capacity in Pakistan and Uganda on several occasions, teaching irrigation management, vegetable production, and soil science. Chuck moved to Howard County in December of 2020 to complete his dream. Chuck is still actively teaching, gardening, serving on local boards that include the Farm Bureau, planning fishing and camping trips, and spending time with his family
Dave Pearce, Extension and Innovation Expert
Dave is an ENTREPRENEUR by birth. He is a natural TEACHER-TRAINER. A Senior Volunteer with Winrock International where he has completed over 75 assignments in 22 countries in 26 years. He is the founder of Papa's Pumpkin Patch.
He was a favorite at BSC and in Adult Education circles. He loves an interactive and participatory environment and is still requested to facilitate Strategic Planning sessions for many non-profits.
A biblical verse guides Pearce given him in high school: "To whom much is given, much is required" (Luke 12:48). If you have heard that line, you know it means we are responsible for what we have. And, If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we help create value for others.
"Doing to Learn, Learning to earn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve." The motto of the National FFA organization- DTPearce remains a strong supporter!
Ikhtiar Mohammad, Program Coordinator
Ikhtiar Mohammad is a Fulbright grantee at the Institute of International Education Exchange Programs -- U.S. Department of State and is a graduate student at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. Ikhtiar has worked both as a development practitioner and researcher at BRAC and BRAC University in Bangladesh. In addition, he served as a business consultant with the "Technology Innovations for Growth in Agriculture Bangladesh" project led by the Centre for Development Research at the University of Bonn in Germany.
Favorite Quote: "I believe the essence of life is to serve others and to do good." Aristotle
"ROOTS has given me the opportunity to immerse myself in real issues that affect real people." --- Delina Peter, University of Maryland, '21
Dough ONAH, Communications Support
Dough ONAH is a communications professional and researcher at the University of Calabar, European Forum Alpbach scholar, and a fellow of the Nigerian School on Internet Governance. He is Media and Communications chair at Afrika Youth Movement (AYM) and serves as the Communication support for the UNESCO-led Media and Information Literacy Alliance Youth Committee.
Finally, Dough works supporting activists in Nigeria as communications lead for the SpeakUp, StandOut Project funded by Voice Global.
Kerrin H. Massarueh, Farmer and Agvocate
A graduate of the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) earning a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy with a specialization in Environment and Agriculture. Kerrin is involved with many STEAM-focused youth mentorship programs from the USA, Africa, and the Caribbean. Close to her heart is the non-profit, Innovate My World, was created in 2017 after Hurricane Maria impacted Dominica and the Caribbean. Kerrin is the Coordinator for Agriculture Education within the programs STEAM pillars. She strives to eradicate the limitations and education barriers of the perception of agriculture in the Caribbean as "dirty and an ole man's work".
Kerrin serves as the Director of Government and Community Relations at BMoreAg, a social benefit organization in Baltimore City, Maryland focused on addressing food insecurity and economic disparities through the lens of agriculture technology. She supports the work of ROOTS Africa through the mentorship of participants and an advisory role.
Mr. Solomon Odero, Program Manager
Solomon holds BA Development studies from Busoga University Uganda. MA International Development Studies-Chulalongkorn University. Rotary International Peace fellow 2020 class 28 Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Co-Founder and Director at Development Associates for Young Africans
He is Program Manager at ROOTS Africa (2022), a youth organization working with Agriculture University and College students in Uganda and Kenya to improve extension workers and knowledge of African farmers to ensure food security and sustainable development.
Elly Kasirye, Roots Africa Country Coordinator for Uganda
Elly is the Roots Africa Country Coordinator for Uganda. He is also the chairperson of the Wakiso District Human Rights Committee. Founder Yearning Voices Foundation and Eastern Africa Youth Empowerment Forum. He is a Board Member of the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda. He is passionate about youth empowerment and defending human rights. Currently, he is pursuing a law degree at the Islamic University in Uganda.