DIG has a diversified staff coming together from all backgrounds of life and work experience. Many of our employees are returned Peace Corps volunteers well versed in the struggles of the populations that we serve.
A talented pool of volunteers domestically and internationally contributes daily to every aspect of the growth of the organization and achieving our vision.
Sarah Koch - Co-Founder, Executive Director
Sarah Koch co-founded DIG in 2006 at the age of 24. She served as a rural health extension agent for Peace Corps Senegal and developed health curriculum and project initiatives. She has experience working with illiterate communities encouraging health-based behavioral change and community leadership. Sarah's unequivocal dedication to DIG as led to transforming lives and land across Africa, in more than 9 countries, with a vision for a more nourished world.
Noah Derman - Deputy Director
Noah Derman holds a Master in Public Health from the Global Health Department at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and an International Development Certificate from the Evans School of Public Affairs. He has seven years of experience working on public health issues in the public and private sectors both domestically and internationally. He was also a Peace Corps Volunteer and served communities impacted by HIV/AIDS in Northeast Thailand.
Olivia Atieno Nyaidho - East African Director
Olivia started with DIG in 2012 and strengthened DIG’s projects in Lwala with her expertise in sustainable agriculture, environmental management, community based agribusiness, gender equity, and monitoring and evaluation. Olivia has a BA in agriculture and a Masters in project planning and management. She is excited to give back and share her skills with her community.
Lauren Masey - Project Coordinator (Uganda)
Lauren joined DIG in 2016 to work in Southern Uganda with the Batwa communities to develop community demonstration plots and home gardens for food security, poverty alleviation, and nutrition. Previously, Lauren has worked on several outreach programs building skills in sustainable agriculture and conservation for smallholder farmers in different countries in Africa and South America, including her position as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia. She’s passionate about bringing agriculture technologies to vulnerable populations and reducing the risks smallholder farmers face every day.
Wilber Serusiru (Uganda)
Wilber is from one of the DIG project site Batwa Communities. He attended college which is a rare feat from someone in his region but returned home to help his ailing mother. Since his return he has been a leader in the community, encouraging fellow Batwa to work hard and has taken on leadership roles in Village Savings and Internal Lending and Carrot and Cabbage Food Security Projects. Wilber's academic background, position in the community, and desire for learning is a great fit for DIG.
Robert Ngabirano (Uganda)
Robert also comes from one of the DIG project site Batwa communities. He has experience in outgrower groups and assisted with a National Agriculture Research Organization of Uganda project in the area. Like Wilber, Robert overcame overwhelming odds to achieve a tertiary certificate and will supports the DIG project through teaching farmers by experiential trainings and motivating people through his passion for community development.
Sara Obonyo (Kenya)
Sara is 28 years old and a mother of four lively children, two sons and two daughters. When she trained with DIG, it was clear she had a gift of leadership, passion for farming and helping her community members. Sarah oversees the school sustainable agriculture programs and has been trained in permaculture through a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and a Training of Trainers program.
Onyango Vincent (Kenya)
Vincent is from Rongo Town in North Kamagambo. He joined DIG’s Farmer Field School at Lwala and now currently works as a facilitator. He loves learning new agriculture skills and enjoys being both a teacher and a student. Vincent is leading the market and value addition project with a focus on Moringa and Roselle. Vincent is also a great gospel singer and can often be heard singing in the gardens.
Vida Bita (Kenya)
Vida lives in North Kamagambo, Rongo. Her passion is nutrition and working with expectant mothers and women living with HIV. She wanted to start working with DIG when she realized the positive impact of DIG’s work in her community. She is a role model to both her community and her nine-year-old daughter, Dezine, who helps maintain the garden when Vida is out training.
Peres Otieno (Kenya)
Peres is a soft spoken mother of four; however, she has no problem disciplining farmers if they are not correctly composting or mulching. She is a hardworking and committed trainer with a great home garden that supports her family. Her favorite part of the job is organizing communities and leading the cooking and nutrition demonstrations.
Am Otieno Samwel (Kenya)
Otieno Samwel is from North Kamagambo and agriculture has been his favorite subject since primary school. He works in Lwala as a facilitator assisting farmers with new skills and making the most out of local materials, resources and markets.
Patrick Kayima (Uganda)
Patrick has a wealth of agricultural knowledge and is also the leader and founder of the Budondo Food Security for People Living with HIV/ AIDS. He is one of the most motivated and committed individuals that DIG has worked with in Africa. Patrick is providing support to existing projects and also expanding the Home Gardening Program within his group. He is also working as an Agricultural extension worker for one of our partner’s Segal Family Foundation.