Mission 2017-08-24T17:42:00+00:00


  • Mentorship
  • Teaching Modules
  • Building on local strengths
  • Building Relationships

Working in collaboration with Zambian healthcare partners to promote equity, hope, and social justice in health through supporting locally identified priorities and strengthening healthcare capacities

The Emergency Fundamentals Course course really helps us as medical personnel strengthen our knowledge in handling emergency cases.

Emergency Fundamentals Course Participant 2017


Fay Karp
Fay KarpExecutive Director
My name is Fay Karp and it is my privilege to be the new executive director of OKAHZI. I am a registered nurse and have worked in the health care sector for 50 years. I have worked as a paediatric nurse in both acute care and palliative care in the community. I also have had the pleasure of teaching nurses at UBCO. In 1999, I joined my colleague, Joan Basset-Smith in teaching at the University of Development Studies in Tamale, Northern Ghana. I began to see how health care professionals from many backgrounds could collaborate to develop strategies to improve the education and well being of health care workers and their clients in limited resource settings and at home. I began facilitating international practicums for nursing students from University of British Columbia Okanagan in 2003 in Ghana and later expanded that experience to Zambia at the urging of Jessica Barker and Lianne Jones and Dr. Bill Nelems. Bill Nelems began to dream about a partnership with Zambian health care professionals in Western Province, Mongu Zambia. This dream became a reality with the formation of the Okanagan Zambian Health Initiative, in 2010.

I am passionate about the philosophy of community development and capacity building in collaborating with Zambian health care professionals.
I have the utmost respect and admiration for my Zambian colleagues, who work tirelessly to provide the best possible health care in resource challenged situations. We rely on their expertise and guidance as we work together to improve healthcare.
In my position of Executive Director, I hope to support the work of OKAZHI members in both Zambia and Canada. I envision new partnerships with other NGO’s and universities as well as honouring partnerships with the University of Zambia, University of Barotsland and the Zambian Ministry of Health. I ask our members and partners to continuously challenge each other to make sure our work is grounded in ethically in the principles of community development, and led by our partners in wherever we work.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world”
Nelson Mandela

Jessica Barker
Jessica BarkerChair
Jessica is a Registered Nurse with extensive public health experience in Ghana, Zambia, South Africa and India. Her connection to Zambia began in 2008, as a nursing instructor at Lewanika School of Nursing in Mongu, Western Province, Zambia. She is a founding member of OkaZHI and has a passion for the people of Western Province. She has been a nurse for the past ten years, with an interest in palliative care in hospice and community settings. She received her Masters of Public Health specializing in ‘Health Systems’ from the University of Cape Town. Jessica is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan; she teaches global health nursing and supervises global health practicums in Western Province, Zambia.
Rebekah McCallum
Rebekah McCallumVice Chair
Rebekah is a Registered Nurse with advanced perinatal specialty training and experience. Her first time in Zambia was as a nursing student with the University of British Columbia of Okanagan and she quickly returned the following year as a course instructor for the “ OKaZHI Triage and Trauma Course.” During her time in Zambia, Rebekah became invested in the people of Zambia and the mission of the Okanagan Zambia Health Initiative.

Rebekah is currently the chair of OKaZHI’s fundraising committee, and is passionate about developing fundraising strategies, donor acquisition and management for the organization. Rebekah has a strong desire to pursue a career in the non-for profit administration and is starting her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Thompson Rivers University in the fall of 2017.

Madelaine Sumner
Madelaine SumnerSecretary
Madelaine is a Registered Nurse who currently works at Kelowna General Hospital.  She loves her work and is excited about supporting and learning from her nursing colleagues in Zambia.
Madeleine Grieg
Madeleine GriegTreasurer
Madeleine is a registered nurse and Master of Science in Nursing Candidate at UBC Okanagan. Currently in the final year of her MScN, Madeleine is now focusing her time and energy towards completing her master’s thesis research entitled, “The Ethical Implications of Global Health Practicums in Nursing”. Broadly speaking, Madeleine’s interests – both in research and in life – lie within the fields of global health, ethics, disability studies, and health equity. During her time as a graduate student, Madeleine has held numerous teaching assistantships at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and considers teaching one of her passions. In her spare time, you will find Madeleine surrounded by her family and friends, picking blueberries, growing veggies, and enjoying the beauty of the Okanagan Valley.
Jackie Denison
Jackie DenisonMember at Large: Nursing
Jackie is the current nursing representative for OkaZHI. As a board member she is committed to adhering to our organizations vision. Her nursing background is diverse. Jackie began her nursing career as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse, and quickly branched into education and pediatrics. She has a passion for maternal child health, and had the opportunity to work and teach in several health care facilities.

Jackie’s graduate research explored Aboriginal women’s experiences of accessing healthcare services when child apprehension was a threat. This ignited a passion for social justice health, and in her nursing career she is committed to working towards improved access to healthcare for individuals that are socially and economically marginalized.

Jackie now works at the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Health and Social Development (School of Nursing). She is the faculty chair of the School of Nursing’s Global Health Committee. The SON at UBC Okanagan provides students with an opportunity to complete a global health practicum in a low-resourced region. In 2014 and 2015 she co-led a group of 4th year nursing students on a global health practicum in Zambia.

Member at Large
Member at Large Community: Victoria Frost
Victoria has been a member of OkaZHI since 2015. She is a Registered Nurse at the Kelowna General Hospital Emergency Department, ever since graduating from UBCO in 2015. Her passion for global health was originally adopted in 2013, when she travelled to Ghana to participate in humanitarian work with several medical clinics and hospitals. Through recognition of the challenges, particularly related to health care, in the developing world, she is excited for the opportunity to provide education and resources to those in Zambia.


University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus)
University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus) Faculty of Health and Social Development
The Faculty of Health and Social Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zambia. OkaZHI is working closely with UBC to support and help coordinate its efforts under this Memorandum.
Global Nursing Citizens
Global Nursing CitizensFaculty of Health and Social Development
The Global Nursing Citizens is a diverse group of students at UBC-Okanagan with a united goal of developing globally aware nurses, raising community awareness of humanitarian needs, and supporting health initiatives abroad. Various fundraising projects include the Global Gala and various smaller fundraisers such as bake sales, bottle drives and car washes. The money raised is sent abroad with 4th year nursing students to Ghana and Zambia to help communities in need. 
 Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research
Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR)
The CCGHR is a not-for-profit organization promoting better and more equitable health worldwide through the production and use of knowledge. With members from across Canada and many parts of the world, the CCGHR is a Canada-based global network.  The CCGHR focuses on the use of health research to develop capacity at individual, institutional, and systems levels. Through this work, the CCGHR builds south-north research partnerships, connects people, and helps to support the growth of our next generation of leaders in global health
 Canadian Network for International Surgery
Canadian Network for International Surgery(CNIS)
The CNIS is a nationwide non-profit organization that promotes surgical care through surgical and obstetrical skills training. Our vision is to empower people and create an environment where the risk of injuries is minimal and everyone even those in low income countries has access to adequate surgical care.


Okazhi’s mission is carried out by the hard work of our volunteers and we are always looking to expand our team worldwide. Although we are always recruiting healthcare disciplines, we are also in great need of all professions and skill sets to achieve our mission.