Founder and Director
Anansi was founded, developed and is currently run by director Kathryn Roe. As an instructor at Whatcom Community College, in Bellingham Washington from 1971-2007, she has long believed in the value of a education. While at Whatcom, she taught ceramics, art history, drawing, color and design, and computer art.
In 1997, during a sabbatical, she traveled to West Africa and while there she fell in love with the people, the colors and the opportunity to learn an entirely different culture. Upon her return to Whatcom, and with a tremendous desire to return to Africa, she found the support of the college to create a quarter-long study abroad program. This cultural experience was successfully realized in 2000. Prior to this African project, she had planned and implemented similar study programs in both Mexico and France.
In 2004, Kathryn Roe enlisted friends and family to sponsor the high school education of six teens from the village of Mpeasem in Ghana.
Assistant Director (Ghana)
Mohammed is a former Anansi student and our only paid employee. Starting in his third year at Edinaman High School, Mohammed volunteered as a liaison between Anansi and both the school administration and other Anansi students. Due to his clear initiative, aptitude, and passion for Anansi’s work, Mohammed was higher upon graduation. He handles bookkeeping in Ghana, conducts student selection with Kathryn Roe, manages student relations, and runs Anansi’s operations in Ghana when Kathryn Roe is in the United States.
Assistant Director (US)
Alisa has been a Board Member since Anansi’s inception. She handles most of its day-to-day administration, bookkeeping, and donor communications. She has worked alongside the founder to establish the mission of Anansi and continues to work with the entire Anansi volunteer community to find sponsors and raise funds to enable the selected students get a secondary education and make steps toward an improved life.
The challenges to learn and grow have been tremendous for Anansi, but she believes strongly that the passion, dedication and tremendous effort of all those involved, as well as the commitment to transparency and communication provides a strong value for anyone that chooses to donate and/or become a sponsor.
Her time otherwise is spent as a new artist where she faces a large learning curve. She has been happily married for almost 35 years to the 2nd son of Anansi’s founder, has three grown children and a three-year-old Newfoundland dog — all of which keep her busy.