Meet Our Board Members

Co-Founder Melissa Deally

MELISSA DEALLY

CO-FOUNDER

Melissa’s journey spans continents and cultures, beginning in Australia and taking a pivotal turn in Tokyo, Japan, where she enjoyed an International School education. Her adventurous spirit led her to explore the world, aftler completing a Commerce Degree including a transformative two-month camping safari through Africa in 1990.

Having witnessed firsthand the global disparities in educational access, particularly in Africa,  Melissa’s passion for making a meaningful impact was ignited. As a mother of two girls and a dedicated Girl Guide leader, she found inspiration in the documentary “Girls Rising,” which unveiled the uphill battle nine girls faced in their fight for education. This poignant experience prompted Melissa to reassess the significance of her successful hotel career and set her on a path to contribute positively to the world.

In 2016, a life-changing conference by Allysian Sciences became the catalyst for Melissa’s “a-ha” moment. Instead of waiting to amass personal wealth, she realized the power of taking immediate, purposeful steps toward her dream of educating girls. Collaborating with friends Malcolm and Megin, who shared a similar vision, they co-founded Girls Matter in January 2017. Through this non-profit organization, Melissa’s impact started in Buyaya, Uganda.

The narrative continued to unfold in 2021 when Melissa connected with Jali Sisters in Kenya, an organization empowering women in the Nairobi slums to earn a livelihood. Girls Matter expanded its reach to support the education of daughters within this inspiring community. Melissa’s dream is to break the poverty cycle, 1 girl, 1 family, 1 village at a time, as we raise the GDP of countries, further increase access to education for girls.

Co-Founder Malcolm Trevena

MALCOLM TREVENA

CO-FOUNDER

Malcolm was born in Auckland, New Zealand and worked in I.T. for many years.

Due to over work and excessive stress, Malcolm had to retire from I.T. and reexamine what was important in his life.

He embarked on a volunteer journey across the world. He began a teacher in a small rural community in the Philippines and had the time of his life.

He then moved to Ghana to work on a Liberian refugee camp.  While equally rewarding for himself personalty, he began to question whether what he was doing was truly meaningful.  Sure, he was teaching kids, but only replacing paid teachers who were already doing a good job.

This came to a head when he volunteered in Uganda.  He was brought before  some rural farmers and asked to talk about farming.  Malcolm knew nothing about farming, but talked about it anyway!  Not helpful.  Not meaningful.

He soon left the volunteer organization he was with and started Grassroots Uganda – a women’s collective creating jewelry from recycled poster paper.

Malcolm further expanded his vision and created Meaningful Volunteer to empower volunteers to have meaningful impacts on developing communities. Numerous meaningful projects have been completed including the building of solar powered schools in Uganda and Nepal.

Both Malcolm and his wife Megin are excited to start this new phases of their meaningful jounrey with Girls Matter.

Co-Founder Megin Alvarez

MEGIN ALVAREZ

CO-FOUNDER

Megin was born in Cavite in the Philippines and was raised in Canada.  Megin has the best of both countries.

With a social science background she has been working with the Ministry for Children and Family Development and Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society (VACFSS)  in British Columbia for the past eighteen years.

She’s involved in the foster care system in Canada and has developed numerous community programs in Cavite specializing in child advocacy and female human rights.

She is also the co-founder of Meaningful Volunteer, a non-profit organization.  Megin and successfully oversaw the construction of two solar powered school in Uganda and Nepal.

Board Member Jan Janzen

JAN JANZEN

BOARD MEMBER

Jan has been a serial entrepreneur for 43 years, buying her first franchise at the age of 19. She has done everything from being president of a network marketing company to running a 6-figure healing practice to empowering women through coaching and business training.

A non-denominational minister and author of 3 books, Jan traveled the world for 9 years, volunteered for a month in Umzumbe, South Africa and spent 4 years as a missionary in Ecuador.

It was during those amazing but challenging years, Jan realized the disparity between men and women, no matter what country she was in.

When Jan returned to Canada in 2016 she was committed to making a difference through humanitarian work. Girls Matter is the primary vehicle that Jan has used to empower girls through education and mindset.

Honorary Board Member Dr. Ngoma Evelyn Moghalu

DR. NGOMA EVELYN MOGHALU

HONORARY BOARD MEMBER AND MENTOR

Dr. Ngoma Evelyn Moghalu (Dr. M.) is a wife, mother, researcher, social scientist, and avid advocate for women, race research, African immigrant visibility, and Autism awareness/acceptance. Dr. M.’s advocacy is informed by her personal experiences as a woman, Black woman, first-generation Nigerian immigrant, and mother to her handsome son with Autism. She has a Bachelor’s degree, and a Masters’ degree from Howard University, Washington, D.C. She obtained her Doctorate degree from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Her experiences as a first-generation Nigerian immigrant residing in the United States of America inspires her volunteer services to Girls Matter.

Dr. M. serves as a mentor to our girls in Uganda who are sponsored by Girls Matter. She is paying it forward to our girls and devoting her time to helping them discover their superpower by teaching them how to optimize their talents, and gifts for academic and professional success. Dr. M. enjoys public speaking, coaching future leaders/speakers, and contributing to podcast conversations. When she is not engaged in research, public speaking, mentoring/coaching or advocacy, Dr. M. enjoys exploring her interests in film, documentary, theater, visual arts, photography, creative writing, graphic content creation, music, dance, exotic cuisines, and networking with people who share similar interests.

Board Member Jan Janzen

REBECCA WHITE

HONORARY BOARD MEMBER

Rebecca White is a wife, mother to three young men, and caregiver to a terminally ill father-in-law. She is also a website designer, virtual assistant, and graphic designer.

Rebecca started her own online business 22 years ago so she could stay home with her boys. Two of her sons have autism, and she knew she needed to be available to help them learn the ways of the world in a safe environment.

For 10 years Rebecca ran a radio show called “Heal Yourself Talk Radio”, where she interviewed many health and wellness experts and humanitarians.

Special guests included Patch Adams, the controversial doctor who bucked the medical norms, Maryanne Winkowski, the Ghost Whisperer and Tippi Hedren, the American actress who starred in two Hitchcock movies and is an animal activist.

Rebecca won two awards while on Blog Talk Radio for her open and honest interviews about subjects that at the time many people did not want to talk about openly.

Today Rebecca helps empower other women entrepreneurs in their business.  She believes that “You Were Born with Everything You Need to Experience Success in Life!  When you are in tune to what the Universe is waiting to give you, the flood gates open up!”.

Rebecca’s heart was touched when Melissa Deally told her about her organization, Girls Matter. She was unaware of just how little things had changed in poorer nations, and wanted to help out to the best of her abilities.

Rebecca is an honorary board member for Girls Matter in charge of the backend development of marketing, website design and updates while bringing her wisdom and intuitive side to the monthly board meetings.

The solution is simple. Educate the girls.
However, it's not easy. It takes a lot of money.
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