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Meet the Team



Dr. Yakoob Badat, Founder (USA)

Learn more about Yakoob and his vision here.






Björn Fagerlind, Volunteer (Sweden)

Björn Fagerlind's experience with Africa began when he worked for The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), as an Administrative  Officer for aid to Zambia. Until recently, Björn sat on the board of the Sydvästra Skånes FN-förening - a UN-organization based in Sweden - along with his wife Zebunissa, who is originally from Malawi.


Björn and his wife successfully ran a tour company with a focus on development aid to Malawi for 18 years. Together they achieved many aid ventures ranging from helping a school in Chinteche, the North of Malawi; building a nursery school for 100 children; building an 'under five' outreach clinic in Linthipe, and also sinking water boreholes in Nkhotakota and Salima.


A large part of Björn's heart is forever in Malawi, where he continues to support and help the children. In 2013 he wrote a book about "His Malawi". It is currently being translated into English. His vast experience and knowledge regarding aid to developing countries span over 40 years.


Björn was given an honorary chieftainship in the village in Chinteche where the Macalpine School is located, as a token of appreciation from the people of the area. He is known locally as Chief Chimbano.



Zebunissa Fagerlind, Volunteer (Sweden)

Zebunissa Fagerlind and her husband have specialized in running their own tour company to Africa, Asia, and South America for the past 18 years.


Zebunissa has spearheaded many aid initiatives to Malawi, her birth country, such as the building of an 'under-five' outreach clinic; the sinking of boreholes in various areas of Malawi. Together with her husband, she has also supported a school in the Northern part of Malawi, raising funds to assist students and also provide books and other study related materials.


Having lived in Sweden for the past 38 years, Zebunissa currently works as an Economist at Offspring Management, where she is the financial administrator for seven companies within the Offspring Management Group. Until recently Zebunissa was also an active board member of the Sydvästra Skånes FN-Förening (UN organization), where she has been the administrator in charge of sourcing donors and donor aid, and channeling aid to Malawi.


Zebunissa studied Intercultural Communication at Malmö University. She is unwavering in her stand on principles of transparency, ensuring that every dollar donated to any cause is accounted for and reaches its intended recipient with minimal expenditure from start to finish. The vast experience Zebunissa has, working with charitable causes, is a huge asset to the Nanze family.


Madelein Fagerlind, Volunteer (Sweden)

Madelein Fagerlind has worked as an Advertising and Destination Partner Manager ArrivalGuides in Gothenburg, Sweden for the past three years. An avid traveler and supporter of charitable causes, Madelein studied in Australia and Canada and did an internship in London. Her diverse heritage has made for a well-rounded individual who has a deep and personal connection to Malawi, her second home.


She holds a Masters Degree in Communication from the University of Gothenburg. Her work and personal life have contributed to strengthening her communication skills, giving her an enhanced ability to connect with people from around the world. Madelein was a board member of Sydvästra Skånes FN-Förening (UN organization).


Though Madelein was born and raised in Sweden, she has often traveled to Malawi. She has been actively involved in educating the students at the Macalpine F.P. School, and also spoken on the negative impact of HIV which has ravaged Malawi where one in 10 individuals have AIDS. She is personally responsible for funding the high school need of two girls.


Yunus Badat, Volunteer (USA)

Yunus Badat has over 30 years experience in management and leadership. He has won numerous lifetime awards. Having begun his professional career in Malawi, his birth country, Yunus is able to effectively communicate and assimilate into various cultures and situations. He is a natural leader who combines empathy, experience, and insight. His business acumen, with excellent negotiation skills, financial planning, and project management skills are his strengths. He also has extensive experience working at board level with a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders across both private and public sectors.


A graduate of Cleveland State University, Yunus holds a bachelors degree in International Studies and a Masters in Psychology and Diversity Management Program. Yunus comes to Nanze to assist in the daily running of operational activities. 




Ruckshana Khan, Volunteer (USA)

Ruckshana Khan has more than twenty-five years of experience as an international travel consultant. She is currently pursuing a career in Electroneuro Diagnostics at University Hospitals, Cleveland.


Ruckshana grew up in Zambia and Malawi, where she is originally from. Her rich multicultural background combined with strong communication skills enables exceptional cross-cultural relationship building and lasting friendships. She brings a wealth of experience to the Board of Directors of Nanze.




Leanne Chisholm, Volunteer (Canada)

Leanne Chisholm is a Canadian International Project Management Professional. She holds an Honours B.A. in Global Studies and History and a Post-Graduate Certification in International Project Management. Over the past 10 years, she has lived and worked in several different countries across the African continent, the majority of that time being in Malawi; allowing her to gain an acute awareness of the country, its people, culture and the current political and economic situation. Leanne has worked in the design, management, and coordination of complex, multi-million dollar international programs as well as managing logistics for high profile international training programs. Working with governmental, non-governmental organizations and private industry across the globe, she has gained competence in working efficiently and effectively in a broad variety of environments, capacities, and sectors including; health, HIV/AIDS, palliative care, microfinance, women’s rights, occupational health and safety, and sustainable tourism.


Leanne currently works as the Program Development Manager at an international development agency based in Toronto, Canada. She has a continuing dedication and passion for working for the betterment of Malawi and its people.




Yusuf Badat, Volunteer (USA)

Yusuf Badat served as a Development and Finance board member for H.E.L.P. Malawi (Help, Educate, Love, Protect), the mission of which is to cultivate a pathway for children living in rural areas of Africa to become responsible citizens and active leaders through quality education.


Yusuf attended public schools in Lilongwe, Malawi and understands the myriad challenges of Malawian youth, and the gaps in it's public education system. Like so many others in Malawi, he received instruction under a tree as opposed to a classroom setting. This experience motivated Yusuf to join Nanze in an effort to make improvements in the educational system. From Kawale Primary School to Bwaila Secondary School, Yusuf continued his passion for education. His desire for a quality education led him to the United States where he pursued a B.A. in International Studies, an M.A. in Public Policy Administration, and a Certificate in Urban Economic Development from Cleveland State University. Yusuf continued to serve the University’s students through his employment by Cleveland State University where he assisted in the management and distribution of funds for higher education. He now works for University hospitals as the Sr. IT Business Application Analyst.



Carol Timm, Volunteer  (USA)

Carol attended public school in Lilongwe walking for miles every day to go to school. She understands the importance of education because she was unable to finish her high school. Because of this, she is passionate about helping others get their education. Carol pays for a number of children in Malawi to go to school. She moved to the USA in 2003 to give her daughter a chance of getting a better education.


Carol has been involved with Jacaranda School for Orphans in Blantyre for the past 7 years by assisting in raising funds, collecting school supplies and clothing and sending these items to the children of Jacaranda. 




Joseph Sheketani Banda, Volunteer (Malawi)

Joseph Sheketeni Banda, born and raised in Malawi, is well aware of the challenges that Malawians face. From the challenges obtaining a basic education to the scourge of HIV compounded by rampant poverty.


Since 1992, Joseph has worked as a civil servant in the Ministry of Transport and Public works. Having strong leadership skills and a customer services mindset, Joseph has worked in different locations along Lake Malawi. Most recently he was promoted to the Department Headquarters in Lilongwe.


Joseph holds a Masters Degree in Maritime Affairs (Shipping and Port Management) from World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo-Sweden. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering which he obtained at the University of Malawi. While at WMU Joseph established unprecedented networking with people around the world, giving him the ability to work in diverse atmospheres.

Joseph comes to Nanze as a volunteer to help with logistics and daily running of local activities.



Mia Jones, Volunteer (USA)

Mia has worked in banking for nearly 15 years at one of the top 10 banks in the US. She began her career in the Associates Leadership Program which led to her into a position as a Unix Systems Administrator and Data Security Specialist. This was the perfect launching pad for her move into Technical Project Management. She continues to work in project management and was recently given a special role in handling Communication for an audience of 50,000 people.
Mia has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo in Information Systems and Operations Management with a minor in Business Law. She studied International Marketing at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College in the UK and went on to earn a master’s degree in Marketing from Cleveland State University.
Besides travel, Mia keeps busy running a small online business specializing in handmade goods.
Cicero Badat, Volunteer  (Sweden)

Cicero is based in Gothenburg, Sweden. He attended the United World Colleges, Waterford Kamhlaba, where he had his first interaction with altruism. Cicero also attended the University of South Africa, and most recently Tri-C in Cleveland. Cicero is a former member of The Round Table, where he was involved in many fundraising activities to benefit the needy. During his time in the US, Cicero and Yakoob got speaking about the idea for Nanze, which led to Cicero diving in fully and assisted in developing Nanze from an idea to the organization it is now.


Cicero brings experience, energy, as well as his great social and networking abilities.

Speak to him about anything and everything. He's always willing to have a chat.



Layla Fawaz Volunteer  (USA)

Layla attends The College of William and Mary and is majoring in Pre Law with a minor in Sociology. She is also a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, serving as their Financial Secretary. Working with multiple international organizations, Layla has initiated projects aimed at improving the lives of children in Malawi. Some projects include raising funds to purchase school resources and clothing for orphans. In addition, she volunteers her time teaching children with disabilities.


Bjorn Fagerlind
Zebunissa Fagerlind
Yakoob Badat
Madelein Fagerlind
Yunus Badat
Ruckshana Khan
Leanne Chisholm
Yusuf Badat
Layla Fawaz
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