Board of Directors

Darrell Boyd, President
Jonathan Okwe-Pearson, Vice President
Rachel van den Berg, Treasurer
Emily Okwe-Pearson, Secretary-Clerk
Phyllis Brazee
Arthur Serota
Charles Onencan, ex officio

Advisory Council

Esther Acio
Isaac Kasu
Chido Octavious Masunda

Research Associates

Regis Chireshe, D.Ed
Tony Karbo, Ph.D.
John Mapfumo


UMECS: The Center for Peace, Education and Development

Charles Onencan, Executive Director/CEO


Charles Onencan, a founder of UMECS: The Center for Peace, Education and Development is a community development and youth development professional and a proven team leader in managing cross cutting, multi-district programmes. He brings a rich array of strengths and experience to the helm of the organization: broad organisational leadership, excellent communication, presentation and technology skills, exemplary programme and human resources management experience, a wide range of education and peacebuilding knowledge, practice and expertise, comprehensive community-based experience working with youth and community organisations and cultural and community-connectedness. Born and raised in Northern Uganda, Onencan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science from Makerere University Faculty of Science; a Diploma in Social Work and Social Work Administration from Makerere Institute of Social Development; a Certificate of Public Administration and Management from Makerere University Institute of Adult and Continuing Education; a Certificate in Internet Technology and Computing from Makerere University Faculty of Computer and Information Technology; and a Certificate in Peace Education from Makerere University Institute of Adult and Continuing Education. Onencan leads UMECS administration, operations and programmes. He is the Director of the Northern Uganda Education Programme and Programme Manager of UMECS Peace Education and Guidance and Counseling Programme in Secondary Schools. An artist and writer, Onencan is writing a series of cultural stories in English and Luo which will soon be published in a forthcoming book.

Anthony Ojok, Education Field Coordinator

Anthonywebsite2Anthony Ojok is a seasoned educator and former headmaster, primary and secondary school classroom teacher in Northern Uganda. He brings strong school administrative, classroom teaching, education pedagogy, community service and mentorship skills to UMECS programmes. Born and raised in Northern Uganda, Anthony Ojok holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from Uganda Christian University in Mukono. He also holds a Certificate in Peace Education from Makerere University Institute of Adult and Continuing Education. As Education Field Coordinator for UMECS Northern Uganda Education Programme, Anthony Ojok is responsible for school enrollment activities, student oversight, student assessments, guidance and mentorship and serves as organizational liaison with UMECS partnered secondary schools and higher education institutions.

Arthur Serota, Global Liaison and Partnership Director


Arthur Serota is the Executive Director of our partner organisation United Movement to End Child Soldiering and serves as our Global Liaison and Partnership Director. His duties and responsibilities include multi-purpose partnership development and global outreach. Serota brings more than three decades of African development experience in Southern and East Africa combined with a wide range of management, partnership development, education, peacebuilding and community development experience and expertise.


Douglas Openy, Accounts Manager


Douglas Openy is an accountant and computer specialist with strong community development and project management experience. Born and raised in Northern Uganda, Openy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Accounting from Makerere University Business School and a Certificate in Microsoft Office Applications from Makerere University Institute of Computer Sciences. Openy has a strong finance and accounting background in the private and NGO sectors.


Job Ezama, Facilities Manager, Kampala Secretariat 


Job Ezama is an experienced facilities manager with strong administrative, facilities management and organisational experience. Ezama manages UMECS Secretariat facility in Bukoto, Kampala and handles administrative duties and events planning. He holds a degree in Communications Technology from Kyambogo University.



John Oyubi, Assistant Facilities Manager, Kampala Secretariat


John Oyubi is an experienced property maintenance manager, former company supervisor in machine operation and hygiene management and has served as a field officer in refugee food distribution and health programsme. Oyubi provides strong events management skills and assists with administrative duties.


United Movement to End Child Soldiering

Arthur Serota, Executive Director/CEO

Arthur Serota is a community development and peacebuilding practitioner, human rights lawyer, educator and writer with broad nonprofit management experience. For the past thirty-three years, he has been an Africa advocate, community and project development professional. Living for many years in grassroots communities in rural Zimbabwe, urban South Africa and Northern Uganda, he has contributed to the development of community-based agricultural, reforestation, health, education, peacebuilding, arts and culture and economic development organisations and projects. The 2008 recipient of the Bernard Lown Humanitarian Award, Serota has written and lectured widely on community development, peacebuilding, education and social transformation.