Peninah is our Uganda Country Coordinator. Based at Youth Rising International, she is responsible for designing, coordinating, managing, implementing and monitoring RUFC activities throughout Uganda. This includes planning and coordination of School Clubs, Annual Soccer and Health Camp, Splash safe Camps, Youth Vision Trips, and Student Sponsorship. Peninah is a biochemistry graduate from Makerere University and has been a volunteer with Ray United for the past three years. Peninah was College President during her time at Makerere University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. In her free time she is either reading or swimming.
Kennedy is a graduate of Environmental Health Sciences from the prestigious School of Public Health, Makerere University. He’s been doing public health work for the last 5 years with experience in WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), HIV/AIDS, malaria, child and maternal Health, nutrition and adolescent health related programs. He has also been trained in the Grassroots Soccer curriculum. Kennedy is passionate about software development (including building this site) and hopes to use technology to improve public health in Uganda and beyond.Kennedy is also a successful comedian and entertainer and keeps the whole team laughing!
Abdul is our transportation and logistics manager, ensuring that our team always arrives on time and safe to all our programs. Abdul has been a member of the RUFC team since its inception in 2014. Learn more about Abdul by watching his ‘I am Ray United’ video.
Winnie is our School Club Manager. She also coordinates our home stay experiences and has served as our soccer and health camp manager 2017-2019. Winnie graduated from Gulu University in 2020. Learn more about Winnie’s work with RUFC and Global Health Network in her ‘I am Ray United‘ video.
Ray is co-founder of RUFC and continues to serve as the main visionary and fundraiser for the organization. Ray has attended all Ray United Camps and events to date, including over 10 trips to Uganda in the past 6 years. When Ray is not going to school or working on RUFC he likes to sign and play the guitar and piano. He is also an elite spring board and platform diver, having competed multiple years in the US Junior National Diving Championships. Learn more about Ray’s journey to Uganda and his inspiration to start RUFC in OUR STORY and watch his ‘I am Ray United‘ video to get to know him better!
Ian has been involved with Ray United since its inception, participating in an early partnership building trip in 2015 and our 2018 camp. In 2019, Ian launched a campaign to add drowning prevention to RUFC programming. He now directs the splash ball instruction as part of our Splash Safe Camps. Ian loves to play water polo and aims to become a professional life guard in the future.
Heather, better known as Mama Ray, is a professor of global health at the University of Southern California and co-founder of RUFC. She oversees the organization and ensures that we are using effective, evidence-based and ethical approaches in supporting our community partners. When she’s not hard at work she enjoys traveling and hanging our with her kids. Watch her ‘I am Ray United’ video to hear more about her approach.
Ralph, or ‘Papa Ray’, is RUFC’s finance manager. He is also a popular figure at camps where he is often found chanting along with the youth and dancing on the party bus. Check out his reflection following the 2019 Soccer and Health camp in his ‘I am Ray United‘ video.
Sharon Hart – Sharon Steiner Hart has over two decades in sales, business development and entrepreneurship and she has been a Certified Professional Coach for over a decade. Sharon helps her clients break through blocks and limiting beliefs and claim the life they really want to live. Her daughter is a 2019 Youth Vision Trip alum and she has been a member of the board since 2019.
Jessie and Rhett Mclaughlin – Rhett is a writer and producer, known for (among other things) being part of the hit YouTube duo Rhett and Link. Jessie and her son Locke are 2017 Youth Vision Trip alum and have been actively involved and supporting RUFC since.
Martin and Phylicia Muganzi – Martin and Phylicia are the directors of Youth Rising International with extensive experience implementing community-based programming in Uganda. Martin was 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow, a 2016 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, and a graduate of Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship, a joint university program of Uganda Martyrs University and Catholic University of Milan, Italy. Phylicia is a former Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda
Jane Schmitz – Jane holds a PhD in public health from the prestigious Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and is currently an adjunct professor of global health at Occidental University. Jane is active in numerous philanthropies dedicated to improving health and opportunities for youth in Los Angeles and worldwide.
Simone St. Claire – Simone holds a Masters of Public Health from the University of Southern California and is currently a consultant at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. She is an alum of our 2017, 2018, and 2019 Soccer and Health Camps and has been instrumental in sustaining and building our organization.
RUFC takes on numerous interns throughout the year to assist with our programming. Our 2019 interns include:
Nicole Malik – Nicole, USC ’22, is a 2019 Soccer and Health Camp alum and our current communications intern.
Drew Schwenk – Drew, USC ’20, is a 2019 Soccer and Health Camp alum and our current data analysis and reporting intern.
Tori Leone – Tori, USC ’21, is our current program planning and evaluation intern and plans to attend the 2020 Soccer and Health Camp.
Simran Kohli – Simran, USC ’22, is our current co-research intern and plans to attend the 2020 Soccer and Health Camp.
Zainab Hasan – Zainab, USC ’22, is our current co-research intern and plans to attend the 2020 Soccer and Health Camp.
Linda Cavanaugh – Linda, USC ’22, is our current curriculum development intern.