The i.HUG Foundation, (International Help Uganda Grow Foundation) established in 2006, is a 501(c)3 organization that works with its Ugandan partners, the Tooto Wetu Education Program (TWEP), to provide basic necessities and run educational and other high-impact programs that empower children to succeed in school and in life. Working together, we create and strengthen systems of support that promote access to high-quality education and learning, development and long-term change for children, starting today but also for generations to come.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
Our Board of Directors are volunteers who dedicate time to ensuring this organization continues to prosper and make positive changes in the world. Everyone brings exceptional talents and passion to the table.
Joanna Breitstein. Co-Founder & President
Joanna is Founder and President of The i.HUG Foundation. She first traveled to Uganda in 2004, and has been involved with developing and advancing the i.HUG Foundation ever since.
Currently, Joanna oversees executive and ESG communications for a global women's healthcare company. Previously, she led CEO communications for Merck, a global biopharmaceutical company. Earlier in her career, Joanna lead communications for TB Alliance, a not-for-profit with the mission of developing improved drugs for tuberculosis. For the previous decade, she was a writer and editor. Joanna has received numerous writing awards for her work including Grand Neal Awards and a Kaiser Family Foundation fellowship.
Eduardo [Eddie] Beltre. Treasurer, Finance & Operations Committee
Motivated by its dedication to helping pave the way for a better future for our youth, through high-quality education and experiences, Eduardo “Eddie” Beltre joined the board of i.HUG in March 2019.
Eddie comes with over ten years of nonprofit leadership experience in building and implementing financial and operational systems that support stability and growth. Currently Eddie serves as Chief Finance and Operations Officer at Virtual Enterprise International. In his role, he oversees the organization’s financial stewardship, operational, legal and compliance activities.
Dr. Jacqueline Busingye. Program Committee; Health
Dr. Jacqueline Busingye was born and raised in Uganda. She immigrated at the age of 7 but has always kept a strong connection to “home”. When she attended a fundraiser for i.HUG in 2015 she became very interested in our organization and eventually joined the board in early 2017. Her role with the board is mostly to help with our health related programs. She is an Ophthalmologist with sub speciality training in Uveitis. She enjoys teaching residents both in and out of the operating room, doing clinical research, and international medicine.
Rebecca Duane. Program Committee; Finance
Becky joined i.HUG as a volunteer in 2007 and later became a child sponsor. She has visited Uganda twice to date and met her sponsored student when she graduated. During her trips, she was inspired by the dynamic and resilient team and their passion and commitment to creating life changing opportunities for Ugandan youth. As a board member, Becky leads strategic planning and special projects with Columbia University. She also drove efforts to develop the careers program and set up the Luwenda fund to support students beyond secondary education.
Becky is passionate about using data and technology to catalyze social impact outcomes. During her career, she has pioneered initiatives that leverage the power of data and technology to address poverty in low-income communities and continues to champion tech for social impact at IBM. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Lynn Serra. Creative Director, Head of Events, Operations Committee
Lynn has been a founding volunteer for The i.HUG Foundation since it’s inception. In 2010, she officially joined the Board of Directors and is responsible for creating and managing all marketing, communications and promotional materials for the organization. She has served as the Chair of the Annual Benefit Gala since 2008 and produces all fundraising events. She visited i.HUG’s program in Uganda for the first time in November 2010 and continues to travel there to help the programs grow and develop, as well as shoot photography and video for marketing and social communications. Each trip has been inspirational for her. Being able to meet and spend time with i.HUG’s Ugandan staff, volunteers, the children in the program, partner school staffers and members of the community, makes her dedication to i.HUG even stronger.
Dr. Beth Watson. Program Committee; Sponsorship Chair
Beth joined the board in January 2023. She has been serving as i.HUG’s Sponsorship Chair since 2020, where she has managed the administrative side of the program and all communications between sponsors and the team in Uganda. She has a doctorate in chemical engineering and professional experience in research and development, project management, finance, and capital markets. Most recently she retired from the pharmaceutical industry where she managed corporate investment and debt portfolios as well as financial risk mitigation strategies. She is currently focused on supporting non-profit organizations and initiatives. Her interests include education, micro-finance, and environmental conservation.