About Us

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Our Mission

Joining Hearts and Hands is building meaningful relationships with educational communities in rural Kenya and Northeastern Tanzania through projects, initiatives, and activities which promote dignity, opportunity, and self-sustainability.

During the fall of 2005, William & Joanne Cala traveled to Kenya. After life-changing encounters with orphaned children, they created a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization called Joining Hearts and Hands, Ltd.

William C. Cala

William Cala is president and co-founder of Joining Hearts and Hands, Ltd., a non-profit organization working to to improve education opportunities for children and fight poverty in Kenya and Tanzania. Along with his wife Joanne, Joining Hearts and Hands is rebuilding schools and providing scholarships for secondary school students in villages in the Nyanza and Western provinces of Kenya and Korogwe, Tanzania. Prior to his involvement in Africa, Dr. Cala was the superintendent of the Fairport Central School District in Fairport, New York, a suburb of Rochester, interim superintendent of the Rochester City Schools and served as Visiting Professor at Nazareth College in Rochester. He currently teaches graduate education courses to teachers overseas.

He has been honored by Phi Delta Kappa International which presented him with the Presidential Award for Exceptional Educator Leadership. He also received the George Eastman Award for Courage and Leadership in Public Policy from the Center for Governmental Research, The Genesee Valley Peacemakers Award and the Willie Lightfoot Youth Advocate.

Joanne M. Cala

Joanne M. Cala, Ed.M. is Vice President, Treasurer and founding member of Joining Hearts and Hands, Ltd., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization working to fight poverty in Kenya and Tanzania. Along with her husband Bill, Joining Hearts and Hands is rebuilding schools and providing scholarships for secondary school students in rural communities with little opportunity to continue their education.

Joanne has been Vice President of Operations with HSBC Bank, a teacher, a school counselor, a licensed mental health provider, and a college professor. During the Katrina disaster, Joanne served as a Red Cross Mental Health supervisor. Her passion is to serve others in crisis and provide hope. Currently Joanne has been teaching graduate education courses to teachers overseas.

Margaret S. Cardona

Marty Cardona, M.S. in Ed. has been a board member of Joining Hearts and Hands, Ltd. since it’s inception.

Marty is a retired public school speech therapist, classroom teacher, and school principal, currently serving as a school board member in Fairport, NY. Marty has a dedication to international child welfare and has spent more than 40 years working in international adoption in countries around the world. She currently works for Hillside Children’s Center in post-adoption support and for several other non-profit international agencies.

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