DIG has a diversified staff coming together from all backgrounds of life and work experience. Many of our employees are returned Peace Corps volunteers well versed in the struggles of the populations that we serve.
A talented pool of volunteers domestically and internationally contributes daily to every aspect of the growth of the organization and achieving our vision.
Sarah Koch - Co-Founder, Executive Director
Sarah Koch co-founded DIG in 2006 at the age of 24. She served as a rural health extension agent for Peace Corps Senegal and developed health curriculum and project initiatives. She has experience working with illiterate communities encouraging health-based behavioral change and community leadership. Sarah's unequivocal dedication to DIG as led to transforming lives and land across Africa, in more than 9 countries, with a vision for a more nourished world.
Noah Derman - Deputy Director
Noah Derman holds a Master in Public Health from the Global Health Department at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and an International Development Certificate from the Evans School of Public Affairs. He has seven years of experience working on public health issues in the public and private sectors both domestically and internationally. He was also a Peace Corps Volunteer and served communities impacted by HIV/AIDS in Northeast Thailand.
Steve Bolinger - Co-Founder, Country Director (Burkina Faso)
Steve Bolinger served as an urban agriculture volunteer for Peace Corps in Senegal, which led him to co-found DIG in 2006. He has over 10 years of experience in project management around the world and led country projects for DIG in Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and Burkina Faso. He loves working and living with inspirational communities who are able to thrive despite hardships.
Olivia Atieno Nyaidho - Program Coordinator (Kenya)
Olivia started with DIG in 2012 and strengthened DIG’s projects in Lwala with her expertise in sustainable agriculture, environmental management, community based agribusiness, gender equity, and monitoring and evaluation. Olivia has a BA in agriculture and a Masters in project planning and management. She is excited to give back and share her skills with her community.
Salam Sawadogo - Program Coordinator (Burkina Faso)
Salam lives in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He currently is the Program Coordinator for DIG’s Burkina Faso and Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) partnership. Salam is highly motivated and has expertise in rural and local development, agronomy, agroforestry, agropastoralism, and sustainable management of natural resources. He is brilliant in maximizing production and using local resources.
Patrick Kayima (Uganda)
Patrick has a wealth of agricultural knowledge and is also the leader and founder of the Budondo Food Security for People Living with HIV/ AIDS. He is one of the most motivated and committed individuals that DIG has worked with in Africa. Patrick is providing support to existing projects and also expanding the Home Gardening Program within his group. He is also working as an Agricultural extension worker for one of our partner’s Segal Family Foundation.
Tobias Okeyo (Kenya)
Tobias is currently facilitating the DIG/Lwala clinic project in Kenya. He has been working alongside DIG staff at the facility garden while making a focused effort to do outreach in the surrounding community. Agriculture has always been a part of Tobias's life. His grandmother decided long before he was grown that he had a gift for working with the ground. He became an agriculture teacher for a short while and is now DIG's leading trainer in Kenya.
Isaya Otieno Yango (Kenya)
Isaya joined DIG’s Farmer Field School in Lwala and trained for six months in organic agriculture. He was chosen as a DIG regional representative and developed several strong community farming groups in his area. Isaya is now the lead trainer for DIG’s program with HIV, Widow and Youth Groups in Rongo sub-County.
Sara Obonyo (Kenya)
Sara is 28 years old and a mother of four lively children, two sons and two daughters. When she trained with DIG, it was clear she had a gift of leadership, passion for farming and helping her community members. Sarah oversees the school sustainable agriculture programs and has been trained in permaculture through a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and a Training of Trainers program.
Vida Bita (Kenya)
Vida lives in North Kamagambo, Rongo. Her passion is nutrition and working with expectant mothers and women living with HIV. She wanted to start working with DIG when she realized the positive impact of DIG’s work in her community. She is a role model to both her community and her nine-year-old daughter, Dezine, who helps maintain the garden when Vida is out training.
Onyango Vincent (Kenya)
Vincent is from Rongo Town in North Kamagambo. He joined DIG’s Farmer Field School at Lwala and now currently works as a facilitator. He loves learning new agriculture skills and enjoys being both a teacher and a student. Vincent is also a great gospel singer and can often be heard singing in the gardens.
Peres Otieno (Kenya)
Peres is a soft spoken mother of four; however, she has no problem disciplining farmers if they are not correctly composting or mulching. She is a hardworking and committed trainer with a great home garden that supports her family.
Am Otieno Samwel (Kenya)
Otieno Samwel is from North Kamagambo and agriculture has been his favorite subject since primary school. He works in Lwala as a facilitator assisting farmers with new skills and making the most out of local materials, resources and markets.