Meet the Team


Alphy Jurarim

Alphy Jurarim is the Founder and President of Jurarim Organization for Youth Excellence – JOYE and is currently a Director of Finance at Suddenlink Communication, Dallas Texas.  He is from The Gambia, West Africa and relocated to the United States in 1996 to further his own education and he currently holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and an MBA.  

Amina Sillah

Amina Sillah lives to make a difference. She has over ten years experience in the social sciences and human services and previously worked as caseworker. She holds a Bachelors degree in Legal Studies and Business from Temple University, a Masters of Public Administration from Northern Illinois University. She is currently finishing a PhD program in Public Administration from University of North Texas. Amina is an avid volunteer and currently sits on the board of three non-profit organizations.

Michael Dillon

Michael Dillon is the digital manager fro JOYE. Michael Dillon is a content management systems (CMS) expert, digital strategist and web project manager that has provided services for digital marketing and digital strategy to such clients as The United States Marine Corps, Omni Hotels, Hewlett Packard, Texas Utility Corporation and Suddenlink Communications.

Dodou Joof

Dodou Joof  is a graduate of University of Washington with a degree in Accounting and Business. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with experience working for major multinational financial institutions.Dodou held various positions with auditing firms like Ernst & Young LLP and Deloitte & Touché LLP in Seattle, WA and New York, NY. 

Khadija Jallow

Khadija Jallow is an IT professional with six years experience working in Telecommunications. She holds a Bachelors degree in Information Systems from the University of Texas – Arlington. Khadija is driven by her passion for technology and strives to promote education in Science and Technology among girls and young women in Africa.

JOYE Gambia Team

Matthew A. Gomez

Matthew A. Gomez

Executive Director Education Program – JOYE, The Gambia

What would we do without Matthew? A Gambian native, Matthew is an educator with six years school administrative work and seventeen years of classroom teaching experience. Matthew is the current Vice Principal at St. Michael’s Basic Cycle School – Nongon, The Gambia. As The Gambia Executive Director of Education Program for JOYE, Matthew oversees all JOYE education program in The Gambia. He is responsible for all aspects of education sponsorship and beneficiaries’ selection process, tutoring/mentoring programs, and ongoing beneficiaries’ development. Matthew studied Business management and project management at the University of The Gambia.  Matthew has been part and parcel of the JOYE journey since the beginning and has been volunteering for JOYE since 2011. Matthew is passionate about the value of volunteering and is particularly passionate about the power of education on her community’s youth.

Alphonse Mendy

Alphonse Mendy
Executive Director – Treasurer

Alphonse Mendy (better known as Pa) spent some period post high school studying in London. Upon completion of his studies, he returned to The Gambia and has been working for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as a laboratory scientist for the past five years. As the JOYE Gambia team treasurer he is responsible for financial report to the team, coordination of donatios, accountable for all financial transactions of JOYE in The Gambia, sign checks, and chairperson to financial committee. Pa has a passion for volunteer and a member of several organizations like Church development committee, Kanifing East Youth and sports development committee to name a few. He also travel extensively within The Gambia for work and in his own words “on one of my treks to the rural area, we drove past a school and I saw some of the kids with torn uniforms and without shoes going to school. Some looked very untidy but they still smiled as we drove past them. My heart bleeds for them and since then I have been thinking of ways to help them. When Alphy the founder told me about JOYE I knew this is my opportunity for helping those kids. I am volunteering to help JOYE to reach out to needy students, spreading the word so all will know about JOYE and also help to recruit more volunteers. If we all contribute in one way or the other helping out needy children, sooner or later there will be no needy child. Education is the key to success and the safest way out of poverty but it is very expensive, with JOYE it becomes free”.  

Lydia Lena Renner

Lydia Lena Renner
Executive Vice President – JOYE, The Gambia

As JOYE – The Gambia Executive Vice President, Lydia oversees all JOYE programs in Gambia. She is responsible for the development of new programs as well as recruitment, development, and ongoing management of Directors and volunteers.

Born and raised in The Gambia, Lydia travelled to Dublin, Ireland to further her studies where she obtained her Diploma in International Trade and Marketing from Colaiste Ide.  Currently, she is pursuing a BA in Human Resources Management.  Lydia works as a Human Resource Manager for Elton Oil Company Limited. In search of a way to contribute and make a positive difference in people’s lives, In April of 2013, Lydia found JOYE. After couple of exchanges with the founder of JOYE on the mission of JOYE and understanding the impact JOYE is having in the lives of underprivileged children.  She did not hesitate to become a JOYE volunteer. Lydia is passionate about the value of volunteering and is committed to ensuring JOYE volunteers have a positive impact in the lives of the underprivileged children, its partner organizations, and donors. Lydia in her own words stated “it is great being part of a team that is striving hard to make a difference in helping young people achieve their dreams through Education and other essential needs.  With my experience and training in the Human Resources Management field, I hope to help JOYE realize its vision of enabling young people in need reach their full potential through education assistance, by being an active volunteer. Most of the Youths in our sponsorship program, basic primary education was a farfetched dream because their parents’ / guardians could not afford to send them to school, which drove my desire to become a JOYE volunteer and contribute in making their dreams become reality”. 

Rohie Ceesay

 Rohie Ceesay
Secretary/Admin – JOYE, The Gambia

Throughout her teenage years to date, Rohie spent all her free time doing volunteer work. Rohie studied commerce/Business Admin in High school and graduated 3 years ago.  She has been looking for an organization to volunteer for and one that is stable and provides growth opportunity.  She joined JOYE Gambia team in January 2015 and she absolutely adores the opportunity to work with the JOYE team and is always happy to share some of her volunteering knowledge and experience. As a Secretary to the team she oversees the documentation process, records keeping, and assists the group with updates on JOYE activities. Rohie lives and breathe volunteerism and always looking for ways to make a difference.  Her passion lies in fighting for hunger and when you ask her about her mission in life she is quick to say “My mission is to build a hunger free Gambia and the world at large”.