Who We Are
Global Friends exists to remove the barriers imposed by poverty that force us to become disconnected – either by choice or circumstance. We support orphaned and vulnerable children around the world and the incredible people who care for them.
Our intent is not to set up models of dependency but to provide the resources and introductions for mutually beneficial partnerships that can lead to self-sustainability.
Global Friends is Canadian charitable organization run entirely by volunteers.
Global Friends strives to provide the resources necessary to shape our global community into a place where everyone contributes and thrives. We believe in the power of a sustainable, harmonized, global community.
Global Friends offers hope when inspiration and aspirations fade. We offer opportunities through collaboration, funding of meaningful education, and provision of resources to meet basic needs. We foster and support environments where dreams can – and do — become reality.
Our goals are to facilitate empowerment and encourage strategic partnerships so people succeed as individuals and collaborators. Some of the successes we have supported include:
- funding the construction, furnishing and ongoing development of the Rafiki Orphan Care Home
- feeding 38 orphaned children at Rafiki for 6+ years
- providing education to dozens of children in Uganda and Tanzania
- rebuilding a school for 500+ children in rural Uganda
- funding and helping to develop self-sustaining, income-generating businesses in the form of a sewing centre, chicken farm, agricultural program and water distribution centre
- supporting a rehabilitation program for street teens
- providing supplies to a crucial mobile health team dedicated to reducing the number of orphans in rural areas by keeping parents alive
- and much more….
Catherine Mulvale, Founder, Director and the heart of Global Friends
Catherine Mulvale believes in the potential of people and the power of cooperative, reciprocal relationships. She enjoys helping develop and implement solutions that support proactive health care, active living, and the advancement of youth as members, and future leaders, of our global community. Her interest in working in the not-for-profit sector began after she survived a life-threatening illness for which she had a 10% chance of surviving. She has raised over $12 million and is respected for her ability to rebuild not for profit organizations and develop innovative programs which attract funding, provide meaningful benefits to supporters and improve quality of life for people affected by disease and the hardships of unfortunate circumstances. She is an Honourary Board Member of the Orphans Foundation Fund and Principal Guardian of Rafiki Orphan Care Home in Tanzania, East Africa; is the former Executive Director of the Canadian Foundation for Infectious Diseases; Executive Director of the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation; and, Founder and Director of Dynamite Design, Strategies for LIFE, and Global Friends Foundation.
Doug Deschner, Trusted Advisor and Treasurer
Doug is the retired Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for the Pepsi Bottling Group and is now a Certified Financial Planner living in Kelowna, BC. Doug graduated from the University of Baltimore with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration as well as playing NCAA Lacrosse. He is a former member of Canada’s National Lacrosse team and has been inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. He loves the outdoors and recently completed his first ironman distance triathlon at Challenge Penticton. He has reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro twice, and this is where he became connected with the vulnerable children of Tanzania. He and his wife Vicki have been involved for four years with these children, first with Strategies for Life and now Global Friends Foundation. They have a keen interest in ensuring that the children of Rafiki are given the opportunity to pursue the path of education appropriate to each of them. As well, Doug has applied his business knowledge to help Rafiki become self-sustaining through their water and chicken project.
Terry Wallace, Chief Construction Counsel and Secretary
Terry owns several successful Canadian businesses. He is respected for his commitment to excellence, collaborative approach, humour and values. He immigrated to Canada from Wales as a young man and is grateful to be living and thriving in Canada.
Terry says that when he met Catherine Mulvale he was inspired by the stories about her own life and, in particular, her adventures in Africa. He wanted to help and he wanted his company, clients and partners to be involved. He wanted to bring his expertise for building to extend across continents. Terry’s vision and generosity has resulted in the annual presentation of the Penalta Group FORE! Rafiki Golf Tournament and Celebration. Terry admits that the Penalta team really didn’t know what they were getting into when they started their journey with Global Friends but the result has been a lot of fun and abundant funding for schools, water projects, education and the transformation of thousands of lives. Terry asserts that this is just the beginning!
Terry says his involvement with Global Friends keeps him grounded and underscores how thankful he is to be living in Canada. Global Friends is thankful for Terry’s expertise, generous heart and ability to inspire good people.