Our Team

The volunteer’s welfare and safety are our priorities.  Everything is done so that you can have a nice and particularly memorable stay. This will be an experience you will never forget!

The volunteer will be warmly welcome at the Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana by a VARAS executives. VARAS is made up of dynamic, committed people who are entirely at your disposal. All questions and inquiries will be answered and warmly welcomed by the following executives.

 Ghana Executives

 Sylvester Atitsogbe – [ Facebook profile ]

Co. Founder, CEO and Trustee

The best way to understand the needy is to assume or put yourself in their position by Sylvester Atitsogbe.

Sylvester lived his early days in a rural community called Kpetoe. Surrounded and lived under extreme poverty through out his schooling gave him no option than to give his life helping others. ”The best happiness in life is to see your neighbor happy” and this is what he deemed as his no. 1 priority to achieve.

His responsibility is to see to the smooth running of VARAS and oversee all projects. His primary aim is to ameliorate rural Ghana, Africa.


Volunteer in Ghana, Africa.Summer volunteering abroad Yehadji Adignon Kokou – [ Facebook profile ]

Co. Founder, Exec Director Marketing, Branding and Volunteer Recruitment and Trustee

Helping others in need is at the core of his life. He grew up in a small community and has seen the need for improvement first hand. He believes sustainability must be at the root of all VARAS’s projects and safety of volunteers must never be compromised. He is a trained Mineral Engineer and speaks fluently both English and French. To the question why should someone choose to volunteer with VARAS he says “If you want your traveling abroad aspirations to be met and also your safety is important to you; then VARAS is the organization for you.’’ He always looks forward to meeting people and contributing together to the amelioration of rural Africa.


Desmond Quarshie Desmond Quarshie – [ Facebook profile ]

Exec Director Projects, Volunteer Management and Trustee

It is his responsibility to ensure the volunteer has a memorable stay in Ghana right from the reception at the airport through to the departure. A task he lays his hands on with a lot of passion and a great joy. He always looks forward to meeting volunteers. He was born,  bread and had his studies in  Ghana. He loves listening to music, watching movies and acts like Oliver Twist in terms of having fun.


International Executives

Country – United States of America

Madelynn Lovelady

Madelynn Rose Lovelady – [Facebook profile]

Executive Representative in Charge of Volunteer Recruit and Fundraiser, University of Florida.

Madelynn, is the newest member of our team, as Executive Representative for the University of Florida and United States. She is attending the university, pursuing her undergraduate degree in Microbiology & Cell Science with the intent to go onto medical school. She has a heart for the nations and being a refuge for the vulnerable. Her passion is bringing love and medicine to people who have little, to no access. Madelynn’s soft spot is for kids and orphans who have no one that calls them their own. She loves music! Madelynn plays guitar, piano, and loves to sing. She is eager to share what VARAS is currently doing and to help our volunteer community from Florida and the US, grow.

Claudia Henderson

Claudia Henderson – [Facebook profile]

Executive Representative in Charge of Volunteer Recruit and Fundraiser, University of Florida.

Claudia is so excited to be a new member of VARAS, as an Executive Representative for the University of Florida and for the United States. She currently attends the University of Florida, working on her major in Biology and a minor in Health Disparities. It is her mission to become a doctor and help those that do not have adequate access to health care. Whether it be in the United States, or across the world, she wants to help. She loves to travel, dance, and learn about other cultures. Since she came back from our Medical Internship this summer in Ghana, she has seen what a difference VARAS has made in people’s lives, and she is determined to help us become a well-known organization in Florida and in the United States.

Ellyce Furguson Ellyce Ferguson – [ Facebook profile]

Executive Representative in Charge of Volunteer Recruit and Fundraiser, Howard University.

Ellyce Ferguson is a recent graduate (with Honors) from Howard University. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Political Science, which is how she discovered her passion for International Relations and Foreign Policy. She started a fundraiser through Change Heroes to build a schoolhouse in Ghana that will educate thousands of children. She has raised over $5,000 so far. She recently traveled to Accra, Kumasi, and Cape Coast, Ghana as a research/service fellow with the Young AfricanA Leadership Initiative (YAALI).

This trip has further motivated her to bring sustainable change to Africa. While in Ghana, she learned of Volunteers for Amelioration of Rural Areas (VARAS), is an international volunteer, non profit, non governmental organization operating in Ghana, Africa. She believes that this program will allow her to make that significant impact and work with VARAS to meliorate rural Ghana. She had such a life changing experience, and wants to help others not only have a similar experience, but to help give other students the chance to help poor and rural areas in Ghana, and make a significant impact. Ellyce has a passion for public service, mentoring, and aspires to work in the Foreign Service.


IMG-20151007-WA0001 Shalece Perryman -[Facebook profile]

In Charge of Volunteer Recruit and Fundraiser

Shalece Perryman is an International Executive responsible for recruiting and fundrasing and promoting projects and programs from the U.S to Africa. Shalece is from the U.S. and born in Boston, Massachusetts. Shalece is African and Native. Shalece has seen her people struggle from the U.S to Africa. Shalece is a human, environmental, and civil rights activist and a community leader. Shalece has implemented youth and educational programs, fundraisers, and community outreach programs while working to bring people of all cultures and backgrounds together for one common goal: healing broken communities, breaking down racial and class barriers and making communites stronger.
Shalece P. “Our Children inherit this world, they deserve the best, they deserve phenomenal opportunities, so let’s work hard to give them the best of us and our world.”

Country – Germany

Katharina Alvermann -[Facebook profile]

Executive Representative in Charge of Volunteer Recruit and Fundraiser

Katharina is our first member from Germany and really happy to be part of VARAS. She is attending the university of Hamburg to achieve her bachelor degree in social and cultural anthropology.

Since she already has a degree in fashion-textile management, she was a participant in our latest project “Kente weaving 2017”.With her love for learning more about other cultures and helping people who have less, she is willing to help VARAS as much as she can to make a difference in people’s lives.

Through Kente she attempts to revamp rural development and her full commitment is to see the tailoring and dressmaking center come to live.Volunteering in Ghana was one of the best experiences she had and it also had a big effect on her personal life.


Country – United Kingdom

11426478_10153470802039427_243732184_n Marina Pianta – [Facebook profile]

In Charge of Volunteer Recruit and Fundraiser

I am half English and half French, raised in the UK with relatives scattered around the globe, and a recent graduate from McGill in Montreal, Canada, it is no surprise that I absolutely love traveling and learning new cultures. VARAS is a compassionate organization that I am delighted to be a part of. Volunteering in Ghana was such a humbling and memorable experience that I will forever cherish, and I would recommend exploring this beautiful country to anyone.


Country – Canada

Chris Chris Biggs – [Facebook profile ]

Technical Admin and Business Coach / Consultant in Canada.

Chris was initially the guy who got VARAS.org operating as a real presence on the internet back in 2008.  Since then he has conducted multiple site upgrades, contributed graphic designs, and handles our website donations, Kente Store, and advertising space funding system.