While growing up in Zambia, Natasha Sichula experienced period poverty or the lack of resources for one to manage their menstrual period. Although this negatively impacted her self- esteem and confidence to participate in school activities, it also motivated her to one day address period poverty. When she later migrated to the USA, she won the 2019 Edgewood College Social Innovation pitch contest that provided her with the funding needed to establish HERZ Movement (Her Empowerment Race Zone). HERZ Movement is a 501 3c Nonprofit organization that is committed to ensuring that underprivileged girls from developing economies do not miss classes because of their periods. Since establishing the organization, Natasha recruited and trained a team and formed partnerships with Days for Girls USA, DIVA Cups Canada, and many others to empower menstruators with leadership and reusable pad sewing skills. Her work has impacted more than 750 adolescent Zambian girls, and more than 5000 people at spotlight speaking conferences during the 2019 USA United Nations Youth Climate Summit in New York USA, Switzerland United Nations Global Challenges forum in Geneva Switzerland, NowThis International News outlet, Madison Magazine USA spotlight etc.
Aside from her involvement with HERZ Movement, she also works as a Cytotechnologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL. She holds a bachelor of Science degree in Cytotechnology with a Chemistry Minor from Edgewood College and the University of Wisconsin. Her excellent academic performance, microscopic diagnostic skills, and leadership ability, as well as her dedication to cytology were recently honored when she received the 2020 Geraldine Colby Zeiler Award from the American Society of Clinical Pathology.
April Yerges is an Associate Professor of nursing at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. Her focus is in pediatric global health and she is currently involved in local and global projects related to obesity and adolescent menstrual hygiene. Dr. Yerges is Director of the international service learning program Caring for the Children of Cambodia and travels there with students every year. She also serves on the board of directors for the United Nations Association of Dane County and the Cambodian School Project.
Katie joined HERZ Inc. as Vice President and founding board member in 2020. “At home, at school, and in my community, I have always felt empowered by the strong women leaders around me. I was lucky to grow up in a place where I never felt unable to participate or follow my passions, simply because I was a girl. I have never missed school, lost out on a leadership opportunity, or felt as if I were a financial burden on my family, because I menstruate. I just don’t believe this is something a girl should have to go through. And I believe this is a problem with a solution. This is why I am a part of HERZ.”
Katie resides in Portland, Maine with her two dogs, Brewer and Ronan. She enjoys travelling, doing anything active outdoors, and spending time with her big family. She is a graduate of Simmons College with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Doctorate in Physical Therapy. While in school, Katie was the captain of the women’s soccer team, and also participated in Ultimate Frisbee and softball.
Grace Mukupa holds a Ph.D. in International Development from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She was a Fulbright Scholar to Tajikistan and a Peace Corps Volunteer to Macedonia. Currently, she is the President of the Rotary International at the Crystal City pentagon in VA. She serves as a board member for The Margaret McNamara Education Grants at the World Bank. As an international development specialist, Dr. Mukupa has researched HIV/AIDS, education, tuberculosis, malaria, and food security. Dr. Mukupa was born in Zambia and grew up in Tokyo, Japan; she speaks several languages and is a respected Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc member.
Joe Mando is a global health quality improvement professional with more than 20 years of experience in global and domestic (USA) public health. His experience in the U.S. government includes supporting improvement efforts at the Defense Health Agency, the Center for Medicare Services, and the PEPFAR program. He has also supported similar efforts at state and city government as well as in the non-profit sector. He is a thought leader and a strategist, with a record of developing and managing multi-million dollar programs in the U.S. and in international development.
Chomba Kaluba is a social entrepreneur with extensive background in Social Justice, Organizational Development/ Capacity Building, Conflict Transformation, and Sustainable Development.
Chomba believes that a good life is possible for ALL people and he is committed to women and youth empowerment. He brings to our team over 13 years of leadership and management experience working with underserved populations across the globe through civil society organizations.
Chomba Kaluba is a native of Zambia and lives in Portland Oregon. He is an outdoors enthusiast who enjoys running, hiking, playing frisbee and paddle boarding.
As the HERZ Social Media Director, Cheryl works with Natasha Sichula and Lillian Kamanga to update HERZ social media sites and forge connections with other organizations that do similar work.
Cheryl grew up in rural Western part of Kenya. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental engineering and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Sustainable Design and Construction at Stanford University.
Cheryl joined HERZ because of her passion in finding sustainable solutions to health issues that women and young girls face - which in this case is period poverty. She is also passionate about mentoring young girls and encouraging them to go for what they want and to dream big as she believes that the sky is the limit.
Mercy Mutale Khosa is a Zambian medical student at the Copperbelt University. She joined HERZ because she is passionate about giving the girl child every opportunity possible to realise her full potential. She is an officer in the Scholarship and Outreach Department.
Lillian Kamanga is a student at Levy Mwanawasa Medical University in Zambia. She loves everything about being a woman and that is why she joined HERZ. She is an officer part of HERZ Media team and works closely with Natasha Sichula and Cheryl Mulor.
Located in Zambia, Fanizo Banda Chilembo joined HERZ because she is driven by a passion to support young girls, helping them and equipping them with information to better their lives and make informed decisions concerning their future.
A student in the field of Metallurgical Engineering at Copperbelt University in Zambia, Chinyanta writes: "I'm driven by the aim and theme of the organization. I was overwhelmed by the service rendered to the young girl and I wanted to be a part of the team!!!😃🤝"
A student of Environmental Engineering in Zambia, Boswell expresses his motivation to serve HERZ movement thus: "I have grown up in a home of females. Seeing them prosper & happy is my wish, hence I've joined HERZ as it will let me help out a girl child." .
A Dental Surgery student in Zambia, Wanga joined HERZ because: "I want to see women achieve great things and excel to their fullest potential; Herz provides a channel to reach girls whilst they are still young and nurture them."
As COO of HERZ, Themba Banda, a civil engineer and graduate of Cypress International University in Zambia, enjoys using is leadership, management and organizational skills in the organization and management of HERZ programmes and activities.
"I draw my inspiration from the success stories of the young women and girls we work with."
Ms. Khetiwe Zimba serves as HERZ's Finance Director.
Patricia Banda serves as HERZ's Secretary.