top of page
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

Board of directors of ACCoCA

Zainab Mohamoud

Founder and Executive Director of ACCoCA, CEO. SW, BA. 




Zainab is a dedicated and accomplished individual who has significantly contributed to various communities and causes. She is the founder and executive director of the African Caribbean Centre of CA, a registered organization in Alberta. As the executive director, Zainab is responsible for writing proposals for programs and projects, recruiting subcommittees, performers, and volunteers, and establishing partnerships with various industries.

Under Zainab's leadership, ACCOCA successfully hosted the 1st Afro-Caribbean Cultural Event in November 2022, which raised funds to open an office and support staff salaries. She has also actively supported isolated groups, such as seniors and youth, by organizing activities like making samosas.

Zainab, her board, and local volunteers achieved the fantastic Afro Caribbean Festival in 2023 in Red Deer; over 5,000 people attended the event, and 120 volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life contributed to the festival's success. Zainab's strong connections in the community were tremendous contributions to the festival's success, and many small, middle, and big businesses supported the event. Also, the City of Red Deer made this event possible with their funds, loaned equipment and time invested to celebrate with us for the rich African Caribbean cultures, food, entertainment, fashion show, market and many more.

Zainab runs a successful employment project funded by United Way Central Alberta to help everyone in the community get resume designing, cover letters, interview presentations, mock interviews, time management, stress management, conflict resolution, interpersonal skills, and many more. She is helping many newcomers secure employment and maintain jobs for long-lasting periods so that they will be integrated fully into Central Alberta communities.

Zainab and your team taught children and youth Environmental Awareness project in July and Aug 2023, funded by the City of Red Deer. The program had 45 black and Middle Eastern children and youth; the project was a phenomenal success. We encouraged youth to be leaders and help the project by taking on responsibility roles and then gave them certifications for their contributions.

This project partners with Kerry Wood Nature Centre and Common Ground Garden, which also taught children and youth about the essentials of the environment skills and garden to grow food, look after nature, and appreciate mother nature.

Zainab believes it takes a whole village to raise a child, and this program was a great success because of the involvement of our partners and community members. We partner with Oriole Park Association by utilizing their facility, and Kerry Wood Nature Centre lets us use it.
Zainab is a big believer, “If you want to go fast, then go alone, but if you want to go far, then go together with groups” ~ African quotes.

She is starting an ESL workplace as a private class on Saturdays and evenings for newcomers and teaching employability training to be successful in the project.

She is starting food service training as a private for low-skill newcomers, especially women, and everyone is welcome to gain employability skills and training in the food industry. Zainab and her team will support our students in obtaining employment success in the project. She has employer connections in the community and wants to keep newcomers in the Red Deer and Central Alberta communities.

She is organizing a successful Cultural Cafe series and storytelling through fall and winter in 2023 downtown as part of the downtown activation grant from the City of Red Deer and Afro Cultural Event and another outdoor event on Ross St Patio, which had phenomenal success.

The ACCoCA partners with the Soroptimist International Chapter in Central Alberta and CAIWA with the "Power of a Girl Conference" on Nov 18, 2023. We had great success with the event and 25 girls from 14 to 18 years of age. We had career women panellists, keynote speakers, and various presentations to prepare young women for adulthood.

The ACCoCA organized a Leadership conference. Dr. Madison N, the author, published speaker, leader, and professor, wrote The Day Before Tomorrow, how to Make Today Count. This conference fully sponsored and connected us with Dr. Madison, Donna Purcell QC Law, and her foundation with her daughter, Breaking the Mould Foundation. Donna is a phenomenon leader, mentor, compassionate, kind, and one of the 20 top lawyers in Canada and supports local, national and international communities.

She has recently found another success with moving the organization's new office faculty, which is an excellent location for the ACCOCA to expand programs and services, as well as events and festivals throughout the year.

She supports other organizations and individual businesses to succeed by rent sharing with our friends Filipino Canadian RD and High Calling Family Care Services, all led by a dedicated team and community leaders.

She partners with many local organizations, businesses, and all levels of government to support ACCOCA and the community. Her commitment to community development has also led to significant milestones, including three years of Community Development grants from the City of Red Deer and funding for the festival (2023 to 2025). The CIP grant will support our festival in 2024 and eligible federal grants next year.

In addition to her work in Canada, Zainab has a deep personal connection to Somalia, where she grew up after the war. In 2015, she successfully fundraised to build a school in Somalia, providing education opportunities to over 100 students from grades 1 to 8. She continues to be dedicated to this cause and aims to build a residence on the same site to ensure a safe environment for the students.

Zainab's philanthropic efforts extend beyond education, as she has also fundraised for causes like the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's "CIBC Run for the Cure." She has been a team captain, recruiting participants and raising funds for these initiatives.

Furthermore, Zainab is actively involved in community service. She was a board member of the Sunrise Rotary Club and is still a proud Rotarian, a member of the Downtown Rotary Club, and a volunteer for various charities. She has also served as an ambassadress for Diversity Magazine since 2018. She is a board member of the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society and part of the Interfaith Network for the City of Red Deer.

Overall, Zainab is a visionary leader passionate about positively impacting her community. She strives to promote multiculturalism, provide programs and services, and help the African Caribbean population in Central Alberta through the annual Afro-Caribbean Fests and cultural events throughout the year.

Zainab's efforts have been recognized and rewarded over the years. She has received prestigious awards such as the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal, Paul Harrier Fellow, Community Leader of the Year, the Mayor Recognition Community Builder Award, the Soroptimist Ruby Award, Daughter of the Year Award, Women of Excellence Nomination Recognition, and Certificate of Recognition RDP, Friends with Diversity Award, CA Community Leader of Year Award, and Appreciation, and contribution of Education, from Minnesota Board of Directors, and Education.

Education background: Zainab has a social work diploma from The RDP and a sociology degree from U of C and collaboration with the RDP.

Dr. Manaswitha Ajila

president of ACCoCA

Dr. Manaswitha Ajila


Manaswitha is affectionately known as Mana, is a dynamic individual whose journey transcends borders and encompasses a rich tapestry of experiences. Born in India and embraced by the vibrant landscapes of Canada, Mana has emerged as a distinguished professional in the fields of healthcare management and community service.
With a stellar academic background, Mana holds PhD in Business Management and an MBA in Healthcare Management. Her intellectual pursuits have resulted in the publication of numerous articles, notably in the International Journal of Information Technology and Management, addressing critical issues such as Changing Organizational Performance, Improving Patient Safety in Hospitals, and an Analysis of Intensive Care Units in India. These articles are readily accessible on Google, and showcase Mana's commitment to advancing knowledge in her field.
Mana's professional journey in Red Deer began as a Mental Health youth counselor, where she demonstrated her passion for making a positive impact on individuals' lives. Later, she joined the Central Alberta Immigrant Women's Association as a Program Coordinator, spearheading various projects and successfully implementing programs to support immigrant families in the region.
Currently, Mana stands as the proud owner and director of Stepping Stones Montessori preschools and Happy Start Innovative Child Care in Red Deer and Sylvan Lake. This venture stems from Mana's personal experience as a mother facing challenges in finding quality childcare and preschool services for her two young children. Driven by this need, Mana embarked on a mission to establish affordable, high-quality, education-based Montessori centers in Central Alberta.
Through her unwavering dedication and hard work, Stepping Stones Montessori has earned the distinction of being the top-rated preschool, garnering hundreds of positive testimonials from grateful families. Mana's goal extends beyond business success; she is deeply committed to serving the community and making a lasting difference.

Mercedes Bruce
Treasurer of ACCoCA

 Mercedes has extensive experience in finance and accounting and is an excellent choice for the position of Treasurer. Her expertise will ensure the organization's financial stability and responsible management of resources.


Bisharo Jelle

Secretary of ACCoCA

Bisharo Jelle, as the youth representative and aspiring social worker, brings a fresh perspective to the board. Her insights and understanding of the needs of the youth community will be valuable in shaping ACCoCA's programs and initiatives.

bottom of page