Our story

Madiro is the Shona word for “Desire.” Shona is one of the main languages spoken in Zimbabwe. This name was chosen as a tribute to Desire.

Desire was a beautiful little boy whom Gillian met at the orphanage where she worked in Harare, Zimbabwe. Desire was not an orphan. His mother was suffering from AIDS dementia and could no longer care for him. Gillian was there when he was first brought to the orphanage. He spent the first few days heartbroken at the separation from his mother: inconsolably crying and refusing to eat. He soon became ill and was admitted at a nearby hospital. Because he was all alone, Gillian visited him every day and they quickly developed a close bond. The other caregivers on the ward took to calling Gillian “Mai Desire,” meaning mother of Desire. Devastatingly, with Gillian at his side, Desire passed away on June 2, 2001.

Desire will never be forgotten. We hope that Madiro will help prevent other children from a similar fate and allow them to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

- Gillian Morantz and Adrian Schauer

Gillian hugging Desire beside a crib
In Memoriam, Desire: August 24, 1999-June 2, 2001

Our Team

Team Members

Adrian Schauer
Founder & Technology Advisor
Montreal, Canada

Adrian Schauer is the founder and CEO of AlayaCare, a healthtech company delivering the next disruptive solution for the home healthcare industry by combining remote patient monitoring, clinical documentation and back office software. Adrian is a serial technology entrepreneur having built two successful mobile software companies; both achieving leadership positions in their respective markets. Adrian is also an active Angel Investor and sits on the boards of several companies including fast growing technology firms like the point-of-care medical device company Chipcare, the SaaS company TrackTik, and the GRC software provider Resolver.

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Dr. Gillian Morantz
Founder & Pediatrics Advisor
Montreal, Canada

Dr Gillian Morantz is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at McGill University. Her clinical and research focus is primarily on children new to Canada and in child protection. She has previously volunteered or worked in a research capacity in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Kenya and Haiti. She is the co-Director of the McGill Department of Pediatrics' Global Child Health Program which oversees medical education in global child health and collaborations with partners in low-income countries. She is also the co-Director of the Social Pediatrics Program which provides exposure for trainees to the medical care of children living in socially vulnerable contexts.

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James Fraser
CEO
Toronto, Canada

James Fraser is a Director and former President and CEO of ChipCare Corp., a Toronto based company developing a Point-of-Care Diagnostic platform for sexually transmitted diseases. Founder, President and CEO of Dignitas International from 2002 to 2012. Dignitas developed innovation to scale life-saving HIV and TB treatment in hard to reach communities.  From 1996 to 2002, worked with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in multiple roles in some of the world’s most difficult conflicts including Chechnya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Colombia. Education: Joint Specialist B.A. in International Relations and Peace & Conflict Studies, and a Master of Political Science / Public Administration from the University of Toronto. Canada’s Top 40 under 40, Grand Challenges Canada Star in Global Health, Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

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Monica Kahindo
Director of Development
Toronto, Canada

Monica has been fundraising in the non-profit sector in Canada over the last 15 years. She started her career in fundraising working at UNICEF Canada in donor relations. She has spent the last 5 years focused on major gifts, building log-term relationships with donors and connecting them to the work they invest in. Monica is a dual citizen of Canada and Uganda. She is passionate about increasing the quality of life and access to opportunity in Africa and sees her work with Madiro as an enabler for just that. Through her career, Monica has built expertise in major gift fundraising, volunteer management, gender-based fundraising and currently, exploring the intersection of blockchain + philanthropy.

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Sharon Batamuriza
Fund Manager
Kigali, Rwanda

Sharon is a dynamic leader and strategist with a passion for driving transformative change across Africa’s technology and innovation landscape. With a wealth of experience spanning program management, business development, and strategic partnership cultivation, Sharon’s commitment is to use entrepreneurship as a vehicle to leverage technology for social impact, particularly within the African tech and startup ecosystem.

As the former Program Director of the HealthTech Hub Africa at Bridge For Billions, Sharon led the implementation of a pioneering accelerator program from the inception stage.

Having held key positions at Kountable, Sharon has demonstrated a knack for driving business expansion, piloting new initiatives, and fostering client success. With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bennington College, Vermont, Sharon brings a unique blend of academic rigor and practical expertise to every endeavor.

Fluent in Kinyarwanda, English, and Swahili, Sharon is recognized for her exceptional leadership acumen and commitment to driving positive change. With a track record of success and a passion for innovation, she continues to be a driving force in Africa’s entrepreneurial landscape.

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Claire Boyer
Director, Operations & Communications
Vancouver, Canada

Claire Boyer is the Director of Operations & Communications at Madiro. After completing her studies at McGill University in Montreal, she spent her career working for high-growth technology companies in various industries, most recently at AlayaCare in the home care sector. Her roles have varied from strategy, mergers & acquisitions, client success and sales. Claire is passionate about social impact and finding ways we can all nurture our two homes - our bodies and the planet.

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Dr Monique van Lettow
Director, Operational and Implementation Research
Rièzes, Belgium

Monique Van Lettow has 25+ years of field experience in developing countries and global health research with a broad background and expertise in the development, implementation and management of research projects in Malawi. She was formerly a Senior Research Scientist for Dignitas International, a medical and research organization, based in Malawi. Her research interests include Tuberculosis, TB/HIV integration, the prevention of mother-to-child transmission and HIV transmission and prevention in adolescents.

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Michaël Bontyes
Director, Digital Health & Technology
Montreal, Canada

When one of the websites that he built in high school helped the immigration faith of a friend, Michaël realized how tech and data can support great initiatives when thoughtfully used. Since then, he has turned that natural interest in engineering and people into more than a decade of collaboration with fantastic teams from all continents.

Before joining Madiro, he had been working with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) since 2009 at headquarters in Toronto, Brussels, and Tokyo. Lately, he also served as a Technical Lead for their digital health team in New York where he contributed to Electronic Medical Records implementations in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Previously, he led and delivered many digital projects for large organizations as a Technical Architect for Edelman, a digital agency in Montreal. In parallel, he has been actively involved in open-source communities, including products recognized as Digital Public Goods like OpenMRS and Bahmni.

As a tough-minded optimist passionated about innovation, his career thread has been to optimize organizational and technical strategies to be more sustainable, impactful, and scalable. Today, Michaël is exploring emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to improve access to healthcare and support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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Alka Chaudhary
Finance & Operations Manager
Toronto, Canada

Alka Chaudhary is a bookkeeping professional with 6.5 years of progressive work experience across multiple geographies. Prior to her current role she has worked as an accountant handling accounts payable systems & processes for different clients at Infosys Technologies working with internal and external stakeholders. She is a multitasker and is always keen to learn new things. She holds an MBA degree in HR & Marketing and a bachelor’s degree in commerce. She is currently pursuing a 200-hour yoga teacher training course as she believes in the power of yoga to transform lives.

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Joshua Nsereko
OpenMRS Developer
Kampala, Uganda

After high school, Joshua Nsereko interacted with a strong developer who shared interesting information about software development. He gave Joshua some programming resources that led him to start contributing to OpenMRS before joining University. Since his childhood dream was being a medical worker, OpenMRS aliened very well with Joshua's interests. For the past 5 years, he has continuously contributed to its frontend, backend, QA, documentation, etc, together with participating in its fellowship and Google programs, mentoring new comers and interpolating it with other systems during implementations. Joshua's love for open source increases each day and he has extended his contribution to other communities like ODK, Apache, CNCF, crane cloud, etc to learn more tools and technologies.

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Pius Rubangakene
OpenMRS Developer
Kampala, Uganda

Pius Rubangakene is a Software Engineer became interested in programming while trying to customize QuickBooks to handle accounting transactions for his Dad's small business. With the sparked interest, he decided to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Software Engineering at the University where he joined a retail startup. He later on joined a FinTech in 2017 where he worked with a diversified team building banking software for unbanked institutions such as SACCOs, Microfinance institutions(MFIs) and savings groups. In 2021, he joined the OpenMRS community and has since then contributed to different packages for OpenMRS 3.x platform as well as working on the OpenMRS HIV Reference Implementation (OHRI) project.

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Alexis Nizigiyimana
Medical Programs Manager
Montreal, Canada

Dr Alexis comes from a large and low-income family of eight children in rural Burundi. Being born from an illiterate mother alongside with his seven siblings with assistance from a traditional birth attendant at home in a rural area with limited or no exposure to basic health care services, have inspired him to study hard, get into the medical profession, take leadership and jumpstart initiatives to provide solutions to public health problems affecting people, particularly women in his home village. Since then, he has turned interest in medicine, global health innovation, and public health into around a decade in partnership with international, regional, and national organizations.

Dr. Alexis is a founder, and CEO of Ubuntu Village of Life which envisions to make holistic care accessible to everyone, anytime and anywhere. Throughout his work with Ubuntu Village of life, he initiated Ubuntu medical clinic, Ubuntu health insurance, Ubuntu digital skill academy, and Ubuntu farm field academy to improve quality of life and care in hard-to-reach communities in Sub-SaharanAfrica with a particular focus in his home country, Burundi. From 2019 to 2020, he worked with World Vision International Burundi in multiple roles on health, nutrition, and food programs. From 2015 to 2019, worked with Burundi and East African noncommunicable diseases Alliance on NCD prevention and control indifferent countries including Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania.

Alexis has a medical degree in medicine from the University of Burundi, a duo-Master of Science in international public health/ health policy and management from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and Montreal University,Canada, and different certificates in quality improvement from Wisconsin University, USA; artificial intelligence, machine, and deep learning from IVADO, Canada. His main research interest include: Equity, universal health coverage, quality improvement, digital health, quality of life and health economics.

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Board

Adrian Schauer
Founder & Technology Advisor
Montreal, Canada

Adrian Schauer is the founder and CEO of AlayaCare, a healthtech company delivering the next disruptive solution for the home healthcare industry by combining remote patient monitoring, clinical documentation and back office software. Adrian is a serial technology entrepreneur having built two successful mobile software companies; both achieving leadership positions in their respective markets. Adrian is also an active Angel Investor and sits on the boards of several companies including fast growing technology firms like the point-of-care medical device company Chipcare, the SaaS company TrackTik, and the GRC software provider Resolver.

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Dr. Adrienne Chan
Infectious Diseases Physician & Associate Professor of Medicine
Toronto, Canada

Dr. Adrienne Chan is an Infectious Diseases physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada. Dr. Chan’s areas of interest include HIV care and treatment decentralization in low resource settings, innovative task-shifting models in human resources for health, and health systems impacts of emerging infections (Ebola and COVID-19). She holds a cross-appointment to the Clinical Public Health Division at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto, where she has taught on Health Systems Management in International Settings. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Chan has worked in southern Africa with clinical experience in Malawi, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, and multiple research collaborations with regional and international networks. From 2007-2019, Dr. Chan worked for Dignitas International as the organization’s Medical Coordinator in Malawi and then as Medical Advisor. She served as a clinical consultant for the WHO during the West Africa Ebola Outbreak and currently serves on the volunteer Board of Directors of Partners in Health Canada.

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Jean Philbert Nsengimana (Phil)
Chief Digital Health Advisor at Africa CDC
Kigali, Rwanda

Jean Philbert Nsengimana (Phil) is the Chief Digital Health Advisor at Africa CDC. He also serves as a special advisor to the Commons Project and the Digital Impact Alliance, working to unlock the full potential of technology and data for Africa's prosperity. Prior to those roles, he served as the Minister of Youth and ICT in the Government of Rwanda for 6 years. During his tenure, he spearheaded the SmartAfrica Alliance and YouthConnektAfrica – two pan African organizations focused on accelerating digital transformation and youth empowerment.  

 

Phil holds a Masters of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Global MBA in InformationTechnology from the SP Jain School of Global Management in Singapore, a Masters in Software Engineering and Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Rwanda. He serves on many other boards including the Global Digital Inclusion Partnership, IntraHealthInternational, Place Fund, International Center of Expertise in Montreal on Artificial Intelligence (CEIMIA) and StartUpAfrica.

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Jesse Moore
CEO & Co-Founder - M-KOPA
Nairobi, Kenya

Jesse Moore is CEO and Co-Founder of M-KOPA, the world leader of connected financing for low-income customers. Since the commercial launch in 2012, M-KOPA has connected over 1 million homes in Africa to affordable solar power and connectivity solutions, including lighting, charging, radio, TVs, fridges, and smartphones.

Jesse moved to Nairobi in 2010 and has overseen the company’s growth from startup to over 10,000 employees and sales agents. M-KOPA currently has offices in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, the UK and Hong Kong. The company has received numerous awards for innovation, impact and scale, including winning the prestigious Zayed Future Energy Prize, making the coveted MIT Technology Review 50 Smartest Companies list, and being listed byFortune Magazine as one of the Top 50 Companies Changing the World.

Investors in M-KOPA include Generation Investment Management, CDC Group and Standard Bank, as well as esteemed entrepreneurs such as Virgin Founder SirRichard Branson and AOL founder Steve Case.

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Jesse holds an MBA from OxfordUniversity (Skoll Scholar) and a BA from the University of North Carolina (Morehead Scholar). He was selected by the World Economic Forum as one of 100 YoungGlobal Leaders in 2017, and by The Business Daily as one of Kenya’s Top 40under 40 in 2016.

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Advisors

Rowena Luk
Technology Advisor
Cape Town, South Africa

Rowena Luk is the Director of Software Engineering and Data Science at Madiro and host of the social enterprise podcast AidEvolved.com. Previously, she was the Global Head of Digital and Technology at ActionAid, a non-profit of 45 country offices working to end poverty. She served as CSO at Dimagi, an industry-leading social enterprise providing digital health solutions. She has worked as an ICT4D researcher, non-profit founder, and software engineer, all with a focus on mobile technology for social change. Her career in digital development spans dozens of countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

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Thomas Laporte Aust
Business, Strategy and Legal Advisor
Montreal, Canada

Thomas is a lawyer who established his own firm, Aust Legal, in 2010. He represents leading corporations in a wide range of mergers and acquisitions (private and public), corporate finance and other commercial law matters. He also represents boards of directors and executives in governance and employment law matters. He was a co-author of the Executive Employment Law publication loose-leaf service published by Lexis Nexis for almost a decade. Thomas is an angel investor in several high growth technology companies. He is also a member of the Barreau du Québec, the law society of Ontario, the American Bar Association (ABA) and a member of the Mount Royal Club. Thomas is a proud husband and father of three young children. 

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