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AidChild Board of Directors

Dr. Patrick Banura

Dr. Patrick Banura AidChildDr. Patrick Banura is the Ugandan National Advisor on Routine Immunization for the World Health Organization.  While he is based in Kampala, his work takes him across the continent.  In addition to his medical degree, he holds a Masters in Public Health from Brussels Free University in Belgium.  From 2000 to 2010, Dr. Banura also served as AidChild’s Senior Medical Officer.  He is married and has three children.


Marilyn Brandfass

Marilyn Brandfass AidChildMarilyn brings a unique skillset to any team thanks to her 25 years in corporate middle management, her partnership in restaurant design and ownership, and her significant leadership roles in the nonprofit sector.


As Chief of Staff to the Vice President of Operations, Pacific Bell Northern California, Marilyn developed and implemented a model Business Controls and Compliance Process which became the standard for field audits throughout the company. Marilyn’s leadership skills served her well in her oversight responsibilities for the Emergency Operating Center, including staffing the center, running the drills, partnering with local state agencies, first-responders and utility companies. Marilyn successfully led a team of managers with responsibility for a $15M real estate budget, managing and delivering projects on time and within budget. The Chief of Staff role suited Marilyn’s leadership style well. Interactive, collaborative, high energy and multi-dimensional, the job was challenging and exciting, and Marilyn thrived in the position.


Marilyn transitioned her strong leadership skills to the nonprofit sector when she took advantage of an early retirement opportunity with Pacific Bell, and joined the team of Hospice of the Foothills. As Assistant to the Executive Director, Marilyn was solely responsible for executive support, benefits administration, risk management, and professional development. Experienced in policy development and skilled in regulatory interpretation, Marilyn made major contributions to the growth of the agency.


As the owner of a restaurant, Marilyn learned firsthand the challenges of owning and operating a business. Part chef, part business manager and part maintenance person, Marilyn rebuilt what was once a failing endeavor into a successful “must see” destination spot for visitors to downtown Grass Valley, California.


Currently, as Human Resource Manager at Sierra Nevada Children’s Services, Marilyn continues to share her significant experience in a way that directly benefits her community.


Marilyn has been an active and committed volunteer and consultant for AidChild for more than ten years, and has helped with the development of several revenue generating projects for the organization. Marilyn is also on the advisory board for the organization. AidChild Founder Nathaniel Dunigan adds, “Marilyn’s professional experience brings a level of excellence to the inner workings of the AidChild businesses, while her talents in the kitchen and art studio add taste and beauty. She is an essential member of our team.”


Marilyn completed the Bachelor of Science program in Organizational Development at the University of San Francisco. Following her passion for art, Marilyn also holds a Certificate in Expressive Arts from John F. Kennedy University. Marilyn continues to follow her passion by facilitating expressive arts sessions with veterans, children and the bereaved. When she has time, Marilyn teaches art classes at a local art store, and shares her art studio with friends and family.


Dr. Nathaniel Dunigan

Founder of AidChild. (Check out his blog at

Nathaniel Dunigan first visited Uganda when he was Deputy Director of the Office of the Governor in Tucson, Arizona. A one-month assignment as a volunteer HIV-prevention educator had taken him to Africa where he met so many children who were suffering and dying. His return to the states was marked with a great resolve to make a difference. That resolve led Nathaniel to complete a feasibility study for his AidChild concept, and then to resign from his job, sell his home, car and belongings, and move to Uganda. He was 26 years old, and had an entire budget of $3,500. Two years later, AidChild was chosen by the Ugandan and American governments as a model of pediatric HIV/AIDS care for the entire continent of Africa. A second center was created just after that, as was a treatment laboratory that has served the needs of more than 3,000 children and adults living with AIDS. The organization earns 70% of its own budget thanks to businesses he created under the AidChild corporate label, and is 100% administratively self-sustained thanks to a Ugandan management team. Read Complete Bio

Phoebe Graves

Phoebe Graves AidChild

Phoebe Graves has been telling the stories of the incredible people she meets around the world since a trip to Honduras, Central America, in 1997. Although she was there to help install a water system, she often found herself pausing to pick up her camera or ask questions about the lives of those she met.

For the past twelve years Phoebe has worked with Compassion International, a child development organization that works in poor communities in 26 countries around the world. With Compassion, she has traveled to more than 20 countries to gather stories and photographs, host and educate visitors to the developing world, and train and support local staff regarding development-minded photography and communications.


Phoebe Graves AidChild
Phoebe also does freelance and volunteer communications work with other non-profits and NGOs. A highlight of Phoebe’s work has been spending extensive time with the children who live at the AidChild so that she can tell their story too. She considers it a rare gift to be able to go through their days with them, capturing the small moments as well as the big ones.

Most recently, Phoebe and her family lived in Rwanda, East Africa, for three years, working in Compassion Africa’s regional office. She returned to the States in 2011. Phoebe and her husband, Joseph, have two young daughters and currently reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Mama Mary Safari

Mary Safari AidChildMama Mary Safari is the Chairperson of Youth Ministries for the United Churches International of Uganda (UCIU).  She is a founding partner in AidChild’s work, and lends her many years of experience and local expertise to the board.  Her husband, Jasper Safari, is the Bishop of UCIU’s southwestern division, and also an important advisor for AidChild.  They live in Mbarara, Uganda.