CJI staff

CJI staff

Jenny Cafiso, Director

Jenny has been Director at CJI since 2003. She brings years of experience as International Programs Coordinator at the Jesuit Refugee Service based in Rome. She has also worked as Coordinator of Educational Animation at Development and Peace in Toronto, and she worked in Peru with TAREA, a popular education centre working in slum areas of Lima. Jenny has travelled extensively for work in Asia, Latin America and Africa. She holds an MA in Political Science and a post-graduate diploma in International Humanitarian Assistance.

Mercedes Arango-Vasquez, International Programs Coordinator

Mercedes has over five years of experience working in the area of social and economic development. Before joining CJI, she was a Program Officer for the British Embassy in Lima, Peru, monitoring the implementation of projects in healthcare, education, sustainable living and renewable energy. Mercedes is a lawyer and holds an MA in Ethics and Business – Sustainable Development and Responsible Investment from Cergy Pontoise University, France. She is also a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM).

Lena Balkaran, Donor Relations Coordinator

Lena has over 10 years’ experience in fundraising and management for the charitable sector. She worked at Yonge Street Mission as Manager of Major Gifts, and most recently, at Artsmarketing Services Inc., where she managed fundraising, planned giving and subscription teams to help non-profit organizations achieve campaign goals. Lena is passionate about being a part of something bigger than herself and continuously pursues educational opportunities to better serve in the humanitarian field.

Brigitte Majoko, Office Administrator

Brigitte has almost 30 years of work experience in a variety of settings, both private enterprise and not-for-profit. Prior to joining CJI, she served as a Donations Processing Officer with the capital campaign “Family of Faith” at the Archdiocese of Toronto. Originally from Germany, Brigitte lived in Zimbabwe for 13 years. While raising a family there, she also worked, first with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, and then with the German Development Service. She came to Canada with her family in 2001.

Pieter Niemeyer, Outreach Coordinator

Pieter has 17 years of congregational ministry experience, which incorporated both pastoral care and local social justice initiatives. He served as a reservist for 20 years with Christian Peacemaker Teams and has extensive experience in leading learning tours to the Middle East. Pieter has also volunteered in sub-Saharan Africa, in community accompaniment and in teaching high school in Swaziland. He has a Bachelor of Education from York University and a Masters of Divinity from Tyndale Seminary.

Victor Reyes, Communications Coordinator

Victor has devoted close to 20 years of his life in the non-profit sector as an educator, facilitator and communications specialist. He was Program Manager at the Sustainability Network and was their communications lead for an initiative to foster better relationships between First Nations and environmental NGOs. He has also worked as Conservation Officer for WWF-Philippines and was involved in livelihood support programs for local fishing communities. Victor holds an MES in Environmental Engineering from the University of Melbourne.

CJI Staff (part-time, contract)

Elly Kaas, Accountant

Elly is a Chartered Accountant who has provided management and accounting services in the charities sector for the past 30 years. She has worked with church and other charities dealing with peace and environmental issues and serving homeless people, prisoners, women and youth. Currently she is on the board of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation and is Treasurer of Peace Brigades International.





CJI also outsources some work to people working on a freelance basis.