Who We Are

We are a group of volunteers dedicated to helping children in disadvantaged areas complete their education. The first ABCD: Art Building Children’s Dreams charity began in Canada; since then other ABCD charities and not-for-profits modelled on the same values and aims have begun in Australia, the UK, and in Tanzania.

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ABCD: Art Building Children’s Dreams in Canada volunteers focus their efforts in rural Tanzania in the Ward of Marangu West, the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Here is the Board of Directors.

Frank Smith

FrankFrank is an artist (click here to visit his studio) and a retired secondary school visual arts teacher. He still teaches privately in his own studio. After retirement Frank began to devote his time to volunteer and humanitarian work. He has volunteered at Camp Oochigeas, a camp for children with cancer, and served on the Southlake Regional Health Centre’s Artistic Enrichment Committee. However most of Frank’s time lately is devoted to his vision of developing ABCD: Art Building Children’s Dreams to further the educational goals and lives of the beautiful children that he has met in Tanzania. Listen to a podcast interview with Frank by using the player below.

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Lynn Bird

LynnLynn, a retired clinical laboratory manager, brings over 20 years of corporate operational and financial management experience in both private business and in the healthcare field. Lynn is the Past President of the Rotary Club of Newmarket and continues to be active at a district level. Her passion for world community service joyfully fills each day — until the young grandchildren come to visit. Then they command her undivided attention and will surely “teach me all I really need to know”.

John de Ronde

JohnJohn is a retired teacher who divides his time between living in the United Kingdom and Tanzania. In addition to serving on the Board of ABCD Canada, John is the founder of ABCD UK. He works hard to raise funds in the UK to help children in the village of Lyamungo Sinde, about 2 hours away from where ABCD Canada works. John’s specialty is ICT and he uses his talents to advance the work of both ABCD UK and ABCD Canada. His familiarity with the life and culture of Tanzania is invaluable.

Shai Laserson

ShaiShai brings 15 years of experience within the Marketing & Technology industries, while working with such leading brands as Apple Inc., Lexmark and Kraft Canada. He believes education is an empowerment tool and an equalizer among people. Shai’s earned the nickname of The Swiss Army Knife of Marketing & Technology for his ability to apply his knowledge and experience to any project. He continually contributes to ABCD: Art Building Children’s Dreams Canada through his guidance on the use of technology and the development and implementation of marketing activities both online and offline.


Terry Maynard

TerryTerry has worked as an instructional designer and facilitator since 1986 for employers such as CIBC, Simcoe District School Board, and Employment Ontario. Terry believes that education is key for developing countries… ”a gift that keeps giving”. Terry is committed to designing effective training and education for developing countries and communities, evidenced by volunteering to design training proposals for troubled teens, people of First Nations, and communities in Inuvik and South Africa. www.unlimitedworth.com