Meet the Helping Children Worldwide team
Melody Curtiss has over twenty years of experience in organizational management. Before coming to Helping Children Worldwide, she worked as administrative counsel, legislative liaison and legal advisor in Olympia, Washington and Topeka, Kansas for two different government agencies. She has 15+ years experience working in program development, outreach and development for nonprofits, as well as 15 years as executive director, organizational manager, and project lead for government, nonprofits, and business.
Melody obtained her Bachelors Degree, teaching qualifications and Juris Doctorate from Washburn University in Kansas and a post-doctoral certificate in nonprofit financial governance from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government.
Melody lives in Manassas, VA with her husband and the youngest of their six children. She is a member of WHC Congregation in Washington, D.C., and is a published author “always working on the next book." She enjoys learning something new daily, listening to “every kind of music" and visiting with her large, diverse family, including fifteen grandchildren.
Dr. Laura Horvath
Director of Program Development
and Community Engagement
Prior to joining the Helping Children Worldwide staff in November 2014, Laura was an active volunteer with Helping Children Worldwide for more than ten years, serving on and leading the Education Committee, serving as the Vice Chair and then Chairperson of the Child Rescue Center Program Team, and leading multiple Volunteers in Mission teams to Sierra Leone.
Laura holds a doctorate in education, and brings to her role an in-depth knowledge of education, and a deep passion for global child welfare, the care of orphans and vulnerable children, public health, ethical missions, and sustainable community-led development programs. Laura and her husband, David, are members of Floris United Methodist Church and have three children.
Assistant Director for Mission Advancement and Partner Church Lead
Mohamed Nabieu (“Nabs”) was one of the first children that was rescued by the Child Rescue Centre (CRC) after the Sierra Leone civil war. The CRC sponsored him through University. Upon graduation, he served the CRC in Sierra Leone for five years, first as the Sponsor A Child Coordinator, and later as the Program Director. Under his leadership, the CRC successfully transitioned from orphanage care to family-based care through meaningful collaboration with all stakeholders including the Helping Children Worldwide partners, United Methodist Church, child protection agencies, the Sierra Leone Child Care Government, local staff, parents and children. As a result of the transition, the CRC's name has now changed to the Child Reintegration Centre.
In addition to his experience in Child Welfare and Advocacy, Nabs holds a master's degree in Applied Organizational Psychology and Leadership, and a First-Class Honors in Development Studies. He is a Certified Professional & Happiness Life Coach, and he finds great pleasure in serving vulnerable populations, uplifting people, as well as developing, empowering and equipping leaders.
Program Financial Specialist
Cynthia has the pleasure of monitoring budget execution for the Child Reintegration Center and Mercy Hospital. Cynthia was born and raised in Ghana where she received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of Cape Coast. Cynthia completed her post graduate studies in Chemistry at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
Cynthia joined the staff at Helping Children Worldwide in the fall of 2007, after a successful career as an Environmental Chemist, to pursue her passion of supporting impoverished children and families in Africa. Cynthia is married and has two adult children.
Heather is thrilled to join the HCW as an Executive Specialist. She has a versatile background that includes working in the private sector as an architectural consultant in major cities such as Miami, Washington DC, and New York City. Once married, she started living and traveling overseas, shifting her professional focus to humanitarian efforts, including building a TESOL curriculum and teaching English while living in Saudi Arabia; creating an ex-pat community service group who volunteered with established charities serving the most vulnerable women, children, disabled, and refugees in Morocco; serving poverty stricken inner city women who were pregnant in Washington DC; and helping shift a legal aid pro-bono ministry serving asylum seekers in the United States to a 501c3 non-profit organization. As Heather's life has settled down to take care of her two little children, she now is delighted to use her organizational, administrative, and managerial skills to come alongside those in the most vulnerable of communities in Sierra Leone. The Lord has directed her path for years, and she is always curious what he has next in store for her. It is never by her design, but always His. It is an honor to serve Him in whatever capacity He leads.
Missions and Compliance Specialist
Linda joined the staff of HCW in 2007 and serves as the Missions and Compliance Specialist. Her responsibilities include managing team planning and preparation, handling the logistics of travel, managing team fundraising and finances, organizational compliance and grant research.
Linda has traveled to Sierra Leone on several teams and has really enjoyed the times she has spent there. Linda and her husband, Derek, are members of St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in Burke, VA. They have three daughters, one grandson and two granddaughters.
Program Support and Communications Specialist
Kathleen joined the staff of HCW in 2010. As a long time advocate of children affected by extreme poverty, she is grateful to be a part of this mission and loves "telling the story" as the communications specialist for the organization. She also coordinates the Sponsor A Child initiative in collaboration with our awesome team at the Child Reintegration Centre.
Kathleen received a bachelors degree from Union Institute and University with a focus on African Development and writing. She is married and has three adult children and a spoiled Chihuahua.