Story of Founders
I am Darius Karyee Togba, co-founder of Child Relief Foundation. I am a native of Polar Town, Gbarzon District, Grand Gedeh County in southern Liberia. When civil war broke out in 1989, I was 10 years old and living with my parents. I left Liberia and became a refugee, living in exile in two refugee camps in Ivory Coast and Nigeria. My high school diploma was received while studying at Toulepleu City Academy, a refugee high school in Ivory Coast. Finally, I emigrated to the United States in 2006.
After settling in Des Moines, Iowa, I attended community college, got a degree and am now working for the U.S. Postal Service the last eight years. I married and we now have three children. We are members of Westkirk Presbyterian Church.
Growing up, my home district had no health clinic and no high school within walking distance. There was no safe drinking water. I prayed to God to help my people, dreamed of going to America for a better life and find resources to help my people. Today, God has answered my prayers and now I am prepared to help my people through Child Relief Foundation.
I completed high school in 1988 at Zwedru Multilateral High School in southern Liberia, where I trained to be an electrician. After finishing school, I joined the Liberia Electricity Corporation, full-time, as a linesman trainee.
My wife and I met in 1987. We have five children, two are living in Liberia and three living with us in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.A.
When war broke out in December, 1989, my wife and I were living in Monrovia where I was working. Later, fighting in Liberia forced me to leave in 1998 with my wife and two kids. We settled at a refugee camp in Ivory Coast.
In 2003, the United Nations arranged for us to emigrate to the United States. In 2005, we arrived to our new home in Des Moines. I work full-time and attend community college part-time. Our third child, a son, was born in Des Moines. Together, we attend Meredith Drive Reformed Church.
Darius and I were childhood friends in Grand Gedeh, living in neighboring towns. We often played together on the soccer field. When I arrived to Des Moines, it was by chance that I discovered he was also in Des Moines. God laid it on our hearts to work together to reach out and help develop our homes in Liberia.
Ralph Hoksbergen - Board President Emeritus
Graduate of Pella Christian High School, Pella, Iowa.
B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from William Penn Univ in Oskaloosa, Iowa
MBA in Finance and Business from Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa
Ralph worked with the governor, the legislature, and employers of Iowa as an actuary to bring about solvency in a trust fund, resulting in receiving designation as employee of the year. He has been engaged in construction of homes and is still involved in agricutural endeavors.
Ralph has served as president of an evangelistic association, as an elder and Bible teacher in local churches, and is active in door-to-door evangelism. He continues to serve many Liberians in his local congregation as a result of his visits.
Lois Hoksbergen - Board Member
Graduate of Grinell High School, Grinnell, Iowa
B.A. in music education and home economics from William Penn University, Oskaloosa, Ia
Post-graduate classes at Drake University and Iowa State University
Lois was a secondary level high school educator and also taught private music lessons.
She has also served on staff at a local funeral home.
Lois has served as a deaconess, Bible teacher, and choir director in local churches.
She has partnered with her husband in construction and agricultural businesses, doing administrative and accounting tasks. She continues to assist her husband in CRF as well as assisting Liberians in their adaption to the U.S.
Darren Georgeff -Treasurer
Darren currently works for a financial services company in Des Moines, Ia. For the last several years he has served on his church's mission and evangelism commissions, two of those years as deacon. Darren has previous experience living and working overseas; first as an exchange student and later careers in international agricultural trade and production.
Seth Boettner - Board member
Seth Boettner was raised in a loving Christion home with 9 siblings. In 2010 he comitted his love to a widow and an orphan, now a family for life. He is a Chaplain for a youth ministry.
Richard "Dick" Ash - Board President
Born in St Louis, Missouri, grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, graduate of North High School.
Bachelors of General Studies in Accounting and Economics from University of Nebraska, Omaha. Masters of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska.
Six years of service in the US Army. After college, worked as City Manager and City Administrator in Kansas for nine years, and Community Service Director and Assistant City Manager in Ankeny, Iowa for 25 years. Retired at the end of 2011.
Participated in several mission trips to Brazil with Prairie Ridge Church in Ankeny.
Chuck Zahrt - Board Member
Graduate from Spencer High School, Spencer, Iowa
Graduated from DMACC in Computer Programming, Des Moines, Iowa.
28 years in programming for business.
Maintainance for the Website.
Larry Madole - Board Member
Larry has helped us for months and he used to work on projects in Haiti.