About Us

Open Arms Children International (OACI) was birthed in the year 2000 in the wake of the great flood of Mozambique while founder Gloria Tetteh was the Goodwill Ambassador to African Action on AIDS.  In that time of need, Gloria successfully carried out an immediate response in that region.  Her mobilizing efforts resulted in the distribution of $150,000 worth of donated merchandise to those in need.

OACI is the millennial, humanitarian organization addressing children’s development internationally.  We work in five developing countries across Africa and the Americas assisting children and women to overcome the effects of poverty and to the promote access to education and to health.

OACI is an independent 501(c)3, with no religious, political, or governmental affiliations.

Our Vision

OACI’s vision is of a world in which all children and women realize their full potential in societies that respect global interdependence, human rights, and dignity.

Imagine a tree that has been planted in dry soil.  In order for that tree to take root and to flourish, it will need nutrients, including plenty of fresh water, caring, and love.  It will not survive if those elements are not provided.  Just as plants absorb nutrients mainly from the soil in the form of minerals and other inorganic compounds, OACI aims to nourish the spirit, the minds, and the bodies of those it serves.

Our Mission

OACI‘s intentions are to achieve lasting improvements in the quality of life of deprived children in impoverished countries, through a process that unites people across cultures and adds meaning and value to their lives, by:

  • Encouraging deprived children, their families, and their communities to do more than subsist and to increase their ability to participate in and to benefit from their society fabric
  • Building strong working relationships to elevate the understanding of and unity among peoples of different cultures and countries

Advocating for human rights and the interests of the world’s children.

Biographies

Gloria Tetteh – Founder

Ms. Gloria Tetteh was born in October of 1964 in Detroit, Michigan to an American politician (Willie E.P. Bowman) and an African diplomat (Gustav A. Tetteh) of the Ghana Embassy to the United States.  She was raised in Europe and Ghana until the age of 14 years old when her father passed away.  His untimely death, which precipitated her return to America, was an extremely difficult period in her young life, but it also formulated her life’s passion.  Since receiving her B.A. in Mass Communication from Lehman College, her love for mankind has energized her to support children in acquiring their educations. Her experience of people living in poverty – often lacking quality education, food, housing, and clean drinking water — inspires her to serve others.

Diama Halidou – Vice President

Ms. Diama Halidou was born in Niger (West Africa) and taught physical education in many different colleges and high schools in Niger. Having graduated from INJS, with a Degree in Physical Education Teaching, Diama was the first female coach of the National team of Hand Ball in Niger.  Diama joined OACI INC. in 2011 and is committed to helping the woman of Niger and making a difference in the life of children and woman in Africa.

Maimouma  Maiga – Director of Operations

Maimouna was born in Niger (West Africa) where she lived off and on over the past twenty years.  Maimouna attended Lehman College of the City University of New York and graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Computer Information System (Magna Cum Laude and Departmental Honors).  Maimouna’s professional experience includes working with CARE International (an organization fighting global poverty). She participated in research study for many cities in Niger for Household Livelihood Security (H.H.L.S).  Maimouna has said, “We don’t choose our parents; we don’t choose the place we are born. If you have the blessing to fulfill your basic needs, think about people who are starving and make a difference in their lives” and thus has joined OACI to effect change.

Yolonda F. Johnson – Logistics Coordinator

Yolanda F. Johnson has had an outstanding career as a performing artist, as an educator, and as a supporter of the arts and human rights.  A native of Omaha, Nebraska, she began studying classical piano at an early age.  She completed her B.A. in voice performance at the University of Tulsa. Yolanda then attended the University of Akron where she completed her M.A. in Arts Management.  Yolanda is a member of the Sigma Alpha Iota International Women’s Music Fraternity.  She is a lead singer in the music ministry at the First Baptist Church of Tarrytown.  She is also the Representative for the Foundation for Post-Conflict Development to the United Nations, where she eventually hopes to explore how the arts can be used to help nations heal, post-conflict.

Teresa Bowman – Member of Board of Directors

Born in Queens, New York, Teresa is the Commissioner of Human Rights for the fourth largest city in the State of New York.  In addition, she is the Advise Commander of US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 68.  Throughout her life, she has been a stalwart administrator and a force for good will.