Aaron Blue is founder of The Charis Project. As CEO he has guided the Charis Project's development since 2010. He is also the director of Shade Tree Foundation, the Charis project's Partner organization on the Thai/Myanmar Border in Mae Sot, Thailand, which he founded in 2016. The mission of these two organizations is to protect children from the harm they endure when ignorance and despair oppress their families by equipping families with the wisdom and hope to establish a strong home so that every child can grow up to be the hero they were born to be. Aaron brings 25 years of development and ministry experience in Thailand, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Mexico, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Navajo Nation, inner city Vancouver and San Diego, both working with other organizations and launching new programs. He is known for his learning and innovation approach to development work that results from the combination of his academic background and practical experience in ministry and development. Driven to solve root problems, rather than just treat symptoms, he employs creative problem solving, experimentation, and critical analysis in his efforts to bring actually useful and helpful aid to people and communities.
Aaron is sought out as a consultant and speaker on subjects ranging from organic farming, education, best practices for 3rd party child care and whole child development, the role of development work in the redemption of land and culture, and applied theology. Aaron holds a B.A. of Philosophy from University of California San Diego. He studied Theology at a graduate level at Regent College. Aaron and his wife and their 6 children currently live in Thailand.
Jacolien Kirsten is an accounting professional with several years of experience providing professional accounting and audit services to private and publicly held companies in the software, communications and non-for-profit sectors. Jacolien has gained extensive accounting experience since starting her career back in 2001. Jacolien received her BA from the University of Pretoria and her Honors Bachelor’s in accounting from the University of South Africa. Jacolien is a CPA.
Carrien has more than 20 years experience as an educator, and professional writer. In Thailand she is the coordinator for the Family Education Project run by The Charis Project. She has created most of the content, designed the classes, and trained the teachers who take Family Education to communities each week. She brings her years of experience as a parent and educator to make information accessible for parents with little to no education, equipping them to raise their children to be strong and healthy. Carrien also home schools her own 6 children, who are all living in Thailand with her and Aaron.
Carrien has created a 2 week mini course on Family Resilience that adapts content from our Family Education classes to strengthen and empower western families also. You can get it here.
Karen has 17 years of experience in strategy, marketing, research, and customer experience across the financial services, technology, and healthcare industries. Karen currently serves as Vice President at research consultancy 8 Acre Perspective, and is also Principal and Founder of Articulate Consulting. Throughout her career, Karen has been a thought leader who partners with executives and cross-functional teams to make data-driven, forward-looking decisions. She is also passionate about making generous, human-centered choices that are sustainable over the long-term. Karen holds an MBA from the Yale University School of Management, and a BA from Gordon College.
Brent is a business development professional with several years of experience working with Life Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on investing into lifesaving technologies within the private sector. Some of the skills Brent has learned through his career include business development, due diligence, marketing, limited partner communications, market analysis, and legal compliance. Brent holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management from Point Loma Nazarene University and has served as a board observer for two of Life Ventures’ portfolio companies.