Who We Are


Sara Photo-Who We Are 2Sara Goff attended Sewanee Writers’ Conference and received two fellowships to Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia and Nairobi, Kenya. While living in Manhattan, she loved her work as a writing instructor for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Writers Workshop, founded by author Ian Frazier, and for The National Arts Club’s creative writing program for students. She’s currently Chair of the Literary Committee at The National Arts Club in Manhattan and is a public speaker on such topics as volunteer work and finding purpose in life, and the writing process and the power of the written word.

After seven years living in Stockholm, Sweden and then London, England, Sara is back in the States, enjoying life in Connecticut, with her Swedish husband, their two sons, and sweet little girl…a Yorkie named Pia. Her first novel, I Always Cry at Weddings (WhiteFire Publishing), is a New York City tale about figuring out life and finding love.

Jonas NilssonJonas Nilsson is a graduate of Harvard Business School and United World College. Currently, he helps develop for-profit companies for a living. He is also passionate about technology and has made software development a hobby since he got his first computer in 1981. Lift-the-lid.org became his non-profit focus after meeting Sara and travelling together with her to Kenya.


Joash BiiJoash Bii got us started with our first school in Kenya. He is committed to taking technology to remote rural areas where children would otherwise complete their education without touching a computer. He is a graduate of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya with a MSc. in Software Engineering and is candidate for Phd. Computer Science. He currently serves at Maasai Mara University as Lecturer in the Department of Computing and Informatics, School of Science.


cheri-bedell-peters-who-we-areCheri Peters was the child of Christian missionaries to the Philippines, where she learned to love the country and its people. After graduate studies at Northwestern University in English Renaissance literature, she began working with the Sewanee Writers’ Conference at its inception in 1990-and began reading more contemporary literature. Retiring in 2010, she has found in Lift the Lid a most satisfying way to unify the different aspects of her life experience, while at the same time being of service to underprivileged children.

IMG_8652Kelsie Conroy is senior at SUNY Oswego, majoring in Communication and Social Interaction with a History minor. She aspires to work in the documentary film industry, sharing stories from around the world, much like our students’ stories here at Lift the Lid. She loves to hike, attend music festivals, and watch films. Kelsie is working with us as an intern.

  • Maria Elsa Gallego

    It feels so good that there are people who are willing to share much of themselves to others. I hope I can have some part in helping others as well.

  • http://www.lift-the-lid.org/how-it-works/who-we-are/ Sara Goff


    I’m sure if you have the desire then the opportunity to help others will present itself to you. It starts with the desire.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


  • http://www.commongroundforafrica.org Joshua Machinga

    Dear Maria & Sara,

    Personally, I believe in the power of helping others. What I have learned over the years in my work as a charitable individual is I am helping myself. The more I give the more I receive. What I have enjoyed most is being around the kids. When I am down, they energize me to keep going.

    Thanks for supporting the kids and telling their stories. I have a video that I will soon finish editing, then share on YouTube.

    Thank you,