TO
Around The World
Women United
About Us
Our Board of Directors is our governing body and is responsible for WUAW’s strategic direction, establishing goals for management and monitoring the achievement of goals directly through its committees.

Meet the board

Adele Masengo Ngoy, Founder & President

Adele Masengo Ngoy is a fashion designer and the Founder, President and Board Member of Women United Around the World.  She is a mother of three, Marielle Thété, 21, Dorcas Thété, 19, and David Thété, 17.  She moved to Portland, Maine in 2000 as a result of an ethnic-based civil war that broke out in 1996 in her home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Her journey to the U.S. began with her residing at UN-sponsored refugee camp in Cameroon.  She left behind a successful life as college professor and couturier to the elite. After 8 months in the refugee camp, she and her children were resettled to Portland Maine.  At that time, Adele spoke no English and had no resources.
 
Adele has shared her talents as a Fashion Designer in several capacities here in America.  She has taught sewing classes to women many times.  She owned a boutique of her own in Portland where she offered sophisticated alterations and custom designs services for both men and women.  Adele is a talented designer who has created and can create anything! —Including original custom wedding gowns, special occasion attire, and everyday business wear.  She launched a winter Fleece jackets line four years ago called “Theluji.”  She has been invited on numerous accounts to colleges and universities as a guest designer to showcase her work for international and multicultural events. She is especially known for her ability to perform intricate alterations, her authentic designs and her ability to create them from scratch, which she has done for women of all shapes and sizes, worldwide.
 
Since arriving to America Adele has devoted her life to raising and providing for her children, and making Portland her home.  Adele aspires to facilitate integration for migrant women and hopes that her work and partnership with Women United Around the World will act as a vehicle for this dream.  When she lived in the Congo she was always involved with organizations that help, celebrate, unify women.  She wanted to bring the celebration of International Women’s Day here in the magnitude she celebrated back at home.  She is currently teaching pro bono courses at “A Gathering for Stitches,” where she has a studio, through WUAW.  Besides her volunteer work through WUAW, she is currently the alterations manager at a bridal company.  Adele can be reached via email at adelemass@gmail.com.

Lisa DiGiovanni, Vice President

Lisa DiGiovanni is a full time student obtaining her master degree in social work and licensing from the state board as a counselor with a focus on trauma, parenting education/support and to promote cultural competence. Lisa is a mother of two adult children and a bonus mom of triplets. Before returning back to school, she has been a teacher for 15 years and founder of a non-profit called Kids Against Child Abuse. Lisa brings to WUAW a wide variety of organizational skills along with a passion for the empowerment of women. Lisa has been part of the International Womens day celebration for two years past and is currently the vice president for WUAW. She is born in the United States and is a true innovated New England woman. Lisa loves to travel, hike, kayak, swim, yoga and mindful meditation.
 
Lisa believes The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If we are attentive, we will see it. We all need to have a balance acceptance of the present experience.

Elaine DiGiovanni, Secretary

Elaine DiGiovanni is a retired ESL/English Professor from Community College of Philadelphia, where she taught ESL for more than 20 years. She also trained graduate students in TESL, presented at TESOL INTERNATIONAL conferences, and is published in the ELT Journal. Currently, Elaine volunteers at Portland Adult Education and is a League of Women Voters Portland Area board member. For Women United Around the World, Elaine has worked on the International Women’s Day Celebration and Fashion Show for several years and at present, is our Secretary. With her past experience, she is quite comfortable interacting with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from around the world.

Dorothy Olaru, Treasurer

Dorothy Olaru is a native of Poland and has lived in Maine since 2000.  Since 2009, she has served as the Director of Finance and Operations for Catherine McAuley High School in Portland. She is responsible for all financial aspects of the School, Human Resources and management of all facilities.  Prior to joining McAuley, Dorothy served as the Director of Finance and Administration for the Manufacturers Association of Maine, working with business and workforce development, along with fiscal and economic management and contracts.  Her bi-cultural background and focus on community collaboration and international topics has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles.
 
In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for Women United Around the World, she is also a member of the Budget and Property Committee for St. Louis Church in Portland and the Cluster Finance Council Member for Portland Peninsula & Island Parishes in Portland.  Dorothy resides in Gorham with her husband and two daughters.

Aga Asbury, Marketing & Fundraising

​​Aga Asbury is the Owner and Managing Attorney of the Asbury Law Office, LLC, a boutique law firm specializing exclusively in immigration law.  Aga’s immigration work resonates deeply with her personal experience of going through the immigration process herself, when she first moved to the United States from her home country, Poland, over 10 years ago.
 
Aga Asbury supports, as a volunteer, a number of community and local organizations, including ILAP (Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project).  As a highly experienced immigration attorney, Aga is a frequent presenter on immigration-related topics at various community sponsored events and workshops.  Aga earned her J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law.  She holds a Master of Arts in Law from Poland, and was awarded an Associate of Science in Legal Studies from Quincy College, Massachusetts.  Aga is an active member of the Maine Bar and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is fluent in Polish and English.  In her free time, Aga enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs.  Aga can be reached via email at aga@asburylawoffice.com.

Madia Allolding

​Madia Allolding is a mother of six working in greater Portland at Reiche elementary school. Her passion for children and education has kept her in the school system since 1997. Madia has been a board member of the Women United Around the World organization since its establishment. She has also been a returning model at our annual fashion show sporting beautiful fabrics from her native country, Liberia. 

Janet Andoh

​Janet Andoh was born in London (England).  Janet and her family currently reside in South Portland, Maine, where she works from home as a soft furnishings designer and milliner. She began her work life initially as a medical secretary and went on to truly make the mark as a design professional, training at the London Metropolitan University where she was awarded first place in Creative Crafts by the Worshipful Company of Upholders for the graduating classes of 1998 and 2001. To date, she has over nineteen years’ experience in designing and fabricating soft furnishings – with window treatments, cushions & pillows, bed coverings, etc., being her specialty. She has also had the unique opportunity of teaching soft furnishings at the Community of Education, Lewisham, London, to various groups of students who have undoubtedly gained tremendous insights and knowledge.
 
She is extremely passionate about her work and believes that a home should reflect one’s most intimate essence and style. Her ultimate goal is to create high quality, unique custom-made furnishings at affordable prices. To achieve this, she attends continuing educational conferences and networks with other design professionals worldwide to keep abreast with developments in designs and hardware, and to expand her knowledge base. She is an associate member of the Advanced Window Fashions Certified Program (WFCP), a member of the Custom Home Furnishing Network, and DraperyPro. For more details, and to see samples of her work, please visit www.alphadecor.com.  
 
When not designing or fabricating, Janet enjoys organizing functions such as conferences and weddings, and entertaining. But with a zeal for constant development, she sought to find other means of utilizing her time and as a result, her urge to explore millinery became increasingly great when she observed the need to bring some real high fashion to the state of Maine! It is for this reason that she is now part of WUAW. She now designs incredibly unique and colorful head pieces with accents and fine details which are not only different, but are sophisticated and beautiful.  Janet has a passion for fashion, so capturing the personality of her customers and seeing them glow with delight at what she has created for them comes naturally. She now takes advantage of e-media, including social media and online sources to expose her work, add to her skills and increase her range of styles offered to her clients. “Building a Millinery business in Portland takes time and patience”, says Janet. For more information, please contact her through email at info@byalphacouture.com, or visit her website at www.byalphacouture.com.

Organizational Goals

  • Promote independence for female immigrants to allow them to recognize and develop their potential, and pursue better educational and professional opportunities;
  • Through grassroots and transformative leadership, empower female immigrants to become role models and mentors for other young immigrant women, and agents of change in and for their communities;
  • Provide a safe space and support network;
  • Provide a platform for immigrant women to tell their stories and express their voice to raise public awareness and promote a more positive discourse about female immigrants;
  • Provide support and community inclusion for female immigrants new to Maine.