About New Hope for Children

New Hope for Children has brought 1000+ children home to their forever families and our staff is comprised of professionals who have adopted both internationally as well as domestically. We cannot wait to share our expertise with you.

Founded in 1993, New Hope for Children, a registered DBA of New Hope Christian Services, Inc., is a licensed non-profit adoption agency existing to provide HOPE to children by finding their forever families with the highest of ethical standards. We are committed to building the strongest of families by providing emotional support and guidance throughout the entire adoption process, including post-adoption. We are excited to welcome you to participate in our many adoptive family events as well as to become a lifelong part of our community.

New Hope for Children Adoption Alisa Karwowski

Meet Executive Director, Alisa Karwowski, LADC-1

Alisa was appointed as Chief Executive Director of New Hope for Children in June, 2013 after having served as the President of the Board of Directors and as the Russian Representative for the agency for six years. Alisa holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology. She holds a private practice license in counseling, #1804.

She is the Director of Guidance and Dean of Academics at a private high school on the seacoast of New Hampshire where she has worked with college preparatory students for the past eighteen years.

She also is the Director of the Orphanage Fund, Keeping the Promise. Alisa is the author of, A Guide to Russian Adoption: Professional Counseling and Personal Insights and is the adoptive mother of two boys from St. Petersburg, Russia and a daughter born domestically.

Alisa has made appearances on the TODAY Show, MSNBC, The Joy Behar Show and NECN to discuss sensitive issues surrounding international adoption.

New Hope for Children Adoption Tim Karwowski

Timothy Karwowski, CFO, Director of Domestic Adoptions

Tim Karwowski, CFO, has been closely connected to New Hope for Children since 2002 when he adopted his first of three children through the agency. Tim assumed the role of CFO and Director of Domestic Programs in 2014. He was instrumental in the agency working toward Hague accreditation both through his dedicated work and financial support.

Prior to his work at New Hope, Tim worked in the employment industry for nineteen years, leaving his position as manager to pursue his passion, creating programs for US couples to adopt children internationally as well as domestically. Tim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from Plymouth State University. He and his wife, Alisa have created programs in Ghana and Nicaragua and are looking forward to future partnerships in other parts of the world.

Neil Binette – Director of Social Services

Neil Binette is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Hague approved adoption counselor. Professionally, his interests include: working with individuals seeking support for anxiety and depression, helping adolescents thrive on their way to adulthood, and to assist couples interested in improving interpersonal connection. His experience working at a therapeutic boarding school and wilderness therapy program have given him a wide range of experience working with youth and families. In addition, he has spent time working in faith-based ministries as director of a men’s sober living house, mental health services manager at a pregnancy help center, advisor to the board of directors at a local soup kitchen and food pantry and a youth leader at his church.

Through a holistic, collaborative, and strength-based approach, Neil helps families use their strengths to find purpose and meaning in order to best identify ways of overcoming obstacles. He has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire, a Master of Arts in Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University New England.


In his personal life, he is married with two step-children and an adopted son from Ethiopia. He enjoys surfing, hiking, and traveling. Neil has competed in 5 marathons, 5 half-marathons, 3 triathlons and numerous 5k and 10k road races. He is a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has taught and coached swimming for over 20 years.

New Hope for Children Adoption Allyson Schaaf

Allyson Schaaf,

President of Board

“I am on the board of New Hope because I believe in the power of adoption. My family would not exist without the beautiful act of adoption and I want to help other families experience that same joy.”

Allyson and her husband Mike are the proud parents of two fabulous adopted children. She is very involved with international adoptions and was the recipient of a congressional award for her work involving the abandoned children of Romania. Professionally, Allyson has been with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals for the past 24 years. She is a graduate of The Catholic University of America.

New Hope For Children Caroline Blonski

Caroline Blonski, Treasurer

Caroline grew up in Ireland and earned her degree in Business and Finance from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. She worked as an accountant in London and Toronto before finally coming to settle and work in the United States. Eager to embrace American culture and learn, Caroline worked as a Financial Analyst for a Fortune 200 company in Connecticut while continuing to earn another

Bachelor’s degree at Trinity College in Hartford; this time in Creative Writing to balance out her skillset. She relocated to New Hampshire’s seacoast area (Brentwood) in 2006 along with her husband and three children. While focusing on raising her children she wrote for newspapers and magazines and craved out a role in the wellness industry and focused her published writing on health and disease prevention. She is an advocate for the underprivileged. Her heart lies with victims overseas, particularly in impoverished and war-torn nations, who have no hope of aid, and most particularly, with children there.

Toni Lynch,

Secretary

Toni Lynch has been a board member for New Hope since 2016. Toni holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology as well as in Elementary Education from Roger Williams University. She also has a Master’s degree in Special Education. Toni has worked in Special Education for 15 years, specifically working with students with emotional disabilities, behavior disorders and mental illness.

Throughout her career, she has worked as a behavior consult in the Providence Public schools, a teacher at 2 out of district placements and created behavior programs in two public . She is currently the behavior case manager for a program in a local elementary school. She is also attending UNH to attain special education administrative certification. Toni lives in Dover with her husband of 10 years and 2 children ages 7 and 4. She also has turned her passion for photography into a small side business, LifeBeLovelyPhotography.

Catherine Anne Berube, Board Member

Catherine A. Berube, Esquire is an attorney who was in private practice for over 18 years. Much of her practice included family law. Catherine currently serves as the Register of Deeds in Strafford County. She also teaches family law courses as an Adjunct Professor at UNH. Catherine is a founding member of the law firm, Bruton and Berube, PLLC with her husband F.X. Bruton.

In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of New Hope for Children, she serves on the Advisory Board of St. Mary’s Academy. She is an active parishioner at St. Ignatius Parish.

Catherine was also a founding member of My Friend’s Place Homeless Shelter and served on the Board of Malley Farm Boys’ Home.

Catherine has a strong love for children and wants all children to have a loving and secure home. She and her husband have three children.


Sheri Flaherty,

Board Member

Sheri is a therapist for Serenity at Summit, an inpatient detox and recovery facility in Haverhill, Ma. She is a 1999 graduate of University of NH, where she attained a Masters in Social Work, and a 1995 graduate of University of Southern Maine. With a Grant writing certification, Sheri has used her skills to assist New Hope for Children with grant funding. As a 20 plus year resident of Durham, NH, she provides a wealth of networking resources to the board. Sheri is the mother of 3, and values her time with her family.

Lon Siel,

Board Member

Lon has been on the Board of New Hope since its inception. Lon is counsel for a New Hampshire state agency and a former chair of the Labor and Employment section of the New Hampshire Bar Association. He is chair of his church’s security team. Lon and his family reside in Hopkinton. His older daughter is currently pursuing a master’s degree in nonfiction writing. His younger daughter is an LNA and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Lon thanks his sweet wife Patti for her continued support.

McDonald Donkor,

Ghana Program Director

McDonald is a registered social worker with the Ghana Association of Social Workers and Social Work England. He brings ten years of professional and educational experience to our agency. McDonald’s educational background enhances his work at New Hope. McDonald holds a diploma from the School of Social Work in Ghana and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Political Science from the University of Ghana. He later went on to attend The University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, where he obtained a post-graduate certificate in Developmental Psychology.

Throughout his ten years of experience, McDonald has successfully and diligently completed over one-hundred adoption and foster placement cases both domestically in Ghana and internationally in over seven different countries. He also successfully coordinated the establishment of two international adoption programs which connected Ghana to both Belgium and the United States.

Leading up to your adoption, McDonald looks forward to facilitating cultural activities such as teaching fun games and activities from Ghana to help you better connect with your child. Following your adoption, he plans to hold get-togethers that will welcome opportunities for adoptive children to engage with others who have gone through similar experiences. We hope that parents will also find this to be a great opportunity to connect with adoptive parents as you navigate a very special and unique time in your life. As the new director of the Ghana program, we hope that McDonald’s knowledge and connection to Ghana will aid in smooth transitions for both children and families.

Cleopatra Nsiah Nketiah

Cleopatra is an amicable and passionate legal practitioner and consultant with over a decade of experience in the public and private sectors. Having worked with several organizations such as Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah Law Firm (Ghana), Chambers of Arthur Marriott QC (London), Abbey & Nat Solicitors (London), Cray Valley Solicitors (London), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ghana) and others, she has a well-rounded profile and is keen on using both her local and international experiences to assist clients to succeed. N Nketiah Law is a law practice that offers a comprehensive bouquet of legal services including family law with assistance with both local and intercountry child adoption in Ghana. Cleopatra is an alumna of the University of Ghana, Brunel University Law School (London), BPP University College (London) and the Ghana School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in both Ghana and the State of New York.

Mandy Sydo – Uganda Program

Mandy Sydo, a retired RN and midwife, is originally from Australia and now resides in Southern California began acting as the Executive Director of Welcome Home Ministries in July of 2003. Ms. Sydo accepted this position after the original founder of the non-profit children’s orphanage, Jackie Hodgkins passed away. Ms. Sydo moved to Jinga, Uganda for three months to live among the children and their caretakers to ensure the children were getting the best of care and foundation for life teaching them about Christ as Savior and giving them a solid education.

Before leaving for home Ms. Sydo transferred the home and the caretakers to better facilities to make the work easier to run. She does 3 to 4 trips a year to the home for training of staff and lots of internet and phone contact the rest of the time. The team has been able to improve a lot and become one of the best run orphanages in the country making a big difference in the area.


Over the course of the next few years, Welcome Home Ministries, under the direction of Ms. Sydo began reaching out to nearby villages where a lot of malnourished children and children who needed medical care were suffering. Many a brought into the local clinics or hospitals.

Welcome Home facilitates quarterly medical clinics with eight practitioners from the local Jinja hospital under the leadership of DR Phillip. Dental clinics are also held less frequently. All clinics are run in Lwambogo, a local sugar cane village.


Welcome Home Ministries has established two churches and has raised the money to construct three wells providing safe drinking water to nearby villages. The Welcome Home Team operates a small trade school teaching carpentry, mechanics and sewing which has provided the necessary job skills and income to some of the villagers of Lwambogo area.


Welcome Home Ministries partnered with New Hope for Children in 2018 in an effort to find adoptive parents for orphaned or abandoned children living at Welcome Home. Since the partnership, seven children have been fostered by pre-adoptive parents from America.


In February 2020, Ms. Sydo was offered a $100,000 grant to build a medical clinic in Lwambogo village (Kiko on Google maps). The medical clinic is near completion and includes plans for an orchard, vegetable garden and also a piggery. The raising and selling of pigs will help fund the clinic while the fruit and vegetables will help feed the malnourished children.

Patricia Nyombi

Patricia Nyombi is the Managing Partner of Nyombi & Company Advocates which was one of the first law firms to commence Court approved Inter-country adoptions and Legal Guardianships in Uganda.

At Nyombi & Company Advocates, we have been involved in inter-country adoptions for over 15 years and have successfully handled over 100 inter-country adoptions and Legal Guardianship applications that have given disadvantaged Ugandan children a second lease of life with new loving families.


Basing on this background, we consider it a service because the benefit for a disadvantaged child to be absorbed into a loving family with new opportunities cannot be quantified.


Educational Background

  1. Masters Degree in Law (Corporate Governance and Grad ICSA)–University of Portsmouth (UK)
  2. Postgraduate Diploma from the Law Development Center of Uganda.
  3. Bachelors Degree of Laws from Makerere University.

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