About Us

John and Kim Mann founded SHAPE International in September 2010. SHAPE was founded with the purpose of providing training and education to the poor in developing countries. SHAPE is dedicated to bringing hope to people through training and education. Our headquarters is located at SHAPE Eco Farm in Wake Forest, North Carolina on 5 acres. We offer educational farm and nature tours and teach classes on sustainable agriculture, raising livestock, and aquaponics.

SHAPE International, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

Board of Directors

John Mann - President

John Mann founded SHAPE International with his wife Kim in 2010. John has been on numerous mission trips to Burundi, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Haiti since 1999. In 2009, John planned and implemented the development of a Jatropha plantation in Burundi, Africa. In 2010, he started a water project in Burundi that is now reaching several thousand people with clean water. In 2011, he started the first Women's Solidarity Group in Burundi, teaching them to make soap. John trained a co-op group in Haiti on the fundamentals of starting a soap making business. He managed a field test of plant oil cooking stoves in Costa Rica. He has taught seminars on conflict resolution, hygiene, water purification, business plan development, and soap making in Burundi and Haiti. John has 10 years of management experience. His background in management started in 2005 with his first position as a project manager for Applied Research Associates (ARA), where he currently works in the Raleigh, NC office. Through increasing responsibilities with ARA, he learned key concepts in strategic planning, business development, project management, subcontract management, recruiting, and financial management that he has applied to international development projects for SHAPE.

Kim Mann - Director

Kim Mann co-founded SHAPE with John in 2010. Kim has been on mission trips to Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Haiti. She attended Liberty University where she took courses on missions and cross cultural anthropology. She has a degree in Art Education. Kim has a wealth of experience in child education and art education. Kim has a long history of leading and serving in non-profit organizations in Maryland, Sarasota, Orlando, and Wake Forest, NC where she resides with her husband and three children. After 8 trips to Costa Rica, Kim took her 3 children to live in Nuevo Arenal for 7 weeks in 2011. Kim taught English as a volunteer in the local school, helped the school develop a community garden and organized the construction of a playground for the town of Nuevo Arenal. After building many relationships in the area, Kim set up serve teams to work on various projects in the community. Kim is the farm manager at SHAPE Eco Farm where she raises miniature sheep and goats. In 2015, Kim organized educational farm tours for over 500 children and adults. Groups from dozens of local North Carolina schools, the YMCA, and Southeastern Baptist Seminary have visited SHAPE Eco Farm and participated in educational tours.

Rajiv Kapur – Director

Rajiv Kapur, is president of Configurations, a company he founded in Hollywood, Florida in 1989 and which subsequently opened offices in Orlando and Tampa. Mr. Kapur has successfully positioned Configurations as a leading experiential branding, marketing, and communications firm, with its primary market in Florida. His extensive understanding of how various facets of the communications process are integrated has allowed Mr. Kapur to develop experiential branding and communications strategies for companies like Northrop Grumman, Applied Research Associates (aka ARA), Ryder Systems, Convergys, and Interval International. Mr. Kapur has served on the boards of the World Trade Association of Orlando and Metro Orlando International Business Council, whose efforts were devoted to increasing international trade in Central Florida, as well as having been the President of the Florida Chapter of the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association. He is a founding and current member of the American Display Alliance. Mr. Kapur provides SHAPE International with advice on branding, marketing, and communications. Mr. Kapur is leveraging his extensive contacts in the business world to connect SHAPE with potential donors and partners.

Andrew VrbasAndrew Vrbas - Director

After living, working, and learning in Peru, Andrew Vrbas founded Pacha Soap Co. He launched the operation from his college apartment with the goal to help start social enterprises in developing nations around the world while producing a purposeful product. Best friends, Andrew and Abi, started their friendship around good conversation during the early stages of the company. She made paper and he made soap. After marrying in 2013, the two remain partners and best friends in their soap-making endeavors. Since founding Pacha, Andrew has made several international trips to Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo. Andrew and his wife Abi started a soap manufacturing plant in Burundi. Through Pacha's Raise the Bar campaign, Andrew has distributed over 200,000 bars of soap in Burundi and supplied soap to more than 35,000 children.

abiAbi Vrbas - Director

Abi is the co-founder, co-owner and designer at Pacha Soap Co. As Pacha’s head designer, she produces creative packaging and marketing ideas that have helped make Pacha Soap a hot item at Whole Foods Market and other natural products stores across the U.S. Abi and Andrew have traveled across the U.S. to promote their natural soap products. In addition to raising funds to donate soap, Pacha recently introduced a liquid soap that is helping fund clean water to communities and schools that lack access to clean drinking water. Abi joined Andrew on a recent trip to Burundi to help a local community develop a soap manufacturing plant that is providing soap to school children and providing families with a reliable income source.

Elizabeth Mann bioElizabeth Mann - Director

Elizabeth Mann is the creator and writer of the blog Elizabeth's Secret Garden. She is the author of 4 books on butterflies and her travels across the U.S. and Costa Rica. Her books contain her personal photography and butterfly research. Elizabeth Mann has a Family Herbalist certification and a Permaculture Design certification. She manages the gardens and butterfly conservatory at SHAPE Eco Farm and teaches classes about butterflies and gardening. Elizabeth planned and developed ten experimental agricultural products in Gonaives, Haiti. Elizabeth has taught vocational training classes to women and children in Costa Rica and Haiti. She has helped SHAPE develop curriculum materials for women's classes. Elizabeth developed several herbal products with an eye toward training women in developing countries to make these products and produce incomes for their families. Elizabeth assists SHAPE with video production, photography and blogging. She has a diploma in Women's Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education and she works at the YMCA as a youth counselor.