Our Story

Dalia Al Houseini and Alex Walmsley found each other working for a company where they both felt their values were misaligned. Despite the two of us coming from different backgrounds, we quickly learned that we shared very similar values. We bonded over our love of working with people and our frustration working in the field of development. So we set out to do things differently.

We established Defyne in the Spring of 2022. Our team is made up of passionate individuals who think outside the box!


Alex Walmsley, Co-founder:

Alex studied Political Science at the University of Victoria. Her focus was largely on Community and International Development, Political Economy, and Comparative Politics. Alex spent three years working in community, youth, and curriculum development in non-profits throughout Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa utilizing a community-based approach.

Alex also worked in Education and Youth Development for the Pacheedaht Nation on Vancouver Island. She brings years of experience working cross-culturally to her position at Defyne. Alex is a ‘people person.’ She uses her ability to connect with people to engage communities, consult local knowledge, and bring people together to maximize the organization’s impact.

Dalia Al Houseini, Co- Founder

Dalia is a seasoned professional in the nonprofit sector with experience in supporting youth, women, immigrants, and Indigenous communities. A coach, consultant, and facilitator, she is passionate about supporting individuals through empathy and understanding.

She currently sits on a number of committees in the City of New Westminster including the Local Immigration Partnership Committee, the SPOKES Anti-Racism Committee, and the Affordable Childcare and Housing Committee.

Dalia is a single mother to a seven-year-old child and a woman of color who had to navigate the challenges of integration into the Canadian society and the economy. Supporting people in identifying and realizing their goals is what gets her excited to work every day.

What we believe in

We know that for meaningful change to happen everyone will need to be a little uncomfortable. Growth doesn’t come out of your comfort zone. So we’re candid in our opinions and call it how we see it. We encourage everyone we work with to do the same. At Defyne, we value honest dialogue.

We are strongly committed to shifting the narratives away from poverty porn to focus on people’s strengths. You can’t promote empowerment and healthy self-esteem while using people as the poster for poverty and despair. Every community has its strengths. Focus on strengthening those.

Successful development is collaborative. Communities are aware of what their needs are– they need resources.
We empower each other by working together and building off of our unique set of strengths. Effective solutions materialize through the power of collaboration, diversity, and reciprocity.

We hold ourselves to the same standards as water: never fixed, always fluid, and no barrier is impenetrable

Our Pillars

  • Redefine narratives in development to focus on people’s strengths. 
  • Deliver equitable platforms
  • Place more value on lived-experience
  • Be accountable by measuring impact and outcomes
  • Bring passion, compassion, and commitment to everything we do
  • Be loud and honest about where change needs to happen


Office: (604) 787-9986
[email protected] [email protected]


Mobile offices in New Westminster, B.C.