Speakers and Moderators
Julie Gervais works at the Direction de la Francophonie et de la solidarité internationale at the ministry of International Relations and Francophony of Quebec. In 2021, the Quebec government launched an innovative international solidarity program, New Quebec Without Borders, which contributes to the international effort to fight poverty and social exclusion from a sustainable development and human rights perspective.In implementing this program, Québec favours partnerships with civil society organizations. It recognizes the important contribution of these organizations to education for global citizenship, social and economic development and the construction of more just and mutually supportive relationships between communities. The actions supported are the result of a partnership between a Quebec-based international cooperation organization and a local partner.
Mrs. Gervais has been working for over 10 years in the international development sector. She has participated in several international projects in the field of agricultural insurance and financing. She also carried out a volunteer cooperation mandate in Peru to support the development of an innovative and inclusive mechanism to facilitate access to higher education for vulnerable students.
Meshack Odede is the Community development practitioner and public policy expert as well as the chairperson of the VIO society Kenya, an umbrella body of more than 40 organizations ( i.e. UNV Kenya, Kenya Red cross society , VSO Kenya , President’s award Kenya, Africa for SDGs etc. ) working with volunteers in Kenya.
His work also involves providing leadership to the network and being the link person between the government of Kenya and the volunteer sector as they work together to develop policy and legal infrastructures for the sector.
Damilola Fasoranti is a catalyst coach and a social entrepreneur with 10 years of experience in the Public, Private and NGO sector, helping young people and professionals turn their education, gifts and skills into solutions — jobs and enterprises — in order to overcome any barriers to development. He is the Chief Listener at Prikkle Academy — a volunteer-run for-impact organization in Nigeria that uses open-source and personalized education to turn ideas and knowledge into action. They encourage participants, especially at the grassroots level, to collaborate through their learning, identify the social challenges within their community, freely choose their own tools, and create solutions through virtual and peer-to-peer learning. They work within-country and international volunteers (either creating solutions in their community or working virtually to support the Nigerian office). Over the past few years, M. Fassoranti has worked with changemakers in multiple industries on 6 continents. He is a 2015 kanthari Fellow, India; 2017 Dalai Lama Fellow, USA; 2017 SIP Fellow-LEAP Africa, Nigeria; 2018 Global People’s Fellow, USA; 2019 African Presidential Leadership Program Alumni, Egypt and many others.
Prosper Burnson works as a Sustainability Advisor, with focus on Climate Change and ESG management. Co-founder and President of Green Carbon Ghana, and a Board Member & the Chair of the Committee on Environment (COE) at the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), Ghana Network. Mr Burnson is also a geologist and a tribal chief in Ghana
He contributed towards the provision of the much-needed support to Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), and held Policy Makers accountable to Ghana’s Climate Change Policy & the Paris Agreement. I understand how volunteerism can catalyze climate action and accelerate and step up the mission and objectives of the Paris Agreement.
His current work involves Climate Finance and Climate-related Financial Disclosure (CFD); Carbon Markets and Emission Trading; Climate Prosperity Plan (CPP) and Grassroots Climate Action and governance; Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA).
Christina Munzer has been with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) since 2012, and is currently the Director of the Humanitarian and Development Deployments Section. In 2019, she completed a three-year posting in Fiji as Counsellor, Development Cooperation for Fiji and Tuvalu. Before that she was Director of DFAT’s global Australian NGO Cooperation Program. Christina came to DFAT from the NGO sector, working at CARE Australia as Coordinator of Asia and Pacific programs and before that at the International Rescue Committee in several humanitarian and post-conflict postings in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Christina served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal and has also worked in the US health sector. Christina has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University.
Dr. Meshesha Shewarega
Obtained his M.A and Ph.D. in Public Sector Economics from Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria. He has a BA Degree in Political Science and International Relations from Addis Ababa University.
Dr. Meshesha Shewarega has various occupational experiences in Academia, government, CSO, a policy-research regional think-tank, and the African Union. He was an Associate Professor of Public Sector Economics at the Ethiopian Civil Service University, and also served as the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics. In the government, he was a cabinet member heading the Capacity Building portfolio. He has worked for one of Africa’s renowned research-policy think-tanks, the Organization of Social Science Research in East and Southern Africa (OSSREA), as a senior program officer for research and capacity building. Besides, he has served for 13 years in the voluntary sector. In the voluntary sector, he was the Executive Director of the Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations, which is a consortium of more than 500 local and international NGOs.
He joined the African Union Commission in 2021 as the Coordinator of the AU Continental Volunteer Linkage Platform. He is advocating for promoting common standards and principles in the national volunteering policies and programs of the AU Member States through crafting a model national volunteering policy and supporting member states in developing national volunteerism policies and programs.
Max G. Ventura
Max Ventura is the chairperson of the Philippine Coalition on Volunteerism Inc. which seeks to promote volunteerism for nation-building by unifying and synergizing volunteer organizations in advocating and influencing policy for Philippine development. A key milestone was PhilCV’s success in engaging the government’s Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency in localizing and adopting IVCO’s Global Standards for Volunteering for Development into the Philippine Standards for Volunteering for Development.
Max is a seasoned social development professional and a volunteer at heart, who started on his path towards development work when he joined the Jesuit Volunteer Philippines soon after college back in the early 90’s. He recently retired as the head of the he corporate social responsibility arm of the largest life insurance company in the Philippines, Philam Foundation Inc. where he served for over two decades. He was also one of the pioneers in establishing a corporate volunteering program as a form of employee engagement and their Kaakbay Philam Volunteer Corps has been the benchmark for others to follow.
He continues to volunteer his time & expertise serving as trustee for several non-profits such as Center for Arts & New Ventures and Sustainability; Museum Foundation Phils. Inc. ; Philippine Cancer Commission Foundation and in Angat Buhay Philippines which promises to be the widest network of volunteers in the country.
Kaynan Rabino is the VP of Vision Ventures at the Ted Arison Family Foundation & the CEO of Good Deeds Day.
The Vision Ventures includes the following:
- Good Deeds Day, a global day of doing good held in 100+ countries with millions of people. The day is a celebration of doing good year-round and brings new people into the circles of doing good and volunteering.
- Ruach Tova (meaning “Good Spirit” in Hebrew), the volunteer center of Israel that connects between people who want to volunteer and opportunities, assisting individuals, groups, and corporates.
- Essence of Life, aimed at raising awareness and providing tools for inner peace.
- Goodnet.org, Gateway to Doing Good, a media platform that helps you activate your goodness by inspiring positive impact.
His passion drove him to complete a B.A. degree in Social Work and an M.A. degree in Public Policy Administration at Tel Aviv University. After completing his B.A., he worked as a social worker in the Sharon Prison for juvenile delinquents. Later he help found a hostel for girls in distress under the Youth Probation Authority of the government.
Benjamin J. Lough
Ben Lough is a Professor of Social Work and Business Administration at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Faculty Director of International Service at the Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis. He also works as Senior Research Associate for the Center for Social Development in Africa, University of Johannesburg. He has published extensively on volunteering for development and has worked as a research consultant for multiple NGOs and IVCOs. He was lead researcher and writer of the 2018 UNV State of the World’s Volunteerism Report and continues to support the ‘global research agenda on volunteering for peace and development’. In addition to his research interests on volunteering, he writes and teaches about community development, nonprofit management, and social innovation.
Babacar Samb holds an engineering degree in agronomy from the École nationale d’agriculture de Meknès (ENA), in Morocco, and a master’s degree in international administration from the École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP), in Quebec City, He has had extensive professional experience in international cooperation. Between 2012 and 2015, he worked as a coordinator of volunteer cooperation activities and as an agricultural and business development advisor at the Centre d’étude et de coopération internationale (CECI) and the Conseil national de concertation et de coopération des ruraux (CNCR) in Senegal. Since January 2017, he has been working at Crossroads International. First, on the improvement of the management information system at the organization’s office in Toronto (Canada) for 5 months, as a country representative in Senegal for 3 years and then, as a Regional Representative in West Africa at the Dakar office since June 2020. He is responsible for the implementation of the Volunteer Cooperation Program (PCVC) and the development of Crossroads International programming in four countries: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Togo and Côte d’Ivoire. Babacar has studied, visited, lived and worked in different intercultural contexts.
Rahim has successfully coordinated the development, pilot, and rollout of the world’s first Global Volunteering Standard that establishes and promotes responsible and impactful volunteering. Rahim also led the planning and delivery of Forum’s 2019 annual conference (IVCO) which brought together 200 heads of agencies in Kigali, Rwanda.
During his time at VSO, Rahim has also been the UK lead for the International Volunteering for All Project (IVO4all) which created policy and practice improvements across Europe to ensure international volunteering is increasingly accessible to disadvantaged young people.
Rahim has also worked with Habitat for Humanity International, the Aga Khan Development Network, Tutu Foundation, Raleigh International, and The Prince’s Trust focusing on advancing quality in practice and widening participation across the UK and internationally.
Rahim has worked in 15 countries, won 4 nationally recognised awards and received private audiences’ with HRH The Prince of Wales, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to recognise his work.
Nick Ockenden is an independent strategy, research and evaluation consultant with a specialism in international volunteering. He’s worked with organisations including VSO, Intercultural Youth Exchange, the Department for International Development in the UK, Raleigh International, Amnesty International and United Nations Volunteers. Currently living in Denmark, he previously worked for ActionAid Denmark where he managed its humanitarian volunteering programmes on behalf of the EU and coordinated its People4Change volunteering programme in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Palestine. In the UK, where Nick’s originally from, he led the research team of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the largest membership body for the NGO sector in England and worked for Volunteering England where he was Director of the Institute for Volunteering Research.
Romanus possess over 23 years of experience in managing health and Economic Development Programs in the areas of economic empowerment, access to quality health services, marketing, sales, demand creation and behavior change communications. He is a training facilitator for development program managers, an experienced health manager with degree in health management and a marketer with master’s degree in marketing and has strong analytical and planning skills and high ability to coordinate the efforts of many stakeholders to meet intended goals. Some of his major achievements through working with international and national volunteers includes but not limited to managing and providing economic empowerment to thousands of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) through Business Development Services (BDS), market linkage, access to finance and technology and business formalization in Tanzania. He also managed 18 sub-grantees that included NGOs and CBOs and a network of over 2,000 volunteer Community Change Agents (CCAs) under the funding support from Global Fund and US President’s Malaria initiative (PMI) in 18 regions of Tanzania for over six years period. He has been a Country Representative for Cuso International for the past six years in Tanzania after having worked as a Country Director for Population Service International (PSI) for over 17 years.
Tapiwa Kamuruko (PhD)
Tapiwa Kamuruko (Zimbabwe) is a Policy Specialist and Team Lead on Evidence and Knowledge brokering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) based at its Headquarters in Bonn, Germany. Prior to his current assignment, he has worked on different assignments with UNV including being the Regional Manager for East and Southern-based in Nairobi-Kenya. His work involved promotion, advocacy, and integration of volunteering in development frameworks. He has worked with diverse stakeholders including the UN system, member states, the private sector, academia, civil society organizations, and volunteer-involving organizations to strengthen and position volunteering in development through evidence and research. He has been a convenor of a number of volunteer discussions and provided technical support for the development of volunteer policies, schemes, and programs, especially for youth. He holds a Ph.D. in International Development with an interest in the use and appropriation of new communication technologies in development.
After volunteer trips to Tanzania and Dharamsala, assisting with experiential learning and development, Tina found meaning in proximity and that closeness voiced a new narrative and a career transition from the private sector into community engagement and international development.
“I am passionate about engaging global citizens on Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and sharing opportunities with Canadian’s interested in volunteering their knowledge and partnering with local organizations to build capacity and equity.”
For the past seven years Tina has been part of Cuso International’s communications and marketing team. She creates spaces to strengthen global citizenship and social inclusion while amplifying the voices and stories of those around the world. Tina is an executive board member of the Canadian International Council (CIC) Toronto branch and a member of The Program Advisory Committee for the International Development program at Centennial College. In 2019 Tina was nominated by a diaspora partner and awarded Canada’s 100 Black Women to Watch by the Canada International Black Women Event
General Delegate of France Volontaires, operator of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, in charge of the promotion and development of international volunteering for exchange and solidarity.
A diplomat, he began his career in 2002 in the Financial Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After having been posted in Copenhagen and Berlin between 2006 and 2013, he held several positions in the ministerial cabinet from 2013 to 2017, as Deputy Head then Head of the Cabinet of the Secretary of State for European Affairs, then Deputy Head then Head of Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Before joining France Volontaires in March 2021, he was Secretary General of Atout France, France’s national tourism development Agency.
He holds a master’s degree in public law and a post-graduate degree in the history of institutions and political ideas from the Faculty of Law of Aix-Marseille
Dr. Alok Rath is an international development professional with over 27 years’ work experience in Asia, Africa and the UK. An avid practitioner in volunteering for development as a sustainable and effective development methodology, Dr. Alok has worked with international development organisations such as Save the Children, Action Aid and currently with VSO. Having started his career in a volunteering capacity, Dr. Alok champions volunteering in a blended form. In his current role, Dr. Rath leads research, evaluation, and knowledge generation in VSO’s program in health, education, and livelihoods, putting people at the centre of evidence and learning processes. He has been a ‘lead discussant’ on the role of volunteering in SDGs achievement at UN’s first HLPF on SDGs in 2016, a speaker at African Union’s youth engagement on SDGs in Kampala in 2017 and a speaker at the UNV’s Volunteering Conclave in India in 2019. He has contributed papers on volunteering for IVCO 2017 and 2018. Dr. Rath has an M.A, M.Phil, and Ph.D. in anthropology. He has authored/co-authored several research papers on different areas of social science and development in his career.
Raji Sultan is Secretary General of Unité, the umbrella association of Swiss NGOs active in international volunteering for development. Raji Sultan holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He worked for the Swiss Embassy in Lebanon and for the Brocher Foundation before joining Unité in 2013.
Stéphanie Simard is an international development project officer at Éducation Internationale since 2019 and, as such, has been the project officer responsible for the vocational training component for the Compétence-Leadership-Éducation (CLÉ) volunteer cooperation program since its beginning in 2020. Starting her career in 2004 as an international volunteer in Mali, she then worked in different countries of West and Central Africa in the food security and rural and agricultural development sectors for NGOs and the United Nations. In 2017, she joined Plan International France in Paris, where she held the position of program manager for West Africa. It was in this position that she developed an interest in education and training, including for women’ and girls’ right to education and training.
Rebecca Tiessen is a professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa. She has been engaged in scholarly and practical research on volunteering for development (V4D) for more than 20 years. She is the lead editor on two important collections on the role and impact of international volunteering from the perspective of Global South partners including: Insights on International Volunteering: Perspectives from the Global South (2018) and Innovations in Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Understanding the Role of International Development Volunteers as Transnational Actors (2021) – see Voluntaris Journal.
Samuel Turay is a development planner and volunteer with more than 10 years of experience in community development, program development and management, project design, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, results-based management, strategic partnerships, research methods, database management, peace-building and conflict resolution. Samuel is a trained youth activist with great expertise in the areas of leadership, volunteering, emergency response, livelihoods development and governance and policy formulation.
He is the founder of Sierra Leone Association of Volunteers and also served as the national coordinator of Volunteers Involving Organisations Network (VIONet). Samuel is also a member of the reference group of the African Union Continental Volunteer Linkage Platform. He is now the coordinator, IAVE – GNVL Africa.
Wendell is the country program manager for the Southern Africa Program in Australian Volunteers International. Wendell has worked in the development sector for many years and has a strong commitment to supporting civil society organisations. The Australian Volunteers Program in Southern Africa supports local partner organisations to access skilled Australian volunteers, provides small grants and looks for ways to support partners through networking and capacity-building.
Yasmin is the founding director of Refugee Social Services (RSS) and has worked within the forced migration sector with refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants since 2003. Her current work entails the development and implementation of strategic and relevant programs for refugees/asylum-seekers and migrants living in SA. RSS works toward promoting inclusivity and better protection for forced migrants through advocacy. She is particularly concerned about the obstacles to becoming documented in South Africa and the impact this has had, particularly on children.
With an MBA in business management and a bachelor’s degree in international studies specialising in project management, Emmanuelle Parent has many strings to her bow. She has several years of experience in international cooperation in project management, organisational development and monitoring and evaluation roles in Cameroon and Burkina Faso, as well as strong experience in entrepreneurship and business development in the private sector. Moreover, in 2018 she co-founded a mineral analysis, environmental and quality control laboratory headquartered in Montreal and operating a first subsidiary in Burkina Faso.
Through her professional experience, Emmanuelle has developed an expertise in strategic planning, business development and results-based management.
After a few years in the private sector, Emmanuelle returned to international development in 2020, the sector where she feels her skills have the most impact.
Moyosoluwa Oladayo is an international development practitioner with over 10 years of work experience in the development, private and public sectors.
She currently works with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) as the global volunteering for development officer, where she provides technical advice to 18 VSO countries to support government processes and practices through the design of policies, frameworks and guidelines, and to promote volunteering for development. Her strength lies in project development, program facilitation, capacity-building and strategic management.
She is recognised and awarded for her influence and work in promoting volunteering and sustainable development. In 2022, she was recognized as one of the 100 most influential young people in Africa by Opportunities Hub, and one of the top 20 young women in sustainable development by Young Women in Sustainable Development. In 2021, she won the UNV Country Award Nigeria for the Volunteer’s Impact on the government-selected project category, and in 2020, the government department in charge of volunteering recognised her efforts toward promoting volunteering in Nigeria.
She graduated with honours in sociology and anthropology from the University of Abuja, Nigeria, where she was recognized as one of the best three students with outstanding performance in academics in 2010. She was also awarded the most outstanding female student in her class.
Dr. Moses Okech is an international development professional with over 15 years’ experience in research, lecturing and livelihoods programming. He recently completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship with Northumbria University (UK) in partnership with Uganda Martyrs University (Uganda) on the collaborative Refugee Youth Volunteering Uganda (RYVU) research project and previously served as the technical coordinator for economic recovery and development at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Uganda.
He has conducted a number of development consultancies for reputable organisations that include The World Bank, Overseas Development Institute, GIZ, CRS and Bank of Uganda, among others. His professional background includes working on financial inclusion with Equity Bank, CARE International and lecturing at Leeds Beckett University in the UK. Moses holds a PhD in political economy of development from Leeds Beckett University (UK), master’s in international development management from the University of Bradford (UK), a postgraduate diploma in project planning and management from Uganda Management Institute and a BA Hons. (social sciences) from Makerere University. Dr. Moses Okech is also an Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, currently lecturing at Makerere University in Uganda.
Musa has worked in the development sector for over 19 years, managing international volunteer programs across Eastern and Southern Africa. He engineered growth of AVI’s program in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi and Zambia by working closely with key stakeholders, including the Australian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, local government ministries and NGOs. In his current role, Musa has helped AVP develop long-lasting partnerships with government agencies, institutions, NGOs and CBOs.
Prior to joining the development sector, Musa worked for five years in wildlife conservation from 1999 to 2003.
Girls Livelihood and Mentorship Initiative (GLAMI) is an NGO in northern Tanzania that mentors girls to stay in school, become leaders and take transformative action for themselves and in their communities. Devotha oversees the strategic direction of the organisation, works to forge partnerships and promote stakeholder engagement across various sectors including at multiple levels of government, and ensures GLAMI’s curricula remain up-to-date and evidence-based.
Devotha’s work has given her an in-depth understanding of the challenges that young girls in Tanzania are facing, particularly those barriers that hinder their performance in school and negatively impact retention rates, as well as transition rates between levels of education. She favours a rights-based approach to mentoring and education, and is passionate about supporting girls with the information, skills and opportunities they need to write their own futures.
Devotha has a bachelor’s degree in language studies from the University of Dar es Salaam and is currently undertaking an MBA through ESAMI (East and Southern African Management Institute).
Vanessa served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years in West Africa and has led and supported training, programming, medical and safety and security operations teams for the Peace Corps for more than eight years in Madagascar and Senegal. Over the course of that time, she oversaw the training and service of more than 800 Peace Corps volunteers.
She is currently leading pilot operations for Peace Corps’ Virtual Service, in which more than 450 virtual service pilot participants have been contributing to the work of host country partners in 44 countries.
Vanessa has a background in international development, program design and evaluation and public health, and has worked or volunteered in five countries in Asia and Africa. She is thrilled to be able to continue to serve the important mission of the Peace Corps as a staff member and through this new initiative that matches returned Peace Corps volunteers with short-term host country engagements.
Mame Diarra Senghor
Mame Diarra Senghor holds a bachelor’s in journalism from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and is completing her master’s degree in international development and humanitarian aid management at Université Laval (Québec City). After four years of professional experience in different communication and marketing agencies in Montréal, she decided to put those newfound skills to a better use and start working with NGOs based in her home country of Senegal.
Between 2019 and 2021, she worked as a social media manager for the C’est La Vie project, an entertainment education program produced by RAES NGO that broadcasts a soap opera focused on reproductive health and rights across nine countries in West Africa. Over those two years, she was able to implement a digital strategy as well as develop and launch health-related digital campaigns in West Africa in collaboration with Facebook/Meta’s Global Health Strategies team. In December 2021, she joined Oxfam-Québec as a volunteer and started working the West Africa regional platform. She is now in charge of adapting and improving the regional strategy for mobilisation and digital communication (alliances, activities, digital communication) linked to Oxfam’s regional strategy of influence in the region. Over the course of her life, Mame Diarra has lived in three continents and has been exposed to different cultures and realities.
Georges Armand Deguenonvo
Georges Armand Deguenonvo is inspector of education, youth and sports since 2009, trainer of volunteers in citizenship education, in charge of volunteering issues at the Ministry of Youth since 2020.
He started his career as a trainer of national civic service volunteers in 2010. Volunteer trainer in civics, citizenship and activities of public utility or national interest. Expert trainer in citizenship education for young people since 2013 and in agricultural integration in the maize sector (2015), in particular training in maize ginning from 2017 in Kounkané (Vélingara). In 2017, he was appointed regional youth inspector of Kolda, then in 2019 of the region of Ziguinchor, implementing and monitoring at the decentralized level of activities and bodies of national and international volunteers.
George is the designer and initiator of several volunteer programs in agriculture, fishing, socio-educational activities, citizen emergence and post-harvest activities in maize, and monitors youth exchange and reciprocity programs and corporate volunteering in the WAEMU. A lawyer by training, he holds a master’s degree in private law with a business option (1999) from the University of Dakar, which was supplemented by a diploma of advanced specialised studies with a business law option (2002) from the University of Saint Louis and a diploma of advanced studies in African integration law (2004) from the Faculty of Law in Dakar.
Lily Bright Tetteh
Lily Bright Tetteh is a principal of a school in Ghana, and the co-founder of Destiny Fulfillers’ Time (DFT), an NGO focused on the empowerment of young women and girls through skills training, mentorship and coaching. DFT is also into the Charity Outreach Program (COP) through which it annually visits the less-privileged, especially orphans, makes donation to them and renders needed services to the orphanage. Lily is also the president of the Coalition Of Volunteering Organizations Ghana, (COVOG) which is an umbrella of NGOs, CBOs and CSOs in Ghana that seeks to support all its members through advocacy, publicity and capacity-building, etc. with the objective of national development through volunteering.
She is also in the Leading Ladies Network, an organisation that seeks to empower ladies solely for leadership and governance. In this network, she has been a facilitator and organising team member in educating over 2,000 girls in the northern part of Accra, Ghana.
Rebecca Boon is head, volunteer cooperation at the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), a non-profit organisation mission-focused on connecting Singaporeans with world communities for a better world.
In her role, Rebecca leads the team responsible for delivering volunteer cooperation programs that contribute to positive and sustainable development in Asia, while fostering greater intercultural understanding. As part of the SIF’s management team, she plays an integral role in helping to steer the Foundation in fulfiling its mission of enhancing mutual understanding and strengthening ties in line with its vision of “making friends for a better world.”
Prior to the SIF, Rebecca spent more than a decade in the humanitarian aid and development sector with UN and INGO agencies. In her time with the World Vision Asia Pacific Regional Office in Singapore and UNICEF Supply Division in Denmark, she enjoyed being in the thick of action, from coordinating and managing relief responses, designing relief programs to building local capacity in disaster management. A firm believer in disaster risk reduction, she developed preparedness plans to help communities better mitigate and respond to natural disasters in Asia Pacific.
Scott Beale is a lifelong champion for international volunteerism, youth leadership and social entrepreneurship. He is currently the associate director of the Peace Corps, in charge of all global operations and leading efforts to return volunteers to service after the pandemic as well as to reimagine service with the new strategic plan. Prior to the Peace Corps, Scott founded and led Atlas Corps, a leadership development program for the world’s best social change professionals. Sometimes called a “reverse Peace Corps,” Atlas Corps brings leaders from around the world to serve in the U.S. Over 15 years under Scott’s leadership, Atlas Corps has supported more than 1,000 individuals from 103 countries. The NonProfit Times twice named Scott one of the Top 50 Nonprofit CEOs in the U.S.
Previously, Scott worked with the State Department in India; led Ashoka’s Youth Venture; and served in the Clinton White House as the associate director of intergovernmental affairs. After volunteering in Mostar, Bosnia in 1996, Scott returned as a core supervisor for OSCE, organising the first-ever municipal elections. He also authored the Millennial Manifesto, a book on the politics and activism of the millennial generation. Scott has a BA from Georgetown University and an MPA from the University of Delaware. He serves on the board of AIESEC USA. He has lived in eight countries. Scott is a triathlete who enjoys racing with his family.
Matt Baillie Smith
Matt is an interdisciplinary global development academic, with particular interests in the relationships between civil society, citizenship and development. His work focuses on volunteering in humanitarian and development settings, young people as development actors and environmental citizenship.
He is principal investigator of Refugee Youth Volunteering Uganda (www.ryvu.org), an Economic and Social Research Council-funded project exploring volunteering by young displaced people in Uganda and its impacts on their skills, employability and experiences of inequality. He is also co-lead of Volunteering Together, a collaborative research project with VSO on the ways different volunteers work together in Nepal, Tanzania and Uganda; and leads work on young people and climate change for the UKRI/GCRF Living Deltas Hub (www.livingdeltas.org), an interdisciplinary research hub working to support more sustainable futures for deltas in South and Southeast Asia.
Matt is Northumbria lead of the Capabilities and Academic Policy Engagement project (www.cape.ac.uk) and a co-Investigator of InsightsNE (www.insightsnortheast.co.uk), which is exploring ways to better connect academics and policymakers. Matt previously worked for a development NGO and continues to work in partnership with a range of national and global development organisations. This work includes co-designing and delivering research projects, acting as a critical friend to organisations and work to help build research and data collection and analysis capacity within development organisations and the groups they engage with. At Northumbria, Matt is co-director of the Centre for International Development (www.northumbria.ac.uk/cid) and director of the Global Development Futures initiative.
Ingrid Adovi is a fervent defender of human rights and a facilitator and consultant on the themes of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender-based violence (GBV) and violence against women and girls (VAWG). He has provided services to several CSOs and the government of Benin, as well as sub-regional and international organisations.
He holds a double master’s degree in gender, development project management and sociology anthropology from the University of Abomey-Calavi after having obtained a bachelor’s degree in information and communication sciences. Ingrid also has several certificates in human rights, management of humanitarian organisations and civil society. For the past 10 years, he has been involved in community activism as well as a volunteer. Through his commitment and achievements, he has held important positions of responsibility within these structures and today puts his expertise at the service of two NGOs as a member of the board of directors. Since June 2021, Ingrid has held the position of gender equality and inclusion advisor for the Program CLE in Benin.
Elizabeth Agatha Musah
Elizabeth Agatha Musah is a feminist, advocate, social entrepreneur and founder of 4HER Initiative, a revolutionary force to break societal barriers associated with the female gender and build their social capital, increase financial independence and enhance their participation in leadership and good governance.
Elizabeth is a born leader who started demonstrating her leadership quality way back in her primary and secondary school days when she served as a head girl at all levels. She holds a BSc (Hons.) in financial services from the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) and MSc in development management from the University of Sierra Leone. She is a YALI 2016 Fellow, Women’s Excellence & Humanitarian
Recognition Awards Winner 2022 and among the 100 Most Influential Young People, 2020 Global Award for her outstanding work to make the world a better place.
Elizabeth has organized several training sections, workshops, seminars, symposiums, etc. for young people, girls and women, to help build, empower, transform and impact a more productive life. She mobilises and works with communities to raise awareness, empower and improve citizens’ lives, to be better able to speak up, demand improved services as well as demonstrate their responsibilities for a better and sustainable society as change-makers.
As an activist, the bulk of her work goes toward charitable ventures. She provides mentorship, scholarships to schoolgirls, gifts, sanitary and hygiene materials to young women and girls to maintain their dignity and pride, clothing and food, and education, as she believes “Life is better when we all smile together.”
Elizabeth is the founder and team lead of 4HER Initiative and had held several positions such as programme manager (FOCUS 1000), western area coordinator (VIO-Net), advocacy and communication specialist, consultant, finance and administration manager (Options Consultancy Services, UK), project
Daniel Adugna is the Program Manager of the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AU-YVC) – a continental youth leadership program which works with young African professionals through volunteerism and exchange across Africa. He brings over ten years’ experience in continental program management and policy development working with the African Union Commission and other International Organizations. He brings on board program development, implementation and monitoring skills, policy development, international relations and youth development expertise combined with continental level perspectives.
Daniel Adugna holds a B.Sc. in Management Information System from the Munich University of Technology, Germany; Master’s in business administration (MBA) from the Lincoln University, USA (Extension, Ethiopia); and a second Masters in Development Finance from the Frankfurt Business School.
Syed Hasnain is co-founder and president of UNIRE (Italian National Union of Refugees and Exiles) the first refugee led network actively engaged on meaningful participation of refugees in policy making process, self-representation of displaced people in public events and advocating for narrative change around migration. As president of UNIRE is member of EXPERT GROUP ON THE VIEWS OF MIGRANTS IN THE FIELD OF MIGRATION, ASYLUM AND INTEGRATION at EU Commission. The mission of the group is to provide advice and expertise on policies in the field of migration, asylum, and integration of migrants.
He has lived experience of forced displacement as a minor. He is co-founder of ARENE (Afghan Refugees Expert Network in Europe) and European Coalition of migrants and refugees, which aims to advocate for refugee’s basic right to get involved in policy area of European institutions. He worked with several humanitarian NGOs like Save the Children, Jesuit Refugee Services, UNHCR, Intersos and MSF.
Currently he is working as project officer and social media manager with Missing Children Europe organization.
A fervent feminist with a passion for human rights, Olga Houde is committed to social justice, the promotion of gender equality and international solidarity.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and a master’s degree in international studies (focus on law) from the Université de Montréal (UdeM). She became involved in international cooperation in 2013, working at the International Bureau for Children’s Rights (IBCR) where she contributed to the development of capacity building projects, andragogical trainings for the police force, gendarmerie and the judiciary sector.
Working as a policy analysis coordinator for the Women’s Shelter Federation ((FMHF) of Québec, and as a trainer for the Services of Education and Intercultural Integration of Montreal (SEIIM) and the Public Health Research Institute of the University of Montreal (IRSPUM), among others, she developed policy orientations and implemented awareness-raising programmes for community and institutional actors and civil servants from various ministries in Quebec on issues of health, inequality, social exclusion and gender-based violence.
Olga has over 8 years of experience in humanitarian immigration and refugee law as a legal clinic coordinator. In 2022, Olga Houde joined the Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie as a gender equality and inclusion advisor, notably for the CLE programme.