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In this conversation, Mary Ann talks with Shuhba Chacko in India and Artemisa Castro in Mexico. They consider together how we might cultivate caring and compassion in our organisations and movements.

Shubha Chacko is a joyful activist who has drawn strength, knowledge, and warmth from strong alliances and friendships forged with people from different walks of life. She is the Executive Director of Solidarity Foundation, an NGO that supports grassroots level organisations of gender/sexual minorities (LGBTIAQ+)and sex workers by building collectives, capacities and connections with resources. The broader goal is to enhance leadership of those currently excluded. Solidarity Foundation also works with companies and other organisations on their LGBT journeys. Shubha is also a researcher and has authored books, reports and articles and has been an invited speaker at many national and international conferences.

Artemisa Castro is Executive Director of Fondo Acción Solidaria(FASOL) in Mexico. She is also a member of the Global Funders Alliance for Social Environmental Action. A biologist by training, she founded a local organization in Baja California Sur in the 1990s to spark and develop community action both to improve the local social and environmental conditions and to empower local women. This led to her collaboration with a group of other environmental activists and ultimately to the founding of FASOL in 2007, the first fund in Mexico dedicated to supporting grassroots community action through a programme of small grants, mentorship, capacity building and networking. Artemisa’s dog also makes a special appearance in this episode!

This episode is part of a special series of conversations entitled – Embodying Change: A series of conversations on care and compassion in Aid and Development curated by Mary Ann Clements and Melissa Pitotti and in partnership with CHS Alliance, Global Fund for Community Foundations, Healing Solidarity and Change Making Women Podcast. This episode was produced and edited by Ziada Abeid and the music was written and performed by Eleanor Brown who you can find at eleanorbrownmusic.com

Find out more about ‘Cultivating Care and Compassion in Aid and Development’ an initiative being incubated by CHS Alliance here: https://www.chsalliance.org/get-support/article/compassionate-organisations/

Find out more about ‘Pathways to Power Symposium’ being co-ordinated by Global Fund for Community Foundations here: https://globalfundcommunityfoundations.org/what-we-stand-for/shiftthepower/a-symposium-on-people-led-development-pathways-to-power-new-ways-of-deciding-and-doing/

In this conversation, Mary Ann talks with Penelope Sanyu from Femme Forte (www.femmeforteug.org/) in Uganda about how she links space and wellbeing in her work. They are joined with Eshban Kwesiga who has experienced the spaces Penelope creates and who also shares his perspective on her work and it’s importance.

Penelope Sanyu is Team Leader and Founder of Femme Forte in Uganda. She is a young lawyer, thinker, writer and author, policy analyst, solution architect and Agent of Positive Social Change and Transformation. She has dedicated most of her career to building the capacity of young people to innovatively engage with and influence public policy in various spaces. She has experience using social arts as a tool for socio-political transformation and has organized several social arts platforms at a national level. Penelope has a wealth of knowledge working with Civil Society Organisations, the women’s movement and feminist organisations in Uganda.

Eshban Kwesiga is very interested in feminist scholarly thought. He has written on the limitation of economics as a tool to feminist progress. Eshban has also curated conversations for men in consent. His includes advocacy for inclusion of an anti-gender pay gap in the Minimum Wage legislation, legislation against sexual offences, advocacy to have more women in Uganda’s security forces and agencies and access to contraceptives for women and girls.

This episode is part of a special series of conversations entitled – Embodying Change: A series of conversations on care and compassion in Aid and Development curated by Mary Ann Clements and Melissa Pitotti and in partnership with CHS Alliance, Global Fund for Community Foundations, Healing Solidarity and Change Making Women Podcast. This episode was produced and edited by Ziada Abeid and the music was written and performed by Eleanor Brown who you can find at eleanorbrownmusic.com

Find out more about ‘Cultivating Care and Compassion in Aid and Development’ an initiative being incubated by CHS Alliance here: https://www.chsalliance.org/get-support/article/compassionate-organisations/

Find out more about ‘Pathways to Power Symposium’ being co-ordinated by Global Fund for Community Foundations here: https://globalfundcommunityfoundations.org/what-we-stand-for/shiftthepower/a-symposium-on-people-led-development-pathways-to-power-new-ways-of-deciding-and-doing/

In this show Zena Tenga tells us all about the initiative she co-founded, HerAfrica.

Zena Maajar Tenga is a PR and Communication Practitioner with a vast experience in Corporate Social Investment strategy. She has worked for both local and international organisations. Her recent focus is social responsibility and community development; focusing on community engagement and providing sustainable growth and development within her community. Zena is co-founder of the Hassan Maajar Trust an NGO which aims to improve the learning environment in schools for every Tanzanian child as well as co-founder of HerAfrica, which aims to change the African girl child narrative, through sharing os stories, knowledge, skills and tools aiming to elevate one girl at a time. She is a growing philanthropist in her own right, with a passion for writing, art, food and all things vintage. Zena is also a novice blogger, through her Lifestyle blog ‘Mint and Tea’. Her free time is always dedicated to her two children Nakazael (8) and Moyo (5). Zena is married to Rashid Karl Tenga and lives and works in Dar es Salaam.

Find HerAfrica on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/herafrica/

Read more about their work: http://www.lasconsultancy.co.tz/her-africa-partners-up-with-tanzania-womens-bank-to-empower-girls-with-financial-literacy/

This week we talk with Ernee Bee Neeplo from Formidable Initiatives in Liberia about her work with women and girls and particularly their work to address sexual violence and abuse.

Ernree has over twelve years of experience in the nonprofit sector and earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Cuttington University and a Bachelors’ degree in Sociology from the African Methodist University both in Liberia respectively. She has a wealth of experience in the public health sector and expertise in program designs, policy formulation, management and systems strengthening.

Ernree is a humanitarian, women’s rights activist, change-maker, an administrator and is evidence-based results oriented. She is an ethical leader, a woman of formidable intelligence, human-centered designer, open-minded and a reliable team player with strong interpersonal skills. She is skilled in organizational and programs development, projects management and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, training facilitation, research, among others.

Over the years, Ernree has founded, volunteered and worked with several community-based organizations, local and international NGOs making contributions aimed at increasing adolescents and young women’s access to sexual and reproductive health information and services including other positive health outcomes.

She is the founder of the Formidable Initiatives for Women and Girls, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing the rights of women and girls and providing them opportunities to rise above their challenges in the areas of health, education and economic empowerment.

She is currently the National Program Officer-Gender and SGBV at UNDP Liberia serving as the focal person for the EU/UN Spotlight Initiatives/Liberia.

Ernree is driven by a strong passion and commitment to youth development, gender equality and women’s empowerment. She envisions a society where youth especially girls can grow up to be healthy, socially and economically empowered leaders in their communities.

Find out more about Formidable Initiatives at www.fiwgliberia.org/

This week Ziada and Mary Ann talk with Christine Gatwiri about the #myalwaysexperience campaign in Kenya in which women used social media to share their experience of using Always menstrual products. Christine is a multifaceted woman who is still figuring life out, and is championing for women’s rights in very small ways. Christine has recently begun, My Period and Me (see the Instagram link below) to give women a platform to talk about menstruation and everything in between from menstrual disorders to menstrual hygiene products.

Find Christine Online:
Twitter: @atwirich
Instagram: @myperiodandme

This week Ziada and Mary Ann talk to Nicole Lewes-Keeber, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work who is also a Speaker, Business Therapist, Mindset Coach and Podcaster about her work assisting entrepreneurs to reveal the blocks and blindspots in their businesses. She reveals the importance of the relationship we have with our businesses and how negative experiences in our past can impact the way in which we relate to them. Nicole’s articles about the impact of small t trauma on entrepreneurship can be found on Medium and in her blog.

Find Nicole here: nicole.lewis-keeber.com/

Her articles here: medium.com/@nicole_22488

And connect with her here: www.facebook.com/nicolelewiskeebercoaching

Esther Otieno works as Senior Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Manage with IRC Tanzania. She is based in Kigoma in North-Western Tanzania. This week she tells Ziada and Mary Ann all about her mental health work in Refugee Camps and what motivates and challenges her about it.

They talk about the passion Esther has for her work, the successes she has had in encouraging refugee communities to access mental health services and how she deals with challenges and looks after herself in her work.

Esther works with IRC Tanzania: https://www.rescue-uk.org/country/tanzania

Her project runs 5 wellness centres which have, to date, carried out over 14,000 consultations and mental health outreach staff working with the project have visited over 6000 homes to provide information about mental health and support the development of resilience and coping mechanisms.  The project has reached over 50,000 people in the community and made them aware of the mental health services and the existing referral pathways through outreach and awareness activities.

In this show, Ziada tells Mary Ann all about her recent trip to Sauti Za Busara, a Music festival held in Stone Town on Unguja Island, Zanzibar. They talk what music really excited her and Ziada gives us some top listening tips as well as telling us which festivals are next on her ‘bucket list’!

Music Ziada enjoyed a Sauti Za Busara and mentions in this show:

BCUC, South Africa: https://blackmajor.co.za/artist/bcuc/

Asia Madani Band, Sudan/Eqypt: https://www.facebook.com/Asia-Madani-187059958001209 

Taarab (Musical Style which is mentioned in the show): 
Tausi Womens Taarab – https://www.facebook.com/tausiwomenstaarab
Grand Orchestre Tarran de Zanzibar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmnp8HFzNo4

Music Festivals we mention:

Sauti Za Busara, Stone Town, Unguja Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania: http://www.busaramusic.org/

Nyege Nyege, Jina, Uganda: http://nyegenyege.com/

Afrochella, Accra. Ghana: https://afrochella.com/home

 

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