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This week on the Podcast Mary Ann Clements talks to Sara Lim Bertrand from Proteknôn, a consultancy group and foundation she co-founded which is focused on the protection, care, and wellbeing of children internationally.

They discuss how the group came together, the strategies they use to enable flexible working across many geographies and how they blend consultancy work with activism about the issues they care about.

Sara also shares the three pillars that guide their work: Freedom, Collaboration and Principle and how the pillars impact the approach that Proteknôn take to carrying out projects for their clients.

Sara Lim Bertrand is a humanitarian and development professional with more than 17 years of programming experience in child protection, gender-based violence, education in emergencies and learning and development. For the last 13 years, she has developed strong technical and programmatic competencies in humanitarian action, systems building, protection in situations of migration and displacement, prevention and response to exploitation and abuse, case management, alternative care, community-based protection, child participation, psychosocial support, advocacy and supporting social change. Sara is also passionate about early childhood development, parenting education, mental health and disability inclusion. Notably, Sara combined her interest in design and technology by developing a handful of e-courses on the CPMS, CPRA, Child Protection Situation and Response Monitoring, Child Protection Case Management and Supervision, amongst others. Since 1996, she has worked directly in 18 countries. In addition, she provided high-quality, remote support to field-based child protection coordination groups in more than 40+ countries. Sara has a Master of Arts (MA) in Intercultural Studies with an emphasis in Community Development from Wheaton College’s Graduate School. She has also taken more than 50 supplemental courses in case management, child development, child protection, GBV, protection, research and social change. For her LinkedIn profile, click here.

Get in touch with Sara and Proteknôn

Website: www.proteknon.org
Facebook page: @proteknon
Twitter: @proteknon
Instagram: @proteknon

This week Ziada and Mary Ann speak with Ilana Landsberg-Lewis about how she become so interested in talking with Grandmothers, building global solidarity between them and sharing their voices. Ilana also shares with us why she is passionate about a feminist, egalitarian and anti-colonial models of the solidarity work and the significant – and often undervalued – contribution that older women have made to the world of humanitarian assistance and development.

Ilana Landsberg-Lewis has spent her entire adult life engaged in the struggle for the rights of women and girls. From her early days as a human rights lawyer to her years at UNIFEM, Ilana has worked with women’s groups around the world and has learned that no amount of so-called expertise can replace that of women at the frontlines of their own struggle for justice. Ilana has been the executive director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation since she founded it with her father in 2003. She has been deeply honored and grateful to learn from the indomitable grandmothers of this remarkable movement, the world over.

Connect with Ilana and her work:

Website: www.ilanalandsberglewis.com (you can also find out about the projects we discuss during the episode at www.stephenlewisfoundation.org and www.grandmotherscampaign.org)

Instagram: @ilana.lewis
Facebook: @grandmothersonthemove

This week Mary Ann talks to Alessandra Pigni author of ‘The Idealist’s Survival Kit. 75 Simple Ways to Avoid Burnout’ about the causes of burnout in the Humanitarian Sector, why you aren’t alone if you are experiencing it and why a mixture of strategies are the best way to address it

Alessandra Pigni is a humanitarian psychologist, organisational consultant and author of The Idealist’s Survival Kit. 75 Simple Ways to Avoid Burnout. After serving with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders in Palestine and China, she has dedicated her work to understanding the connection between meaningful work and burnout. She has been Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and her work has a wide following among humanitarian practitioners, activists, and academics.

Connect with Alessandra:

You can find her online at www.mindfulnext.org 
And on Twitter: @mindfulnext

This week we talk to Carrie Brownlee about financing international work for non-governmental organisations. We discuss the challenges of growth, sustainability and future planning, why fundraising and finance are part of the work and what she thinks needs to change in the sector in relation to resourcing.

Carrie qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in Edinburgh in 2010. Following a one month volunteer trip to Zambia, she left Edinburgh to join the Finance team at Save the Children UK in London and during that time, studied towards a diploma in International Development at the University of London. Keen to continue volunteering her time, she was inspired to join the AbleChildAfrica Board of Trustees in 2013, becoming Treasurer in 2014. After more than 3 years at War Child UK, most recently as Head of Finance, Carrie moved to Concern Worldwide (UK) into the role of Director of Finance and Operations where she is responsible for Finance, HR, Compliance, IT and Facilities.

Find Carrie on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/carrie-brownlee-1178b453/

This week Mary Ann talks to Hannah Thompson about mothering and humanitarian work, the challenges of travelling and risky contexts when you are a mum and how becoming mothers has affected our approach to our work in the international development sector.

Hannah Thompson is a consultant whose work focuses on preventing sexual and gender-based violence as well as protecting children from violence, exploitation, and abuse; preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence; and providing education in fragile settings. Hannah has lived and worked in complex emergency, natural disaster, and developing country contexts, mostly in South and Southeast Asia and West Africa. She looks to understand how best to enable children to reach their full potential and how to ensure full gender equality – where women have economic and political power, men have the right to express emotions, and those of diverse sexual orientation or gender identity have rights on an equal footing to all. Hannah’s on-going learning in these areas drives her work and influences who she is as a mother.

Connect with Hannah:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannah-thompson-15023414/

Proteknon: https://www.proteknon.net/seniorassociates

This week Mary Ann talks to Valerie Vauthier about her work as Director of REM, an NGO focused on resource monitoring in the Congo Basin. They talk different ways of encouraging change and explore some of the current challenges in the NGO sector, particularly around funding and how it is distributed and managed. Valerie calls for a fresh look at how resources are given and monitored that enables long term change to be pursued more effectively.

Valerie Vauthier is a founding director of British Non-Governmental Organisation REM, specialised in the independent monitoring of forests, law and governance and the protection of the rights of forest peoples. She has over 15 years of experience developing, managing and implementing large projects in Africa as well as carrying out investigations and training civil society organisations. She holds an MSc international business and volunteers to support a vulnerable young women community interest company in her spare time.

Connect with and find out more about Valerie and her work

Resource Extraction Monitoring (REM): www.rem.org.uk

Read more of Mary Ann’s reflections on this conversation on the blog.

In this episode Mary Ann and Ziada talk with Eunice Baguma Ball founder of Africa Technology Business Network about her work creating an event for aspiring and upcoming African tech innovators in London after being in the city for only a few months and about taking the world back to the continent she comes from with Her Future Africa which offers African women entrepreneurs the support and inspiration they need to start and technology-based businesses.

Eunice is a social entrepreneur and advocate for women in tech technology. She is Founder & Director of Africa Technology Business Network (ATBN).  Previously the founder of an Africa-based tech startup, she is now based in London working to enable collaboration between the UK and African startup communities. Eunice is particularly passionate about empowering female entrepreneurs and launched #HerFutureAfrica, a pan-African, female-focused tech entrepreneurship accelerator. She is also currently working on a book, Founding Women which spotlights leading African female tech role models to inspire and break down barriers for young African women in tech.

Connect with and find out more about Eunice and her work

ATBN: http://www.africatbn.com/

Her Future Africa: http://www.herfutureafrica.org/

Eunice on Twitter: @eb_ball

This week we talk to Doris Mollel about her Foundation which seeks to raise awareness about premature birth in Tanzania and to better equip public hospitals to provide the care which premature babies need. We talk about her own story which was her inspiration, what motivates her and how she has dealt with the challenges she has encountered along the way.

Doris Mollel was herself a 900-gram Premature baby. She is also a former beauty queen and is now the Founder & Executive Director of the Doris Mollel Foundation and a UN Empower Women Global Champion for Change 2016/17.  She is also an Alumni of the YALI Regional Leadership Centre, and holds a BA in Politics & Management of social development and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management of Foreign Relations. Her Goal is to continue building a world where humanity is key to life.

Connect with and find out more about Doris and the work of her Foundation

Website: https://dorismollelfoundation.org/

Instagram: @dorismollel

This week on Change Making Women we talk to Majo (Marjorie Angella Athurra) of the Gejja Women’s Foundation in Mpigi in Central Uganda. We hear about her own story, her work with women in her own community and how she is working to end shame and secrecy around menstruation.

Majo’s story in her own words:

I was born to two school going teenagers on 16th August 1992. My father was 16 and my mother was 14. I was abandoned shortly after birth. That led me to grow without parents and that parental gap meant I lacked childhood love, guidance and care that every child enjoys as they are growing. That significantly affected my self-esteem and as a result, I hated myself since I was regarded a bastard, useless and a child without any future. At the age of 14, I started my mensuration periods and my guardian at that time suggested I get married since there were no finances to help take care of the basic safe, hygienic and healthy menstruation materials. That gave another picture that they actually wanted to send me early marriage not only to stop being a burden, but also with the hope that through me, they could get some income. However, I managed to continue with school but was staying with whoever offered to house me and finance my education until 2011, when I got a government sponsorship to join Kyambogo University and pursue a diploma in English and Literature. Later in 2014, I joined the Social Innovation Academy where I was mentored and developed Gejja women foundation, an organisation through which I am fulfilling my passion of helping the young girls and women who are in the rural areas and marginalised. This initiative also empowers the widows who have no ability to sustain their livelihoods or educate their children.

Connect with Majo and find out more about her work:

This week we talk with Jennifer Lentfer, Director of Communications from Thousand Currents and the woman behind how-matters.org about her work and in particular the recent book she co-edited with Tanya Cothran, Smart Risks (and which can be found at www.smartrisks.org).  The book is about how small grants are helping to solve some of the world’s biggest problems and came out earlier this year. It features the growing community of grant makers that find and fund visionary grassroots leaders around the world. Talking about the book leads us into a fascinating conversation about how aid and development are viewed, why we should refocus our efforts on challenging power and inequality and how we can lead and facilitate in new ways to create the positive change which the world needs right now.

Jennifer describes herself as a farm girl turned international aid worker and was named as one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s “100 women to follow on Twitter” at @intldogooder. She is constantly looking for ways to portray the realities of people’s lives, their struggles, their strengths – as well as outsiders’ roles and mistakes – in an impatient, “silver bullet solutions” world. With her students at Georgetown University, she also published “The Development Element: Guidelines for the future of communicating about the end of global poverty” in 2014.

Connect with and find out more about Jennifer and her work:

Jennifer’s blog, How Matters: http://www.how-matters.org/
Thousand Currents Website: http://thousandcurrents.org/

Find the book at: https://www.smartrisks.org/
Twitter: @Tintldogooder