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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 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.

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

On this episode of Change Making Women we interview Grace Mdemu, a Mentor in the Global Give Back Circle who is also an Auditor, Mother, Entrepreneur and Poet.

TOPICS WE DISCUSS IN THIS EPISODE

    • Grace Mdemu tells us how mentoring a girl who was at risk through the Global Giving Circle has enriched her life as well as that of her mentee
    • She explains how the programme works, why she’s so committed to it and the change that it creates and how she would love to see the programme grow and reach more girls.
    • We also talk about how she fits being a Mentor in to her busy life as a Auditor, Mother, Entrepreneur and Poet and how she finds time to take a break for herself.

Some Quotes from the show:

 ‘Seven years down the line, my mentee, to me, is like the little sister I never had, we are still going strong’

‘The only difference between us and the girls is opportunity, so I know these are the leaders of tomorrow’

‘You have to believe in yourself to be a mentor, you are there to guide and you talk about relationships, religion everything, they come to trust you.’

Connect with Grace and the Global Give Back Circle:
Find our more about the Global Give Back Circle: https://www.globalgivebackcircle.org/

You can listen to this episode below or find it on ITunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud.

TOPICS WE DISCUSS IN THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Maria Magembe and Hellen Lawuo-Meena about the business they have recently launched Daughters of the Soil. We talk about

  • How Maria’s Grandmother Oyangi inspired their 100% natural range of premium beauty products
  • Why they have chosen to create a global brand that celebrates African heritage
  • What they have learnt from working together and how they manage doing business with a friend
  • How Daughters of the Soil wants to develop a platform that supports rural women in Africa to empower themselves

Some quotes from the show:
We want to be a brand that celebrates the goodness that comes from the soil across Africa’

‘Where we come from the soil is regarded as something important, we believe that we are from the soil and so it’s a fitting name for a natural beauty business’

‘We are still learning everyday, we are just stretching ourselves’

‘It’s really been a journey in terms of solving problems, it’s really exciting’

‘Even when we don’t agree, it’s a really good learning point’

‘It’s about developing a platform that supports rural women in Africa who don’t have some of the support that we have been really privileged to have’

‘It’s about women backing women in business’

Connect with and find out more about Daughters of the Soil:

www.daughterofthesoil.co.uk
Twitter:@daughterof_soil

Instagram: @daughetrof_soil

Facebook: Daughterofthesoil

On this weeks show we interview Noelah Msuya, Founder and Director of Child Support Tanzania, an not-for-profit organisation based in Mbeya which promotes educational inclusion through their early childhood development centre and a range of activities with local schools and communities. Noelah tells us why real inclusion matters and how she has coped with leading a growing change making project alongside being a Mum.

TOPICS WE DISCUSS IN THIS EPISODE

  • How to get started fundraising for your Change Making project
  • What you need to have in place in order to persuade someone to give you money
  • How to go about proving what you have done with money you have been given
  • Starting small and using your network to test and prove your idea.
  • How cultures of giving vary

Some quotes from the show:

‘You need to be able to describe exactly what you want to do before you go anywhere asking for money.’

‘My biggest concern is how people are accountable, that the money is used according to the business plan’

You need to have a detailed plan – to really know what you are going to do and be able to explain it to anyone you meet’

‘Do your research about funders properly. Send them what they ask for tailored for them. Make it clear that you know who they are’

‘to stand out you need a compelling story about the difference you want to make.’
‘get your first money from people you know who have faith in you.’

‘My number one recommendation if you are starting a charitable project would be to raise the first money you need from people you know who have faith in you’