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I am passionate about:
Sustainable Livelihood developments in fragile communities and conflict-affected countries.
A little known fact about me is:
I used to be lacrosse champion in my school years
Initiatives of Change UK
Programme Manager at the Initiative of Change (IofC) - UK, where I am worked since 2013. I completed my PhD at King’s College London in 2011 and spent postdoc research years in 2012 - 14 at University College London and at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew. Previously I had worked for over 12 years with various UK charities, including the mental health charity, Mind. I am a research scientist by training with current interest focus on land restoration in degraded arid ecosystems for Sustainable Livelihood developments in fragile communities and conflict-affected countries.
These are Grace Ojera's words during the interview I conducted with her:
My names are Grace Akello Ojera. I come from Northern Uganda, an Acholi by Tribe. I am the CEO of AWOV (Acholi women of valour). The organisation is a social enterprise formed to support Acholi women who have been in IDP camps.
I have looked at ways how these women could get themselves out of poverty in an environmentally friendly way, using locally sourced materials which are readily available.
I then came up with two sources: clay and calabash products.
Hi Becky, it would be great to collaborate as partners, to enable refugees and migrants in the diaspora to help contribute to the poor or IDP households in their countries of origin. In a way that they can support find them dignity and sustainable means of living.
Hi, I am Muna Ismail, team member of Migration Lab Program - A finance platform for refugees and migrant re-builders under the Full human journey Idea Platform. The area of your project focus in Kenya's largely Somali inhabited region seems to be an interesting idea. Collective trauma, second-generation trauma and how diaspora communities can address or help communities of origin deal with these multiple traumas, I think, are areas still at an early stage of knowledge development. Nonetheless, diaspora groups are better placed and have the insight if not are the catalyst for the rebuilding of economic (livelihood), psychosocial and human capital in countries of origin. I fled Somalia at a young age during the 1990s civil war and throughout my years of personal and professional growth in the UK, I have always had the thought that one day I would be able to contribute or in some way or the other help refugees to rebuild their own countries of origin with the skills and know-how they learnt when they return.
In that endeavour, I have been leading in the last 3 years a training programme at Initiatives of Change UK called 'Refugees as Re-Builders in London where we train professional diaspora refugees from fragile and conflict-affected countries. Most of the participants in the training programme come from the African Continent, specifically The Greater Horn of Africa or/and the IGAD countries of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda; as well as other African countries e.g. Chad, Zambia and Nigeria.
You can look us up here and see a number of videos about the programme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DetGPhlKWnc&list=PL_TvFjd2UOt3WgLIlamFl6yKyYv2bUbD5
It would be great to look together into ways of collaborating. Wishing you success in your initiative.