April-May 2021 Perennial Fellows

Dr. Tharcisse Nshimirimana, Burundi

Dr Tharcisse is committed to promoting global health and well-being of underserved and poorest communities of Burundi and East Africa by inspiring and empowering them to advance their own health and wellbeing. He has over fifteen years’ experience serving communities with a special focus on neglected tropical diseases, chronic illnesses, maternal and child health, and reproductive health. He has been working with Service Yezu Mwiza for the last ten years as a medical coordinator to promote global health among vulnerable communities of Burundi. 

Jigyasa Labroo, India

Jigyasa deeply believes in the power of finding a voice and engages with music, travel and coaching to constantly evolve hers. She is the Co-Founder and CEO at Slam Out Loud, a for-mission, non-profit that uses the transformative power of performance and visual arts to build Creative Confidence in disadvantaged children. Slam Out Loud currently reaches 50000 children across 4 states in India and through their response to COVID has been able to create a footprint globally.
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Habiba Ali, Nigeria

Habiba has been in the renewable energy industry since 2005. As Managing Director and CEO of Sosai Renewable Energies, Habiba manages a partnership to implement a nationwide Programme of Activities for improved cookstoves in Nigeria. Sosai is currently empowering communities and businesses with solar technologies ranging from rooftop solar panels, solar home systems, 10Kw Micro Grids for communities, solar dryers, and integrated energy centers.

Manjula Dissanayake, USA/ Sri Lanka

Manjula is an investment banker turned social entrepreneur and founder of Educate Lanka Foundation – an internationally recognized social enterprise with a mission of democratizing access to quality and relevant learning opportunities for all. Born and raised in Sri Lanka, Manjula moved to the U.S. at the age of 19. After an initial career in finance and development, he found his life’s purpose through the founding of Educate Lanka. With the realization that while talent is universal, opportunity is not, Manjula is a stern advocate and speaks frequently on inclusion, equity, and relevance in education. Manjula is based in Washington DC splits his time between the U.S. and Sri Lanka.

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Betty Kituyi, Uganda

Betty Kituyi is a leading science educator and award winner for mentoring young women in STEM in Uganda. She currently serves as a Regional Manager for Fundi Bots in Eastern Uganda. Her work with Fundi Bots is revolutionizing the practical learning of science in Ugandan schools, impacting the way science is delivered to learners. She has written widely about contemporary science teaching and learning approaches and has featured in national dailies and TV and international media like BBC and CNN. She is a passionate award-winning poet with two published poetry books.

Dr. Kristin Johnson, USA

Dr. Kristin Johnson is the Managing Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning at Last Mile Health. Drawing on mixed methods and implementation science, she leads the development of frameworks, research plans, and learning agendas to help strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes. Kristin brings expertise in participatory and adaptive approaches to evaluation, quality improvement, and data-use to support evidence-based decision making.

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Mateen Sheikh, Pakistan

Mateen is passionate about technology and its role in socially uplifting communities. He is the Project Manager at Orenda, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to solving the education crisis in Pakistan, and then around the world. He leads the development of Taleemad, the largest learning App in Pakistan that has reached more than 1 million users. Mateen envisions an app that provides children anywhere in Pakistan with the right educational experience and an alternative to school, especially those children who remain underserved.

Micheline Barandereka, Burundi

Micheline is committed to transforming the lives of underprivileged people through community development projects. After working for the United Nations for more than 10 years, she was convinced that she could be more useful if she contributed to finding solutions together with her own rural community. As the Founder & CEO of Shekinah Centre, she works with a holistic approach to community-based projects.

Amy Gaman, Nigeria

Amy has been serving women and children on the frontlines of the crisis created by Boko Haram and ISIS for most of her adult life and is excited to be an instrument in bringing lasting change and hope to families suffering in extreme poverty in her homeland. Amy is the Executive Director at Nuru Nigeria, an organization that works in northeast Nigeria helping farmers to get out of extreme poverty by moving from subsistence to building thriving farmer-owned and farmer-led cooperatives.

Larry Bryan Charles, Trinidad and Tobago

Bryan’s goal is to develop an organization that positively influences change and causes transformation in the Caribbean. He has developed his career working in the Energy Industry around the world. Bryan is passionate about coaching athletics and community building. He is an entrepreneur and is developing an organization focused on helping young men and women to create an alternative path to a meaningful, productive life through education, sports and intervention.

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Zunaira Arshad, Pakistan

Zunaira focuses on bringing systemic improvement in the education sector through innovative design. She is the co-founder and Chief Design Officer of Orenda, the non-profit that has created an award-winning digital learning program called Taleemabad, developing projects which have impacted over 1 million people in Pakistan. For her contribution to the development of education, was featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list of leading social entrepreneurs in Asia in 2020.

Ruth Kihiu, Tanzania

Ruth is a development expert with fifteen years combined experience in women’s empowerment, feminist movement building, gender mainstreaming, organizational development and leadership, policy advocacy, community mobilization, inclusive development and trade and regional integration. She is the Head of Programmes at Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC) a women-led and focused organization working with and for the empowerment of pastoralist Maasai women in northern Tanzania.

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Dr. Sam Owilly, Kenya

Sam is committed to bringing transformative change to the vulnerable communities in the hard to reach, climate change ravaged lands of Northern Kenya and the Greater Horn of Africa. He is the Country Director at BOMA Project, a non profit organization that works to provide poor women with the educational, financial, and technological resources to lift themselves out of poverty. Throughout his career, Sam has gained meaningful experience net-working with communities, governments, partners and donors alongside a dedicated team to deliver results, generate learning and influence practices that build next level leaders and drive impacts at scale.

Gia Riney, USA/ Latin America

Gia is excited by the power of the individual to effect outsized change in the world and seeks out opportunities to contribute to the solution. She serves on the management team of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, a child welfare organization based in Mexico that serves thousands of disadvantaged, vulnerable, and disabled children across the Caribbean and Latin America. She is a curious lifelong learner who has crafted a satisfying and personally enriching career in the nonprofit sector, including health care, financial services, and education.

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Jedidah Maina, Kenya

Jedidah is a gender and women’s rights activist. Her focus is on sexual and reproductive rights for all individuals. Her work includes activist programming to increase access to safe abortion in restrictive settings, designing fun and educational sexuality materials, advocating for change in attitudes, laws, policies, programs and power relationships and creating safe spaces for honest conversation about sex and sexuality. She is currently the Executive Director of Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH) based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Joseph Nkurunziza Ntale, Uganda

Joseph has dedicated his life to working with grassroots organizations in Uganda. He is passionate about working with marginalized communities drawing from their assets and capacities to determine their destinies. His working experience has majorly focused on communities infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Joseph is the Director of Programs at St. Francis HealthCare Services in Eastern Uganda.

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Fatma Muzo, Tanzania

Fatma is passionate about working on women economic empowerment. She is the Country Director at Solar Sister in Tanzania, an organization that works to eradicate energy poverty by combining clean energy technology with women-centered direct sales networks to empower women economically and bring energy to the most remote communities in Tanzania. Fatma has been playing a critical role in the growth of the organization  in the country by supervising, mentoring and supporting the recruitment and training of Solar Sister Business Development Associates who, in turn, recruit, train and mentor the Solar Sister entrepreneur network.