Meet the 2021 Goldin Global Fellows

 


AlegreAndy Alegre is the Senior Strategist for Church Partnerships at International Justice Mission (IJM) in Manila, a global anti-slavery organization protecting people in poverty from violence. He develops, maintains, and strengthens partnerships in the Philippines with churches, faith-based organizations, communities, coalitions, ministries, and leaders regarding their work against online sexual exploitation of children, a new form of human trafficking and a significant threat to children. He is also a Social Engagement Lecturer at De La Salle University (DLSU) in Manila, teaching civic welfare, literacy and formation programs to first year students. Andy holds an MA in International Law and Human Rights from the United Nations (UN) - Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica and an MA in Political Science, Major in Global Politics from Ateneo de Manila University where he was an Asian Peacebuilder Scholar. He is a registered nurse by profession and has worked in various capacities for different agencies in the field of humanitarian, psychosocial care, child protection, community development, clinical and public health.

 

MizanArpeeta Shams Mizan is a socio-legal researcher from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Arpeeta is interested in qualitative studies of the human experience and understanding of law as a lived reality. Her areas of academic interest include sociolegal studies, colonial legal history, human rights, law and religion, and legal education. Arpeeta is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Bristol, UK, where she is investigating legal consciousness in postcolonial South Asian contexts. Arpeeta is a faculty member at the Department of Law, University of Dhaka, and holds an LLM from Harvard Law School. Besides academia, she designs human rights fact finding simulation workshops and also works as the Bangladesh Legal Analyst for iProbono, a UK based non-profit legal service providing organization. Arpeeta has been a speaker at TEDxNSU (2017) and a fellow at the Swedish Institute in 2013-2014 and won the 2017 University Grants Commission Gold Medal for her field research on Street Law programs. She has published in national and international peer reviewed journals.

 

BehrRev. Berry Behr is Chairperson of the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative, and Faith Leader Liaison for Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI). In 2019, Berry graduated from One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, New York, as an ordained Interfaith/Interspiritual Minister. She co-ordinates multifaith, multicultural events aimed at promoting an inclusive society based on understanding, compassion and respect. She is passionate about helping people of diverse religious, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds and education unite with the common purpose to build relationships and communities that are inclusive and benefit everybody.

 

StonerBlake Stoner is a grassroots reporter, social entrepreneur, and tech enthusiast with a history of community advocacy. After working on over 10 grassroots campaigns, he noticed many communities across the United States of America needed more representation to highlight their culture and concerns. He believes that an important challenge to address right now is the growing crisis of news deserts that disproportionately leave communities of color ill-represented and uninformed. In response, he founded Vngle, a grassroots news network which provides an equitable decentralized approach to local reporting and brings nonpartisan coverage to underreported geographic and demographic areas. Through a gig-economy model, it verifies and trains local citizens with smartphones to serve as reporters and editors. Through scaling, Vngle seeks to make verifiable news mainstream, where anyone can check the origin of where, when, & how stories are captured through a public ledger.

 

BhatiaChhavi Bhatia considers herself a Plain Speak Journalist. She is a leading columnist and independent journalist based in Delhi, India. Since November 2020, she has been actively covering one of the largest protests in human history: the Indian farmers' protest. Here she focuses her work on providing accurate and unbiased information and news on both traditional media platforms, i.e., print media, as well as more accessible spaces such as social media. She is covering the various protest sites in Delhi to share the stories of the communities at the sites and amplify their voices to local, national and international audiences. Her motivations to document these stories and struggles comes from her understanding of the social issues in Punjab, and the interconnectedness of these problems, which include intensive drug abuse, particularly among the youth, farmers suicide and mental health challenges, water conservation and environmental degradation, and unjust laws and policies which disenfranchise rural communities. She has previously worked for the Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Tehelka, and other media outlets.

 

Orjuela FierroDavid Orjuela is a teacher, teaching at Universidad Nacional de Jose C. Paz, where he is passionate about understanding students motivations, strengths, and ways of learning, as well as experimenting with various pedagogical approaches. He is currently working on Latin American literary and cultural criticism project which looks at promoting Spanish reading, analysis, and debate around written narrations from emerging authors from the Latin American continent. He is passionate about decentralized academic and institutionalized knowledge to a bigger, more plural community, as he believes this is the only way to use it as tool for social change. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master degree in Discourse Analysis, and has good experience as Systems Analyst.

 

AjdariFatmire Ajdari is a peace worker and program coordinator at the Children's Embassy Megjashi in Macedonia’s capital, Skopje. Here she facilitates projects on providing peace education to secondary school teachers of varying backgrounds and ethnicities. She is passionate about nonviolent conflict resolution methods and facilitating a peaceful coexistence between the various ethnicities in Macedonia, in an effort to combat nationalism and hate speech in the country. Fatmire also volunteers to improve the refugee crisis in Macedonia, and works on connecting different communities in her neighborhood by using nonviolence and the building of friendships. She holds a Master of Political Science in the Field of Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, and is an Accredited Court translator for Albanian-Macedonian and vice versa.

 


IyerGopal Iyer
is an Educational Specialist at the GCRF Water Security and Sustainability Development Hub at the University of Newcastle. At the Hub he is responsible for developing the educational portfolio through the development of hands-on curriculum, focused on some of the most pressing problems including climate change, gender equality and the challenges of achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in emerging parts of the globe. Prior to his academic career, he worked with developmental organisations such as AC Nielsen, World Bank, and Xseed, where, as a consultant, he was involved in education policy research. At the World Bank he managed the (Programme for International Student Assessment) PISA programme which focused on measuring the learning outcomes in young adults and school children. As an educator and a practitioner, his primary focus has been to work with lower socio-economic communities, helping him to embrace the values of equality, diversity and inclusion in his teaching and research activities.

 


AuwalIsmail Auwal is a 28 year-old Nigerian from Kano, North-West Nigeria, who has a strong passion for creating a greener environment and addressing the negative impacts of climate change within his community. He currently manages an online news platform called Sahelian Times, and leads a tree planting campaign team called Make Kano Green. He was one of the three winners of the 2019 sustainable development goal 16 innovation challenge organized by Accountability Lab Nigeria. He was also the state team lead of Youth Video Campaign supported by Population Reference Bureau (PRB). In 2018 Ismail was the pioneer Anti-Corruption thematic lead of the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) initiative in Kano. He has also worked as a Program Manager with African Center for Transparency and Anti-Corruption Advocacy. He spends his leisure time learning something new or reading books.

 


HenshawJennifer Kuwa Henshaw is Executive Director of the Lesbian and Gay Association of Liberia (LEGAL), a rights-based organization that serves as the voice of the LGBTIQ Community and other vulnerable groups in Liberia. Here she oversees and coordinates the organization’s programs and strategic direction. Over the years, her work has improved the advocacy role of LEGAL nationally and internationally, and her work to engage stakeholders has increased their willingness to support policy changes beneficial to the LGBTIQ Community. As a feminist, Jennifer’s advocacy surrounding issues affecting the LGBTIQ community in Liberia including in the areas of access to justice for social protection under the rule of law, access to health and sexual and reproductive health rights, particularly under HIV and AIDS frameworks and prevention strategies, and other basic rights to protect stigmatized and marginalized members of the LGBTIQ community.

 


KammaJohn W. Kamma belongs to the Liberian Grebo tribe and is from Maryland County. He is the Founding Executive Director of Citizens Bureau for Development and Productivity, a non-profit and nonpolitical civil society and humanitarian organization seeking to advance the rule of law, promote civil justice, citizens police relations and to eradicate poverty in Liberia through community justice initiatives. The organization does so through addressing local disputes and needs in collaboration with civil society partners and members of the formal legal system. Following the end of Liberia’s civil war, John took advantage of the recruitment of a new police service for Liberia and joined the Liberia National Police Training Academy in 2004. Following months of theoretical and practical field instructions in police related subjects, in 2005 he received the Distinguished Leadership Award for exhibiting outstanding qualities of leadership, and served the Police Force as Senior Recruitment Officer. He graduated from the University of Liberia in 2010 with a Bachelor Degree in Public Administration. He regularly undertakes several initiatives from cleaning up campaign in central Monrovia to community justice projects. He has a daughter and is raising kids along with his fiancée in Monrovia.

 


EfobiLilian Efobi is a public policy professional and serves as the Chief Operating Officer at the Nigerian Global Affairs Council (NiGAC), a Nigerian-based non-partisan policy think-tank that focuses on policy design and advocacy, policy simplification, and policy leadership development. Passionate about policy advocacy and formulation, Lilian uses behavioral insight tools to design socio-governance projects that entrench accountability and enhance open governance. She has been involved in executing monitoring and evaluation projects that seek to measure and evaluate the expected and unintended outcomes of government policies on the citizens. Lilian is committed to a better Nigeria with a functioning democracy through active community engagement in the political process. She believes in the principles of empathic leadership as one of the ways to change the world and transform lives positively. She is also a Resident Policy Fellow at the Nigerian Global Affairs Council.

 

MukambaLuc Mukamba is a 21-year old Congolese based in Kinshasa, DRC, where he is completing his University studies. When he was a child he was fascinated with fixing devices and learning about electrical mechanics, and would fix devices and machines with his father. This led to him completing his studies in Electrical Mechanics at college. Using what he had learnt he mobilized his classmates and together they offered training to young people on household electricity installations. He is passionate about mobilizing educated and trained individuals, such as his classmates, to come together to start programs to empower and train youth who have no access to education, by providing them with technical skills which they can use as a means of earning income.

 


StephenLupai Samuel Kenyi Stephen is the Founding Executive Director of “I AM PEACE”, a non-governmental organization based in South Sudan which focuses on promoting peace, health, protection, and arts and entertainment. I AM PEACE’s works to influence policies, civic engagement, development, and the building of resilience by providing opportunities for youth, women and girls to actively participate in the promotion of peace in South Sudan. With over 10 years radio broadcast experience, Lupai is a radio consultant in Juba where he focuses on amplifying youth voices and creating a platform for discussions around social change, to facilitate peacebuilding through media. Lupai has also worked as a presenter, producer and music director for various radio stations in South Sudan and Uganda. With his experience as a trainer/facilitator and an advocate on social issues among young people, both in refugee areas of Uganda and in South Sudan, Lupai is a certified International Facilitator for the British Council Active Citizens program and was selected as a delegate to the 2018 Concordia Summit, a UN General Assembly side event in New York.

 


DivantoqueLuz Jennifer Divantoque Naranjo is a Manager at Mingaia, a community environmental project, in Bogota Colombia. Here she supports with designing projects, organizing activities, and working on the communications. Mingaia organizes free workshops every weekend for community residents on various topics such as environmental, cultural, sports, social and personal growth. Luz Jennifer also works to care for a local Wetland and shares free sessions of courses with institutions such as the Botanical Garden of Bogotá so that they can obtain training in additional environmental care methods. She is keen to see the community in not just Bogota but Colombia as a whole unite and develop better social and community cohesion, with greater linkages between communities and institutions so they can collaborate on community development activities.

 


TahirMahdar Tahir is a Social Worker and Founder of Crescent Collective, a non-profit social organization that guides Malaysian youth towards spiritual awareness and understanding by grounding moral values through talks, community projects, and volunteerism on arts and culture. Although the vision of Crescent Collective has always been to prioritize marginalized or disenfranchised youth, its non-judgemental and inclusive approach has resulted in participants from all walks of life joining the activities. Another key strength of Crescent Collective is the willingness and commitment to bridge social and community issues across all walks of life, and learning by comparison and through best practice, through the invitation of speakers from around the world, namely arts and culture practitioners. Mahdar also actively promotes social and spiritual community events and is often seen lending his expertise in a wide array of projects with local schools, media, charity and refugee programs. He is also one of the directors of I CAN Malaysia, a regional partner of Arigatou International, and an alumnus of the 2015 IVLP on Youth & Community Conflict Resolution.

 


NjoyaMathias Njoya is an environmental drug abuse activist and a promoter of youth capacity-building. He is a holder of a Diploma in Pharmaceutical Technology and is currently doing a BSc Degree in Public Health at the University of the People. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Youth Against Drug Abuse (YADA) International and African Youth Empowerment and Capacity Building Academy (AYECBA). His passion for combatting and addressing mental health concerns is due to the influence drug abuse has on mental health and wellbeing. He was nominated for a social media award for the best advocate for SDG 3 by Digital Citizenship and SDGs Project (DigCit SDG) Cameroon in 2019. In December 2020, he was recognised as the Best Social Justice Activist by Global Institute of Peace Justice and Liberty, Liberia.

 

DzimunewMunyaradzi Dzimunew is a wife, and mother to two handsome boys. She is currently a high school teacher by professional training, and an upcoming social entrepreneur, counsellor, and motivational speaker by passion. Her interests are women’s empowerment through training in entrepreneurship, climate change, and sustainable development. She believes teaching and training are the best tools for capacitating people, and through empowering women we can bring about tremendous social change, from the local communities to the global level. Munyaradzi is also a member of various non-governmental organisations in Harare working towards capacitating women in business. She holds a BA degree in Arts, Post Graduate Diploma in Education, and is currently a Global Master of Business Administration Impact Entrepreneurship student.

 

OdollNicholas Songora Odoll is a passionate activist with several years’ experience as a creative arts director and human rights defender with a background in Development Studies. He has been involved in the promotion of social change for better service delivery, accountability, peacebuilding, and conflict management in the coastal region of Kenya. He is the Founding Director of Manyatta Youth Entertainment CBO-MAYE– an Arts for Social Change non-profit which is youth-led and grounded in human rights principles, active in the coastal counties of Kenya. MAYE has been involved in the areas of social accountability, civic education, and social justice using creative Arts, innovation, and technology as a mode of communication. It is through MAYE that he addresses concerns revolving around gender-based violence, violent extremism, and armed juvenile crime. He is a founder of ANIKA Community Media; an online audio-visual media platform managed by young people. Here they focus on sharing the untold stories within the community such as narratives on social accountability and highlighting emerging leaders’ struggles and success stories.

 

Galaviz JohnsonNonnel Galaviz-Johnson, born in St. Louis, Missouri, is a first generation Venezuelan-American on her mother’s side and has always dreamed of returning to her roots in Venezuela. While working towards her degree in Environmental studies from Florida Gulf Coast University, she was heavily engaged in the Southern Scholarship Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides rent free communal living opportunities to students in financial need. Following a one-year civic design program, Nonnel’s focus on environmental work has transformed into a more intersectional approach with a focus on community engagement. After being introduced to the Gather platform, Nonnel has designed and taught a course called Politics & the Citizens, in collaboration with AJ Nunes-Zaller and Lewis Gopher. She is also heavily involved with Action Corps, a grassroots organization championing global solidarity with those most affected by violent conflict and climate disaster. Nonnel hopes her experiences will lead her back to Venezuela, to work with the communities her mother and family come from.

 

RafeeqShazmin Rafeeq is an Education Psychologist and the CEO and Co-Founder of I CAN Malaysia. I CAN is a non-profit based in Kuala Lumpur which seeks to support refugee children achieve their full potential of being independent and productive individuals who will benefit their community as well as preserve their own culture. Shazmin is responsible for supervising multiple projects undertaken by the charity, involving programs that support child refugee rehabilitation, organising soft skill sessions for orphans, setting up volunteer workshops, and training Rohingya refugee women in financial literacy. She is an advocate for the rights of Rohingya refugees and believes that quality education for Rohingya children and youth is the most vital way of bettering the future of the Rohingya community in Malaysia.

 

TimilsinaSri Ram Timilsina is a Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Practitioner from Nepal currently engaged with NVC Practise Group Nepal, Good Deeds Day Nepal and Civil Peace Service, Pro Public. Sri works with young ambitious growth-minded leaders, as well as school and university students, to build greater emotional intelligence so they can connect better with themselves, and through doing so connect better with others. After becoming increasingly concerned with the use of corporal punishment and heavy demands on students during his time as a teacher, he began looking for less violent strategies and means of working and in 2009 was gifted a book on Nonviolent Communication. Since then, after learning about the practises and experiencing the positive changes in himself, and with the mission of making NVC accessible to all in Nepal, he has been organizing national campaigns to create a culture of peace and nonviolence in schools and communities. These efforts have required helping people with NVC practice sessions, seminars, meetings and workshops to create personal growth – encouraging success and resilience in their lives. Sri believes strongly in the power of giving from the heart.


Gordon WilliamsValerie Gordon-Williams is an award winning Project Management professional from the Small Island Developing State of Grenada in the Caribbean, currently residing in Montreal Canada while maintaining strong personal and professional links and work with her home country. At present she is the Program Director of the Quebec Board of Black Educations whose work is guided by the principles of "No student left behind" and "Families First", providing academic and parenting support to minority, low income families in Montreal. Her career has mostly spanned years working with several development financing agencies such as the United Nations Development Program, OXFAM UK managing country and regional programs aimed at poverty alleviation and community development, and as an Associate of KAIRI Consultants. “Putting People at the Center of Development" is the primary guiding principle for her work. She holds an Industrial Management Diploma at the College of Arts, Science and Technology (Jamaica), a Trained Teachers Certificate from the University of the West Indies, and in-house training by her employers.

 

EbrahimZeenat Ebrahim is a pharmacist by profession who volunteers at several organizations, all of which ultimately aim for the empowerment of her community in Durban, South Africa. She is currently active with two grassroots organizations, within which the programs center around youth social issues and youth empowerment, and include value-based teaching, skills development and fun activities such as sports days and 'mini Olympics', working with some of the most marginalized communities including children from informal settlements. Zeenat believes she is lucky to have been surrounded by people who are passionate about helping others in many different ways, and feels it is a privilege to be able to be of service to others. This is something that has helped direct many facets of who she is, from the workplace to her social circles.

 

ABOUT GATHER

The Fellows are learning together through GATHER, which is both a mobile platform for shared learning and a curriculum for people who want to build on the talents of their neighbors and the assets of their communities to make real and lasting change. Goldin Global Fellows learn and work together through an innovative curriculum that comes pre-loaded on a tablet device with all the connectivity, materials, videos, practices and tools necessary to provide a mobile classroom and toolkit for community leadership.

To follow along the learning journey with the Gather Fellows, please sign up for our newsletter and follow up on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

If you would like to apply for the next cohort of Goldin Global Fellows, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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