MEET OUR CORE TEAM
Aminata is a gender and child rights advocate. She is passionate about designing, implementing and managing programmes that create an enabling platform for adolescent girls to discover and make informed decisions pertaining to their sexual reproductive health and social and economic empowerment.
She has delivered and managed social and economic empowerment programmes for adolescent girls and boys through BRAC, Initiative for Children and Youth Improvement (ICYI) and IBIS. She is an expert trainer on Life Skills, gender and communication soft-skills and has rolled out training sessions for adolescent girls and BRAC national staff in Sierra Leone. Also, she has conducted research on understanding the sexual and reproductive health issues of adolescent girls in Sierra Leone after the Ebola epidemic which was funded by Irish Aid. She is currently the Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network.
Sandie Hanna is a feminist, human rights and anti-imperialist activist from Occupied Palestine.
She truly believes that dismantling oppression towards social and political collective liberation necessarily requires bold commitment to intersectionality, intergenerational connectedness and politicisation among others. Sandie is a member of the women’s rights regional network Karama; and the founder of Feminist Diaries, a collective of young women and girls that analyse and produce art to share stories about their activism journeys, their lived realities and the feminist world they want to co-shape.
Prior to Purposeful, she held positions of programme management and advocacy at the Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development, and led community based interventions with adolescents and children using art therapeutic approaches. Her film “25/11” addresses the so called “honour killing” criticising patriarchal dominance and asymmetries in gender relations, perpetuated by social norms and the in-effect outdated discriminatory laws in Palestine.
Nyangah holds a Social Work degree from Fourah Bay College. She served as a safe space mentor for in-school adolescent girls in MacDonald Village through Project Pikin. In 2018, she volunteered as a Psychosocial Counsellor at Variety Children and Family Service, an Interim Care Center for abandoned children.
She is involved in all advocacy activities ongoing at Purposeful, including campaigning for the government to lift the ban on pregnant girls attending school, and ending the culture of rape in Sierra Leone through the Black Tuesday Movement. She plays an integral role in sourcing stories for Karo Kura.
Rosa is a feminist activist, strategist and researcher. She founded Purposeful at the height of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone with her long time friend and co-conspirator Chernor. Rosa began working with women and girls in the UK 15 years ago, with a focus on survivors of early childhood sexual abuse, sex trafficking and the criminal justice system. She has gone on to work and travel across more than 30 countries, where she developed a now unshakable belief that the key to our collective liberation already exists in community and in culture – and most especially in the sweat and toil of the most marginalised women and girls so often hidden from view.
Rosa has consulted with a range of social justice practitioners, corporate brands, bi- and multilateral agencies and private foundations. She is the author of a number of reports that centre the stories and experiences of the girls most removed from power, has spoken at the UN Social Good Summit at the launch of the SDGs, on National Public Radio, Russian State Radio, lectured at Yale University and written for the Guardian and a range of industry press. As well as leading strategy, research and innovation for Purposeful, Rosa continues to work with social justice leaders across the world as they work to amplify adolescent girls’ voices, fuel their resistance and build a better world for us all.
Purity is feminist activist and a storyteller based in Nairobi Kenya. Purity is passionate about girls’ freedom as well as enabling girls and young women to access spaces to advance themselves and their communities.
Purity has dedicated her life to ensuring that girls and young women from especially under-resourced backgrounds can have opportunities to dream and journey towards the futures they hope to see. She has a passion for developing curricula and programs that keep girls at the centre as well as coaching the next generation of girl and young women leaders.
Prior to joining WFG/Purposeful, Purity was the Executive Director of Akili Dada, a leadership incubator for girls and young women who are passionate about social change. Purity has previously served as a founding advisory committee member of the FRIDA|The Young Feminist Fund and in early 2015, she was named as one of the 18 Phenomenal African Feminists to know and watch. In 2016, she was named a finalist of the Most Influential Women in Governance and Business in Africa. She is currently a member of the East Africa Girls Brain Trust and a trustee of the Resource Centre for Girls and Women an organization that works to empower girls from rural communities in Kenya.
Purity holds an MBA from the African Leadership University School of Business, Rwanda, an undergraduate degree in Gender and Development from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and a Diploma in Journalism from the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication.
Liesel was a Programme Officer for the With and For Girls Awards and joined under Stars Foundation in May 2018.
Prior to her role with us at Purposeful, she held positions at South African NGOs. Liesel worked on area-based community development programmes that aim at safe and integrated communities and the improvement of the quality of life for the residents in local neighbourhoods through a comprehensive range of urban improvements and social interventions. She also worked at IkamvaYouth, a previous Stars Impact Award winner.
Liesel has lived and worked in South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania and India. She holds a BA degree in Architecture and is currently completing her MSc in International Development at the Open University.
Jody has a lifelong commitment to the freedom and safety of all girls and young women. Grounded in social work and a deep commitment to racial, gender and youth justice, Jody is a feminist activist, strategist, storyteller, and researcher. As a gender justice consultant, Jody works across movements, organizations and philanthropy to center girls and young women and to move resources and power to those working to build their collective power.
For a decade, Jody played a critical role in championing girls’ rights at the NoVo Foundation. As the Director of NoVo’s Initiative to Advance Adolescent Girls’ Rights, Jody led the Initiative’s grantmaking and donor organizing. In this role, Jody designed and oversaw an intersectional, transnational, movement building initiative focused on adolescent girls and young feminists globally. In addition, she led NoVo’s work to end violence against girls and women in conflict-affected settings. Jody played a key leadership role in designing and overseeing the Foundation’s historic 90-million-dollar commitment to girls of color in the US and multiple global initiatives aimed at centering girls and young people across movements globally. Prior to NoVo, she worked within various NGO’s, CBO’s, and multilaterals, leading explicit efforts to end violence against girls, build girls’ power and expand access to healing. Whether through organizing, direct services, program design, participatory action research or philanthropy, Jody has supported programs that show the promise of change efforts that are girl-led, girl-driven and girl-designed.
Jody holds a B.S. from Colorado State University in Human Development and Family Studies with a focus on adolescence and a M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University. She was a founding board member of Purposeful and Girls First Fund and currently serves as the Hub chair for the Children’s Rights Innovation Fund. At Purposeful, Jody serves as a Senior Strategist, advising on feminist learning and documentation and the With and For Girls’ Collective, in addition to co-leading the Global Resilience Fund.
Ruby is a feminist activist, practitioner, and strategist committed to redistributing resources and power to girls and young women across the globe. Ruby brings 15+ experience advancing gender justice and human rights with grassroots groups, feminist organizations, public and private foundations, and UN agencies. From 2013-2019 she was the Co-Executive Director of FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, and played a key role in setting up the Fund: registering the organization, growing the staff from 1-25, budget from 250,000 to 4.5 Million, and grantmaking from 15- 200 girl and young feminist led collectives.
Since leaving FRIDA, Ruby has worked as a Gender Justice Consultant providing senior strategic advice and leading projects with a range of organizations, UN Agencies, and private and public foundations, including Urgent Action Fund, Equality Fund, Global Fund for Women, Wellspring Philanthropic Partners, Human Rights Funders Network, UN Women and more. Ruby brings expertise in creative documentation and storytelling, co-designing accompaniment and grantmaking with girl-led movements, participatory grantmaking, and feminist organizational development.
Ruby holds a Masters in Participatory Development and Applied Anthropology in Gender from the Australian National University and is on the Board of Women Fund Asia, (Australia), an advisory member to the Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence (GAGE), and a member of Comic Relief’s Social Impact Committee. At Purposeful, Ruby serves as a Strategic Advisor for the With and For Girls’ Collective and is currently co-leading the Global Resilience Fund.
Isha is ardent about gender equality and empowering adolescent girls. She believes girls have the right to be educated, to be safe, to live in violent free societies, and for their voices to be heard irrespective of their gender.
She has worked with the International Rescue Committee where she gained experience in building adolescent girls programming and training young female mentors on the Girl Shine Life Skills Module and Advocacy Manual for women and girls in Kenema, Kono and Kailahun.
She has worked and coached girls in Kenema to build their confidence in raising their voices against issues affecting them, set up businesses to improve their economic status, and become less vulnerable. She has also served as a District Inclusion Officer for Mott MacDonald. She was in charge of training stakeholders of government schools, government-assisted schools, community schools, and mission schools on school-related gender based violence, setting up School Safety Committee and Menstrual Hygiene Kits.
Dani is a facilitator and community builder, committed to holding space for relational learning that creates more freedom. Most of their work so far has been in LGBTQI+ activism in Romania, and in community organising for social justice. For the past four years, they have coordinated Gender Talk, a community initiative of gender explorers and rebels that works to create more space and possibilities for us all to exist and thrive outside the gender binary.
Mercy is an intersectional African feminist with a commitment to human rights, social justice, and girls and young women. She is currently a Programme Assistant for Grants Administration at UHAI EASHRI, Africa’s first indigenous activist fund supporting sexual and gender minorities and sex worker human rights. Before joining UHAI EASHRI, she supported various programs at Akili Dada, a leadership incubator that nurtures transformative leadership in girls and young women through its holistic approach to education, leadership training and mentoring. Mercy has worked with girls and young women for the past eight years and is passionate about purposefully creating safe spaces for girls and young women that encourage intergenerational learning and agency.
Laura is a Colombian Queer Feminist inspiring collective action through the power of storytelling. Her experience and career expands to her activism and work within civil society, non-profits, philanthropy, and social enterprises. Currently, she serves as a board member of the FRIDA | Young Feminist Fund, is an advocacy consultant for the Global Resilience Fund, the Co-Founder of SUKUAMIS | Wisdom and Healing, a human rights consultancy collective, a content curator for the Accelerating Social Transformation program at the University of Washington, and Hispanics in Philanthropy Lideres fellow. She holds a Masters of Public Administration and a dual Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Finance. She finds inspiration in those that root themselves in love, books, and delicious vegetarian food.