Since January 2009, Roxanne has volunteered in a number of countries across Latin America. After graduating in French and Hispanic studies from The University of Nottingham in 2013, Roxanne led an International Citizenship Service (ICS) sustainable development project in rural Nicaragua. This challenging yet rewarding project along with her other experiences have sparked Roxanne’s passion for women’s empowerment, children’s rights and asylum support.
Roxanne currently works as a Children’s Adviser at the Refugee Council. “I’m very excited about In Our Hands as I believe it has the potential to support and unite women’s groups all over the world. In Our Hands will not only change the lives of women, but also their families and their communities. By working together under one network, women all over the world will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and exchange skills to generate positive change.
Michael’s decision to study languages at university was the start of a very long – somewhat convoluted – chain of events that led him to this point. He has always had an interest in how he can play a role in bettering the world, and having the chance to live in and learn about new places and other people’s experiences have helped to shape the way he thinks and feels.
The opportunity to lead a group of volunteers in Nicaragua and play a part in helping to set up a women’s group allowed him to understand what people can do given the opportunity and the desire to make a difference. It was with this in mind that In Our Hands was formed, driven by the belief that by supporting and enabling rural women’s groups we can help ensure their longevity and make a positive difference to communities worldwide.
In September 2015 Michael started a joint Master’s degree in Human Development and Public Policy with Maastricht and the UN University. This will give him the opportunity to further his understanding of development issues and allow him to continue building on his experience to ensure the continued success of In Our Hands.
Rosario is a professional in economics, with emphases in finance, rural development, cooperatives, and international business.
Rosario has worked for more than 20 years with agricultural cooperatives, primarily in Nicaragua and other Latin American countries. She founded and was General Manager for Prodecoop, R.L., the first coffee export cooperative in Nicaragua. It was also the first registered fair-trade cooperative in the country. Rosario was also a founder and member of the Board of Directors–and later General Manager–of Soppexcca, R.L., one of the most successful cooperatives in Nicaragua. Through her work, Rosario has involved many women in making important organizational decisions that give them access to and control over land and other various initiatives.
Rosario has worked with national and international NGOs, including Proyecto de Desarrollo Cooperativo Las Segovias (PDC). With Oxfam America, she coordinated a project for two years in Mexico, improving the quality of coffee and access to markets.
Rosario also worked for almost five years with Equal Exchange, Inc., a fair-trade importer in the United States, establishing relationships with coffee producers in Latin America. She worked for ten years with Root Capital, supporting small producers and businessmen/women in cities and rural areas.
Rosario currently works as a consultant and is finishing a degree in Human Rights Law.
Tabitha works for the international development organisation Raleigh International. She has experience managing volunteers and coordinating projects, both in the UK and abroad. Tabitha is passionate about equality and empowering people to reach their full potential, especially among under-represented groups.
“Having volunteered in rural Nicaragua, I’ve seen first-hand the spirit and determination of grass-roots women’s groups to effect change in their communities. By linking these groups together and giving them the support they need to develop, I believe women’s groups can be instrumental to a country’s growth, and universal equality.”
Sian is a teacher who is currently working as a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) in a large academy in the north of England. Whilst Sian has managed teams working with children from age 3 to age 19, in both mainstream education and private summer schools, she is currently managing a Resourced Provision for children who are diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder for the Local Authority. Her great interest is providing opportunities for children/young people who are in challenging circumstances and enabling them to achieve the outcomes they set themselves.
Lina lives in Portland, OR, USA. Originally from Washington, D.C., she has worked for nonprofit and community-based organisations for almost ten years. She has experience in program coordination, organisational development, volunteer management, and community organising. Lina currently works in higher education and volunteers in a women’s health clinic. She has led community development projects in Costa Rica, Peru, and Argentina and holds a BA in Global Studies from the University of Minnesota.