Who We Are
Angi Yoder-maina, Executive director
Angi Yoder-Maina is the Executive Director. Peacebuilding practitioner, post-conflict development and governance expert with a focus on capacity development, strategy development, and institutional strengthening. Angi has 20+ years experience in peace-building and governance activities, including many years of experience leading programming in sub-Sahara Africa.
For the last six years Angi has been working in collaboration with local partners creating opportunities for people in Somalia, Ehtiopian, S. Sudan and Kenya at the local level to learn about the impacts of trauma, begin to heal and come together as a community to plan community-wide . activities and structures to support further healing, reconciliation and ultimately a comprehensive national approach to social healing.
Angi is currently enrolled as a doctoral student at the Applied Conflict Transformation Studies Doctoral at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Her dissertation topic is: “Trauma Informed Social Transformation Theory: A Grounded Study on Social Healing, Resilience and Recovery.”
BELKYS LÓPEZ - Director of Research and Learning
Belkys heads GSN’s Research and Learning division and is a co-founder of the organization. Her research has focused on conflict and trauma. She has investigated and published reports on trauma and its influence on conflict, justice and reconciliation and is now researching how trauma relates to violent extremism.
Since joining GSN she has developed methods and instruments for the Monitoring and Evaluation of trauma healing projects being conducted in Somalia and Kenya. Before coming to GSN she worked in Sudan and South Sudan for more than 10 years. She was a technical advisor for the government of South Sudan on the critical North-South border issues. As a practitioner, she worked extensively on conflict prevention and management, addressing the impact of trauma on economic instability and ethnic conflict. She has also headed development and emergency response programs.
She worked previously at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania and has also carried out research in South Africa and Cuba. She earned a Master’s degree from the University of Warwick in International Political Economy and a BA in Political Science and Africana Studies from Bryn Mawr College.
Alina Mutua, director of programmes & operations
Alina is a highly qualified senior manager with more than 20 years’ of experience managing and overseeing implementation of programs for donor-funded organizations including Grants, Contracts and Cooperative Agreements.
Her area of expertise is in operations support including the management of human resources, finance, grants, procurement and logistics with a strong focus on risk management and compliance. She has experience working with major international development organizations in Kenya and other Countries in Africa as well as experience working with USAID contractors.
Over the last two decades, she has efficiently overseen the usage of budgets averaging ten million US dollars per year with funding from the US government and other donors. During her work life, Alina has worked on Peace, Health, Governance, Relief and Development projects among others. Alina studied Finance, Law and International business management.
board of directors
TECLA NAMACHANJA WANJA - CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Tecla is a holder of a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (2008-2013). She attained an MA in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg Virginia, USA (2001-2003). She has certificates in peace keeping and human rights from the United Nations International Courses (UN-IC) offered by the UN University in Tokyo, Japan (June 2003). She also holds a Diploma in Social Development Work from Embu Development Institute, Kenya (1989-1991).
She currently directs a social healing and reconciliation program under Green String Network. She was one of the Commissioners of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC-Kenya). Namachanja served the commission in the acting position as a chairperson from 2nd November 2010 to 27th February 2012. She steered TJRC amidst challenges and controversies for 18 months to the successful completion of its term and mandate.
She previously worked as a relief and rehabilitation coordinator for victims of 1991/1992 ethnic/land clashes under the Catholic Diocese of Bumgoma, as a National Coordinator for Peace and Development Network (PEACE Net), and as an in-house Consultant in Peace Building and Post Conflict Reconstruction with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Eastern and Southern Africa.
She studied and facilitated trainings at Johannesburg and Cape Town (South Africa), Osaka (Japan), Arusha (Tanzania), UN University (Japan), Les Aspen Center for Government (USA), UNAMIS (Sudan), International Peace Academy (USA), Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Germany), The Hague (Netherlands), UN Commission on Status of Women (USA), Cumberland (UK), Helsinki (Finland), Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
Globally, she is one of the women nominees for the 1,000 women for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. Nationally, she is one of the three women in Kenya recognized as having been Pillars of Peace in intervening in Kenya’s 1991-92 and 1997 Ethnic Clashes.
MOHAMED ADOW - Treasurer
Mohamed Adow is a board member at Green String Networks with significant experience in community field coordination, planning community projects, and logistic and procurement procedures for community projects. He has 10 years’ experience in supporting over 60 Community Action Plans and 200 community contracting processes in Somalia, Kenya, Uganda and S. Sudan for USAID and DFID funded programs.
Adow has also worked with different levels of government personnel especially in Kenya and Somalia (both Interior and Cross-border on CVE activities) to create alternative opportunities for youth who may otherwise be attracted to extremism and other criminal activities. He also has significant experience in Security Context Analysis, Context Mapping, Clan Dynamics, Conflict Dynamics and Resource Mapping. Adow has acquired a diploma in Disaster Management and Project Management and is currently pursuing a BA in Insecurity Studies.
PATRICIA AMIRA - board member
Patricia Amira is a Board Member with Green String Network and Equality Now, an organisation that works to promote and protect the human rights of women and girls globally.
She is a seasoned and versatile communications specialist with over 16 years experience in commercial radio and television. She is also the creator and content driver of the first pan-African produced talk-show format, The Patricia Show, that was broadcast across the African continent, in Europe, Asia and in the USA. Carving a niche position as one of Africa’s foremost presenters and media hosts Patricia’s work has been feted in both Forbes Africa (Top 40 Most Powerful Media Personalities 2011) and Forbes Afrique (2015) , Le Monde (France), The New Africans series on Brazilian television.
She is driven to engage in efforts that employ a more rounded view to modern day issues on the African continent, and is developing avenues in which this creative vision can be more effectively utilized in media storytelling. Her strong interpersonal skills have lent themselves comfortably into serving and steering on a number of high-level plenaries, public and private sector panels and community dialogue, on issues as varied as leadership, women and girls, agricultural value chains, building scientific capacity in Africa through to how creatives are shaping the continents future.
MAINA MUTHUMA - board member
Maina Muthuma, is a board member at Green String Networks. He has vast experience in insurance and risk management with over 10 years experience in the field during which he ran a successful insurance brokerage firm.
He also has 6 years experience working with the UN DPKO on peacekeeping, civil administration and minority protection projects in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Staff & Training Teams
BONFACE NJERESA BETI - Program Manager
Bonface Njeresa Beti is a peace educator with international experience in using creative interventions with grassroots communities to transform conflict and create stories of peace. Since 2004, working with Amani Peoples’ Theatre, he has applied these tools to social conflicts in Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Canada.
He has facilitated international dialogues on the use of arts-based approaches in preventing violence extremism. He holds a BA in Communication and MA in International Peace and Conflict studies at the University of Manitoba, Canada and a certificate in use of arts approaches in conflict transformation at Canadian Mennonite University. He is currently the Joint Program Manager for KUMEKUCHA Majengo and GSN's Security Actors program.
WINNIE ORODI - Program Assistant
Winnie Orodi, is an ambitious and passionate Psychologist trained as a facilitator of Trauma-Informed Resilience at GSN. She has served as the Programs assistant for the last 2 years implementing Kumekucha in the Coastal region, Nairobi and Kisumu counties. The hopelessness brought about by victim-hood drove her into psycho-social education and eventually into peace-building work.
Her ability to empathize with victims of trauma has allowed her to hold healing spaces with victims of gender-based violence, violent extremism and traumatized individuals in the community. Previously she had been engaging in programs that foster the healthy psycho-social development of preteens and teenagers, volunteering at several teen based organizations. Winnie is a strong advocate for mindfulness in her facilitation, which allows for introspection and mind and body connection.
ZAHRA JUMA - Program Officer
Zahra Juma is a counseling Psychologist with experience working with both adolescent and adults in a hospital setting, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, a Kenyan prison as well as working with urban based refugees. Her education background includes a degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Nairobi, a certificate in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) with EMDR Trust Kenya and a certificate in Professional Mediation with (MTI).
Her approach includes using mindfulness techniques, development of emotion regulation strategies and increasing distress tolerance skills.
BABU AYINDO - Senior ADVISER, Programs & Curriculum Design
Storyteller, teacher, facilitator, researcher and writer.
He has over two decades of experience in the design, implementation, facilitation and evaluation of peacebuilding processes and programs with various agencies in different parts of the world. He has taught short courses in arts-based approaches to peace work in seven peacebuilding institutes in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and North America.
Babu holds a BEd from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya (1992), MA in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University in the USA (1998), and PhD from the University of Otago in Aotearoa/New Zealand (2017). His PhD thesis entitled Arts, Peacebuilding and Decolonization: A Comparative Study of Parihaka, Mindanao and Nairobi is in the process of publication.
Some of his publications include: co-authoring When You Are the Peacebuilder, published by the United States Institute of Peace in 2001 which was voted as ‘Top Product’ in conflict resolution and peacebuilding by the Academy for Educational Development (AED); Mpatanishi: A Handbook for Community Based Mediators, published in 2010 by PeaceNet and used widely in Kenya in grassroots peacebuilding processes; and In Search of Healers, a research project published by the Coalition for Peace in Africa (COPA) in 2011 whose findings pointed to the need to a healing-centered approach to peacebuilding following the post-election violence of 2007/8 in Kenya.
AHMED FAMAU AHMED - TIR Master Trainer
Ahmed Famau has worked with GSN for 2 years implementing the Kumekucha program in Lamu County as a Community Facilitator and Coordinator. He is also a trainer of trainers for other facilitators in different parts of Kenya.
He plays a very active role in his community and is at the forefront of several community initiatives including; helping youth acquire National Identity cards and birth certificates, which is a big challenge in Lamu County, prison visit programs, door-to-door health campaigns, community sanitation and development campaigns and holding youth mentor-ship sessions.
He is also part of a lifeguard group that facilitates safe travel of visitors between Lamu mainland and island.
ANISA MENZA - TIR Master Trainer
Anisa Menza (Mama Anisa) is a community leader from Kilifi County, who has worked with GSN in Kenya since its inception. She has worked on the Kumekucha program in Malindi as a Community Facilitator and Coordinator and is currently a trainer of trainers.
She has 15 years experience as a counselor and is also, a coach and mentor focused on empowering women in her community. She is a part of the Change the Game Academy and uses this platform to mobilize local resources towards sustainable development.
Her dream is to see her community healed from years of trauma so they may achieve their own sustainable development goals.
MWANGI NDERITU - Program Assistant
Mwangi Nderitu is an ambitious, self-driven gentleman who has worked with Green String Networks from early 2018. He recently graduated with a BA in Psychology & Counseling and looks to use the skills he has developed to better the lives of those around him.
He believes that what goes around comes around and holds onto values like integrity, respect & open-mindedness as he engages with people and pursues both personal and professional growth. He is passionate about music and loves food and travel.
RAHMA YASSIN - Monitoring & Evaluation Manager
Rahma Yassin manages GSN's M&E activities. She has a background doing research, monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning in various research firms. She has a BA in International relations and has been working with the head of GSN's Research and Learning program on studying the impact of trauma-informed programs on participants.
She trains and coaches our partners in Somalia, Ethiopia and the Kenyan coast on GSN M&E methods. Rahma is passionate about community work, research and peace building and has attended many forums on violent extremism.
KALTUMA NOOROW - Program Manager
Kaltuma Noorow manages GSN's Kumekucha activities in Kenya's coastal counties.
She loves supporting community facilitators and community-based organizations through trauma informed resilience training and capacity building.
Kaltuma is a feminist, passionate about women's rights and girl child education.
MWANAMISI BAKARI SULEIMAN - Program Officer
Mwanamisi Bakari Suleiman is very passionate about supporting the structures of trauma informed resilience.
She is solution oriented taking active roles in the community where need arises.
This proactive nature got her taking leadership roles to build a trauma informed and resilient community.
FRANCIS KARIMI WACERA - Finance Assistant
Francis Karimi is an enthusiastic gentleman with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and has been working with Green String Network as a Finance Assistant for the last two years.
He is passionate about technology and is constantly looking for ways to improve accountability in today’s ever-changing technology driven world. He believes in making an impact no matter how small and loves to travel and meet new people.
JANET NDILA - FINANCE assistant
Janet Ndila is a reliable, self-driven lady with a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Accounting Option). She is a doer, says what she does and does what she says. She has worked with Green String Network since early 2018. She is a life-long learner who believes in using past knowledge to translate into new situations.
She prides herself as a person of great patience and integrity and believes that people deserve second chances.
MUTHONI KISUMBI - admin assistant
Muthoni Kisumbi is an Administrative Assistant working with Green-String Network from mid-2018. She is hard-working and is part of the Operations Team that supports GSN’s various programs.
She has a Diploma in Flight Dispatch and has previously worked in other administrative positions, in the service industry and also as a teacher.
She loves learning new things and always looks forward to helping people where needed.
ASLI MOHAMED RASHID - intern m&e
Asli Mohamed is a B.A. Psychology graduate from USIU-Africa. She is working with GSN at an internship position with the Monitoring and Evaluation department on the Kumekucha Mombasa program. She has worked as a volunteer with the Nairobi Youth Association; a non-profit student society group.
She enjoys doing charity work and is passionate about poetry, reading books and learning new languages.