ADVISORY BOARD

Marlies van Geenen

Marlies, a Dutch national, lives in Breda on the Southern part of the Netherlands. She has worked for 25 years as a furniture maker in her workshop that she started 25 years ago. She had her education in skill- related studies especially related to furniture-making, design and entrepreneurship.She has visited and stayed for some time in Okana village with the founders of SRI. She has previously volunteered and worked with carpenters in the village and also visited departments of Wood Science and Environmental studies at Moi University. Her dream is to help establish two small polytechnic schools in the village. This would enable her and others engaged in skills development to share their knowledge and create new possibilities.

Irena Kuzmanoska

Irena Kuzmanoska is a Macedonian national. She is an Education Specialist and Analyst providing high-level strategic advice to policy makers on improvement of education policies and implementing system-wide education reforms. In the capacity of Lead Education Specialist she is responsible for education projects and analytical work and intellectual services on education sector programmes. She previously lectured in scientific research methods. Her research interest focuses on education management and leadership, institutional governance, education policy. She is a doctoral student at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies – CHEPS, University of Twente, Netherlands.She has been involved in various international partnership projects, among which for the National Government(s), the Commission of the European Union, the World Bank.

Hazel Kwaramba

Dr. Kwaramba is a Zimbabwean national with over 10 years experience in both academia and industry spanning the areas of sustainable development and entrepreneurial economic empowerment. Prior to joining Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), she was an Advisor to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) where she worked on renewable energy access of rural communities to promote sustainable development. Utilising these multidisciplinary skills Hazel was invited to sit on a Climate Change & Adaptation Working Group between the Municipalities of Lochem (Netherlands) and Mutare (Zimbabwe) as a Sustainable Development Advisor. She has worked in an advisory capacity on various sustainable development initiatives in Southern Africa. She sits on the board of the Zimbabwe Energy Council (ZEC) and the Centre for Research and Development (CRD). Since 2010 Dr. Kwaramba has been listed in the Experts Directory of the Africa Roundtable on Sustainable Production and Consumption (ARSCP).

Andrea Kocsis

Andrea Kocsis graduated from Nipissing University, North Bay, Canada, where she received an opportunity to travel to Kenya in 2012, for a Students for Development Project. This experience enlightened Andrea and her sister, Julie Kocsis, about the importance for rural children to obtain an education to improve their futures. Through this experience they formed PowerEd International Foundation which is a key partner of SRI Andrea has always had a strong passion for education, resulting in her to obtain her Bachelor of Education, and starting her master of Education in the fall.

Kari Vestbo

From 2008, Kari has been the Director of Hei Verden (Human Education International) a non-governmental organization located in Satavanger, Norway and which promotes and supports education in developing countries by involving school children in Norway. Prior to this, she was a Coordination Specialist with UNDP in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Project Manager, Save the Children, Norway. She undertook her masters research in Uganda and has severally visited Okana village where the SRI project is initiated. Kari has a Masters in Development Education from University of Olso, Norway and a degree in Social Anthropology, History and Sociology. She brings in experience and practice into the organization.

SUSTAINABLE RURAL INITIATIVES

Our Aim is to inspire rural communities to take their future in their hands to enable them access the critical goods and services they need so that they can make choices for themselves and realize their own human potential.