Friends and Supporters
Previous Project Officers
Friends and Supporters
I worked for STT’s sister charity, Sunseed Trust, at its Spanish based project, Sunseed Desert Technology as the Household Co-ordinator for just over a year from November 1993. My husband Geoff was the Appropriate Technology Co-ordinator at STT and developed an ultra-low-cost solar oven using mud and straw (adobe). Geoff and a team of volunteers went to Tanzania in 1995 to conduct trials of their design there following an invitation from a local community worker in Mbeya. They also made contacts in Dodoma and started trials there.
Having returned to the UK with our then small son Robert, I joined the board of Trustees of Sunseed Trust and was given responsibility for the Tanzanian activities of the charity. It grew like topsy, and before long it was agreed to launch a separate charity with its own Trustees, so I got the new organisation registered as a charitable Trust and formed the first group of Trustees.
More trials of the solar cooker followed, with more volunteers, but the conclusion was that they were not really suitable for the people we were working with, and the focus moved firstly to heat retention cookers and then to fuel-efficient stoves.
I had no experience of development work and learned as I went along. Leading STT and latterly doing most of the administration as well took up a great deal of my time and energy, and gave me quite a few sleepless nights during the 10 years that I was Chair of Trustees, though it was very rewarding too. In that time I steered STT through 2 phases of the Domestic Energy Project, and recruited, supported and supervised our first full time Tanzania based volunteer, Meg Arenberg – all without ever being able to visit the country myself.
As the work in Dodoma developed and we moved towards a more professional approach, I felt that I was no longer the best person for the job. Fortunately Sheilah Meikle joined the board and then agreed to take over as Chair, thus ensuring that STT could move forward and I could retire.
I still have a small role with STT because I edit and desk-top publish the newsletter as have done since the beginning – though now I don’t have to write most of it!!!
Previous Project Officers
I was born and raised in and around New York City, USA. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from The American University of Paris and a master’s of science degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
After completing my undergraduate degree, I worked for two years as a Project Assistant in the Sigma Program, a joint OECD/European Commission project based in Paris. The Sigma Program promotes public sector development in the former Eastern Bloc countries. In this position, I spent much time in Tirana, Albania, where I got my first taste of on-the-ground development work.
After leaving Paris, I returned to New York and then became Associate in the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch. There I cemented my love for, and commitment to, the African continent. I then worked as Communications Writer for Engender Health, a public health NGO with programs throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. I have also worked and volunteered for several months in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, and I have travelled throughout East and Central Africa, India, China, and South America.
I joined STT in February 2009 as Project Development Officer, having been attracted by its dedicated community development work. My time with STT so far has been fun, hectic, edifying, and illuminating—already I can see the positive differences that STT makes in the communities around Dodoma. I look forward to helping STT to continue its important work during my tenure as Project Development Officer.
I arrived in Tanzania in October 2007. I completed my MSc in Development Management at the London School of Economics in 2006. The course was an attempt on my part to try and structure the ideas and aspirations I had gained during two years of volunteer work in South Africa and Peru. My undergraduate degree was in Politics and Economics. I was fortunate enough to spend one year of my BSc studying at the University of California, Berkeley which was when I was introduced to development studies and Africa. After my degree I found a way to get to South Africa which had held my interest for two years by that point and volunteered with Student Partnerships Worldwide as a peer educator in a community based HIV/AIDS education project. After 9 months with SPW carting buckets of water up the hill to drink and facilitating hundreds of participatory workshops , I was inspired to continue working in the area and helped support the development of some small enterprises with the help of a local NGO. Not wanting to stop there I went onto Peru and facilitated the take-off of a fair-trade organisation called FINCA Peru Exports which is linked to the microfinance bank FINCA. I returned to the UK brimming with ideas which I inflicted on my fellow students at the LSE. I’m grateful to STT to give me the chance to take the next step in my career and I’m excited about the work I’m going to do for which I feel both ready and capable.
Born in a coastal Australian town and living my formative years in Sydney, my interest in development was prompted by various people and experiences, for example growing up alongside a disadvantaged Aboriginal community, sponsored children, and perhaps most strikingly during a short visit to Cambodia in 2003.
In January 2005, after completing my BSc at the University of NSW (Sydney), with a major in Psychology and minor in Philosophy, I uprooted and moved to Tanzania for six months to volunteer with two NGOs – an HIV/AIDS orphanage in Mwanza, and a children’s rights organisation in Dar es Salaam – where I also began learning Swahili. This provided invaluable experience of living and working in a ‘developing country’ context, and also highlighted my need for formal education surrounding international development.
I began a MSc. Poverty Reduction & International Development at the University of Birmingham in September 2005, which I completed with distinction in September 2006, after moving to Dodoma, Tanzania in June 2006 to work with STT as a Project Development Officer. I performed my dissertation fieldwork in Dodoma, investigating the impacts of rural energy consumption upon household livelihoods.
In June 2007 I will complete my work with STT and return to UK to pursue my career with an interest in participatory and sustainable development.
After graduating with a degree in geology, I spent six months in Tanzania in 2003 with Student Partnerships Worldwide (SPW). With SPW, I worked in Kibao village in the Iringa region in partnership with Tanzanian volunteers to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and carry out projects for sustainable development. This experience motivated my decision the following year to work in International Development.
I gained further voluntary experience in the UK both with Christian Aid and as a Project Assistant for Uganda with the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET). In October 2006, I completed an MSc with distinction in Environmental Resources Management and Development at the University of Wales Swansea. The course included three weeks practical experience in Orissa India where I conducted field research into the impact of pollution on health. My dissertation researched conflict and mental health in northern Uganda, and was inspired by the work of THET in developing community mental health care in Adjumani District. These opportunities have increased my understanding of diverse cultures and strengthened my commitment to development.
One of the most rewarding aspects of working in development is seeing projects grow and have a real impact. In April 2007, I joined the board of directors for I-HUG, which is working to provide sustainable education to orphans and disadvantaged children in Uganda. Almost a year after Kabalagala Community Academy opened in Kampala, it has been a privilege to be part of the team and to learn how the children are benefiting.
I joined STT, as a project development officer, in June 2007 and have so far gained valuable experience in project planning and management. Working with STT provides an excellent opportunity to contribute both to improving the environment and livelihoods, including the health of women and children. It is an exciting time for me to be working with STT as we work to deliver in new villages.
I am Lilian Nsyenge born in 1979 at Iringa, Tanzania. My parents are farmers at Mafinga Iringa. My elder brother is a businessman and the young one is a Law student at the Tumaini University in Iringa. I got my primary education at Mafinga (1987-1993) and joined the Lutheran Junior Seminary in Morogoro for secondary education in 1994 to 2000. I then joined the University of Dar es Salaam and graduated in 2004 with a BA( Political Science and Public Administration majoring in International Relations).
I worked with the Tanzania Fellowship of Evangelical Students (TAFES) as a Missions and Bible study Coordinator from 2004 to 2007. Based in Dar es Salaam, I worked with students from higher learning institutions in Morogoro and Mwanza regions. From November 2007 to Jan.2008 I worked with Red Dot Distribution in Dar es Salaam as the Office Administrator before joining Sunseed Tanzania Trust in February 2008.
The three years I served TAFES confirmed my passion for community development work and challenged me to get involved with it. With Sunseed, I see the dream fulfilled as I get acquainted to the job.
I started work as an STT Project Officer in October 2006. I am from Sierra Leone and have lived, studied and worked in the UK for a number of years. I have a degree in Anthropology and a Masters degree (with distinction) in Development and Planning from the University College London (UCL) In addition to my academic qualifications I have 3 years experience in the field of international development and environmental policy, and two years experience within town (spatial) planning. As well as, private and public sector experience, which includes work with local government, NGOs, environmental think tanks and multilateral agencies.
I see my role at STT, after leaving my job as a senior land use (spatial) planning officer for a local council in London, as a ‘career progression’. All my past experience has been concerned with various aspects of ‘development’ - managing social, economic and environmental change - so that the resources available today will also be present for future generations and equitable distributed within a human rights framework. After two years working in a UK local authority I wanted to return to the international field and take on new challenges.
So far I have found STT to be a participatory, gender sensitive organisation and have found the research, field visits, workshops and meetings with which I am involved to be thoroughly interesting. I have learnt a great deal in only 3 months here in Dodoma working for STT.
Born in London, and raised partly in Bogota, Sophia’s interest in development stemmed from specializing in African Politics and International Political Economy at the University in Edinburgh where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Politics in 2007. She went on to earn her MSc in Development Management at the London School of Economics in 2009 and was awarded a Distinction for her dissertation on domestic policy for internally displaced persons in Colombia. During her postgraduate studies she worked in admin and editorial roles at the London International Development Centre and at Save the Children UK. On completion of her MSc, courtesy of the UK Department for International Development, she spent three months working at grassroots level for government education and public health initiatives in Himachal Pradesh, India. Sophia was a graduate intern at the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs before joining STT in May 2010.
I was born in Maine in the United States and became interested in development during my undergraduate studies where I majored in geography and economics at the Bucknell University. After graduating I went on to work with Care International in Washington DC specialising in Policy and Advocacy.
In 2008 I completed my MA in Sustainable Development from the School for International Training. I focused on policy and advocacy and wrote my thesis on the integra-tion of a new community based ap-proach to child protective services in Portland ME. During the field work portion of the programme I worked with Care Tanzania to help revamp their emergency preparedness plan.
On completion of my masters I worked for Catholic Charities Maine as a resettlement case manager for Immigration and Refugee Services.
I joined the STT team in July 2010.
Alison lives on The Ridgeway National Trail in Oxfordshire with her husband, Jon and their two dogs and two cats and works for an energy and environmental consultancy, managing a diversity of projects in finance, environment/ energy and social development both in the UK and overseas.
She trained as an accountant with KPMG in Birmingham and then transferred to The Netherlands where she specialised in oil and gas clients. After seven years she studied for a Masters degree in Environment Management in Business in Athens, Greece and then, on her return to the UK, took up the post of International Internal Auditor for Oxfam.
This work covered ensuring that Oxfam was compliant with institutional donor requirements, conducting value for money audits and undertaking short term assignments in a number of Emergencies (including the Rwandan crisis).
She still keeps her financial background up to date by undertaking short term work for the charitable sector, the latest being a 2 month assignment in western Kenya, capacity building administration and financial staff working for an HIV/AIDs charity and providing donors in the area with reports on the use of their funds.
After two years with Oxfam, she was contacted by AEA (her current employer) and asked if she was interested in a job combining her financial and environment skills. She took up a post with them in 1996 setting up and running energy advice programmes for the UK government. From this she moved into a strategic capacity advising clients on key developments in the UK energy market and from this built her international CV working in Ghana, Kenya, India, Ukraine, etc. on a variety of assignments.
AEA offered her the opportunity to take an MSc in Social Development Practice at UCL as, increasingly, the energy work she was doing required an understanding of social issues. It was at UCL that Alison first met Sheilah Meikle, ultimately working with her and her team on a variety of research projects for the Department for International Development (DFID), looking at the role of energy in poverty and sustainable urban livelihoods.
Alison was invited to join the Board of Trustees of Sunseed Tanzania Trust in 2006 and asked to focus on the fund-raising aspects. Since then she has worked on a number of small projects developing concept notes and costings for various submissions that Matt Easter, Sheilah and our volunteer Deborah have taken forward into full funding applications.
Her remaining spare time is spent exploring the Ridgeway with the dogs, painting and decorating the house and photographing the various wildlife and race horses that hang around the Downs.
I passed through Dodoma (on a train) en route to take up my first job in 1954! I'd joined the Colonial Service and was to teach at Tabora Girls School where the very first girls in the country had taken School Certificate only the previous year. I taught for 6 years, the last 2 years being at Mpwapwa, 60 miles from Dodoma, where I met and married Mike.
After we came back to UK in 1965, I had several years at home with our 3 children, but later re-invented myself as an (English Second Language) Teacher and was a full time lecturer at our local FE College in Leamington Spa.
I wasn't able join Mike when he went as a Sunseed volunteer to make solar cookers at Buigiri near Dodoma in 1996, but we both went the following year, as we made a useful Swahili speaking team, Sunseed started to use us as their representatives in dealing with officials, finding partners, etc etc. We have spent time in Tanzania every year but one since then and seen enormous changes and development in STT and Tanzania.
Joined the Veterinary Department in Tanzania in 1957 and after training at the Livestock Research Centre in Mpwapwa was sent to a then remote area (where there were no other senior staff) to cope with cattle markets (lots of safari) and disease control, (burying cows dead from anthrax!) so I had to learn Swahili and to take on a lot of responsibility fast!
After our marriage we were in the area east of Lake Victoria and after another leave I transferred to Agricultural Development including grassland improvement and cotton growing projects and later became Regional Agriculture Officer.
We came back to UK in 1965 and after a year at Teaching college I got a job teaching Livestock Management for several years and then I joined the Agricultural Training board as Training Designer researching, writing and testing written training materials used by trainers in colleges and on farms.
After early retirement at 60 I was free to get involved with STT together with Bridget and we became Trustees and visited our partners most years to guide and train their staff and to look into the possibility of widening our scope to include improved stoves and tree planting. Recently we have seen staff living in Dodoma doing a great job expanding and improving the work of STT.
Friends and Supporters
Bob Squirrell - Webmaster
I have been interested in computers ever since I learnt a bit of BASIC in my student days. Then the computer took up a whole room and had less power than the average PC has now. I remember being fascinated by various early small computers as they were invented. Eventually I got a PC to use at work and learned how to use spreadsheets, databases and word processing. More years passed and along came the Internet.
My job changed and I found myself providing computer hardware and software support for a small company. The word processing software could produce web pages and I built a basic website for the company. I also started to build other websites outside work. An early one was to help some family genealogists research the SQUIRRELL surname. I got involved with helping Radio Caroline with its audio players. I moved up to using proper web design software. Then one day in the pub, a friend said that another friend of his knew someone who needed some help with a website for a charity working in Tanzania..................
How YOU can help