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Heather Wokusch, M.A. designs training programs for corporations, educational institutions, governments and other entities while consulting on intercultural communication and organizational development (including digital transformation, leadership development, employee engagement, change management, strategy, and globalization). She is the Director of Development for the International Forum for Understanding and the Executive Director for SDG2030.me. Heather’s international career in public speaking, media, psychology, human resources, education, and cross-culture has spanned five continents and multiple fields. A firm believer in Impact Tech and the democratization of knowledge, she is an expert in virtual learning and a sought-after consultant/speaker on burnout.
A letter from the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake
Rania Ali is an award winning Syrian filmmaker, public speaker, writer, and human rights and mental health advocate. She is an expert in media and communication strategies, leading projects with NGOs, working with governments advocating for human rights, peace building and mediation, and doing public speaking.
Malaika Oringo is the founder and CEO of Footprint to Freedom (2019), a survivor-led organization. She is a talented advocate and speaks up against human trafficking and stands up for victims’ rights and works to strengthen the survivor’s inclusion and engagement. She has spoken on various stages throughout Europe, such as in Paris, Geneva, Athens, London, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
Raised in Uganda in harsh conditions and exploited in the Netherlands, she has devoted her life to fighting against human trafficking. She believes that since survivors are the most significant stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking, they should sit at decision-making tables from community level to national level and international level.
She has lobbied at the European Commission and spoken at the European Parliament about the gaps in the current approach human trafficking. She also advised on the best practices that can provide victim centered trauma informed and survivor centered approaches to improve response to survivors and victims’ needs.
She is a Member of the International Survivors of Trafficking Advisory Council (ISTAC) which assists the work of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in combating trafficking in persons.
Based in Kenya, Khadija Mohamed LLM is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya (International Financial Laws and Regulations) and a Certified Professional Mediator (MTI).
She hosts a radio show focused on female empowerment and ending gender-based violence.
Khadija Mohamed LLM is active in Northern Advocacy Organization – an NGO committed to defending, protecting and upholding human rights.
Jamal Mataan is a refugee/migrant advisor, focused on intercultural competences, community interpretation and theatre art. He is pursuing an advanced degree at the Danube University Krems (Austria), in the Department for Migration and Globalisation. Jamal has over 10 years experience in the refugee and migration field. His work involves offering expert advice to newcomers, both individually and through community organisations, and also to institutions on matters concerning integration. Jamal also organises conferences and events within the African diaspora.
Dr. Hamda Hassan Warsame is a Regional Intervention Manager on Private Sector Partnership for Health (PSPH). The program is sponsored by the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) and based in Hargiesa Somaliland.
She is a former pharmacology and nutrition lecturer at the East Africa University in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in Bosaso Puntland Somalia. She consistently received outstanding feedback for her courses, workshops and exploration courses and demonstrated proven expertise in establishing rapport and building trust with students from a variety of backgrounds, including first generation college students.
Kaltuma is focused on peace-building and social healing. She advocates and organizes for a community-based trauma healing model based on mobilizing resourceful people into positive action.
She has worked with the Green String Network, which democratizes access to justice-centered, peer-led resources to support emotional health and wellbeing, healing and resilience in Africa.
The daughter of famed peace activist Dekha Ibrahim Abdi, Kaltuma is building on her mother’s legacy of conflict resolution in northern Kenya.
Onyango Otieno is a trauma therapist, writer, poet, mental health advocate, digital advocacy trainer, and an Afro-Masculinity Activist. His work centers on African Masculinity and its role in ensuring gender equity, especially championing for African men’s involvement in sexual and reproductive health and rights. He is a facilitator of trauma healing circles, managing a safe space for sexually abused African boys and men. He founded a 200-member mental health online support group where members utilize storytelling as a tool for tackling mental illness stigma and hosts Afro-Masculinity Podcast where he interrogates the complexities of African Masculinities.
Les Simm is the Executive Director of the International Forum for Understanding. He works in the business sector in areas ranging from security risk management and business resilience to humanitarian operations and disaster relief. Les has expertise in disarmament, non-proliferation, arms control and verification, security sector reform and countering transnational organised crime. Having trained as a psychiatric nurse in his early career, Les has long-term interest in mental health and wellbeing. Les is a passionate supporter of the SDGs with a particular focus on project implementation and making a demonstrable and direct impact on people’s lives.
Layla Barakeh is a disaster management specialist and field trainer in humanitarian settings. She has extensive experience designing and delivering mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services in her native Syria; in that capacity, she has cooperated with entities such as OXFAM and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
Layla is the Director of Humanitarian Community Life (HCL), which aims to support people in Syria and Yemen – including humanitarian workers – in disaster and recovery periods. In addition, she is currently pursuing an advanced degree in Communications.
@ Founder, Mentor
Heather Wokusch is the Executive Director of MESPERO: Impact for Resilience and of SDG2030.me; she serves as Director of Development for the International Forum for Understanding. Originally from the US, she is based in Austria.
Her career in organizational development, human resources, education, cross-culture, and media has spanned five continents and multiple fields. After completing an advanced degree in Clinical Psychology in her native USA, Heather carried out development work in the Philippines, then spent decades in Japan and Europe consulting academic institutions and international business groups.
A firm believer in Impact Tech and the democratization of knowledge, she is an expert in virtual learning. Heather also provides consultation on topics connected to organizational development (including digital transformation, leadership development, employee engagement, change management, strategy, and globalization).
Impact for Resilience
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Norbert Wokusch has decades of experience in export-credit insurance and banking including in relation to heavily-indebted countries.
Proficient in multiple IT areas, he has extensive background in an array of database management systems.
Les Simm founded the International Forum for Understanding and serves as its Executive Director.
He works in the business sector, with governments, the UN, INGO’s and other entities in areas ranging from security risk management and business resilience to humanitarian operations and disaster relief.
He has expertise in nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons disarmament, non-proliferation, arms control and verification, security sector reform and countering transnational organized crime.
Having trained as a psychiatric nurse in his early career, Les Simm has long-term interest in mental health and wellbeing. Les is a passionate supporter of the SDGs with a particular focus on project implementation and making a demonstrable and direct impact on people’s lives.
@ Project Team
Dr. Mohamed Abdirahman Abdi is a medical doctor and humanitarian worker who is passionate about public health and global health. With a strong educational background and experience in public health program development and implementation, he has worked over three years with both international and local NGOs in the non-profit organization management area.
He is further skilled in interpersonal matters, social media, training and networking.
Dr. Mohamed Abdirahman Abdi is the chairperson of the Somali Youth Volunteers for Development Association (www.soyvda.org) which is the largest volunteer movement in Somalia. Its 200 members strive to benefit the community as a whole and underprivileged parts of the society in particular.
He is also the Deputy Director of Somali Storytellers, digital storytelling company that promotes stories across Somalia, and a volunteer with Greenwatch Trust, an environmental organization that promotes conservation.
Dr. Gundi Vater has decades of experience in organizational consulting and training in the intercultural and international fields. She specializes in the coaching of (top) executives and management teams along with consulting on change projects in profit organizations and NPOs.
She supports the development and implementation of customized strategy-supporting qualification programs for staff of different functional levels as well as for the development processes of teams and specific areas. This includes the performance of potential assessment and consulting on the development of potential.
Accompanying (young) companies and groups on their way to self-steering is a passion, especially within the context of agile management, new leadership logic, and digitalization.
Dr. Suad Mohamed graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Karachi. She works as a Social Medical Consultant (including psychological counseling) at Diakonie Österreich and as an Assistant Consultant at the Austrian Red Cross. She is a certified counselor regarding female genital mutilation (FGM) issues and is active in related community outreach. SDG 3 is especially important to Suad.
She is the Founder of the Somalia Health Club which is a space to help the global Somali community meet with Somali health professionals and ask questions regarding medical topics, especially in relation to Covid-19 and vaccines (Instagram). Suad aims to spread awareness about refugee and migration issues, to improve the healthcare and pharmaceutical systems in developing countries, and to empower women.
Originally from Somalia and based in Austria, Suad has also lived in Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Pakistan. She speaks six languages: Somali, Arabic, German, English, Hindi and Urdu.