WoMin Core Staff

 

Melania Chiponda, Regional Campaign Coordinator

Melania has expertise in movement building, action oriented research and development of advocacy strategies. She has vast experience working with grassroots women affected by mineral resource extraction and has worked with a leading grassroots movement in Zimbabwe which represents women and communities impacted by mining induced involuntary displacements.

 

Her research and advocacy work engages with global extractive industries from the perspective of grassroots women that are directly affected by mining, and is embedded in a participatory action research approach. An overarching theme of her research involves women’s land rights, environmental and climate justice. Melania has vast experience supporting grassroots women’s efforts to take creative advocacy actions, and she took a leading role in raising the profile of violence against women in the extractives industry through diverse strategies. Melania holds an MSc in Development Studies from Women’s University in Africa.

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Samantha Hargreaves, Regional Director

Samantha Hargreaves is a land, agrarian and extractive industry specialist, promoting analysis and organising by women in South Africa and the rest of the continent.She has been employed by organisations fighting domestic violence, promoting landless peoples’ rights, building international anti-poverty social movements and addressing problems caused by mining and petroleum industries. She has served social movements as a field worker, researcher, campaigner and programme manager and in 2013, co-founded the WoMin (Women in Mining) African Gender and Extractives Alliance where shis is currently the director. Samantha holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand and is an associate of the Wits Society Work and Development Institute.

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Georgine Kengne Djeutane, Projects Coordinator: Consent and Just Development Alternatives

 Ms. Georgine Kengne Djeutane is an Economist by training. She received a Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) in Economics Sciences. She is also trained on Project management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Conflict Resolution, Gender and Human Rights, Lobby and Advocacy. After graduating from the University, she worked as a Research Coordinator with a Peace Organisation in Cameroon where she launched Jubilee 2 000 Campaign. Working with the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) as the Africa Regional Secretary she provided leadership at the Africa level conceiving and implementing projects and trainings. In addition, she served on an advisory board of the Nairobi Peace Initiative Africa (NPI-A), the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) based in Geneva. She is a recipient of the McArthur Foundation Prize on Research on “Real Economy in Africa”. an author of several articles related to debt issues published in journals. Her personal goal is to contribute to the best of her ability to strive for justice and peace, work with organisations to eradicate poverty, economic injustices and exploitation; and to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable, mainly women and children.

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Gontse Legong, WoMin Programme Coordinator – Cross-cutting Initiatives

Gontse Legong is a human rights activist with a history of HIV and AIDS activism, social movement organising work, gender activism & feminist writing. She has worked in the development sector since 2005 and has worked for VOSESA, the AIDS Consortium, Khanya College, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and recently Hivos. Gontse holds a BA Degree in Health Sciences and Social Services from UNISA, a certificate in Afrikan Feminist and Gender Studies from Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute and is currently pursuing a Post-Graduate Diploma in Information Science through UNISA.

 


 

Gontse bio

Nicky LeRoux, Projects Coordinator: Militarisation, Securitisation and Violence Against Women

Nicky has a wealth of experience in the development sector, having worked in various programmes for over 20 years.  She has managed large scale programmes and projects, including a collaborative funding mechanism which supported civil society gender based violence programming in South Africa. Nicky’s skills include, project management from strategy development and conceptualisation, to planning, training and capacity building, implementation, financial oversight and more.  Working on many international and local donor funded programmes, including AUSAID, ADA, Irish Aid, Ford Foundation, Raith Foundation and Hivos South Africa, Nicky has a keen interest in monitoring and evaluation and is a strong writer.

 

A dedicated women’s rights activist, Nicky seeks to advance gender equality through building women’s agency to have a voice and influence policy, live free of violence and control their bodies, their movement and their resources, using creative mobilisation and solidarity building approaches.

 

Nicky is the Projects Coordinator – Militarisation, Securitisation and Violence Against women.

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Maggie Hazvinei Mapondera, Communications, Solidarity and Alliance-building Coordinator

Maggie has supported feminist movements across Southern Africa and around the world for over 7 years, facilitating creative ways to document human experience as well as struggles for justice. As an intern at the Refugee Law Project in Uganda, Maggie facilitated an urban narratives project with women refugees in Kampala, seeing the efficacy of powerful personal stories in advocacy work. She volunteered with Zimbabwean refugees and asylum-seekers in South Africa as an intern for PASSOP (People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty), spent a summer doing Theatre for Social Change in Swaziland, and volunteered as a translator and assistant editor on a Voice of Witness title, Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives (McSweeneys, 2010). She also worked at Just Associates (JASS), a global feminist movement building organisation committed to amplifying the voice and visibility of women human rights defenders and their movements worldwide. Maggie graduated from Yale with a BA in Comparative Literature, focusing on African literatures in French and English.

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Lebohang Anna Ngobeni, Field Worker

Lebohang Anna Ngobeni is a young South African activist from KwaZulu-Natal who has been fighting for women’s rights in communities impacted by mining activities and extractivism since 2015. As a local activist-organizer, Lebohang works to support women in Fuleni and Somkhele, KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of the country to build their movements and raise their voices for climate and energy justice. Part of the Women Building Power South Africa Campaign team, Lebohang brings a wealth of experience on the frontlines of struggles for environmental justice and has worked within movements and alongside community-based organisations including uMfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation (MCEJO).

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Sthobekile Ngobese-Shongwe, Administrator & Bookkeeper

Sthobekile Ngobese-Shongwe has been working for WoMin in an administrative role since October 2013. She has recently taken on basic bookkeeping functions and will be supported to nurture these skills.

 

Sthobekile has been working in the development sector since 2008, mainly for organisations working on land, natural resources and extractives.

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Caroline Ntaopane, South Africa National Campaign Coordinator

Caroline Ntaopane has worked on human rights, Women’s rights and environmental rights for more than 9 years and contributed to building Women Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA) movement.  She has fought community’s right to healthy environment, clean water and food to be respected and fought for women’s voices to be heard in decision making process, access to information and leadership.  Caroline also worked for organisation such as Bench Marks Foundation, Vaal Environmental Justice and ActionAid South Africa. She now works as WoMin’s South Africa National Campaign Coordinator.  Caroline has a certificate on Environmental Management, Environmental law and Communication.

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Amber Olaleye, Finance Manager

Amber has a range of financial management expertise in non-government organisation (NGO) with more than twenty five years work experience in South Africa and in Africa. Her career started in an auditing firm that specialised in performing audits for NGO’s and trade unions. Subsequently, she worked as financial manager for two of the biggest NGO’s in South Africa for 12 years before opening her financial management consulting practice. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Ditikeni, a broad based black empowerment company set up by a number of NGO’s in 1999 and currently serves on their Audit Committee. Amber has a deep passion for the NGO sector and is committed to using her skills to strengthen the sector.

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Fortunate Sophie Tembe, Administrator

Sophie has worked as an administrator since 2012, and brings strong skills in organising, filling, and communications. She has worked for A1 Realisations, with her main duties comprising recruitment, data capturing and internal and external communications.  Sophie studied Office Administration at Havatech College, and has successfully completed a Human Resources course with Open2Study.

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Trusha Reddy, Climate & Energy Justice Researcher

Trusha is an internationally experienced proponent of social justice with more than 15 years’ experience working both within and supporting civil society organisations in Africa and globally. She is skilled in research & analysis with an established track record of published work; also campaigning; strategy development; project & programme management; and grant management & fundraising. She specialises in networking and engagement, leveraging her communication skills to develop sustainable, long-term relationships with NGOs, governments, civil society organisations and the media. She is a movement builder and leader with a passionate commitment to advancing women’s rights and building women power. Trusha has a Masters Degree in International Politics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Bachelor of Journalism from Rhodes University. Trusha joined the WoMin team in March 2018 and is based in the Johannesburg office.

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