Anita facilitates cooperation and dialogue
I am the part-time coordinator of the WASH and Grow! project in Finland. A sociologist by education, with minors in environmental policy, social work, journalism and psychology, I have worked for several NGOs in the field of development and integration including World Vision Finland, Finnish Disability Partnership and Finland-Somalia Association.
I am also a yoga instructor, a Shiatsu practitioner, a meditation practitioner as well as an accredited sexual counsellor. I am very interested in body-aware wisdom nurturing, the decision making based on it and the intersection of the two worlds, logical and intuitive.
At Mifuko Trust, I support the project manager in Kenya in project implementation and also monitor the progress of the project. I am responsible for new funding applications and reporting to donors as well as for planning and implementing communication and marketing activities. With chairperson Minna Impiö and my colleague Peter Manyolo, I also network with other companies and organisations interested in the same issues.
An enabler who dances well
I am an enabler at heart. I strive to understand people's strengths and to enable the mobilisation of strengths and collaboration among people. When an area of expertise needs strengthening, I seek ways and the resources to strengthen it. For example, the people involved in Mifuko Trust's project work come from different cultural and educational backgrounds, and some work on a volunteer basis and others are paid, we also work in partnership with the company Mifuko. It has been very important to identify and build on the strengths and resources to keep everyone motivated so we can move things forward with our relatively limited resources.
Content creation for communications, especially through blog posts, is one of my strengths and is close to my heart. As are my dancing skills, which received a lot of attention during my first trip to Kenya. My colleague Peter told me that the women in the Mifuko Women Development CBO, an NGO founded by women, call me "she who dances well". Since my first trip to Kenya, I have taken up dancing again, and have also restarted my Swahili studies.
Inspired by the synergy between business and NGO
I am inspired by the fact that corporate responsibility and entrepreneurship are woven into everything Mifuko Trust does and the projects it runs. The economic and social empowerment of women's groups has been strengthened by the weaving of Mifuko baskets. Mifuko Trust and the WASH and Grow! project provide an important reinforcement to this - a channel for civil society participation and an opportunity to develop initiatives that strengthen community livelihoods, food security and well-being. Climate change is challenging people and communities in unprecedented ways - to meet the challenges we need a joint effort of businesses, NGOs and governments, as we learned in the WASH and Grow! project. Dialogue and listening to people from different cultures and different walks of life allows for mutual learning.
Sustaining life by Anita
I sustain life by taking care of the daily needs of my small family, my 5-year-old daughter and myself. This summer we are going to participate in the Kumpula Schoolhouse Garden Club, the Chicken Gang (summer chickens in town!) and cultivate on our own balcony. Kenyan women also farm, and often have chickens and other domestic animals. By growing even a small amount of my own food and dipping my hands in the soil, I feel connected to our planet and to people doing the same around the world. In my work at Mifuko Trust, we improve health and food security through sanitation. At the heart of this partnership are women and girls who are remarkable life creators and sustainers.