WHO ARE WE?
Evergreen Africa is a Charity registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales. You can view our registration details by following this link https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission clicking on ‘Find charities – search the charity register’ and entering our registered number (1160416) in the purple ‘charity search’ box. The Charity is established as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation; it is governed by a Board of Trustees and managed on a day-to-day basis by a Management Committee, with a Fundraising sub-committee. The people filling these roles are:
(Chair of the Board of Trustees)
Connie Smith was born in Khartoum, to a Southern Sudanese mother and a British father, who at the time, was a director of Action AID. This allowed her family to move to many countries around Africa during her childhood and they eventually settled in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Here she attended an International School for 7 years, before completing her secondary Education in Scotland and her MA in Human Geography at the University of Edinburgh. Since then she has worked in Sales and Business Consulting and currently works in the Technology and Telecoms industry. She lives in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, and travels to Uganda annually to visit her mother who still lives there. She also takes this opportunity to visit Wanale and the Evergreen Projects.
Connie says: “I have been able to witness first hand the devastating effects of civil wars, genocides, HIV, Aids, poverty, and inequality in Africa and specifically in Uganda. However, I was raised also to see and appreciate the beauty, diversity, potential and hope that is abundant on this continent. I am proud and excited about being part of this small charity that I believe will make a huge change to a community with just a little help and support from those who can.”
Susie has a background in environmental sustainability and business development, and currently works for place-making organisation The Means as a project manager. Her work with Business Improvement Districts involves facilitating business collectives and encouraging business owners to take on a greater responsibility for their collective success rather than relying heavily on increasingly over-stretched local authority resources. Susie enjoys working creatively, her educational background is in marketing and communication.
Susie says: “I am honoured to be involved with this exciting charity. Evergreen Africa provides simple and realistic solutions to improve the quality of life for people in a hard to reach area of Uganda. I am a huge believer in the philosophy of giving people a ‘hand up rather than hand outs’ so I look forward to helping to increase people’s awareness of this worthy cause”.
Ellen graduated from the University of Bristol with a 1st class degree in Political Science, the content of which primarily focused on development studies and African politics. During her studies, she worked closely with a charity in Uganda and frequented the area a number of times. Having forged close links with the locals and initiated some small community development projects, Uganda has remained in her heart and she is passionate about continuing to develop the area and work with the wonderful people that live there. Professionally, Ellen is currently working as a content editor for a reputable conference organizer in London.
Ellen says “I’m really excited to be working as part of Evergreen Africa in a geographically difficult part of Uganda. The community there has significant obstacles to development and so I am honoured to be part of a charity that is delivering assistance to an area that badly needs it! Really excited to see the great work to come!”
Sarah’s history lies mainly in the travel industry having spent circa 17 years “on the road” as an independent traveller seeing many 3rd world countries on her way. Her ensuing career as a travel consultant spanned the globe and after many years as a “dream maker” then sold complex travel solutions on behalf of an agency that specialised in the NGO sector, sending aid workers, volunteers and missionaries on their missions. She has an open-mind and an open-heart when it comes to charity, regularly creating fundraising ideas whether it be personal or as a group. She also volunteers for several other charities in other fields including the homeless, the RSPCA and food banks.
Sarah says: “Evergreen Africa is a very small charity at the moment but it’s great to be involved from the start and am in anticipation of what we will achieve. The chance of being a trustee came to me by default and I’m very proud to be here doing our bit for a small part of Africa. I’ve seen Uganda first hand and as someone that has travelled extensively it was one of the most fulfilling and inspirational trips ever. I called it a privilege to have been there upon my return. If we all put in a little bit collectively then we can help a small community to help themselves and prosper.”
Natalia graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science where she read Philosophy. After training as an English barrister she went to Kings College London and attained her MA in Medical Ethics and Medical Law. Natalia currently works as a criminal and regulatory barrister in London. Her passion for charitable work has been long-standing having worked and volunteered at charities throughout her education.
Natalia says: “I am honoured and grateful to be part of such a worthy cause. Evergreen Africa, at its core, carries out the work that is in my heart. It aims to help communities from a grassroots level, giving them the best gift in life which is opportunity. I am excited to do what I can to build and help such a beautiful part of the world”.
Emma spent over a decade living in East Africa, and has worked as an East African political and security analyst for over six years. Uganda is one of her primary focus countries, having lived there for four years and specialising in the country during some of her studies. She has a BA in War Studies and an MA in Conflict, Security and Development, both from King’s College London. Professionally, she recently transitioned into sustainability, and now works for a leading Environment, Social and Governance research provider. Unable to fully leave her career as an East Africa analyst behind, she continues to contribute to research publications on the subject, and visits the region annually.
Emma says: “Uganda feels like a second home to me, and I’m so excited to be a part of a charity that can help bring sustainable solutions to some of the communities there. I really believe in Evergreen’s approach, particularly the emphasis on income-generation projects that can sustain the other work in health and education. I can’t wait to go and visit the communities and see the charity’s work in action!
For the time being, while the Charity is young and growing, day-to-day management is undertaken by the Executive Officer:
Paul served for 25 years as a logistician in the Royal Air Force before leaving in 2002 and starting his own businesses. He initially owned two High Street shops and now owns and manages Kirsam Ltd – a bookkeeping and payroll management practice. During his final years in the RAF he was a liaison officer between the UK military and the UK Government Department for International Development, and before that spent several months in northern Iraq helping with the effort to rebuild the Kurdish villages (houses, schools, clinics and wells) which had been destroyed by the Iraqi army. He has also worked for another African Development charity, fundraising and managing the delivery of water, health, education and income-generation projects, and has planned and delivered a complex health-related project in Kenya for a UK-based Charitable Trust.
Paul says “I couldn’t be more delighted to have been appointed as the Executive Officer for this fine young charity. It has a noble cause and a compassionate heart. It is my pleasure to be able to develop the charity and manage its activities, and I commit to doing so to the best of my abilities”.
Charity Commission regulations dictate that a Trustee must sit on any committee subordinate to the Board of Trustees, and that role is undertaken on the Management Committee by Suzie Barlow.