Meet Our People

A small, dedicated team of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to make sure we can help as many children as possible. 

Sarah Williams-Gardener

Interim CEO

I grew up in Hemel Hempstead, the home of Bob Parsons - Hope's founder. Having followed Hope's amazing work in August 2019 I was given the privilege to lead our talented team. I bring 30 years of commercial business experience across a range of sectors, lately as a founding member of Starling Bank, a challenger start-up awarded a full UK Banking License. Equality and fairness motivate me to enable International Development; having been a keen fundraiser and volunteer for the orphans of Nairobi, I understand first hand what impact our programmes can, and do, achieve.

Arpita De

Programmes & Partnerships Manager

I joined Hope for Children in February 2015 as a Programmes & Partnerships Manager responsible for India, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. After my MSc in Geography, intrigued by international development issues, I did another MSc in Population & Development at LSE. I have over 15 years’ experience in programme management, project coordination, communications and advocacy in South Asia, East Africa, Far East and the UK. Thanks to my extensive field experience, including working with communities and other NGOs, I have acquired particular interest and expertise in health, WASH, gender equality and rights issues.

Rose Walker

Trusts & Foundations Manager

I joined Hope for Children in February 2015 and am responsible for building relationships with trusts, charitable foundations and government departments to partner with and support our work. With a background in research, monitoring, evaluation and policy development, I work closely with Arpita and international partners to develop robust programmes of work that can demonstrate real impact for the children we want to help and build and share our understanding of ‘what works’. When not in office I love being outside (wide open spaces make me feel happy), yoga and running.

Migena Kovaci

Finance Manager

I first started volunteering with Hope for Children in 2005 after I moved to the UK from Albania. In 2006, I became a full time member of staff as Financial and Database Administrator, quickly progressing into the role of Finance Manager, and am now responsibile for the administration and coordination of all the charity’s finances. I have 13 years of experience in non profit sector covering areas of financial, office, project management, HR and research. I studied International Development at Andrews University, USA, have a Bachelors degree in agricultural engineering and a Masters degree in agricultural management.

Lynsey Elms

Marketing and Partnerships Manager

In November 2018 I was given a fantastic opportunity to return to the workplace after 8 years being a stay at home Mum. In my previous life I was a marketeer for several food and soft drink companies; this, combined with my love of social media (which I admittedly spend too much time on), has enabled me to help manage all things marketing here.  My spare time is spent ferrying the kids to various activities and volunteering at our local rugby club coaching the Under 8’s.

Rosa Penetra

Finance Officer

I joined Hope for Children in September 2015 as Finance Officer and Database Administrator.  As right hand support to Migena, I deal with the day to day accounting duties and other ad hoc work, as and when required. I am AAT and CIMA Level two qualified, with more than 20 years accountancy experience in both Practice and Corporate settings. My idea of relaxation revolves around spending quality time socialising with my family and close friends, hosting a mean New Years Party or two. Other hidden talents include my competitive home baking skills. So stand aside Mary Berry – here comes Rosa!!

Immaculate Kiiza

Uganda Country Director

My role contributes to the overall strategy, mission, vision and objectives, what I do directly impacts on the overall performance of the organization. My main tasks are; office operational management, program management, child safeguarding, policy development, publicity, fundraising and finance. I love reading, I think I will read anything provided it catches my attention, I love children and so I have a lot of activities I do out of work that primarily involves children, and I do love dancing. I have been told I danced in my Mama’s womb as well and I believe the story… I am very open minded, sometimes I surprise even myself. I can’t say I dislike something so strongly that it takes my peace, but integrity is very key to me.

Joyce Nakanwagi

Uganda Progamme Coordinator

My role is to coordinate Walk to School activities including; education, food/nutrition support, health, psychotherapy, basic care and family re-integration. I also address child related abuse cases, birth registration, supporting and strengthening family systems. Working with parents involves income generating activities/economic  support, organizing training and supplying information on community-based health care, child protection and rights and HIV/AIDS. I built-up experience working in the field of children and adolescents from different organizations with multifaceted programs.  I like travelling, listening to music, reading life inspiration literature and jogging.

Violet Namusisi

Uganda Community Facilitator

My   role  and  aim  is  to use  my  experience   to  achieve  the  vision  for  the  organisation.  Formally I was active in identification and linkage of children in the community in need of Hope for Children services.  Currently I do home and school visits to follow up on absentees and take sick children to the health facilities depending on their condition. I also help with the family reunification program. Formally I was a community health worker, secretary for environment in Namuwongo community.  I love watching TV, praying, going to the beach, listening to music and engaging in debates.

Katy McRae

Fundraising Co-ordinator

After graduating from Durham University in 2018, I was lucky enough to dive straight into a placement here at Hope for Children. During my time at Durham, I was fortunate enough to take part in a number of challenges for charity, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. These were without a doubt the biggest but most rewarding and enjoyable challenges of my life. It has therefore been a dream come true to work for Hope for Children to inspire other students to take the challenge like I did and raise money for an amazing cause.  ​

Jamie Parsons

Fundraising & Events Assistant

After graduating from The University of Birmingham this summer, I’m joining the fundraising team at Hope for Children to support all our amazing student fundraisers and ambassadors. Being involved in RAG and student fundraising was the highlight of my time at University and I was fortunate enough to take part and organise some great events; from skydiving and cycling to organising this year’s National Student Fundraising Conference. I’m really looking forward to getting more students involved in some incredible challenges and making a long-lasting difference to children’s lives around the world.

Marilyn Geraghty

Finance Volunteer

After retiring from many years in finance and marketing, I joined Hope for Children as a volunteer in 2014 helping out Migena and Rosa together with Mei in the Finance department, mainly with the downloading and preparation of reports for donations and Payroll Giving. A great team to work with!

Mei Wise

Finance Volunteer

I have been working as a volunteer at Hope for over 10 years. During that time, I was employed by Hope for 3 years working as Migena’s Finance Assistant. I am also a self-employed part-time book keeper. Hope For Children is a wonderful charity with a very dedicated team of staff and I enjoy being part of the team very much.

Jeevani Fernando

Country Coordinator - Sri Lanka

I joined the Hope for Children team in 2007. Presently I am working as the Country Coordinator for Sri Lankan projects where, my task is to work closely with the Hope for children UK and ensure the delivery of an effective programme of activities in Sri Lanka. My attempt is to uphold needy, isolated children & families in the society to improve their lives. I have experience of over 15 years in the social services sector. I find myself receive pleasure in carrying out my services to them.

Andrew Epenu

Senior Programme Coordinator

My role is to build, bridge and strengthen ties with organizations and individuals both within the Government and Non-governmental scope that will facilitate a childhood that provides a solid foundation for all the children we work with in the Namuwongo community. My work involves community visits and constant personal interactions with the children, their teachers, local leaders, the police, parents as well as my colleagues. Today I realize that the work that Hope for Children is involved in, not only impacts the child, but also involves parents and transforms a community’s attitude towards children, so I am now part of a long term work that will prevent the problem of ‘street children’. I love History, so I take pleasure in documentaries or a good biography. I love good classical music, too bad if I don’t understand what Pavarotti is saying or the rest of them. I just find that it’s a taste of Heaven, please forgive me if I don’t sound African…. I am as African as they get!

James Kalema

Uganda Office Security & Messenger

My major role  is to make sure the office and property are secure and safe both during the day and night, my other role during the day is to insure that the offices are clean and conducive for the other staff to work in. I also enjoy keeping the compound grass and concrete neat and tidy. Other than that I also serve as an office messenger within and outside the  office. Growing up I always wanted to keep animals and I had fun herding cows because when I was out there in the bushes and open fields there was a particular hill that served as our amusement park. I also love the gymnasium and keeping fit that’s why am still fit today.

Susan Kajubi

Uganda Accountant

Adam Dickens

International Photographer Volunteer


Matt Callanan

International Filmmaker Volunteer

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