OUR TEAM

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erica hall

executive director

Erica Hall has over seven years of experience in women's economic empowerment and social enterprise innovation, and prior to joining Akola, worked in Tanzania for the Jane Goodall Institute, where she founded a girls’ empowerment program. Erica holds a Master of International Development from Eastern University and received her BSc in Wildlife Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Guelph (Canada).

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jennifer elms

Director of Programs

Jennifer is an international gender and development specialist with over a decade of global experience. Jennifer joined Akola in 2017 to lead and implement high-quality and innovative programming that empower women in crisis in Eastern Uganda. She was honored to be selected and served as an Aga Khan Foundation Global Fellow in 2014-15. Jennifer holds a Master of Human Rights and Democratization from University of Sydney (Australia) with specializations in women’s empowerment, gender-based violence, and healthy masculinities.

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esther nakiryowa

Program manager, sustainable livelihoods

Esther is a Community Development Practitioner with over eight years of experience in running and managing community-owned Health Micro Prepayment Schemes (HMPS) targeting the rural poor and marginalized communities in Uganda. She manages all member development and financial inclusion programs including member-led saving and credit associations that empower women economically.

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vivian Mirembe

Program Manager, holistic wellness support

Vivian is the Program Manager, she oversees all Holistic Wellness Support activities. Vivian offers psychosocial support to Akola women and also mentors a team of staff and peer leaders to ensure that members have the supports they need to move out of crisis and become true agents of transformation.

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hella yangi

program coordinator, sustainable livelihoods

Yangi hails from Northern Uganda and was forced to flee her home due to the ongoing conflict and war. After working for as a jewelry producer two years, she was promoted to a Supervisor position and enjoyed supporting her peers to improve their skills now Yangi works as the Program Coordinator and provides leadership for financial inclusion activities. Yangi primarily focuses on managing all saving groups records and ensures that the VSLA (Village Savings and Loan Association) database are complete and accurate.

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helen corey

programs coordinator

Helen assists the Executive Director in directing and implementing all programs. Helen coordinates all program timelines, is the direct contact for all Members, manages the Akola Hope Journal, and coordinates all volunteer program delivery. Helen has four years’ experience working in nonprofit development and programs.

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charity ampaire

program assistant, holistic wellness support

Charity joined Akola in 2010 after working as a housewife for 20 years and supporting her family financially working in small-scale agricultural activities. After being a jewelry producer for two years, she now organizes and leads weekly fellowship groups with a peer leaders. Charity is a wife and a proud mother of four sons. She attaches great value in education and this motivated her to start a village school.

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margaret weinkauf

director of development

Margaret creates strategy, implements plans and oversees all development, fundraising and external affairs activities. Margaret has over six years in nonprofit development. Margaret holds a J.D. from SMU School of Law, and practiced law in Dallas for over 24 years prior to entering nonprofit work.

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lindsay dakan

Senior manager, Monitoring Evaluation and Learning

Lindsay is a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning professional with a passion for women’s empowerment. She joined Akola to oversee and launch a new comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy. Lindsay holds a Master of Arts in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in Boston, MA.

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juliana sensa

program assistant, sustainable livelihoods

Juliana joined Akola in 2014 as a jewelry producer. Currently, Juliana serves as a Program Assistant to lead monthly savings groups and financial literacy trainings. Juliana keeps all savings records complete and accurate and is a whiz when it comes to data entry! Juliana is the proud mother of four biological children and two adopted children.