The Team

LAFI’s partners are staffed by highly skilled individuals experienced in advocating for disability rights and supporting people with disabilities. Please see the short bios below (click on the images) about the people who run our partner organisation Tigoung Nonma, who tirelessly advocate and implement social and economic change for those living with disability. LAFI has been set up to support them in this goal.

Trustees

The board of trustees that created LAFI is made up of individuals who all have experience working with charitable organisations in Burkina Faso. We are passionate about enabling Burkinabè people with disabilities to fulfil their potentials, in a fully inclusive society that is adapted to their needs.

Meet the UK team below. Please click on the individual images for a short bio.

Melissa Miller

Chair

 

I fell in love with Burkina when I spent 3½ years working with disabled people's organisations as an Organisational Capacity Builder from 2007-2010. During my time in Burkina I worked with colleagues to: strengthen organisational capacities, design and implement projects, fundraise, increase employment opportunities for members, create an advisory drop-in centre, establish a play centre for disabled children, develop an advocacy campaign on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and deliver training to a network of 35 DPOs.

I am a passionate advocate of the rights of persons with disabilities and have worked within the disability sector for over 18 years.  Outside of my work in Burkina I have worked in a senior management capacity for Barnardos, the Motor Neurone Disease Association and The Kindu Trust. In my own time, I have visited disability-related projects in Turkey, Ecuador, India and Vietnam to learn and share best practice.

As a mother and sister of young people with disabilities I am committed to working towards a society where the rights of people with disabilities are respected.

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Melissa Miller

Melissa Miller

Chair

Dana El-Hilu

Vice Chair

 

In 2012/2013, I was lucky enough to spend 15 months volunteering with disabled people’s organisations in Burkina Faso. Working with these organisations, I witnessed first-hand the difficulties faced by people with disabilities in Burkina Faso when it came to accessing education, healthcare and employment. I also witnessed these grassroots organisations' remarkable achievements in empowering people with disabilities to become self-sufficient and integrate into society. After my incredible experience, I was eager to continue working with these organisations when I returned to the UK, and I am very happy to be doing this through LAFI Burkina.

Since 2014, I have worked in the support services field in the humanitarian setor. This has given me skills and experience that I can transfer to LAFI's partner organisations, in order to build their capacities in terms of running projects efficiently and with full accountability.

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Dana El-Hilu

Dana El-Hilu

Vice Chair

Jonathan Fowle

Trustee

 

Hi, I’m Jonny. Along with other trustees I help to organise publicity and  fundraising events for LAFI. I first got interested in fundraising and publicity whilst at Hull University and was the Publicity and Social Secretary for Hull Nightline. Currently I am training to be a primary school teacher at East London University, focusing on special needs and inclusion.

In April 2013, I spent three months in Burkina Faso volunteering at Handicap Solidaire Burkina (HSB) and Tigoung Nonma. These three months were an insight into the world of international development, an area I would like to move into. After these three months I wanted to continue to support the project I volunteered on and this is how I became involved in LAFI!

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Jonathan Fowle

Jonathan Fowle

Trustee

Hannah Crichton-Smith

Trustee

 

From 2013 to 2014, I worked with LAFI Burkina’s now partner, Tigoung Nonma, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. During this time, I learned about the numerous barriers that people living with disabilities in Burkina Faso face in society, from accessing education to healthcare and employment, to name just a few. The determination of Tigoung Nonma’s members to overcome these challenges, to self-organise, to innovate and to succeed was truly inspirational.

On return to the UK, I was keen to continue my support for Tigoung Nonma and other organisations like them; I became a Trustee of LAFI Burkina in 2015.

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Hannah Crichton-Smith

Hannah Crichton-Smith

Trustee

Zarina Douglas-Sori

Trustee

 

I studied international development at university and have worked for charitable organisations in the United Kingdom and overseas, in project and grant management roles, in the fields of social justice, poverty alleviation, inclusion and sustainability. I am passionate about empowering minority and disadvantaged groups to lead positive and impactful development and social change.

In 2016, I went to Burkina Faso to undertake a 2-year placement building the capacity of local organisations in gender and disability mainstreaming. I enjoyed my work so much that I ended up spending 5 years in this role. I supported women and people living with disability to understand their rights and to improve their economic activities. I also supported their organisations to build skills in organisational management, fundraising, project management and to better support their members needs and to influence changes in attitude within their communities.

I spent a further 8 years in Burkina Faso, working as West Africa regional director for an international development charity and continued to support disabled person’s organisations in a voluntary capacity. I have always been amazed by the resilience of people living with disabilities in the face of widespread economic and social discrimination. I returned to the United Kingdom in 2019 and I am delighted to work with LAFI Burkina as Trustee Treasurer and to be able to continue to support people living with disability in Burkina Faso.

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Zarina Douglas-Sori

Zarina Douglas-Sori

Trustee

Louise Shaw

Trustee

 

To be added soon

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Louise Shaw

Louise Shaw

Trustee