Who are the people who make up this international Canadian women’s fund? What drives us to be our best selves? Read our Humanifesto: a glimpse into the essence of who we are.
We are all optimists. Every single one of us. In spite of it all. We stand on the shoulders of the most incredible people. And we don’t take that for granted. We claim the right to speak up and tell stories of courageous women and trans* people around the world. We lend our unique voice, our energy, our passion and our talent to a collective movement for rights, for justice, and for change.
We fought our way back up, we are firing on all cylinders, and we are in our ascension. That means we don’t sit still. Not at meetings. Not at our desks. Not when it comes to getting more money for women and girls. We build experimentation into everything that we do, and we ‘punch above our weight’ like it’s a mantra. (It’s actually our mantra.). We always check in with our gut, our heart, and our heads. Sometimes this means that the goose bump factor sways our decision. We cultivate spaces to doubt, to take risks, to ask questions, and to have dance parties, even when it’s uncomfortable (and even though some of us are better dancers than others).
So what’s our magic sauce? It’s a unique combination of grit, humour, and boundless passion for the work. It’s our diversity. It’s recognizing that we all have something to offer. (We love working with men who use their powers for good.) Our children, our partners, our parents, our siblings, our pets are all part of The MATCH Fund’s story. We believe there is an emoji for every situation, especially the urgent unicorn. We wear our Development Hats and our Failure Mittens with pride. This is our DNA. This is what makes us who we are.
Jess is the Executive Director of The MATCH International Women’s Fund, Canada’s only global fund for women. Emphasizing the role of innovation in social movements, The MATCH Fund resources women’s organizations around the world working to change systems and dismantle barriers through innovative and disruptive approaches. Jess has worked in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Asia for a range of actors including the World Bank, the UN and USAID. Jess was the Director-Women’s Platform for CARE Canada’s signature ‘I am powerful’ campaign. Prior to her appointment at The MATCH Fund, Jess was with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), managing large-scale reform for the Agency that supports Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.
Read Jess’ blog: Because It’s 2116.
Beatriz Gonzalez Manchon is the Fund Director for The MATCH International Women’s Fund. Beatriz shares responsibility for coordinating all aspects of the fund with Wariri Muhungi, including global calls for proposals, grantee selection processes, and the monitoring and evaluation system. She brings to The MATCH Fund twelve years of experience working with women’s rights organizations around the world, documenting innovative program approaches and facilitating knowledge sharing. Prior to joining The MATCH Fund, Beatriz worked for seven years at Oxfam Canada as a women’s rights specialist and her international development and human rights career has also included program positions with the Delegation of European Commission in Thailand and Amnesty International. Beatriz holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Gender and Development Studies from the Asian Institute of Technology. She has lived and worked in South East Asia, the Americas, Central Europe, and the Middle East and loves working in different languages and cultural contexts.
Wariri Muhungi is the Women’s Fund Coordinator for The MATCH International Women’s Fund. She is based in our Toronto offices and shares responsibility for coordinating all aspects of the fund with Beatriz Gonzalez Manchon, including global calls for proposals, grantee selection processes, and the monitoring and evaluation system. She has been working with girls, women and LGBT rights organizations for 10 years in Europe, Africa, Central America, and North America. Prior to joining the team, she worked with Girls Action Foundation where she managed the Toronto activities of the Montreal-based national organization. Wariri has led and facilitated community growth initiatives worldwide, including in Canada, Kenya, Guatemala, and Malaysia. She holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies as well as a master’s degree in Adult Education and Community Development from OISE (Ontario Institute of Studies in Education) at the University of Toronto.
Read about Wariri’s visit to our partners in Africa.
Amany Alhadka is a senior professional with more than 20 years of experience in spearheading the management and development of Operations, Finance, and Organization Management. Throughout her career in the area of Financial and Operation Management in the development field, she visited and supported many organizations and field operations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Prior to joining The MATCH Fund she worked as an Independent Management Consultant helping NGOs to improve their operational efficiency and effectiveness. She also worked at CARE International in Egypt, USA, and Canada, and MEK Foundation in Egypt. Amany holds a Bachelor Degree in Accounting and Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Accounting and Auditing from Cairo University. She is a Certified Public Accountant from University of Illinois, Chicago and a Certified Trainer from PrepMaster institution in Atlanta, Georga.
Naomi Seminega provides executive and administrative support to The MATCH Fund Team. She is passionate about women’s rights issues, a passion that stems from her experience growing up in Rwanda. Naomi has worked in various capacities at The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, Health Canada, Environment Canada, and World University Services of Canada. She has an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo, holds a teaching degree from the University of Ottawa, and speaks four languages.
Erin Edwards holds a Master’s degree in French and International Development and, for the past nine years, has worked in the nonprofit sector in Haiti, Canada, and the United States. Erin’s professional experiences include program development for a dance and theatre troupe in Port-au-Prince, leading an anti-hunger coalition in Chicago, and overseeing the individual and family health investments of the United Way of Winnipeg.
Read Erin’s op-ed: A New Year for Normal Girls
Julie Ma works to enhance The MATCH Fund’s communications and media outreach efforts through writing and designing both online and print materials. In addition, she works on various fundraising efforts: strategic fund development, legacy program, monthly donor program, donor stewardship, and direct mail/e-appeals. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Ottawa in International Development and Globalization with a minor in Psychology. Julie has worked in a variety of workplaces prior to The MATCH Fund including: United Way Ottawa, the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and Farm Radio International.
Read Julie’s blog: 5 Reasons Why I Believe in Superheroes
As the Development Assistant, Fatou supports our fundraising efforts through strategic development, donation processing, donor relations, and coordination of special events. With a Bilingual Degree in International Studies, Fatou has worked in various capacities of international development and fundraising. Prior to this role, she was a Project Officer at VIDEA and a Resource Mobilization Officer at the Women’s Legal Aid Centre. Her passionate for women’s rights stems from her distinct upbringing in a Gambian/ Canadian household. Fatou has lived and worked in France, Canada and Tanzania. She also speaks four languages.
Sarah Saska is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research at Western University. Sarah’s research is the first scholarly assessment of its kind, seeking to understand how social innovation can advance women’s rights and gender equality, in collaboration with The MATCH International Women’s Fund. Her research seeks to re-write, re-frame, and re-imagine the field of innovation in order to better support women and girls as entrepreneurs and innovators. She completed her Master’s at the Institute of Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa and her undergraduate studies in the Departments of Gender Studies and Political Studies at Queen’s University. Sarah is a seasoned academic, and she has professional experience in research, policy, and social change, within the non-profit, philanthropic, and academic sectors, with expertise on women’s rights and gender equality, climate change, LGBT human rights, social innovation, social entrepreneurship and social finance. Sarah is a member of the Advisory Council for The MATCH International Women’s Fund, and a member of the Board of Directors for Wen-Do Women’s Self-Defence. She has recently completed a Fellowship at MaRS Discovery District, which has supported her as she steps into her latest role as Co-Founder and Partner at Feminuity, a social enterprise with a bold approach to innovation.
Roderick has been a volunteer for The MATCH International Women’s Fund since August of 2013. Inspired by the strong, feminist role models in his life and his own experiences growing up in Zambia, Ethiopia, and Colombia, he joined The MATCH Fund to learn more about women’s rights internationally. A valuable member of the team, Roderick plays an important role developing our database on the work of women’s rights organizations. Roderick is currently studying at the University of Ottawa, pursuing a master’s degree in Criminology with a specialization in Women’s Rights.