Our Staff

Chief Executive 

Kim West
Chief Executive

Kim joined African Initiatives as Chief Executive Officer in August 2018. Fifteen years ago, she moved into the international development sector after reaching the level of Associate Vice President in the Canadian arm of an international financial services organisation. Her expertise up to this point in her career included marketing, new product development and managing large scale organisational change. Since then, Kim has worked for VSO International, CUSO International and United Purpose. She managed programmes and teams as Country Director in Guyana, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and more recently Nepal,  as Regional Director in the Caribbean and in International Programmes Leadership roles. She led high performing teams across multiple geographies and sectors including education, health, livelihoods; with a focus on women, indigenous communities and people living with disabilities.

Kim is most passionate about supporting individuals, organisations and communities to not only reach and sustain their full potential but to thrive. She believes empowered decision-making, collaborative ways of working, innovative thinking and accountability mechanisms are key to achieving this. These themes are woven through everything she does.


Marta Medusa Olaiya
Programme Manager

Marta joined African Initiatives in June 2017, first as the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learing (MEL) Officer and more recently, as Programme Manager. Marta has extensive experience in developing and managing international development projects on women’s rights and economic empowerment, working in partnership with civil society organisations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Madagascar. Marta holds an MA in Gender Analysis of International Development from the University of East Anglia.

Edwin Mwaitebele
Overseas Project Coordinator

Edwin heads up our African Initiatives Tanzania Limited office in Arusha. He has over ten years’ experience in designing, implementing and evaluating donor-funded development and research projects, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS,  family planning and reproductive health. He has coordinated and participated in the development of national guidelines for improving quality of care, support and protection for the most vulnerable children in Tanzania.Edwin has a BA in Social Sciences from Dar es Salaam University and and an MSc in Project Management from Jomo Kenyatta University.

Becky Mallows
Programme Officer

Becky joined African Initiatives in June 2018 as Programme Officer, focusing on livelihoods and health projects. Prior to joining African Initiatives, Becky worked in the global humanitarian team of an international NGO, where she worked on responses in Haiti, Bangladesh and Nepal. Becky has spent time volunteering in eastern Uganda, and completed a post-graduate research project in north-west Uganda. Becky has a BA in Politics from the University of Leicester, and an MSc Distinction in International Development and Economics from the University of Manchester.

Fundraising and Communications

Holly Burchett
Fundraising and Communications Officer

Holly joined African Initiatives in February 2018. Her focus is on The Big Give and International Women’s Day appeals, regular giving, events and managing the charity’s communications, including the annual review and social media. Previously, Holly worked for a Bristol-based fundraising consultancy. She has also worked for the National Trust and has volunteer experience with charities such as Oxfam and the Children’s Society. Holly has a BA in History from the University of Exeter and an MA Distinction in History from the University of Bristol.

Helen Strefford
Trusts and Grants Officer

Helen joined African Initiatives in April 2018. She focuses on raising income from Trusts and Foundations and administrating grants to our partners in Tanzania. Helen has several years’ experience in fundraising and volunteering both in the UK and overseas. Prior to joining African Initiatives, Helen was working in New Zealand for a development NGO whose focus is sustainable projects in the Pacific. Helen has a degree in International Politics, a keen interest in development and human rights, and has volunteered in Argentina, Palestine and India. Before leaving Bristol in 2016, Helen was also a Trusts volunteer for African Initiatives.

Karen Ellison
Volunteer Communications Officer

Karen joined African Initiatives as a volunteer in 2013, following a 25-year career in publishing, which spanned everything from education to farming (via finance). She is passionate about sharing stories of the women and girls who benefit from our overseas projects and is proud that BBC broadcasters Mariella Frostrup and Jonathan Dimbleby are supporters of our human rights work. She is living proof that you can make a career change after 50 (although it might not be paid)! She says she’d love volunteers of all ages to come join the team and change lives.


Roger Taylor
Finance and Operations Manager

Roger joined African Initiatives in 2016.  He qualified in commercial practice before moving to the public sector and latterly the not-for-profit sector. He has worked for a number of Bristol-based charities and also as Treasurer for a national not-for-profit organisation. Roger has also spent time in Nepal performing a review of an international charity.  He has degrees in both Philosophy and Accountancy.

Lindsay Mansfield
Finance and Programme Support Officer

Lindsay has been working at African Initiatives since October 2015. She began as a Trusts volunteer and global education project facilitator. Lindsay gained a first-class honours degree in Geography with English from Keele University and, subsequently, fundraised on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hospital. She has also worked as a social media volunteer for an NGO in Peru and as a volunteer teacher in Ghana.