Our Staff

José Sluijs-Doyle
Chief Executive

José has been African Initiatives’ Chief Executive since September 2013. Following a career in the private sector in the Netherlands, she made the move to international development over twenty years ago. Her experience includes the design, management, monitoring and evaluation of social development programmes, including HIV/AIDS and Education Programmes with a range of for-profit and not-f0r-profit NGOs including VSO and Futures Group Europe (now Palladium), and as a freelance consultant, UNAIDS and Comic Relief. Organisational development, capacity building and the use of participatory approaches are her forté.

José has a degree in Business Administration (HES Amsterdam) and an MSc in International Development from the University of Bath. She has lived in southern Africa and Guyana and has regularly worked in eastern Africa over the years. José is passionate about the well-being of our planet, and equality and rights for the people on it.


Marta Medusa Olaiya
Programme Manager

Marta joined African Initiatives in June 2017, first as the MEL Officer and more recently as Programmes 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 office in Arusha, Tanzania. He has 10 years experience of designing, implementing and evaluating donor-funded development and research projects, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS,  family planning and reproductive health. He has a BA in Social Sciences from Dar es Salaam University and 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.

Fundraising and Communications

Michael Auton 
Fundraising Manager

Michael joined African Initiatives in November 2016. His focus is on generating money from Trusts and Foundations, recruiting and managing supporters and developing a programme of events throughout the year. Michael has over 26 years of fundraising experience in a variety of fundraising and marketing roles across a broad range of charities and community groups. Most recently, he set up and ran his own consultancy supporting small charities to develop their fundraising capabilities. He was brought up in Botswana and Zambia and has a real passion for African History, culture and music.

Henna Cheema
Partnership and Fundraising Officer

Henna has been working at African Initiatives since October 2014. She focuses on raising income from Trust and Foundations and building relationships with Corporates. Prior to joining AI, Henna worked as Partnership Manager for The Prince’s Trust, securing large contracts from the Welsh Government and European Funding Office. She has also worked at the British Red Cross in a fundraising role. Henna has a BA in Education from Bath Spa University and an MSc in International Development from the University of Bath. She completed an internship for the UN in New York in the Department for the Advancement of Women.

Holly Burchett
Individual Giving and Communications Officer

Holly joined African Initiatives in February 2018. Her focus is on donor stewardship, regular giving and managing the charity’s communications from the Annual Review to social media. Prior to joining AI, Holly worked for a Bristol based fundraising consultancy company. 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 in History from the University of Bristol.


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 Administrator

Lindsay has been working at African Initiatives since October 2015. She began as a volunteer trusts fundraiser 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.