Nurturing Refugees' Skills for Development

Our Team

Reconnect is endowed with the committed expertise of its active board of directors, its staff and volunteers.

Board of Directors:

  • Mr. Michael Stewart (Chairman) - Lawyer and arbitrator with a specialist practice in advising and representing NGOs. One of the founders of the Charity Law Association, and its first Treasurer for six years. Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Member of the Advisory Council (Chairman: Lord Justice Mummery) to the Charity Law Unit at the University of Liverpool. Long experience of working with and trusteeship of International NGOs.
  • Ms. Caroline Demian (Treasurer) - works at an investment bank in the city. Caroline holds a Master of Engineering (MEng) from Imperial College. She spent a year working in the Sudan for UNICEF where her responsibilities included managing the procurement, logistics, transportation and storage of Non-Food Items (NFIs), which gave her direct exposure to refugees in camps. Her experience in the field in Sudan motivated her to get a Certificate of Higher Education in Development Studies.
  • Mr Stephen Desmond - has over 25 years of teaching experience around the world in the field of media, and extensive experience in academic research, creative output in visual arts (film, video & photography), as well as investigative journalism and radio broadcasting. He currently works as a Senior Lecturer (Media, Culture & Production and Production Coordinator at Southampton Solent University. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy of the UK and a Co-Founder of the Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism (CCRJ) in Belfast City, Northern Ireland.
  • Mr. Belay Gessesse – Graduated in Public Health from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and completed postgraduate training in International Community Health & Tropical Child Health at the Universities of Leeds and London respectively, and specialised in the Epidemiology of Tropical Diseases at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. He worked as Research Assistant at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, as a Band Aid/Live Aid Regional Health Coordinator for the Sahel Region, Africa, and as Health Director for the Horn of Africa at PENHA. He currently works for AGROFOREP, a UK Registered Charity based in London.

  • Miss Faye Ruck-Nightingale - has worked in education, media, and development. She spent over a decade at the BBC where she latterly ran training programmes with community media organisations focusing on youth (including refugees). This inspired a career move into international development. Following the 2004 tsunami, she lived and worked in Sri Lanka running local sports projects, and later, peace education projects. Four years on, back in the UK, she worked for the agricultural NGO Send a Cow and is now a Programme Manager for one of the largest global Micro-Finance Networks - Opportunity International.

  • Mr. Theodros Abraham (Director) - BA in Economics and MA in Development Economics. He came from a refugee background and has worked for two decades for a wide range of agencies in the public and voluntary sector. In 2006, Theodros was awarded the Distinguished Sessional Lecturer award 'in recognition of outstanding contribution and commitment to teaching and learning’ in the Faculty of Lifelong Learning of Birkbeck University of London, where he has been teaching Development Studies since 1986.

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