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WHO ARE WE?

An insight into the Little BIG Africa team

Little BIG Africa was founded and is directed by Bikie and Debs Isharaza.


Both Bikie and Debs have spent all of their careers, now totalling 34 years between them, working in development mainly in East Africa. Between them, they have trained and hosted thousands of local and international volunteers to work on development projects (and still training more!) and have worked with over two hundred local community committees.

Bikie has a BA in Development Studies from Mbarara University of Science and Technology and an MA in Development Studies from Nkozi University. He first began working with rural communitites at the tender age of 15 when he supported a women's group to find funding for their self help group. Since then he has worked for various international NGOs, both in Uganda and the UK, including VSO, VECO, Skillshare International and Restless Development. Bikie is a Trustee of LBA, currently working full time in Kampala, but lending most of his spare moments to voluntarily support the LBA team.

Debs has a BA in African Studies from the University of Birmingham, a MSc in Human Resource Management and Development in International Development from the University of Manchester, and a TESOL certificate. Debs first travelled to Africa as a volunteer in 2006, where she spent two years volunteering and coordinating a new volunteer programme in northern Tanzania. Since then she has spent most of her working life back in Africa, being fortunate enough to work in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and The Gambia on a variety of projects including Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health, Water & Sanitation, Education, Microfinance, Health and the Environment. She has enjoyed travelling to a host of African countries including Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa, as well as Australia, USA, Thailand and Malaysia. Debs is currently the (voluntary) Chief Executive of LBA, managing the day to day running of all LBA activities both in Uganda and the UK. 

 

The team


In January 2015, LBA welcomed Sylvia Kaire onto Team LBA as Projects Coordinator.
Sylvia first came into contact with LBA in 2014, when she asked LBA to host her for her university placement/internship, a compulsory module as part of her Bachelors in Development Studies at Uganda Christian University. She has now graduated from UCU and early 2015 she joined Team LBA as the Project Coordinator. Sylvia's role is to coordinate all the projects in the field, and manage Team LBA based in Manafwa. Sylvia is very hard working, quick and eager to learn, and often pretends that she is shy and reserved. We however know better! 

In April 2014, Dan (the man) Gidongo, who has been leading LBA's tank construction since 2007, joined team LBA full time.

Dan, a Mugisu himself, is very well known all over Manafwa due to the high quality tanks he has been building in the LBA partner primary schools. Dan has an endless amount of energy and a great passion for people and life. He works very hard and there is never a dull moment when he is around. In more recent years, he has been active in supporting the water tank and water source committees set up to maintain each of LBA's projects.

Project Interns
In 2015, LBA hosted three interns to support the project implementation. Every intern brings a different and unique aspect to the projecs and are an amazing asset to our work. In return, LBA provides an opportunity for interns to get fully involved in our projects and gain invaluable experience towards developing their career.

Bob Marns & Rosie Stanley, both former Action Sitaru volunteers at Nabusoolo, joined us again for the Action Sitaru programme but this time on the other side, working for Team LBA. Their enthusiasm and energy (and ability to talk) is second to none and they provided amazing support to both Team LBA and the volunteers on placement.

Shakie Mebaraka undertook a six month intership with LBA. As an applicant for the position of Project Coordinator, we liked so much about her, but she lacked experience to undertake the role with LBA. We instead offered her a six month internship to gain invaluable experience to aid her in her job search within her intended career in development.

LBA is currently looking for new Trustees to join Team LBA. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please get in touch.  

 


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LITTLE BIG AFRICA - PO Box 660, Mbale, Uganda - Telephone: +256 772 977 226 / Email Debs: debs@littlebigafrica.org/  Email Bikie: bikie@littlebigafrica.org
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