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Trustees

Meet our Board of Trustees, Advisors and Honorary Trustees.

The Board of Trustees provides strategic leadership and directs all areas of LAFF’s work.  Together, they ensure effective management and governance, financial accountability and legal compliance.  The Trustees give their time for free and bring diverse perspectives, skills and experience from business, education, academia and the non-profit sector.

We also have a number of Board Advisors and Honorary Trustees.  Our Advisors are trusted experts who give pro-bono strategic advice to the board from time to time.  Our Honorary Trustees are people whose extraordinary past contributions have helped shape LAFF’s direction and deserve our special recognition.

Sarah Oakes

Founder and Chair of the Board of Trustees

Founding Trustee Sarah has been working with vulnerable children in Latin America since 2003. After working as a volunteer coordinator at a home for deaf children in Cusco, the harsh reality of life for abandoned and working children in Latin America struck her deeply and Sarah continued to work directly with vulnerable children in the Peruvian Andes region for three years returning to the UK to found LAFF, which she now tirelessly directs in her free time on a voluntary basis.

To combine with her in-depth knowledge of local culture, the realities of our beneficiaries and fluent Spanish, Sarah has ten years experience in international development, fundraising, volunteer management and capacity-building through her work with charities as varied as Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), The Place2Be, and the TONI&GUY Charitable Foundation in the UK and overseas. Sarah is a fully qualified teacher and is currently working as a freelance editor and fundraiser.

Rui De Sa Lopes

Trustee with special responsibility for finance (Treasurer)

Rui is an experienced Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) leader, with eighteen years of commerical experience in finance and business analysis.  After spending two months as a pro-bono expert with LAFF in Cusco reviewing our financial procedures, Rui was invited to join the Board as treasurer in December 2016.  Since then, he has brought greater rigour and clarity to LAFF’s financial processes.

Chiara Minigutti

Trustee with special responsibility for people

Chiara is Italian, from the city of Genoa, and first travelled to Peru in 2015, when she applied to volunteer with LAFF as the Vocational Training and Career Guidance Coordinator. During this 6 month placement she fell in love with both Cusco and the work LAFF does in Peru! Luckily for her, a paid position with LAFF opened right at the end of her placement and she became the LAFF Programme Manager in 2015/2016.

This year full of new experiences, challenges and amazing people convinced her to continue supporting LAFF once back in Europe, this time as a Trustee, with special responsibility for People. She is, therefore, looking after our wonderful international team of volunteers, monitoring and adapting our recruitment, management, and retention strategies.

Chiara is currently living in the beautiful city of Barcelona, in Spain. She has been working in a sustainable tourism start-up and is now investing most of her time and efforts into a recently founded Italian charity, Ayni Cooperazione, working remotely.  She loves hiking, reading and experimenting with photography. She is always up for a beach volleyball match!

Tom Pickford

Thomas Pickford

Trustee with special responsibility for fundraising

Thomas first joined LAFF as a Programme Coordinator in the summer of 2019. He spent four months volunteering with the team, helping to plan and write the new five-year strategy for the organisation, as well as managing the day-to-day programmes with LAFF’s partners. He loved his time in Cusco so much and was so inspired by LAFF’s work with its partners that he decided to continue supporting remotely once he moved back to London. Thomas worked with other previous volunteers to organise a LAFF Christmas Salsa party for Christmas 2019 before officially taking over the role of fundraising trustee from Sarah Warry in the new year.

As fundraising trustee, he hopes to be able to increase LAFF’s resources so that it can continue its important work, and expand to reach even more young people in the Cusco area.

Thomas has experience volunteering for other NGOs in London, working in the fields of fundraising and communications for NGOs in London and Spain. He currently works as a project assistant at a social impact consultancy company in London.

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Melissa Wong Oviedo

Trustee with special responsibility for programmes and strategy

After working for Amnesty, Red Cross and the Latin American Mining Monitoring Programme in a variety of roles from campaigning to research Melissa left rainy London behind for Peru, to work for LAFF as Programme Manager. Living in Arequipa, Melissa worked for an organisation called Union Latinoamericana de Mujeres, supporting grass-roots groups of women human rights defenders affected by the extractive industry in Latin America. As a Trustee for LAFF, Melissa continues to seek social justice for all,  especially with regards to the young people we support at LAFF.

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Arianna Valentini

Trustee with special responsibility for community

Arianna first got involved with LAFF after finishing her master ‘s degree in Development Studies at SOAS University in London. Having been raised in Peru she felt it was her responsibility to give back to a country that had given her so much, so she decided to go back and dedicate her time to help develop social impact projects. She began at LAFF as a volunteer and later she
became Programme Manager.

Arianna has since worked in different development areas, always focusing on education whether in rural communities in the jungle of Peru or in underserved peri-urban neighbourhoods in Lima.  She is currently taking some time to travel through South East Asia and researching sustainable and social impact projects in this part of the world.

She was appointed as a LAFF Trustee in 2019 and will be dedicating her time to help developing strategy, programmes and monitoring and evaluation of LAFF’s projects.

Marcela Muñoz

Trustee with special responsibility for governance

Marcela comes from Bogota, Colombia and joined LAFF in January 2018 as Programme Manager. She was thrilled to be placing her knowledge and experience into practice, contributing towards improving children’s access to education and assisting them in having a better livelihood. Outside of LAFF, she tries to learn as much as possible about the fascinating indigenous culture that has been so influential and prevalent in and around Cusco. Before coming to Cusco, Marcela had been living in France completing an Erasmus Mundus Masters in Sustainable Territorial Development. Volunteering in Bogota, Barcelona, Padova, Paris, and Berlin, the field of International Development is definitely not something new to Marcela. Our work philosophy and underlying values are what captivated Marcela the most; in particular LAFF’s collaborative work with local partners and our focus on sustainability. We now welcome her as a trustee.

Marcela viene de Bogotá, Colombia y lleva trabajando con LAFF desde enero del 2018. Le gusta emplear su conocimiento y experiencia para mejorar el acceso a una educación y una vida con más oportunidades a los niños en Perú. Además de LAFF, le gusta aprender tanto como sea posible sobre la cultura indígena influyente y prevalente en Cusco. Antes de LAFF, Marcela vivió en Francia donde estudió y terminó una maestría en Desarrollo Sostenible Territorial. Como voluntaria en Bogotá, Barcelona, Padova, París y Berlín, el campo del desarrollo internacional no es nuevo para Marcela. Nuestra filosofía de trabajo y valores son las razones que la cautivaron; como lo es nuestra colaboración horizontal con socios locales y nuestro enfoque en sostenibilidad.

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Dawid Nawrot

Trustee with special responsibility for Data Management and Systems

Dawid has been working with data and reporting for 7 years learning lots of technologies and software along the way to fulfil all internal and external data requirements of any kind (ad-hoc requests, reports, extensive analysis, data transfers between our clients and us). He is currently LAFF’s administrator, helping  mainly with Salesforce implementation and management, gathering data through Google Sheets, supporting LAFF with the transition to better organised storage systems (Salesforce, G-Drive, Dropbox), and also helping with security (LastPass, G-Suite) and any other technical need.

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Maria Paula Jaramillo

Maria Paula has served as both a Trustee and an international partnerships manager for LAFF.  She currently works in the global coordination of the UN Environment/UNDP/WRI Green Climate Fund Readiness Programme.

As an advisor to the board, Maria Paula has special interest in strategy, programmes and monitoring & evaluation of impact.  Maria Paula’s favourite thing about LAFF is working closely with the people that we support. We facilitate change, but it is driven by our partners and mainly by the young people that participate in our programmes. Maria Paula also enjoys singing, songwriting, yoga and ultimate Frisbee.

Matt Oliver Kinsella

Matt first got involved with LAFF as a remote volunteer in 2013 and served as a Trustee from 2016 until 2019, with special responsibility for performance, strategy, and governance.  He continues to give pro-bono support to the board when called upon.

Matt currently lives in Djibouti with his wife and is a doctoral researcher studying human rights and migration with the Human Rights Consortium at the University of London, and the International Refugee Rights Initiative, Uganda.

Jenna Steggles

Serving as a Trustee from 2007 to 2017, Jenna has been involved in LAFF since the very beginning. A marketeer by profession, her expertise and experience managing marketing communications for global travel brands has channelled her interest in sustainable tourism and international development.  Since stepping down, Jenna continues to act as an occasional advisor to the board, focussing on communications and marketing strategy.

Hannah Barrett

Hannah Barrett

Hannah first came to Peru in 2005, where she worked as Volunteer Coordinator and then Regional Manager for Madventurer, a volunteer-sending organisation implementing education and infrastructure projects. Whilst in Peru, Hannah became our first voluntary ‘man on the ground’ helping LAFF with project support and grant distribution, before returning to the UK, becoming a trustee and working tirelessly on fundraising efforts from the UK.

Hannah passed away in July 2010, losing her two year battle to brain cancer. She fought tirelessly for LAFF’s cause until the very end, being involved with event planning, fundraising and incredibly completing a sponsored swim of the English Channel whilst undergoing chemotherapy. Hannah remains an inspiration to LAFF’s team and will forever be an honorary Trustee in spirit due to her unrelenting dedication, energy and enthusiasm.

You can donate in Hannah’s memory by clicking on this link to Hannah’s Fund.