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Trustbuilding circle

Meet the Trustbuilding Program Team

Tuesday, 8. October 2019


The Trustbuilding Program exists thanks to the efforts of many of our members. For a successful program, a core team has been assigned, committee positions have been filled, and a Program Steering Group has been set up for guidance. Now, meet the people behind the Program! 


Talia Smith – Program Manager 

Talia SmithTalia has over 11 years’ experience working in the NGO sector, including a long-term commitment to development work abroad, which involved managing projects and budgets in South East Asia. Talia has spent considerable time in Africa and more recently in Peru. She has a master's degree in Development Studies from London South Bank University and has an Agile Project Manager Practitioner qualification. Talia is committed to the core values of Initiatives of Change and has nurtured a personal calling to address the root causes of suffering in the world and enabling people to reach their full potential. She believes that trust is part of the foundation to make this happen. 

Alena Vasilyeva – Program Assistant 

Alena Vasilyeva Working closely with Program Manager, Executive Director and the Program Steering Group, Alena provides administrative support to all aspects of program management. Born in Belarus, Alena has lived in several countries before settling down in the UK in 2008. Alena has an MA degree in Documentary Photography and worked previously for a non-profit art gallery as Gallery Manager. She is passionate about social change and justice. She believes trustbuilding is key to driving change, because in any kind of conflict or disagreement the other party is unlikely to be receptive unless we approach them in a spirit of openness and willingness to listen and learn. 'No long-lasting mutual engagement is possible without trust,' says Alena.

'Trustbuilding is key to driving change, because in any kind of conflict or disagreement the other party is unlikely to be receptive unless we approach them in a spirit of openness and willingness to listen and learn'


Manon Monhemius - Communications Officer  

Manon MonhemiusManon has been consulting for social impact businesses and NGO’s for almost 8 years with a focus on marketing, communications, and crowdfunding. She has extensive experience in organizing events and hosting co-creation sessions for creative problem solving. With a degree in business she is determined to use her knowledge to support businesses and projects that add positive value to society and the environment. Manon believes that everything stands or falls with our human connection and deeper connection to ourselves. 'When you are truly connected, which can only consist with a base of real trust, you will feel the effects of all your actions,' she says. 'You will not hurt the ones who you’re connected with, as it means you will hurt yourself.' 

Roxann Allen Kioko - Evaluations Manager 

Roxann Allen KiokoRoxann teaches courses on management and research methods at the Department of Business & Leadership, the Organizational Leadership Studies graduate program, and the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. She has worked in research, operations, management, training, and consulting roles in various contexts in the U.S. and abroad, including positions at Mennonite Central Committee, the Great Place to Work Institute, Humentum, the New Venture Fund, and Cooperative by Design. She holds a PhD in Strategic Leadership with a focus on Nonprofit and Community Leadership from James Madison University. Roxann is fond of this quote from her organizational studies: 'Leaders must earn the right to make a change. If we want to make positive changes, we must first build that social capital, which is trust.'


The Trustbuilding Program is governed by a Program Steering Group, which is further distilled into Committees responsible for guiding the planning, communication, and evaluation of the Program.  The team is excited to collaborate on both national and international levels in order to make the program a success, for the countries and the communities they serve.