In-country management

Ghana

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James Awini

Ghana Country Director

James is the former Regional Manager for the Upper East, and Deputy Country Director. He now manages the Ghana team across the offices in Tamale, Bolgatanga and Techiman.

 

He has been involved in all aspects of Lively Minds work in Ghana. This includes being instrumental to our growth in the Upper East region; fundamental to the set-up and expansion of the Lively Minds Together radio show; and a key figure in the establishment of the Ghana Government's Lively Minds Programme Working Group. He is now leading the oversight of the GES Lively Minds programme scale up to 61 districts.

James manages multi-sector stakeholder relations, whilst mentoring his team and education officials to grow and meet their targets. He brings his analytical skills to the organisation to ensure that programme data is used to identify, celebrate or solve challenges and successes.

Prior to joining Lively Minds, James worked for 12 years as a teacher in Ghana’s primary and secondary schools. He also worked with Grassroots Africa as a Capacity Building Officer, providing training and creating platforms for communities to engage with their local governments.

He holds a Bachelor of Education in Social Sciences from the University of Cape Coast and a Master's in Political Science from Osnabruck University, Germany.

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David Abukari

Ghana Learning & Quality Manager

As one of Lively Minds' founding members, David brings over 10 years of institutional knowledge and experience.

 

David has 24 years’ experience working in both formal and informal sectors. A professionally trained teacher with six years teaching experience in primary and junior high school levels, he has spent the last fourteen years with NGOs both in the field and in management. 

He was Ghana Country Manager and is now Learning & Quality Manager, focusing on applying his people management skills and in depth knowledge to ensure excellence is maintained at scale.

 

David holds a diploma in Building construction, a BSc in Human settlement planning and a Master's in NGO management and rural development.

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Yakubu Idrissu

Ghana Training Manager

Yakubu joined Lively Minds in 2014, having discovered the organisation when working next door to us as the Director of Community Partnership for Youth and Women Development.

 

He got to know the team and realised that the Lively Minds strategy, philosophy vision and mission was in line with the work he wanted to be doing.

 

We are lucky that he moved over the wall, bringing his 13 years' experience as an educationist and with childhood development programmes within the Northern sector of Ghana.

 

His interest and passion in life has been to see young children get the right quality foundation that will serves as springboard for their growth and development and has always wanted to work in this area.

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Michael Angambori Atengdem

Global IT Manager

Michael joined Lively Minds in February of 2019 as IT administrator and currently holds the position of IT Manager. He has oversight responsibility for all IT systems and Administration for Lively Minds Globally.

At Lively Minds Michael is involved in all of our planning and implementation of technology systems. Michael also has a lead technical role in the production of radio and media content for the Lively Minds Together radio show.

Michael spent 10 years in the IT industry before joining Lively Minds, and boasts a huge range of IT experience, certifications and qualifications. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Engineering and a Master of Science Degree in Management Information Systems, both from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology. Michael is a Liverpool fan and loves playing the keyboard.

Uganda

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John Kamwaka Twesigye

Uganda Country Director

John joined the Lively Minds team in Uganda in April 2021.

 

John was previously a Technical Programme Manager for Education at World Vision Uganda: leading, managing and maintaining delivery of the Field Office’s strategy and overall education programming portfolio.

John’s previous experience has seen him engage with numerous national level stakeholders in Uganda. He brings rich experience of managing international relief and development programmes, and strengthening education systems, as well as extensive knowledge of working with rural communities.

 

John holds a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences (Majoring in Economics) from Makerere University and a Masters’ in Education Planning and Curriculum Studies from Ndejje University. 

John is excited that Lively Minds’ Early Childhood Development goals align with his beliefs. John is focused on leading the Uganda country team towards the organisation’s vision to ensure the programme’s scalability.

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Norah Ibuto

Uganda Programme Coordinator

Norah joined Lively Minds Uganda in 2021, and as Uganda Programme Coordinator she provides the organisation with strategic direction on administrative and programmatic areas. She leads on ensuring quality programme delivery by a team of motivated staff.

Previously Norah worked with international NGO Restless Development, leading several volunteer programmes. She facilitated the delivery of Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Livelihoods programmes, in Eastern Uganda. Responsibilities included the supervision and training of volunteers, building partnerships with local and international teams, and various reporting responsibilities.

Norah has a BA in Social Work and Social Administration from the Islamic University in Uganda, and is currently studying for an MBA in with a focus on Project Planning and Management from Makerere University Business School.

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Richard Bulenzi

Uganda Set-up Coordinator

Richard joined Lively Minds in 2017 as a Community Development Officer and later Liaise Officer. He was promoted to Senior Liaise Officer in 2021 supporting the Sub-Counties of Baitabogwe and Wairasa. Richard has also been coordinating the Lively Minds Together radio programme in Uganda since its inception in 2020.

On top of his experience at Lively Minds, Richard has 10 years of experience teaching Entrepreneurship and Divinity at A-Level. He has also previously worked with the Probation Department in Jinja - focusing on child protection and working with different stakeholders to promote the rights of children and families.

Richard holds a first class degree in Social Work and Social Administration from Makerere University.

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Winnie Nakitenga

Uganda Finance and Admin Officer

Winnie joined Lively Minds Uganda in 2021 as the Finance and Admin Officer, building on her previous work in financial services. 

Prior to joining the team, Winnie worked as an auditor with FBO Partners, where she gained a vast amount of financial and technical knowledge that support her role at Lively Minds.

Winnie also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Science from Kyambogo University, and is currently pursuing a Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) certification. Aside from accounting, Winnie is a passionate ECD advocate and dreams of seeing every child in Uganda able to access high quality pre-school education.

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Jill Patience Nabirye

Uganda Senior Training Officer

Jill has been with Lively Minds Uganda since 2017, bringing her experience in communication and training skills to the role of Senior Training Officer. 

 

Any given day can see her writing training templates, coming up with creative lessons that can help solve problems in the communities, and managing and coaching local government teams and the Lively Minds training team.

 

Jill started at Lively Minds as a Community Development Officer and her attention to detail and observational skills have seen her rise quickly through the team. She remains excited about working with Lively Minds, which she says resonates with both her studies in Child Development and Children’s Ministry, and her passion for seeing children grow and develop a strong foundation for their futures.

Prior to Lively Minds, Jill worked on Rhites, an EC USAID project. When not at work she loves to make new friends, enjoys music and dancing, and is committed to counselling.