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  • Kenz Mangan

ORAM’s global team grows substantially with five new team members on three continents

As the needs of our communities grow, so does ORAM’s team! From fundraising to measurement and evaluation, we are excited to introduce the five new staff members who will assist in empowering LGBTIQ asylum seekers and refugees globally.

Two of ORAM’s staff members who joined in October will support the organization from their home bases in the United States. In St. Petersburg, Florida, Jenny Gonzalez-Bohnert joined ORAM as the organization’s first Development Director. She brings over 15 years of experience in fundraising, community engagement, membership recruitment, and sales. Prior to joining ORAM, Jenny was the Chief Development Officer at Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco (Habitat PWP) in Florida. Jenny also led fundraising, community engagement, and sales at such renowned arts organizations as The Dali Museum, The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Ruth Eckerd Hall, and the Mahaffey Theater. Jenny holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and received her designation as a nationally certified practitioner of Diversity and Inclusion from Diversity First. After only two weeks in the role, Jenny is diving headfirst into leading and expanding our fundraising efforts while focusing on our end-of-year goals.

Another team member will work alongside Jenny to support ORAM’s development and communications strategy. Kenz Mangan, based in Chicago, Illinois, is the organization's new Communications Intern. She recently completed a master's degree in digital communication and media arts at DePaul University. With a background in theatre arts and a passion for ethical storytelling, Kenz is excited to help share the stories of the resilient LGBTIQ refugees ORAM serves. In early 2023, she worked as the Digital Marketing and Communications Intern for the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). She played a vital role in the organization's social media management, content creation, and marketing for their annual conference and helped launch their new website. In her first week as the communications intern, Kenz is helping ensure ORAM's communication is effective and goal-driven.

Across the Atlantic, ORAM recently welcomed two additional team members who will be crucial to support the organization’s growth in Kenya.

Barbara Ngianah joined ORAM in September as the organization’s first Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL)Assistant. Based in Nairobi, she brings over three years of experience evaluating multi-country and multi-stakeholder projects as an M&E, Research, and Information Management enthusiast. Barbara is focused on sustainable economic development, especially for vulnerable populations in the development and humanitarian sectors. Barbara holds a bachelor’s degree in medical sociology and a master’s degree in project planning and management from the University of Dar es Salaam. Since joining the ORAM team, Barbara has established and overseen a functional MEAL system for ORAM Kenya Program's interventions. This includes process and tools development, data collection, quality monitoring, assessment, scheduling & coordination, analysis as well as reporting.

Priscilla Kendi will work closely with Barbara as ORAM’s new Program Assistant, also based in Nairobi. Priscilla holds a bachelor’s degree in community development from Daystar University, in addition to certifications in entrepreneurship and conflict resolution. She brings over six years of experience in entrepreneurship, supporting the economic empowerment and behavior change programs of both refugees and Kenyan communities. She has a wealth of knowledge in various economic empowerment interventions, sustainability, horticultural farming, capacity building, stakeholder engagement, project cycle management, case management and culturally sensitive mental health and psychosocial support for vulnerable individuals. In her new role at ORAM, Priscilla will focus on job creation within the organization’s economic empowerment program.

Our last new team member is based in Berlin, Germany, supporting a new project within ORAM’s Ukraine program.

Jules Issi has joined ORAM as the Ukraine Project Officer. He is an LGBTIQ advocate deeply committed to human rights and social justice. Jules is pursuing a master's in international health at Charité Universitätsmedizin - Berlin and through his studies, has developed a profound understanding of global health challenges, particularly among marginalized communities. His background in project management, research, and policy development has been shaped by extensive experience in LGBTQI+ advocacy within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Jules dedicates his efforts with ORAM to promoting economic empowerment for LBTQI+ refugees and third-country nationals from Ukraine seeking refuge and settlement in Germany. This work is made possible thanks to a grant awarded to ORAM from the Alliance for Gender Equality in Europe (AGEE). You can read more about that project here.

ORAM is thrilled to welcome such talented and passionate people to ORAM’s team! Thank you, Jenny, Kenz, Barbara, Priscilla, and Jules, for helping further our mission to support and empower LGBTIQ refugees globally.

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