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Hotspot Consultants

Our Network of Consultants

Khaleda Akhter

Program Advisor

Khaleda Akhter joined the Freedom Fund in May 2021 as a Program Advisor in Bangladesh to set up a new hotspot working to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

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Immediately prior to joining the Freedom Fund, Khaleda worked for Save the Children International in Bangladesh as a Senior Manager under the Child Protection Sector where she led three projects specially focused on rescuing trafficked girls below 18 years old from the brothels in Dhaka. Advocacy with the different ministries, partnerships with different NGOs and provided technical support to them were also the major focuses of her work.

Débora Aranha

Senior Program Manager

Débora Aranha joined the Freedom Fund as Brazil Program Advisor in February 2020. She has been leading the development and implementation of the hotspot strategy in Brazil, managing grants with frontline organisations, and liaising with government, stakeholders and donors. Debora has almost 20 years' experience in managing, monitoring and evaluating community development and child protection programs for NGOs and international donors.

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Prior to joining the Freedom Fund, Debora has worked as a consultant at Ideario Consulting, conducting evaluations, studies, analysis/reports, trainings and assisting with project design for a number of national and international organizations, including the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, Oak Foundation, ActionAid, KNH, Ikea Foundation, Child Rights Now (a joint initiative of ChildFund International, SOS Children’s Villages, Plan International, Save the Children, Terres des Hommes and World Vision), and others. Previously, she was head of the Winrock International office in Brazil, where she led national programs to fight child sexual abuse and exploitation and human trafficking, helped to set-up the TIP Office and Committee in the State of Bahia, trained officers on child trafficking prevention, prosecution and victim assistance, provide input for policy makers and coordinated programs for at-risk children and youth. She has also assisted in monitoring and evaluating programs in 6 countries in Latin America, which benefitted 24,000 children. Debora is author of the first in-depth research focusing exclusively on child trafficking for CSEC in Brazil, and was co-founder and president of the Movement Against Trafficking in Persons, a network with over 100 organizations and leaders working on human rights in Brazil and abroad. At the Latinamerican Institute for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, she coordinated a network of volunteers supporting survivors of Brazil’s largest case of sexual abuse in a religious setting.

Debora holds a BsC in Computer Science from the Federal University of Pernambuco and combines her technical background with entrepreneurial experience and training in trauma healing and integrative therapies. She has received the USAID/Brazil Award of Appreciation for her contribution to the program´s learning, monitoring and evaluation.

Ni Ni Aung

Program Manager

Ni Ni joined the Freedom Fund in November 2020 as a Program Manager for Thailand and Myanmar. Her role is to support the Freedom Fund partners working in the frontline to design and deliver quality programs, measure their impact, and support research and studies with the programs.

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Ni Ni has more than eight years of program management and designing experience in the field of migration and trafficking in persons. Before joining the Freedom Fund, she has worked for UN-IOM Migration Agency as a project officer for the migrant protection and assistance unit and has been based in both Thailand and Myanmar. Besides, she has substantial working experience with non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations in Thailand while at the National Catholic Commission on Migration (NCCM), Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand as a program manager. She is a 2019 Asian Peacebuilders Scholarship (APS) awardee and recently completed her graduate study in International Law and Human Rights at the United Nations-mandated University for PEACE (UPEACE) in Costa Rica. She also holds a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance and Banking and a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations.

Abhijit De

Program Advisor

Abhijit joined the Freedom Fund in August 2018. Before joining the Freedom Fund, he was Data Management Specialist at Family Health International 360, where he supported government and NGO partners on program management and monitoring and evaluation in eight north-eastern states of India.

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Abhijit is a development results-driven professional with more than ten years’ experience. He is proficient in designing and managing regional and national level programs, with expertise working with government and local communities. He has worked with various international organizations, including GIZ, CRS, FHI360, Freedom from Hunger and Futures Group. Abhijit has focused on health, livelihood and women & child protection with a strong niche in M&E, data management, and information and communications technologies for development. He has been successful working within a multicultural stakeholder environment towards addressing the issues and rights of women, children and marginalized communities.

Brahma Deo Ram

Program Advisor

Brahma Deo Ram joined the Freedom Fund in August 2021 as a Program Advisor for the south-eastern Nepal hotspot. He has more than 17 years of experience in various capacities with different international organisations. Brahma worked as a District Program Manager in World Vision International Nepal from August 2018 to March 2021 where he managed programs in the Sarlahi district in province 2.

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Brahma has worked as a Program Officer for Action Aid Nepal, as a Media and Peace Building Coordinator for Search for Common Ground, an Education Coordinator for Save the Children and a Deputy Program Manager for Oxfam GB at Nuwakot. He also played a role in District Lead Support Agencies (DLSA) where he was the focal person of all international organisations based in the Nuwakot district. Brahma has supported and managed several campaigns against child labour, modern slavery and caste-based discrimination in Nepal through local NGOs, activists and mobilising media personnel. Brahma holds an M. A in Sociology and M.Ed. in English.

Manisha Jani

Program Advisor

Manisha Jani, based in Jaipur, India, works as a consultant with Freedom Fund for the Rajasthan hotspot. With over 14 years of experience in the development sector, she has worked with Traidcraft Exchange-UK, Margdarshak Development Services - India, IFC and The World Bank in Rajasthan.

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She has supported the World Bank funded Rajasthan Grameen Ajeevika Vikas Parishad (RGAVP) project for the development of the non-farm sector. She has managed various multilateral donor funded projects in India and worked on CSR projects related to skill building, livelihoods, institution building and capacity building of SHGs. Manisha is a member of the Fair Trade Forum of India and is an empaneled auditor for the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) and European Fair Trade Association (EFTA). She completed her Masters in Social Policy & Social Development from the University of Manchester, UK and a Diploma in Rural Management from the Indian Institute of Rural Management, Jaipur.

Sachin Kumar

Program Advisor

Sachin Kumar has been working with Freedom Fund’s northern India hotspot program since July 2014. Sachin has been instrumental in devising the hotspot strategy and establishing the program in northern India. He coordinates with various grassroots civil society organisations, technical agencies, government departments and stakeholders to reduce the prevalence of trafficking and bonded labour.

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Sachin has over a decade of experience working in the development sector on human trafficking, bonded labour, livelihood security, education and gender in various parts of India. He has worked with different marginalised communities including landless farmers and salt pan workers to improve their livelihood and secure their rights. He also designed and managed multiple projects on anti-trafficking and has been part of the team which developed strategies for combating human and child trafficking in source areas.
Prior to joining the northern India hotspot, he worked with BAIF Development Research Foundation, CARE, and Catholic Relief Services. Sachin holds a Master’s Degree in Rural Management from Xavier Institute of Social Service in India.

Polyanna Magalhães

Program Advisor

Polyanna joined the Freedom Fund in November 2021 as a Brazil Program Advisor. She holds a master's degree in education and has an international certification in social project management. She has worked for over 15 years in international organizations in defense and promotion of children's rights.

Hasriadi Masalam

Program Advisor

Hasriadi Masalam joined the Freedom Fund in July 2021 as a Program Advisor in in Indonesia to set up a new hotspot working to tackle forced labour in the seafood sector.

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Hasriadi has been working on issues of youth as changemakers, rural transformation, capacity building and knowledge management for almost two decades. He is the co-founder of ININNAWA, a federation of popular social action NGOs based in South Sulawesi, working on rural transformation, traditional market revitalization, literacy and education, and publication on local culture. He is also the co-founder and director of KITA, Indonesian Partnership for Humanity and Sustainability. Hasriadi has contributed to more than a dozen publications distributed in Indonesia, Europe and North America.

Hasriadi holds a Ph.D. in the sociology of adult education from the University of Alberta, Canada, and an M.A. in social justice in intercultural relations from SIT Graduate Institute, VT, USA.

Michelle Mendonca

Program Manager

Michelle currently serves as Program Manager at the Freedom Fund where she manages projects in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, India and in Bangladesh. She also teaches Advocacy, Human Rights and Public Policy at Eastern University.

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Over 14 years in the non-profit sector, Michelle has worked on interventions related to trafficking and child sex abuse and specializes in program management, effective prosecutions, public policy, strategic litigation, and training of judges and prosecutors. Her articles have been published in leading journals.

Michelle has a Masters in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University and a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University.

Neeta Minz

Program Advisor

Neeta has been involved with the northern India hotspot since its inception. Prior to joining the Freedom Fund and Geneva Global, Neeta was involved in various client programs in South Asia, primarily in HIV/AIDs and maternal and child health.

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Before this, she worked for a decade with the government of an India-owned trading house handling international trade with Europe, Africa and Asia. Later, she joined the development sector where she designed and implemented programs to impact poor and marginalized women. Neeta holds a Management degree in Human Resource Development and Marketing.

Bala Murugan

Program Advisor

Bala has more than 20 years of experience in various capacities with different organizations. Before joining the Freedom Fund and Geneva Global, Bala worked as a child protection consultant with UNICEF and supported the district administration for the implementation of the Integrated Child Protection Project in the Salem district of India. 

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Prior to that, he worked as a program coordinator with Save the Children, UK and Save the Children, India (Bal Raksha Bharat) and was involved in the Tsunami Rehabilitation Program. He supported NGO partners for effective employment of child-centric programs and served as a training coordinator for the entire southern region of India with the Regional Resource Centre, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the government of India. Bala holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Law, and has several Master’s degrees, including Philosophy in Population Studies from Annamalai University, as well as Social Work, Women Studies, Human Resource Management, and Population Studies from various universities in Tamil Nadu. In October of 2016, Bala received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Gandhigram Rural Institute, Tamil Nadu.

Gomathi Palanikumar

Program Manager

Gomathi joined the Freedom Fund in November 2020 as Program Advisor for the Freedom Rising Initiative, which works to empower and connect anti-slavery leaders around the world. Prior to this, she worked as a Program Manager in WeWorld Onuls, managing programs in South India on preventing child trafficking, child migration and child marriage. She’s also had previous experience with various international organizations such as EveryChild UK, and with ActionAid on supporting grassroot NGOs and CBOs on ending bonded labor and manual scavenging in India.

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Gomathi has more than 10 years of experience in community development, program design and management, monitoring and evaluation for NGOs and CBOs working on child protection and child rights. She is a trainer and has assisted various field level research programs. She designed and developed various campaigns such as Beti Zindabad (Save girl child campaign) and abolition of manual scavenging in India.

She holds an M.A in Social Work with the specialization on social justice, equity and governance from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and she is currently working on her PhD with the same institute.

Krish Peru

Program Advisor

Krish has more than 22 years of experience in different positions with various national and regional child/human rights organizations. He has been engaged in mobilizing, organizing and facilitating collective actions and Building as well as nurturing People's Movement on core development issues. Before joining the Freedom Fund, Krish worked as Consultant for Child Rights Network, Human Rights Alliance, Food Security Consortium and State Lead of Development Support with Child Rights and You-CRY at national and regional level.

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Prior to this, he worked as Associate General Manager with Child Rights and You -CRY for around nine years engaged in Partnership Building, Campaign on Equity and Equality in Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation,Tamil Nadu Alliance for Fundamental Rights to Education and Advocacy on Education and Livelihood Rights, Engaged in evolving People's Forest Bill Campaign with 1000 CSOs in India, Consultant for Food First International Action Network, Senior Programme Officer for Human Rights Alliance, and National Network Coordinator in EQUATIONS-locating impacts of tourism on local community, environment and economy, Consultant on Child Labour Research in SAVE, Tirupur, Coordinator for Human Rights in Legal Resources for Social Action-LRSA. Engaged in developing child rights programing with child-centricity, Participatory Evaluations in India and Sri Lanka on child protection programs for Cord Aid, Netherlands, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, France, Action Aid India, Entraide et Fraternite, Belgium, and German Doctors for Developing Countries- The German Doctors e.V Bonn, Germany for Education and Health projects in West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar and Tamil Nadu. Krish holds a Doctoral degree in Political Science and has co-authored books and written several articles in International newsletters, National and State leading newspapers and undergone an advanced training on Monitoring Economic, Social and Cultural Rights-ESCR from Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Switzerland.

Ravi Prakash

Program Advisor

Ravi is a consultant for the Freedom Fund’s Rajasthan hotspot. He is a child rights specialist with more than 14 years of experience working on issues like child protection and right to education. He has headed the child right to education portfolio in the PACS (DFID) program and at Oxfam India.

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Ravi has worked with organisations including TATA Trusts (SDTT), Child Rights and You (CRY) and Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in India.  He has exposure to working in many parts of the country and has hands-on experience on project implementation, liaison with government and policy engagement. Ravi holds Master’s Degrees in social work and human rights.

Jiyam Shrestha

Program Advisor

Jiyam Shrestha joined the Freedom Fund in June 2019 as a program advisor for the central Nepal hotspot. He has more than 22 years of experience in various capacities with different organisations. Jiyam worked as a child protection program coordinator at Terre des hommes Foundation Nepal from April 2015 to July 2018 and worked against the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children in the adult entertainment sector in Nepal and risky migration of children and youths. He also worked as a co-chair and chair of the AIN Child Protection Working Group (January 2017-July 2018).

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Prior to that, he worked as a program manager at Concern for Children and Environment Nepal (CONCERN Nepal) from 2003 to 2014 and Program Officer from 1996 to 2003 and implemented different projects targeting the worst forms of child labour in Nepal.
He has engaged in a number of campaigns against child labour and modern slavery in Nepal mobilising various network organisations. He worked as the chairperson of a network organisation consortium of organisations for child participation and worked for the development of a Child Friendly Constitution in Nepal. He also worked as a vice chairperson of the National Alliance of Organisations for Street Children (NAOSC) to contribute to the rehabilitation of street children in Kathmandu. He worked as a co-chair of the National Action and Coordination Group (NACG) for the South Asia Initiative to End Violence against Children (SAIEVAC), an Apex body of SAARC. Jiyam holds a Master's degree in Economics.

Sharda Singh

Program Advisor

Sharda Singh joined the Freedom Fund in November 2019 as Program Advisor in the Rajasthan Hotspot. Sharda has over 12 years' experience in the development sector.

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Sharda is a Development Professional with experience working on women rights, the rights of people with disabilities, community development, and child rights and protection. She has hands-on experience on liaising with government departments, project implementation and partnership management.

Rajeev Sinha

Program Advisor

Rajeev is a Program Advisor for the Freedom Fund’s North India Hotspot Program. He has 15 years of experience in Child Protection & Gender Based Violence and has specifically worked & managed large grants for the intervention on child labour & trafficking and Child marriage. Rajeev has played an instrumental role in the launching of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme in Bihar & Jharkhand and in Adolescent Empowerment Program for reducing child marriage & teenage pregnancy and increasing secondary enrollment.

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Rajeev is also a firm believer of Community-led approach to Child Protection where community holds the decision power with all-round participation of women, girls, boys & other vulnerable people. He helped lead the global “Interagency Participatory Action Research on Community-led Child Protection in Jharkhand, India” with support of CRA, PRAXIS, CINI, Chetna Vikas & Plan India. Rajeev has also presented the learnings of the action research at global platform of VOICE International Conference, 2018 in Bali, Indonesia.

Rajeev has worked with Plan India, UNICEF & other grass root organizations. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, India.

Thripu Thiyagarajan

Program Advisor

Thiripu joined the Freedom Fund from Geneva Global in July 2018. Thripu is a seasoned development professional with over two decades of experience working on child rights and human rights issues. She is a seasoned practitioner who has worked on multi-cultural teams with various national and international organizations, including UNICEF, Save the Children, and Railway Children.

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She comes to this role after more than six years with Railway Children UK where she most recently served as a Senior Programme Officer. In that role, she oversaw the work in Southern India to strengthen government systems and services for at-risk children. She holds a PhD with research focused on migrant and bonded child laborers in stone quarries. She also has experience working directly with vulnerable communities doing post-Tsunami recovery work in Tamil Nadu and managing programs for HIV positive individuals and their families. She has a passion for working to impact positive changes in the lives of vulnerable children and families.

Roisai Wongsuban

Program Advisor

Roisai Wongsuban joined the Freedom Fund in January 2019 as Program Advisor for the Thailand hotspot. Over the past decade, Roisai has worked as a human rights and humanitarian advocate on behalf of migrants, refugees, displaced persons, asylum seekers and survivors of human trafficking. Roisai holds an M.A in Migration Studies from the University of Sussex, where she received a Chevening Scholarship, and another Master’s degree in International Development from Monash University. 

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Roisai’s passion for advocacy began during an internship at Project Respect, a community organisation assisting trafficked women in Melbourne, Australia. Roisai has used the strategic, deliberate and rational approach to building coalitions for policy reform and enforcement on litigation of trafficking cases, universal birth registration, education for all, immigration management and other policy initiatives. 
 
Prior to joining Freedom Fund, Roisai worked as Trafficking in Persons Adviser for Australia - Asia, which focused on strengthening law enforcement to prosecute offenders and protect victims of trafficking. She also held the position of Country Manager for iCare Benefit Thailand, which provides alternative welfare for blue collar workers. Roisai has also held positions as a Migration Expert for the International Organisation for Migration and Senior Advocacy Coordinator overseeing IRC’s entire Thailand portfolio. 
 
Roisai is a strong voice for women – both as a Thai woman operating in a patriarchal political space, but also in terms of ensuring that the specific issues facing migrant women are brought to the fore, and she continues to seize any opportunity to address rights violations and strive for long-term structural change.

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