Who we are
Our purpose is to promote the social inclusion and wellbeing of marginalised groups. We exist to give the disempowered vital tools and platforms to speak back to their societies and reassert their presence and equality. We strive to nurture people's understanding of others so that in future these communities will be embraced by society. And in the meantime, we meet essential basic needs wherever they have been denied
What we do
We currently tackle the social exclusion of people with albinism in Tanzania and wider East Africa. We design and deliver Health, Education, Advocacy and Community Programmes, reaching thousands of people with albinism across Tanzania on a structured, regular basis. We exist as a catalyst to amplify the voices of others, enabling individuals to shape their own lives and forge their own futures
How we do it
We provide innovative platforms for marginalised groups to be the agents of lasting change. Our in-country team works with local stakeholders to generate long-term frameworks through which communities are themselves enabled to meet the needs of people with albinism. Each of our Programmes activates a different set of partners to deliver sustainable services that states can eventually absorb and operate alone. These are not only services but also blueprints: models to be adapted, upscaled and replicated internationally, wherever demand exists
Harry is the CEO and Co-founder of Standing Voice and an award-winning British documentary filmmaker and photographer. Harry’s films have screened on television, in cinemas and at film festivals in over sixty countries worldwide. His films have won many international awards, including the 2013 Best Feature Documentary at the One World Media Awards. Born out of the extraordinary global response to his BBC and ITVS International feature documentary In the Shadow of the Sun, Standing Voice is a frontline organisation founded to advance the human rights of people with albinism in East Africa by promoting social change. Having worked alongside this marginalised group for over a decade, Harry has brought this issue to the forefront of global discussion in some of the highest-profile arenas around the world.
Jon Beale is Standing Voice's Director of Development and is responsible for the charity's global operations. He has extensive experience promoting social justice through organisations in Africa and in the UK. Jon has worked with a number of groups facing societal challenges, including torture survivors, political detainees, asylum seekers, orphaned children in rural Kenya, children with autism and ADHD, and people with albinism in Tanzania. Jon is also an experienced researcher, with a particular interest in the cyclical nature of trauma in society and the impact of conflict and extremism on human rights in Africa. Prior to Standing Voice's establishment Jon worked as Swahili Translator for In the Shadow of the Sun. He holds a First Class degree in African Language (Swahili) and Culture from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), London.
Dr Rebecca Kammer is Standing Voice's Vision Programme Director across Tanzania. She has been an Associate Professor of Optometry and Chief of Low Vision at the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) for thirteen years. She has Diplomate status in the American Academy of Optometry and several awards for leadership in the field. That same year, she completed her PhD in Education, which focused specifically on innovative teaching that promotes critical thinking. Since 2010 Dr Kammer has provided vision care to over 600 people with albinism in Tanzania. She resides in the U.S. but visits Tanzania at least twice a year to oversee delivery of the Standing Voice Vision Programme.
Two years of volunteering to support refugees and asylum seekers in Bristol inspired Jamie to work with organisations that challenge prejudice and discrimination, promote our understanding of one another and passionately believe in the importance of equality of opportunity. He has supported rural community businesses in Kenya and Tanzania as well as those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction in London. Alongside this programme delivery experience he has worked in business management and corporate fundraising in the UK.
As our Communications Manager, Sam is responsible for elevating the public profile of Standing Voice and raising the vital support necessary to deliver its life-changing health, education, and community-building initiatives on the ground in Tanzania. He has worked broadly in international advocacy around albinism in Africa, contributing expertise to academic publications and mainstream media reporting around this issue. Sam's journey into international development was informed and sharpened by his background in postcolonial critique, with a First Class undergraduate degree from the University of Warwick, and a Master’s (with Distinction) from the University of Cambridge.
As Finance Officer, John Illankovan is responsible for the day-to-day financial management of Standing Voice. John has worked extensively in financial management across the non-profit sector over the last twenty years. He previously worked as a UK accountant for the Natural Resource Governance Institute, and as Finance Manager at Saferworld.
Carol is currently the Practice Manager at Edenpark Surgery, a progressive GP-training practice based in a deprived part of North Dublin. Her background is in business administration and large-scale project management, in Dublin and also London. As a board member of community organisation SAFE, Carol has spent many years working with marginalised groups in her practice area. She has also experience volunteering and fundraising for a number of charities at home and abroad. In 2013, Carol and her family spent six months volunteering in Malawi, where she taught English in a village secondary school. Her work there exposed her first-hand to the NGO sector in Malawi, and gave her new insight into the marginalisation faced by people with albinism in the country. Since then, Carol has been committed to establishing skincare services for people with albinism in Malawi, and is facilitating the replication of Standing Voice’s Skin Cancer Prevention Programme there to that effect.
Rosa volunteers with Standing Voice as part of their Communications and Fundraising team, having recently returned from Tanzania after assisting in the implementation of the Summer Skills Workshop. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in International Relations, finishing with a dissertation looking into gender violence in conflict zones. She has previously volunteered her time working in conversation classes with refugees in Leeds, and hopes to eventually pursue a career in human rights.
Tom completed his undergraduate studies in Geography at the University of Cambridge, followed by a year of Management Studies at the Judge Business School. While at Cambridge, he particularly enjoyed his papers in development and the political geography of post-colonialism. He completed his dissertation on the right to public space in urban areas, considering the consequences of the privatisation of land on civil liberty and the lives of marginalised urban peoples. Having enjoyed volunteering his time both at home and at university, he is now volunteering at Standing Voice in the communications and fundraising team. In the future, he hopes to enjoy a career either in the public sector or in an NGO.
Claudia volunteers at Standing Voice in the Project and Fundraising team. She graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in International Relations with Political Science and is now working towards a master’s degree in Conflict, Security and Development at King’s College London. Enjoying topics of international security has led her to complete a First Class dissertation on Russian foreign policy, which analysed whether the 2014 conflict in Ukraine could have been predicted. Within this subject, debates related to human security have motivated her to volunteer in organisations that deal with violations of human rights. She later wishes to pursue a career in diplomacy or international development.
Anton Bilton is an economics graduate of City University London. Anton is Executive Deputy Chairman of London Stock Exchange-Listed Raven Russia Ltd. He has been a founder and director of three other public companies that have floated on London's AIM. Anton's philanthropic efforts are focused through his own charity, The Bilton Charitable Foundation, and through Standing Voice, which he was inspired to co-found after watching In the Shadow of the Sun.
Sabine has a decade of professional publicity experience in a diverse spectrum of industries including fashion, television and travel. In 2012, Sabine started her own business as an arts and design publicist, and co-founded her production company Zetteler & Dunn, where she is Creative Director. She is London culture writer for Cool Hunting, associate editor of Flavour First, and director of communications for production company Good Egg. Sabine is involved with a number of charities, and has spent many years volunteering in support of the Hackney Winter Night Shelter and Crisis at Christmas.
Gurmeet brings a wealth of experience from her background in Finance and International development. She started her career in Finance and switched to international development almost a decade ago driven by her passion for providing opportunities to those who are less privileged. Most recently, she headed up Impact Funds investments at the CDC Group where she was responsible for setting up the investment strategy and building a portfolio of investments in East Africa, West Africa and South Asia. As a result, Gurmeet has spent a large amount of time across Africa and Asia looking at businesses that serve the poor and marginalised. Prior to this role, she worked at the Children's Investment Fund Foundation where she was responsible for grants targeting significant maternal and child health improvements in Africa
Born and raised on Ukerewe Island, Alex was orphaned at four years of age and spent his formative years moving from family to family. These early experiences inspired Alex to work with deprived communities, with a particular focus on orphans and vulnerable children. He has worked as a Translator and Tanzanian Production Coordinator on the BBC feature-length documentary film In the Shadow of the Sun, and has played a particularly active role in the development and operation of Standing Voice’s Umoja Training Centre. Fluent in five languages and deeply sensitised to the cultures of the Lake Region of Tanzania, he brings lived experience to our work.
Leonard is is one of Standing Voice’s Health Programmes Coordinators, based primarily in Mwanza. After earning a Professional IGCSE Diploma in Education from Cambridge University, Leonard was an educator for several years. He became acutely aware of the difficulties faced by persons with albinism in the classroom. He is currently studying for a Bachelor of Laws degree at the Open University of Tanzania, seeking to become an advocate on behalf of those who cannot raise their voices.
Kate is one of Standing Voice’s Health Programmes Coordinators, based in Mwanza, Tanzania. Kate previously volunteered with Standing Voice in the Project and Fundraising Team in London. Originally from Austria, she recently graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London with a degree in African Politics, specialising in conflict, health, human rights, and the Swahili language in East Africa. Kate has also volunteered in the Communications Department of Doctors Without Borders. Having previously lived in Dar es Salaam and travelled to nine countries across East and Southern Africa, Kate has witnessed the stigmatisation of people with albinism first-hand; her motivation is to ensure access to quality health and education services for this deeply marginalised group.
Kaballa Maganja is Standing Voice’s Health Programmes Coordinator for Northern and Western Tanzania. He has extensive experience in Public Health, and has worked with a number of marginalised groups including: children and youth; young women living with HIV; and women working in recreational facilities like street food stalls, bars and hotels in Dar es Salaam and the Mwanza and Mara Regions. Kaballa is also an experienced researcher, specialising in the spread and effects of STIs including HIV. Before joining Standing Voice, he was a Project Officer for AMREF Health Africa. Kaballa holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London.
Mary supports Standing Voice’s project delivery in Tanzania through her administrative and accounting background. She was born and raised in Tanzania and attained a degree in Business Administration with specialisations in accounting and finance. Before joining Standing Voice, Mary was a Project Officer with an organisation that helps farmers to earn a sustainable income by developing their agriculture techniques and agribusiness acumen. Mary enjoys taking her passion for numbers and helping Standing Voice deliver its programmes throughout Tanzania.
Born and raised in Tanzania, Tuju has eight years’ experience as the Secretary General for the Mwanza branch of the Tanzanian Albinism Society. He has also taught at Kirumba Primary School since 2009, and, as the beneficiary of the Standing Voice Education Scholarship Fund, is currently completing his bachelor’s degree in Education. Tuju is our Education Support Officer, and provides support to beneficiaries across our multiple health, education and advocacy programmes.
Resident in East Africa since 2008, Mafalda is a Spanish pharmacist specialising in Tropical Diseases and International Health. In 2008 Mafalda launched a community programme in Malawi to help provide social and medical assistance to vulnerable groups in rural areas. Working alongside a spectrum of people—some with albinism, others with leprosy, in the advanced stages of AIDS, or experiencing malnutrition—she witnessed first-hand the transformative potential of targeted medical intervention. In 2011 Mafalda pioneered the local production of sunscreen for people with albinism in Tanzania. Her initiative received multiple international awards and won the heart of the Canadian NGO Under the Same Sun, who, with other stakeholders, funded the construction of a laboratory.
Rachel was born in the Mtwara region of Tanzania, but grew up near Shinyanga. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Systems Management from Mzumbe University. Formerly a volunteer with several HIV/AIDS prevention programmes around Shinyanga, in her current role she works within communities to improve general welfare, as well as that of marginalised groups. While working with Standing Voice, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in Public Health through distance learning, in order to help bring the specific difficulties facing people with albinism to the fore of public discourse.
Theresia previously volunteered with Standing Voice in Mwanza, before joining the organisation as a field officer. With a background in human geography and poverty alleviation, and a bachelor's degree from Mwenge Catholic University in Moshi, Theresia provides vital support to the delivery of our health programmes across the Tanzanian lake zone
Born and raised in Tanzania, Zahra is a senior at the International School of Tanganyika currently preparing for an undergraduate degree in Public Health. Named as the ‘Student Change Maker’ for the Global Issues Service Summit, her work revolves around advocating for rights of marginalized groups such as children suffering from mental illness, people who are homeless, refugees, and peoples with albinism. She has conducted independent research on the relationship between consanguineous marriages and the occurrence of albinism and has recently delivered a Ted Talk on the lives of people with albinism in Africa at the Yale Young Global Scholar’s program for biology and biomedical sciences.
Born and raised in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Thelma has a diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy and is currently completing her Bachelor’s in Community Economic Development at the Open University of Tanzania.
Born in Kilimanjaro and raised in Dar es Salaam, Ramadhan now volunteers in Standing Voice's healthcare programmes. Ramadhan's experience, having previously assisted group development projects for youths with the Mwanga youth project, combined with his background in accounting and finance, make him an ideal leader of community collaboration.
Vedastus originally became involved with Standing Voice following his starring role in the documentary In the Shadow Of The Sun. Since then, he has completed secondary school with the support of Standing Voice’s Education Programme and is now pursuing a career in radio production and journalism. As a Programme Volunteer, Vedastus provides on-the-ground support to many of Standing Voice’s projects and is a prominent member of the Ukerewe Young Reporters' Group.
Dr Baluhya is a Community Dermatologist working within Standing Voice's Skin Cancer Prevention Programme. He currently works at Misungwi District Hospital in the Mwanza Region of Tanzania. He began as a Clinical Officer before completing a Diploma in Clinical Medicine followed by an Advanced Diploma in Dermato-Venereology. He studied at the KCMC Hospital in Moshi, Tanzania. Dr Baluhya works across our programme clinics in the Mwanza and Shinyanga Regions of Tanzania.
Dr Meteru is a Senior Community Dermatologist working within Standing Voice’s Skin Cancer Prevention Programme. He carried out his formal training at KCMC Hospital in Moshi, Tanzania, and has worked as a Community Dermatologist in Sengerema District Hospital since 2009, where he also teaches and trains Clinical Officers. Dr Meteru oversees programme clinics in five regions of Tanzania.
Dr Mhini is a Community Dermatologist working as part of Standing Voice’s Skin Cancer Prevention Programme. He gained his formal qualifications and accreditations at KCMC Hospital in Moshi, Tanzania. Dr Mhini works across our programme clinics in the Kigoma Region of Tanzania.
Dr Nelson is a Community Dermatologist working within Standing Voice’s Skin Cancer Prevention Programme. He gained his formal qualifications and accreditations at KCMC Hospital in Moshi, Tanzania. Dr Nelson works across our programme clinics in the Mara Region of Tanzania.
Dr Venance is a Community Dermatologist working as part of Standing Voice’s Skin Cancer Prevention Programme. He gained his formal qualifications and accreditations at KCMC Hospital in Moshi, Tanzania. Dr Venance works across our programme clinics in the Sengerema, Geita and Chato areas of Tanzania.
Ivy Tuason is Director and Assistant Professor of the MSN-E Program for the College of Graduate Nursing at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, USA. She has been a nurse for over 20 years, and teaching in academia for over 15 years. She is a Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner, with a PhD in Nursing, concentrating on Community and Global Health. Her clinical specialties include haematology and oncology. She has undertaken a diversity of fieldwork globally, running clinics in Haiti, Nicaragua, and Vietnam, and training community health workers in the Philippines. Locally she has worked with vulnerable populations in the city of Pomona, focusing on nutrition and wellness. Her research interests include high-risk sexual behaviours among youths globally; health perceptions of people with albinism; and nutrition and wellness among ethnic minorities in the US.
Dr. Edwards is a doctoral-prepared registered nurse and certified family and women’s nurse practitioner, with board certification as an advanced genetics nurse. She is a professor at the College of Graduate Nursing at Western University of Health Sciences in California and a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP). Besides her doctoral and master's degrees as a nurse and nurse practitioner, she has graduate degrees in mental health counselling and marital/family therapy. She currently works and resides in the United States but visits Tanzania to work with other team members to assist in cancer and vision screening and other services as needed. In 2016 Dr. Edwards is due to complete her current master’s degree in public health, which focuses on community health education and epidemiology.
Abdi is a Community Optometrist working within Standing Voice’s Vision Programme. He is also currently an optometrist and tutor at the Kilimanjaro School of Optometry. Trained in low vision services in India as well as Tanzania, Abdi brings global perspective to our work, providing appropriate vision devices to people with albinism. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Optometry from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Hanifa is an Optometrist and Low Vision Specialist with 10 years working experience in the field throughout East Africa. She is a Community Optometrist working within Standing Voice’s Vision Programme and has been involved since March 2016. Hanifa has assisted the set-up of low vision services across Tanzania, and training for those in contact with visually impaired members of the public, including through our Vision Ambassadors programme. She uses her vast experience working with children with low vision at The Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre and elsewhere to develop our programme across Tanzania. Hanifa works to ensure people with albinism live lives free from easily avoided hardships like low vision and stigma that result from lack of knowledge and understanding.
Focus, hailing from northern Tanzania, is a community optometrist with Standing Voice’s Vision Programme. He has over 13 years’ experience in the field as a consultant optometrist and an assistant lecturer in optometry. Further, Focus is the course coordinator for the Bachelor of Optometry program at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, whose students have been exposed to our program. He has been trained in Tanzania, India, and the UK, and is currently pursuing a PhD in South Africa. Focus has worked with Standing Voice since 2013, and is excited to continue his facilitation of vital vision services for persons with albinism and the education of future Tanzanian Ministry of Health optometrists.
Between 2006 and 2009, Diana studied for a diploma of optometry at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, during which time she worked with several organisations improving ocular health in rural communities. After graduating, Diana began work at Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Tanzania, a healthcare organisation aimed at preventing and treating disability. In the role, she gained valuable knowledge of refractive errors in the eyes of people with albinism, and their treatment. Since joining Standing Voice, Diana has deepened her experience of working alongside people with albinism, and is eager to expand her expertise and promote a greater level of awareness and understanding around the difficulties faced by people with the condition.
Kanuti was born and raised in the Kilimanjaro region of northern Tanzania. Between 2006 and 2009, he studied at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, where he acquired a diploma in optometry. He then spent three years working as an optometrist and tutor at the school, before pursuing a Bachelor’s in optometry in Malawi. He has been working with Standing Voice’s Vision Programme for three years, alongside his position as tutor and clinical supervisor at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre’s School of Optometry.
Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin is a board-certified dermatologist practising in New York City, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, clinical attending professor at New York University Langone Health, clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Hospital in the Department of Dermatology, and Founder and Director of Entière Dermatology. She is committed to the education and training of dermatologists by serving as a reviewer for numerous medical journals, performing clinical research trials, and lecturing at national professional meetings. Dr. Levin’s interest in training local healthcare providers in Africa began when she spent a year performing research in Kaposi’s Sarcoma in Uganda. Since that time, she has undertaken research, delivered dermatological care, and taught dermatology in Thailand, Botswana, and Uganda.
Dr. Levin plays a leading role in Standing Voice’s contributions to research and training in skin cancer prevention.
Dr. Andrew Sharp was raised in East Africa, undertaking his surgical training in Uganda and Zimbabwe. Following his postgraduate surgical qualifications, he worked in general practice in Leicester, UK. He is a member of the British Society of Dermatological Surgeons and a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners. In 2014 he left general practice to focus on his role in skin cancer management and surgery at the Department of Dermatology in Leicester.
Owing to his strong interest in skills-training for medical professionals who manage skin cancer in people with albinism, he first joined Standing Voice as a volunteer in 2017. Dr. Sharp now leads in the development of surgical training in Standing Voice’s Skin Cancer Prevention Programme.
Dr. Daudi Mavura is the current Principal of the Regional Dermatology Training Center (RDTC) and Senior Lecturer of the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College in Moshi, Tanzania. Dr. Mavura holds a Medical Degree from the University of Carlos J. Finlay (Cuba) and a Master's of Medicine degree in Dermatovenereology from Tumaini University (Tanzania). Dr. Mavura specialised in dermatosurgery, developing his knowledge at UKT-Germany and the Univesidad de Alcalá de Henares in Spain. Dr. Mavura has published and co-authored several papers, primarily in tropical dermatology.
Through Standing Voice’s partnership with the RDTC, Dr. Mavura plays an instrumental role in developing the expertise of community dermatologists enrolled in Standing Voice’s Skin Cancer Prevention Programme.
Dr Mark Wheeler is a GP with a particular interest in dermatology. He worked as a GP in Australia before becoming a GP Principal in Hove, UK. In 1997 he moved with his family to Ireland to practise in Dublin. He is the Senior Partner at Edenpark Surgery, a progressive teaching and GP-training practice in Dublin. He serves on the Board of the Irish Skin Foundation and is a member of both the Primary Care Dermatology Society of Ireland and the Primary Care Surgical Association. Dr Wheeler was also the medical adviser for the Irish charity To Russia with Love and is currently the doctor for the Howth RNLI in Dublin. In 2013 he undertook a sabbatical working as a volunteer doctor in a clinic in Malawi. Since then, he has been collaborating with Malawian dermatologist, Dr Kelvin Mponda, to develop a skincare programme for people with albinism in Malawi. In Spring 2016 he joined forces with Standing Voice to pursue this shared goal.
Embedded in all we do is a deep sense of listening to those we work alongside
We work with stakeholders to create services that communities can absorb and operate alone
We exist as a catalyst to amplify the voices of marginalised people
Our programmes are conceived as blueprints to be replicated and expanded