The International Advisory Group (IAG) consists of representatives of some of the organisations which have previously partnered with, or received support from, the Mandala Trust. The IAG supports the Board of Trustees by adopting a shared learning approach which focuses on the strategy, values and practices of the Mandala Trust and how we work for change. This process aims to provide a grassroots perspective from the diversity of groups and communities with which the Mandala Trust supports and partners, predominantly in the Global South – locating this shared learning beyond the boundaries of the UK-based Board of Trustees.
The IAG further aims to deepen the efforts of the Mandala Trust to develop our approach through a critical reflection on our charitable activities – in turn leading to new ideas and perspectives which can inspire new plans and enhanced practices.
Current IAG Members
Nesreen Khashman is a Peace Architect and Mindfulness Trainer with the World Peace Initiative and has facilitated workshops in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, and Bahrain. She is the group coordinator for Operation Kindness Jordan who organise a refugee solidarity group supporting people fleeing the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. Nesreen was nominated for the JCI ‘Outstanding Young Persons’ Award by JCI Jordan for her peace work in 2019.
Skhumbuzo Mlibeni is operations manager for the Khuphuka Project offering a range of health and community development programmes, and coordinates Khanyisa – a transformative education programme working with young men, boys, women and girls (aged 13–25) in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, at the epicentre of the global HIV & AIDS pandemic. He has also worked for the AIDS Foundation of South Africa on a number of youth and health promotion projects.
Denise Alcantar coordinates Operation Kindness Mexico, who have organised into a Colectiva Mujeres (women’s collective) through which local women engage in a range of community mobilisations such as community garden projects, breakfast clubs for school children, yoga and meditation groups, and a community permaculture project which teaches children how to cultivate organic food and provides the community with year-round fresh organic fruit and vegetables. She is also a Peace Agent for Peace Revolution.
Justus Akampurira is a research associate at the Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies, and a ward councillor in Kampala, Uganda. He coordinates Operation Kindness Uganda who offer support and training for local young people and students from disadvantaged backgrounds and regular outreach to the local community. He initiated the Kampala Kindness Co-operative – a youth co-operative that seeks to model ways of transforming society by promoting social and economic solidarity amongst young people working together for the common good.