In 2018, FairFight adopted a new organisational structure that organised volunteers into specialised teams, with a coordinator leading and supporting each team. At first, we developed an India Project team, a Zimbabwe Project team, a Volunteers management team and an Outreach team. In 2020, with the launch of the Ambassador of Change scholarship programme, a Mentors team was added. It took some time to find the right people to lead each of these teams, but we are now pleased to introduce to you our complete roster of Coordinators! These are the people who keep FairFight running from day to day, and they all do so as volunteers. We are incredibly grateful to have so much experience, talent and energy in one organisation.
Volunteers Coordinator - Elisabeth (Lis) Kerr
Lis is a British black belt in Shotokan karate and has been volunteering with FairFight since 2019. She is currently completing her PhD in African Linguistics at Leiden University, having graduated from the School of African and Oriental Studies in London.
FairFight is a completely volunteer-run organisation and relies on a diverse team of volunteers to achieve our mission. As Volunteers Coordinator, Lis has the important role of recruiting new volunteers and managing existing ones. Her team also organises training and development for volunteers with the help of Vera Westerheijden, which ensures we are constantly learning and upskilling as an organisation.
India Project Coordinator - Mary Stevens
Mary joined FairFight in 2017 and first visited India on the January 2018 outreach visit. She has been managing our India project since October 2018. Based in Oxford, UK, Mary is a BTec Level 3 trainer in Self Defence with the National Federation For Personal Safety and a 3rd dan karateka with the British Combat Karate Federation. She owns and runs the Athena School of Karate, which blends traditional values with modern life-coaching strategies.
Mary’s expertise has contributed to her development of a context-specific self-protection programme as part of our India outreach. She has also worked closely with Pamela Armitage on developing trauma-informed practice for the FairFight team. Before the pandemic, Mary organised three project visits to India. She continues to connect with and offer training to our colleagues in the Red Brigade Trust via Zoom, which allows us to continue supporting their work across Uttar Pradesh. Mary is excited and eager to resume this work in person as soon as we can travel safely again.
Zimbabwe Project Coordinator - Myrthe Minnaert
Based in the Netherlands, Myrthe started her FairFight journey as an impact evaluator on our India trip in January 2018. Although not a martial artist, her passion for addressing inequalities and creating community-driven change has connected her with FairFight’s mission and served her well in her role as Zimbabwe Project Coordinator.
Being a coordinator involves keeping the day-to-day happenings running as well as making plans for the future. Myrthe keeps track of not only our projects but also important political and economic developments in Zimbabwe. She is in regular contact with key stakeholders and works closely with our partners and team members who are actually in Zimbabwe. These include Sensei Gerald, Sister Sandra, Jenica Nechombo, Tinashe Munemo, Patience Mukarati, Ruvarashe Nyamukunda and Victoria Sithole, all of whom help to keep the dojo at Nagle House running.
Looking ahead, Myrthe is excited for the different kinds of collaborations we will have with Mbare Dojo (our newest partner in Zimbabwe, thanks to the help of Charlie Stevens and Elsabé Nel!).
Mentors Coordinator - Maryse Degbegni
Maryse is a black belt from the UK who has been practising karate for 15 years. She joined FairFight in 2020 as a mentor for one of our Ambassadors of Change in Zimbabwe – Ruvarashe Nyumukunda.
Maryse recently took on the role of Mentors Coordinator, which involves supporting the mentors of the Ambassador of Change programme and coordinating on behalf of the mentors with Ginie (our founder and Board Chair) and Myrthe (our Zimbabwe Project Coordinator). Maryse also arranges regular meetings with the mentors, which aim to help the mentors better support their mentees as well as each other. She is passionate about empowering the younger generation of future leaders and, at the moment, is working on confirming two new scholarships.
Outreach Coordinator - Vimbainashe Mushure
Vimbainashe joined FairFight as our first Outreach Coordinator in 2021, and is one of the newest members of our FairFight family. Hailing from Harare, Zimbabwe, Vimbainashe graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with an Economics degree and is currently training at Sensei Gerald Muusha's dojo. Being a proactive and optimistic person, she is particularly passionate about activating other people’s potential and enabling them to prosper, especially women and communities. This is shown by her experience volunteering with Enactus in the sustainable entrepreneurship space and with the Global Leadership Network Zimbabwe on their youth leadership programs in Zimbabwe.
As FairFight’s Outreach Coordinator, Vimbainashe’s role consists of developing and executing a strong outreach strategy to help us grow in our impact. Her management responsibilities range from building our fundraising capacity to overseeing our donor communications and social media presence.