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Angel Court, 81 St Clements Street
Oxford, OX4 1AW UK

T: +44 (0)1865 725304

© 2024 Opportunity InternationalOpportunity International United Kingdom is registered as a charity in England and Wales (1107713) and in Scotland (SCO39692).

About UsOur Staff

Opportunity International’s U.K. staff and trustees are dedicated, passionate professionals determined to help create a world in which all people have the opportunity to live a life free from poverty. Our highly skilled staff work tirelessly to ensure Opportunity International achieves its mission to empower people to break the cycle of poverty in the developing world.

Meet the UK team below.  The team also includes a Finance Officer who, along with the majority of our staff, are based in the Oxford office.

Our Staff

Nana Francois

Nana joined Opportunity International UK as CEO in September 2022.  She joined from FaithInvest where as Director of Investment Solutions she led a team helping faith-based organisations put their money where their values are. Prior to this she worked in the corporate financial services sector for almost twenty years, holding a number of positions with Gartmore, with J.P. Morgan and with Barclays in South Africa.

Alongside her Barclays role in South Africa, Nana was heavily involved in church programmes that sought to make projects more sustainable, and in funding and supporting female entrepreneurs in Ghana.  Through this work she saw first-hand the impact that enterprise support, education, agriculture and financial access can have in uplifting individuals and a whole community.

Nana has also held a number of governance roles - as a vice chair on the Board of the Finance Innovation Lab, with a mission to drive financial services access and justice in the UK, and as a Non Executive Director at the Impact Investing Institute supporting Impact Investing in the UK and Africa.

Mary Oakes

Mary has joined Opportunity International as Deputy Chief Executive working alongside our CEO to drive philanthropy forward and to build strategic partnerships. A professional fundraiser for over 20 years, Mary joins Opportunity International from Innovista International where she was Director of Fundraising and Communications. Prior to that she has been Associate Director for Leadership Giving for Habitat for Humanity (EMEA), and Head of Philanthropy at World Vision, Fundraising Manager at CMS and a Partnership Fundraiser at Tearfund. She is also a trustee of Embrace the Middle East.

Motivated by her strong Christian faith, Mary is committed to building strategic relationships and strong organisations to impact people living in poverty or disadvantage.

Sally Vicaria

Sally leads and manages the International programme team.  She is responsible for the acquisition, management and evaluation of grants from institutional donors. 

Shabnam Zamurd

Shabnam is an FCA, she previously worked for the Tussauds Group and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Chantrey Vellacott DFK in 2001.

David Knights

David is Director of Fundraising & Communications. He is responsible for working with our generous supporters, helping to steward their gifts and use them where they can have greatest impact.

With a lifetime career in the charitable sector, David has used his communications and marketing skills to build the reputation of the organisations he has worked for and ensure their success.

Previously involved in microfinance, David has seen first-hand the way in which small interventions at the right time, together with advice, training and support, can have a life changing result.


Lydia Baffour Awuah

Lydia is our Gender specialist, supporting the design of programmes to include women and gender awareness training within communities.  She currently manages our portfolio of programmes in Ghana and Mozambique.  Lydia also oversees our impact monitoring and evaluation.

Mandy Burrows

Mandy manages our refugee programme in Uganda (RISE – Refugees: Innovation, Self-reliance and Empowerment), working closely with our in-country partners, plus the education portfolio in Uganda and Pakistan.

Noah Ssempijja

Noah Ssempijja is our Refugee Programme Coordinator in Uganda. He is in charge of end to end management of the programme from field implementation, compliance, partnerships management, and monitoring, evaluation and learning. He is our focal personal for all refugee activities in Uganda.

Tamsin Scurfield

Tamsin Scurfield is our Business Development and Partnerships Manager for Uganda. She leads in fundraising efforts for Opportunity International in Uganda, establishing and cultivating potential donors and managing partnerships within Uganda

Melissa Bell

Melissa manages our Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme based in Ghana, supporting small and medium business within the WASH supply chain. She has a background in WASH health impact assessment and implementation of International research projects.

Rachel English

Rachel English manages agricultural programmes in Rwanda and Uganda. 

Jenny Dunn

Jenny leads on our marketing and communication strategy and activities. This includes direct mail, publications, digital comms and marketing, media relations and brand awareness.

Brigitta Falcini

Brigitta supports the communications and marketing of Opportunity International UK, working to raise brand awareness and promote our work through content creation, direct mailing, digital marketing, printed materials and PR.

Catherine Manser

As our Head of Philanthropy, Catherine works closely with our generous donors and stakeholders, motivating and inspiring them to support our distinctive approach to financial inclusion.

Prior to joining OIUK, Catherine moved from the public sector into the profit-for-purpose space where she was Client Director at a leading Diversity, Equity & Inclusion consultancy. She is motivated by doing impactful work that makes a difference to the lives of those who are most disadvantaged.

Jemima Chana

Jemima works to support our team with fundraising activities and stewardship events. Jemima is also working on her Masters in Philanthropic Studies with the University of Kent Centre for Philanthropy.

Perihan Doganay

Perihan joined Opportunity in May 2017. She completed her Finance and Accounting degree in Canada in 2013 and has worked in a variety of finance related roles since. Perihan oversees our management accounts, alongside managing our database.

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Opportunity International is working to end global poverty by providing a hand up, not a hand out. We believe that enabling individuals to create dignified and sustainable work is the foundation for transforming their lives, their children’s futures and their communities.

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