Introducing our country managers in 2021

Posted 21 April 2021 by Auriina Korhonen.

As we continue to grow and to expand our work in new locations, and find new pathways to create impact, the development of solid teams in our field operations becomes more and more vital. We recently wrote about our ongoing work in Kenya, where our great team is introducing the Lytefire 5 oven to Kisumu through weekly solar baking demos.

Today, we would like to introduce to you our country managers from our key operational countries, and let them share some of their thoughts on the significance of our efforts.

Makenson Mérisca, Haiti

Makenson Merisca is joining us as a country manager for Haiti. He has long-term experience working with several different developmental foundations and programmes in Haiti especially in relation to child welfare and education. Makenson sees being a part of the SFCO team as a chance to work towards the preservation of our natural world, and his personal goal is to see Lytefire technology in widespread use in Haiti. He currently lives in Port-au-Prince with his wife and three children.

Makenson was recommended to us by the one and only Louino Robillard, a pillar of the community in Cité Soleil who Lorin met years ago while staying at and working alongside Haiti Communitere.

Makenson is a young family man with a variety of experience from heavy trucking to NGO support services. His family comes from a region of Haiti where there are some of the last forests in Haiti. Makenson wants to introduce Lytefire tech there because he says people often cut down their trees (sometimes even mango or avocado trees!) to sell to the bakery to burn to bake bread. There’s always a line up outside the bakery, so it seems like there’s a real chance to safeguard Haiti’s precious forests so that Maken’s kids can also enjoy them when they grow up.

Martin Pouabidjie, Burkina Faso

The project with Remar gave us the chance to start building a team here in Burkina Faso, and while we were cooking one day, Martin walked up and was already full of ideas. Full of confidence and not afraid to get his hands dirty, Martin has proven to a hard worker who is willing to learn. Our mutual goal is to deliver more and more trainings to associations and small groups who can use Burkina’s abundant sunshine to generate income while protecting the environment.

Martin is one of six children, and he has worked as a salesperson and coordinator-trainer in a family association, after which he has acquired work experience in team leadership, sales, and marketing. He has studied literature, sociology and project management, with the specific goal of being able to carry out projects of his own. Martin is a father to a four year-old daughter and in his free time he enjoys cinema and football.

For the past two weeks, Martin has been on the ground with the Women of Goghin overseeing the implementation of our entrepreneurship education and bakery training packages. As part of our follow-up with them, Martin will help them to develop and market their products so they can increase the earnings of their women’s cooperative.

Joan Arwa Ogwang, Kenya

Joan Arwa Ogwang is a Kenyan, with a (MA) from Maseno University. With more than 13 years of experience as a regional manager at Capital Airtime Limited (Kisumu), she is a three time winner of the Safaricom regional awards. She has also been a real estate manager for over 15 years, a part-time lecturer at Maseno University’s communication department, as well as a successful entrepreneur with 10 years of experience.

Joan’s motivation is to positively change lives by helping people generate money to be able to afford a decent life. Her personal view is that Solar Fire machines are remarkable since everyone who experiences them are in disbelief of the amount of heat solar light can generate, and that fuels her motivation. With our local technician, Jared Omondi, they are promoting the solar oven through local population.

 

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