Research Team

Gioel - Recrear International

Gioel Gioacchino

Gioel is the director of research at Recrear.

She is also a PhD candidate at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. Through a case study of Colombian youth organizations, Gioel’s PhD project explores how different funding models affect organizational culture as well as the quality of social organizations’ internal and external relationships.

Superpowers

As a young rebellion, she got on a boat cruising over the seven seas with a bunch of very diverse people from all over, an experience that kick-started her intimate relationship with basically any (human) being and the world of interculturality.

If you say “kisses and hugs”, she says: “I just can’t enough” and hugs you till’ you are full of love. It is rumoured that she was the inspiration to one of the big hits of late 90’s “I’ll fly with you”, as she anytime, anywhere, makes anyone fly high in a show of acro-yoga.
As a good Italian, Gioel loves making awesome pasta dishes. She enjoys playing around, having deep (intellectual) conversations, meditating herself out of the world and in again, organizing painting nights and... I could keep on writing, but you need to experience her. So… that’s how lucky you are!

Denisse

Denisse Albornoz

Denisse is the editor of the Recrear Research Lab.

Denisse is an Ecuadorian young researcher raised in Peru and based in Toronto. Her research explores how art, new media, folklore and storytelling can be leveraged to include more voices in activism, community-led development and education.

She is very passionate about creative research methodologies that decolonize our minds and help us embrace diverse ways to know and experience the world.

Superpowers

In her free time she dances, eats arepas and hugs avocados.

Alicia Wallace

Alicia Wallace is a women's rights activist, public educator, social and political commentator, curriculum developer and freelance writer living and working in The Bahamas. She is the Director of Hollaback! Bahamas - part of a movement to end street harassment - and Equality Bahamas. She is currently working on several projects including the development of an after-school program for at-risk girls covering topics eclipsed by the educational system ranging from sexual health and rights to personal financial management. She is passionate about education, community engagement, the empowerment of women and girls, and amplification of the youth voice.

Superpowers

She enjoys reading, writing, cycling, eating cupcakes, penpalling, and listening to music. Her favorite self-care practices are meditation, yoga, running, baking, and having tea. She also thoroughly enjoys Twitter and tweets as @_AliciaAudrey.

Carolina López

Carolina is a co-researcher of the project Plata, Cultura and Cambio. Caro is a young Colombian youth researcher. She studies at the Universidad Militar Nueva Granada in her home city of Bogotá but she currently lives in Medellín where she helps coordinate Recrear's participatory action research project 'Plata, Cultura y Cambio'. She's also worked with the Catalina Muñoz Foundation, coordinating their volunteer program and with Amici dei Bambini, an Italian NGO, setting up public libraries for at-risk youth. In fact, most of her life has been dedicated to service, working alongside FIDES and the Red Cross on a number of projects.

Superpowers

Carolina's a Scout through and through. She can take you through some of Colombia's most stunning natural gems the way only a Scout can.

Organizational Development Team

Camilla Zamparini

Camilla is Recrear's resident graphic designer. She's behind some of our latest and greatest publications including our Cuba Recommendations Photo book and our 2016 Annual Report. Currently completing her studies at Accademia Belli Arti In Macerata, Italy - Camila is excited about making jaw-dropingly beautiful magazine spreads for all kinds of organizations in the future.

Superpower

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Akash Ghai

Akash has detailed experience in assessing the impact of business support operations, corporate governance and strategic planning on program delivery and organizational development. Akash places emphasis on building a strong organizational structure for NGOs so they can deliver quality programs that help their beneficiaries while maintaining financial sustainability.

Akash is the Co-Founder and a Managing Partner of Development Three (D3), an international development consulting firm. He also runs The NGO Snippets (@NGOSnippets), an information resource for NGO professionals to understand or refresh themselves on the basics of the NGO and NPO environments.

Previously he worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, an intergovernmental organization. Akash worked in the Corporate Services Division as Head of Office to the Director of Corporate Services and Business Support Functions: Finance, IT, Facilities, Conference Services and Printing. He has a Masters in NGO Management from Cass Business School in London.

Liam O'Doherty

As Director of Digital Youth Engagement Programmes with TakingITGlobal, Liam designs and implements initiatives to inspire, inform and involve young people in making a difference in their communities. With a background in sustainable development, communications and theatrical improvisation, he has extensive experience advancing youth rights, gender equality and climate change initiatives through a range of contexts, from grassroots mobilizations to international policy processes. In 2015 he was recognized as a 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leader by Corporate Knights and as a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations intercultural Fellow.

He has led several international youth delegations to the United Nations conferences, from COP15 to COP21 and is currently advising the UNFPA on youth engagement strategies for the Post2015 Sustainable development agenda. When he isn't bridging movements for accelerated social change, you can find him riding his bicycle, swimming or drinking copious volumes of tea.

Community Engagement Team

Kirsten Williams

Kirsten is the Director of Community Engagement at Recrear.

Kirsten is a nomadic soul who enjoys culturally enriching experiences and out-of-the-box living. At Recrear she’s the resident community care-taker, looking after members as if they were her very own 47 cats.

As one of Recrear’s co-founders she’s been at the heart of Recrear’s journey: piloting projects, co-creating our research model and taking names. She’s also got a healthy appetite for research, having explored topics from youth participation to NGO collaboration and program evaluation. Currently she's got her eyes set on the stars as she sets up partnerships around Recrear's short course.

Superpowers

She's got some magic ability to pick up just about any kind of dance. Her latest obsession is salsa.

Mourya Basavaraj

Mourya is a fellow of the Melton Foundation, a platform for global leaders. He doesn't just want to hear about cool projects, he wants to experience them first hand. Although he studied Industrial Engineering & Management in Bangalore, India; he's got a big passion for community work. To date he's immersed himself in climate change, gender equality, social justice and team building projects. He says the secret to life is combining childish play with wisdom.
At Recrear, Mourya is interested in seeing awesome work and sustainability go hand in hand for the organization's training programs.

Superpowers

He has a strange ability to push people beyond their comfort zones and get them to open up. He says it's won him many hearts. If not because of his playful nature, it's probably got something to do with his modelling days.

Board of Directors

Akash Ghai

Akash is the chair of Recrear's board of directors.
Akash is Co-Founder of and Managing Partner at Development Three (D3), a consulting firm operating in the international development sector. The firm bridges the gap between community change programs and resource partners. D3 works with private founders and companies to develop impact programs while also advising NPOs and NGOs on how best to secure longevity and better promote change. Previously he worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, an intergovernmental organization. Akash worked in the Corporate Services Division as Head of Office to the Director of Corporate Services and Business Support Functions: Finance, IT, Facilities, Conference Services and Printing.

Superpower

Akash can recall every single AC Milan trequartista since the beginning of time. He also uses his mind control superpower to keep his opponents on the tennis court in suspended animation.

Liam O'Doherty

Liam is the Global Partnerships and Development Expert in our board.

As Director of Digital Youth Engagement Programmes with TakingITGlobal, Liam designs and implements initiatives to inspire, inform and involve young people in making a difference in their communities. With a background in sustainable development, communications and theatrical improvisation, he has extensive experience advancing youth rights, gender equality and climate change initiatives through a range of contexts, from grassroots mobilizations to international policy processes. In 2015 he was recognized as a 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leader by Corporate Knights and as a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations intercultural Fellow. He has led several international youth delegations to the United Nations conferences, from COP15 to COP21 and is currently advising the UNFPA on youth engagement strategies for the Post2015 Sustainable development agenda.

Superpower

When he isn't bridging movements for accelerated social change, you can find him riding his bicycle, swimming or drinking copious volumes of tea.

Valerie Colas

Valerie is our Treasurer! Over the course of the last few years, Valérie has been actively involved with organizations working in youth empowerment, namely the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, Recrear International and now Pearson College-UWC, all dedicated to empowering young people to create systemic change in the way global and local issues are being addressed. Most recently, she joined Pearson College – UWC as Executive Coordinator and Assistant to the President. She shares Pearson’s deep commitment to creating a platform for young people to develop themselves as both critical thinkers and engaged members of the community, strengthening their journeys with a vision for a better future.Valérie has a degree in Communications and Film Studies from the University of Montreal.

Superpower

A disciple of Epicurus, Valérie is always just one conversation away from sharing her passion for cooking, travelling, cinema and much more, and to showcase her ability to talk endlessly about dogs.

Hans Christian Johansen

Hans Christian have been engaged in educational development in Africa for the last 3 years, focusing on community development & civil society empowerment, in order to create sustainable development projects. Currently engaged in Sierra Leone with Street Child, a British NGO, Hans Christian works on developing remote & rural communities, through schools & community groups such as SMCs (School Management Committees). Hans Christian has a Masters in International Development Studies, with a focus in organizational development, and the link between business & development.

Superpower

Hans Christian can “sing”, although with a bad voice the entire lyrics to Backstreet Boys “The Call”. Furthermore, he can cook so delicous food, that it could get the most fierce opponents to enjoy a dinner together with smiles.

George Stanley Njoroge

Stanley is a versatile young Kenyan researcher based in Nairobi. He has served in Tofauti on the Move, a Youth NGO based in Nairobi (2011); chaired of the UNESCO Youth Forum, Kenya (2012-2013) and the Commonwealth Students’ Association (2012-2015). He has also served on UNESCO’s Expert Working Group on the Global Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees (2014-2015), the Learning Metrics Taskforce 2.0 Working Group on Global Citizenship Education (2014-2015) and was a key team member in the establishment of the African Women’s Studies Center at the University of Nairobi (2009). He is also a key member of the Afrika Youth Movement and currently works as a Research Officer at the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO.
At Recrear, he is responsible for seeking out opportunities to partner on or bid for projects, assist with grant proposals, sharing Recrear’s work with relevant networks and organizations around the world, especially those sharing an interest in youth work, civil society building and research.

Superpowers

When he’s not making waves in the youth sector, he’s penning mystique poetry, singing and writing.

Maria Gabriela Biscardi

Gaby is Recrear's Member Representative to the board.
Venezuelan and very proud of it. She's passionate about helping others reach their greatest potential. As a trained psychologist, facilitator and coach, she has worked with several consultancy groups in Venezuela and as a professor at Universidad de Carabobo. She's all about experiential learning, psychodrama and groups dynamics. Right now she is building her own organization, CreaPsique, aimed at supporting and expanding other consultancy groups' coaching and facilitation services.

Superpowers

She always finds the good in every situation. That also means she has the mystique ability to build good relationships with even the hardest-to-handle personalities.