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The Community Committee

The Community Committee (COM COM) is Mama Cash’s participatory grantmaking decision-making body run for and by activists with experience in feminist movements. The COM COM makes decisions about who receives funding from the Mama Cash’s Resilience Fund, which provides core/general support to the groups, collectives and organisations led by women, girls, trans people and intersex people. Community Committee members also contribute to the grantmaking programme by providing thematic, issue, regional, linguistic and other context analyses in case of need, and by reflecting on the participatory grantmaking programme as we go to learn how to improve our processes. 

The Committee is dedicated to creating a collective space driven by feminist values, including transparency, dialogue, and respect. Members of the Committee serve up to 3 years and receive an annual stipend to cover the costs related to their participation in Community Committee meetings and opportunities to enhance their feminist activism as part of a fellowship programme. 

The inaugural committee is composed of 11 individuals who are former Mama Cash grantee partners or advisory members from diverse backgrounds, geographies, thematic expertise, languages, gender identities and sexual orientations.

Three members of the committee have chosen to stay anonymous.

Meet the Community Committee:

Abira Ashfaq

Abira Ashfaq is a feminist and labour rights activist from Pakistan. Abira has worked in the field of human rights for over a decade, focusing on the struggles of migrant women, home-based women workers, working on housing rights, and climate justice. Abira is a law professor at the Institute of Business Administration teaching international human rights.

She is currently a member of the socialist feminist group -
Women's Democratic Front, and part of the informal alliance Save Karachi Movement, working to address a wave of anti-poor, anti-rural evictions and land grab directed against marginalised communities. Abira has been engaged in policy and research work on legislative and judicial efforts to address protection of children from exploitation, and has written avidly on sexual violence including analysing the sexual harassment law, domestic violence, and rape law. Abira speaks English and Urdu.

Alejandra Sardá-Chandriramani

Alejandra Sardá-Chandiramani is a feminist and sexual rights activist from Argentina; currently residing in Uruguay. She has been active in the feminist, lesbian and anti-capitalist movements nationally, regionally, and internationally since the early '90s. Alejandra has a long trajectory of activism in different spaces, from the streets to the UN and feminist funders. Alejandra worked at Mama Cash for 5 years, developing the Women’s Funds programme.

She is a Board Member for Akahatá-Equipo de Sexualidades y Géneros and is an Advisor to RESURJ. Alejandra is a strong ally to the sex-worker and trans movements. She was the Co-Creating Feminist Realities/Forum Director at AWID until February 2021 and has now retired from full-time NGO activism, but not from what she loves most - being an activist and doing translations. She is a professional translator and uses language as a political tool that contributes to greater access to and equality within social movements. Alejandra speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, and can read and write in French. Alejandra writes novels, loves history, folk music, dancing and walking by the river/sea.

Boglarka Fedorko

Boglarka Fedorko is a queer Romani sex-worker rights activist from Hungary. An archaeologist and economist by training, she has more than ten years of experience in the civil sector advocating for the rights of migrant sex-workers, LGBTIQ and Roma communities in Europe. She has worked at the grassroots as well as the international level, delivering training and campaigns on gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive rights, and the decriminalisation of sex work.

Since 2016, Boglarka is an Advocacy Officer for the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) and is undertaking consultancies for the Global Action for Trans Equality, ILGA-Europe, and Phiren Amenca. Boglarka is an Alfred Landecker Democracy Fellow, conducting an online talk show series about the stereotyping and othering of those who are pushed to the margins by populist and fascist factions in an increasingly unequal and divided Hungary. Boglarka speaks Hungarian, English, German, and is passionate about arts and design.

Natia Gvianishvili

Natia Gvianishvili is one of the first publicly open lesbian feminist activists from Georgia; currently residing in Sweden. Natia has been actively engaged with local, regional and international LGBTIQ and feminist movements for over 10 years; her work ranges from community mobilisation, research, visibility work, building solidarity to lobby and advocacy. Natia is a former Executive Director of Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG) – a Georgian LBTQ organisation, and is proud of the work she’s done as a bold human rights activist through WISG, including advocating for LGBTQI rights and the right to live free from violence and discrimination.

She currently works at RFSL - The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights, with a specific focus on organisations programme in Eastern Europe, that includes advocacy, mapping the conservative opposition in the region and working on response strategies. Natia is a Board member of EL*C - EuroCentralAsian Lesbian* Community. Natia is a strong proponent of the
do no harm principle, intersectional feminism and collective care that she believes are prerequisites for the sustainable movements. Natia is a professional translator fluent in Georgian, English, Russian, Swedish and Italian.

Nthabiseng Mokoena

Nthabiseng Mokoena is a a black genderqueer, non-binary intersex person from South Africa. Nthabiseng is a feminist and digital rights activist working on gender, gender identity, sex characteristics issues as they intersect with race, class, the law and technology. They have extensive experience in community organising and policy making both regionally and internationally. Being an intersex activist since 2011, Nthabiseng has been providing support to intersex persons in South Africa through Transgender and Intersex Africa (2012-2018) and through Intersex South Africa (2018-2020).

They are currently a member of Intersex South Africa (ISSA), providing strategic support to the management committee and the organisation. Their current occupation focuses on technology and data for social justice. This includes raising digital literacy for human rights and access to technology for social justice initiatives. They are a strong proponent of participatory decision making and served at the grantmaking panels of The Other Foundation, Astraea's Intersex Human Rights Fund and The Africa Regional Grant on HIV. Their favorite quote by Audre Lorde reads: "If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive." Nthabiseng is fluent in English, Setswana, Sesotho and isiZulu.

Perla Vázquez

Perla Vázquez, is a Mexican Feminist activist and human rights defender. Her passion is focused on economic justice, the strengthening of social movements especially for children and youth, the defense and promotion of the Sexual Rights of girls and young people, Feminist coaching & healing, and popular education processes. For the last 17 years, she has collaborated as a defender of Human Rights in Mexico in connection and alliance with the youth and feminist movements of Latin America. She has experience in partnerships with the philanthropic community in the Global South, especially in the areas of girls' rights, and youth with partners such as Mama Cash, Global Fund for Women, Plan International, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

For the last 10 years, she has been involved with the philanthropic community, contributing to the discussion from the Global South about equity and economic justice. Her most valuable experiences in this area include the creation and consolidation of FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, Luchadoras MX, and, most recently, the strategic direction and leadership of the Central America and Mexico Youth Fund. She founded the Sukuamis Cooperative of wisdom and healing, a group of Global South Activists that joined forces to strengthen the hearts, voices and efforts of political and social movements and activists. She also is an advisor for Fondo Semillas and Global Fund for Women. She has a Master's in International Development Cooperation, with a specialty in mapping individual donors and funds from the Global South. She also has a BA in Public Policy, with a specialty in Youth and Juvenicide. She speaks English and Spanish.

Sanjar Kurmanov

Sanjar Kurmanov is a trans activist and a community organiser from Kyrgyzstan; currently residing in California, USA. Sanjar has been active advocate for the LGBTIQ rights in Central Asia and Eastern Europe for over 10 years now. Living with multiple identities of being a Muslim, Central Asian and a trans person, Sanjar’s lived experience has been shaping his ongoing fight for the violence and discrimination of people with intersecting identities.

Sanjar built his expertise on trans-advocacy, and with the support of trans communities and allies, was able to receive approval of protocols by the Ministry of Health in Kyrgyzstan. Sanjar has held a number of executive, decision-making and advisory roles: he is a former director of Labrys Kyrgyzstan, a member of a Grantmaking Panel and an interim Steering Committee at International Trans Fund, an interim Board member of Trans* Coalition in the Post-Soviet Space, and a project manager at Transgender Europe. Sanjar has also been developing partnerships with the sex workers movement, and drug user communities. Sanjar speaks Kyrgyz, Russian, and English.

Thandiwe Chidavarume

Thandiwe Chidavarume is a feminist and an environmental justice activist from Zimbabwe. Having lived in rural areas most of her life, Thandiwe has been working with rural women from various cultural backgrounds, religious affiliations and sexuality for the past 15 years. Her work has been focusing on women’s land rights, community mobilization, movement building, monitoring and evaluation. She has been actively lobbying the government and corporations to respect the women’s right to land and resources and to stop land grabbing practices of the mining companies.

Thandiwe is a member of the International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa (IANRA), a founding member of Womin- (an alliance of women in mining affected communities), a founding member of Rural Women's Assembly in Zimbabwe, and a Board member of RWA - Southern Africa and ZILAN. She is currently working with the Women and Land in Zimbabwe (WLiZ) which is a rural women's organisation addressing unequal ownership of, and control over land and natural resources. With Thandiwe’s leadership, WLiZ fights for women’s right to land and natural resources and women’s participation in decision making at all levels. Thandiwe speaks English and Shona.