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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.

One member of the committee has 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.

Cathy Ketepa

Ms. Cathy Ketepa is the National Coordinator for Friends Frangipani Inc. and is from Papua New Guinea. Cathy, as a former sex worker and Human Rights Defender, is very active in the field of sex worker rights and is committed to the meaningful participation of female, male and transgender sex workers, including those living with HIV. She is currently the President for Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers and a public speaker at all levels of the PNG government nationally and internationally and on camera by request.  

Cathy has been PAC Member for Red Umbrella Fund from 2018-2021 as a representative of Aisa and the Pacific Region. From 2014 onwards, she is also a representative for KP Community members on the CCM-PNG for Global Fund and since 2017 she is Chairlady for the National Key Population Advocacy Consortium. 

Kamila Zakhidova

Bio to follow.

Nana Abuelsoud
Nana Abuelsoud is a feminist and a population and reproductive rights researcher based in Egypt. She is a member of Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice (RESURJ) and is on the Advisory Board of the A Project in Lebanon. Nana follows and contextualizes national population policies, and builds evidence that addresses modern eugenics, regressive international aid and authoritarianism. 
 Through her role as a Programs and Advocacy Coordinator in RESURJ, Nana co-organizes young feminist spaces, connects feminists from different movements across regions, and co-builds transnational South feminist analyses on intergovernmental and policy making spaces. Previously she was part of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and Ikhtyar Feminist Collective. Nana loves reading, learning Spanish, and taking walks. 
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.

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.

Stacy Velásquez

Stacy Velásquez is a Salvadoran Trans Feminist leader living in Guatemala for 17 years and has developed several bills in favor of LGBTI populations. She has also been a consultant for OIM Argentina and Guatemala and is currently Executive Director of OTRANS-RN.