Mama Cash is thrilled to announce that Happy Mwende Kinyili will become one of our new co-Executive Directors on 1 July. Two co-Executive Director (co-ED) positions are being created in 2022 to coincide with a leadership transition, as our current Executive Director, zohra moosa, is leaving Mama Cash by the end of 2022, after a period of almost ten years with us. Mama Cash sees this moment of leadership transition as an opportunity to live our value of sharing power by embracing a special model of co-executive leadership: one co-Executive Director will come from and be based in the Global South, and the other will be based in the Netherlands.

Happy, who has worked with Mama Cash for the past eight years, will be our first co-Executive Director from the Global South. They have filled a variety of roles at Mama Cash, most recently, since 2017, as Director of Programmes and a member of the Management Team. Prior to joining Mama Cash, Happy worked with UHAI, the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative, an activist fund supporting Eastern African LGBTQI+ and sex workers’ movements. Happy is very excited to be stepping into the co-ED role to support Mama Cash to continue living our mission in a complex world because, as Happy puts it simply, ‘the work of Mama Cash matters.’

‘The world today is in flux, and we are facing unprecedented challenges: capitalism ever more acutely ravages our lives and our lands, patriarchy continues to constrict our liberation work, white supremacy destroys the lives and hopes of billions around the world, and the climate crisis threatens to make our world unrecognisable in the very near future. We need strong and coordinated social movements to create the just, joyful, liberated futures that we all envision and long for. Movements and activists – agitators for justice – need resources that are offered in ways that meet their needs and that they can access. That is where Mama Cash comes in. We unlock money from sources like the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs or from high net worth individuals that others might have a harder time accessing. And then we make the money reachable and usable through simplified processes so that feminist groups can get on with their world-changing work.’

‘Mama Cash matters because we show up for the feminist movements that are both resisting the forces that threaten the well-being of people and planet – and also doing the visioning and hopeful work of reclaiming and generating alternatives. We listen to them and back them in the ways they tell us they need to be backed. We try to meet groups where they are and work with them on the journey that they have set out for themselves.’

Happy is enthusiastic about the possibilities that this new model of leadership opens up for Mama Cash. ‘Our new model of shared leadership creates a partnership, and it is appealing because it will allow Mama Cash to draw on the complementary skills, resources, and reserves of two people as co-Executive Directors. I think that will put us in an even stronger position to robustly support the movements that we love.’

Happy and zohra will work together as co-Executive Directors starting in July while Mama Cash continues the process of identifying a second new co-ED based in the Netherlands. Recruitment for this position is set to begin in May 2022.