Our people

Our trustees

Susan Durston is an advisor in education and committed to equity in and through education in its broadest sense. She has been associated with CHILD to CHILD for many years, participating in materials and strategy development, and a board member since 2013. Her professional experience spans primary school teaching, University lecturing, and extensive programme management and technical long-term field experience in low income countries. Her long-term experience has been in Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, India and Nepal, from where she also undertook frequent additional assignments in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives and Bhutan. Short-term assignments, which she still undertakes, have taken her additionally to Nigeria, Botswana, Indonesia, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands, and to Turkey (over 5 years) to evaluate UNICEF’s contribution to the education of Syrian refugees. As the former Associate Director, Education Programmes and Global Chief of Education for UNICEF. She led many initiatives, was UNICEF alternate member of the Board for the Global Partnership for Education, and co-chaired the Global Education Cluster, for Education in Emergencies.

She has worked for DFID, the European Commission, and at country, region and headquarters in UNICEF. In two previous postings, she had the opportunity to work in the health sector as well as the education sector, and situates her views in political economy as well as practice. She likes to work in a team and to mentor younger colleagues. Her passion now is building the capacity of children to participate their communities and realise their rights, through CHILD to CHILD, an organisation committed to child participation.

A national of the U.K. (Wales), she now lives in France, near Geneva Switzerland. She is a graduate of Cambridge, The Open University and London University Institute of Education in the U.K., and she carries on the Welsh tradition of choral singing.

CelineCeline Vatterott Woznica, Director of Child to Child of the Americas based in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Celine’s responsibilities include developing a network of programmes throughout the Americas that incorporate Child-to-Child methodology and the promotion of rights-based participation of children in issues that affect them. Since first participating in a Child to Child trainers’ workshop in Nicaragua in 1982, she has developed Child to Child programmes in Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and inner-city Chicago and Gary, Indiana. She has provided numerous workshops on Child-to-Child methodology and the creation of spaces and techniques to allow for children to express themselves and be heard. Celine lived and worked for 11 years in Latin America, including Honduras, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Mexico. In addition to Child-to-Child methodology, her other areas of expertise include the training of community health workers, immigrant and refugee health needs, popular education techniques, and Freirian methodology. She earned her MPH and DrPH from the University of Illinois School of Public Health.

Helen Walker has been working with Child to Child as an Early Childhood Advisor since 2014. She has worked in children’s programmes for many years and developed training and resource materials with a particular focus on equity and inclusion. Helen also has experience working in HIV/AIDS programmes supporting adolescents and young people. She currently lives in Melbourne and works in children’s services addressing poverty and disadvantage.

Sarah Mahoney is the Fundraising Trustee at Child to Child. She works in stakeholder engagement and public affairs for PR agency, Social Communications. Having worked in fundraising for educational charities for the past eight years, alongside her role at Social, she continues to work in consultant roles for the third sector.

Emili Budell-Rhodes is the Digital Trustee at Child to Child. In her day job, Emili holds a global technology strategy role as Lead Evangelist for Engineering Culture at LexisNexis Legal & Professional, a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information that advances the rule of law around the world.

Emili’s multi-faceted, international experience spans the public, non-profit and private sectors. She has experience of youth empowerment work from both frontline and programme management roles, and she used to head up the corporate community programme at RELX plc, which had the core mission to advance education for disadvantaged young people. Emili holds a BA in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris and an MA in Migration Studies from the University of Sussex.

Our staff

nirusiya-shaathvegan-project-officerNiru Shaathvegan, Network Coordinator

Niru is a dedicated child rights professional, passionate about engaging in the initiatives to protect the rights and well-being of children and young people. Niru studied at Sri Lanka Law College (2009), gaining a First Class Honours degree in Law and was later awarded a scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Law (LL.M) at University of Wales. In addition, Niru also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations, Sociology and Economics from the University of Colombo. Niru started her career as a Legal Officer for ChildLine, Sri Lanka and later worked as Project Officer for a community based Child Protection and Child Development project funded by GIZ, Sri Lanka. Having established her career goals in the field of children’s rights and child protection, Niru has since completed an MSc in Children and Young People from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. She first joined Child to Child as an intern on the Child Rights Capacity Development programme and now, as Technical Advisor, plays a key role in developing and implementing Child to Child’s work.

Our consultants


Grazyna Bonati has worked with Child to Child for over 20 years, in many regions of the world – as she can work in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. After working at Child to Child for over four years, she began freelancing and extended her range of training skills to cover Child Participation; Child Rights; Working with Children; Gender Issues; Advocacy; HIV/AIDS; Memory Books; Orphans and Vulnerable Children; Disaster Risk Reduction and Non-Violent Conflict Resolution. Grazyna trains people who work with children to do so in a participatory way, and involve them increasingly in community development, whether in terms of health education or more general themes. She has also been involved in project design, evaluating projects and particularly in looking for ways forward to improve project work. She has written several manuals and helped in the production of others.

CarolynCarolyn Conway has been working to promote the rights and participation of children and young people since 2006 when her association with Child to Child began. She has been teaching and training teachers for over 25 years, writing teacher training manuals and designing courses for teachers in Europe and Asia, primarily in Laos and Bangladesh. She completed a Master’s degree in Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, University of London in 2006. She managed Child to Child’s Hearing All Voices programme which supported UK schools to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children and young people. She is writing professional development materials to introduce coaching techniques as a way for adults to enhance their support of young people’s participation and develop their social and emotional learning. She is especially committed to transforming working practices in schools to make them more participatory environments in which young people have a voice.

Peter DPeter Dixon is an independent consultant and trainer on child rights and child rights programming with more than 35 years’ experience in International Development, including 14 as a country director with VSO (Uganda and Belize), Sight Savers (East and Southern Africa Region) and Save the Children (Nepal and Sri Lanka). Peter has facilitated many strategic planning processes, with thematic, country or regional scope, involving programme reviews and the facilitation of child rights situation analyses. He has been a principal author in several publications, including, Leave No Child Out,  Action for the Rights of the ChildChild Rights Situation Analysis Guidelines, as well as the design and delivery of online child rights focused courses for Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) and others. For the past 7 years he has been part of the Child to Child team supporting the “6 Principles” Child Rights Capacity Development Programme supporting 60 Oak Grantees working in the field of Child Abuse to build their capacity to better apply child rights principles in their work.


 Annabel TrappAnnabel Trapp has been working to promote the rights of children since 2005, with particular focus supporting the application of child rights-based approaches in organisations working with children. She joined Child to Child in 2015 to manage a capacity building project supporting over 60 organisations (based in East Africa and Eastern Europe) to operationalise child rights principles, and to facilitate the project’s emerging community of practice. She also represents Child to Child on the steering group of the INGO Children’s Participation Forum. Annabel has an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS, University of London and MA in Social Anthropology with Development from the University of Edinburgh. She lives near Amsterdam.

ClaireClaire O’Kane has been an international child rights consultant since 2011, after working for Save the Children for many years. She is a qualified social worker with two decades of international experience in child rights, participation, protection, care and peace building work in development and emergency contexts, particularly in Asia and Africa. Claire has particular expertise in supporting child-led organisations, networks and partnerships with adults enabling children and young people to be recognised as active citizens. Her 50 publications include: Guidelines for children’s participation in humanitarian programming, Save the Children 2013; Children and Young People as Citizens: Partners for Social Change, Save the Children, 2003.

SandySandy Ruxton is an independent policy advisor and researcher, based in Oxford, UK. For Child to Child, he recently managed the child-led strand of a European Commission funded study on child participation, led by Ecorys. He is currently advisor to an Open University ESRC research project ‘Beyond Male Role Models: Gender Identities and Work with Young Men’. Sandy has worked for over ten years as an independent consultant to a wide range of UK and international NGOs and public sector organisations. He has an established track record of policy-orientated research and writing along with extensive advocacy experience, both at UK and EU level. He has also worked in project management; capacity-building and strategy development; and has strong experience as an evaluator. Prior to becoming a consultant in 2007, he was Policy and Communications Manager with Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme. Sandy’s publications include: The Involvement of Men in Gender Equality Initiatives in the European Union, European Institute for Gender Equality, 2012; Governance Fit for Children, Save the Children Sweden, 2011; Man Made: men, masculinities and equality in public policy, Coalition on Men and Boys, 2009; and What About Us? Children’s Rights in the European Union, Euronet, 2006.


Anise Waljee has conducted consultancies in various domains, including environmental and health education, early childhood education, inclusive education policy and practice, and organisational change and strategic planning in and for various NGOs in London, Lebanon and Pakistan. Born and brought up in Dar es Salaam, Anise worked in the British civil service on employment services for disabled people before being introduced to a career in education. Among her many roles over the years, she managed the Agha Khan Foundation education programme for Tajikistan, working with the government to reform the education system; her role as team manager included oversight of curriculum and materials development, educational management, community mobilisation, capacity building, facilitating decentralisation and school autonomy. Anise worked in East Africa, Canada, East Timor, Albania and Central Asia, and speaks fluent English, Urdu, Tajik and Kiswahili. Her personal interests include literature, music, theatre, photography and storytelling to name a few.


SonalSonal Zaveri, PhD, is an international advisor to Child to Child and to the feminist evaluators’ network. Based in India, she is an independent consultant and evaluator, founder member and secretary of the Community of Evaluators South Asia. She writes, trains and presents on issues of rights, participation, and gender and on the use of utilisation-focused evaluation, feminist evaluation and participatory, empowerment, and transformative approaches. Her sector expertise is varied – in early childhood development, school health, inclusive and participatory education, HIV, sexual and reproductive health, life skills, child safeguarding and social protection. Sonal’s work experience spans over twenty countries across Asia, East and West Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central Asia, Middle East and Eastern Europe with governmental, non-governmental organisations, INGOs, foundations, the UN and multilaterals.


IMG_2945Penny Boreham is an experienced radio producer and broadcaster and has been the series editor of ‘Pikin to Pikin Tok’, and more recently ‘Fambul Tok’. She also produced and presented an hour long BBC World service documentary about ‘Pikin to Pikin Tok’. She is an award-winning radio documentary maker and radio drama producer, working for both the BBC World Service and BBC Radio Four. For fifteen of her thirty years working in radio, Penny was a Senior Producer at the BBC World Service.  Penny is passionate about using radio and audio to empower children to share ideas and speak their mind. As a result of this, she launched her own charity ‘SoundAffects’ to enable children to connect cross-culturally, and share their ideas and dialogue about their deepest concerns. She has worked extensively for the Open University, creating podcasts with academics in order to enable them to talk accessibly, but still subtly, about their research. Penny is also experienced as a trainer, mentoring younger radio journalists.

Violet Mugisa has a 30-year experience working with children in and out of schools using different methodologies of participatory development. She has experience in using the Child-to-Child approach to health or children’s rights and in integrating PRA, PLA, LFA, with Child-to-Child approach to come up with community-led projects for children. She has also worked in project design, implementation and monitoring; materials design and production; and project evaluation. Violet has facilitated workshops and training – with the use of Visualization in Participatory Programming – and child participation programmes. She has also supervised teachers’ teaching, trained teachers in participatory teaching methods and trained caregivers in pedagogy skills, i.e. Mediated learning experiences (MLE). She has worked extensively with Save the Children, Plan International, UNICEF, WHO, World Vision, Comic Relief etc. and is currently a freelancer.

Leila Billing is a child and youth rights professional. She has eight years’ experience of designing, developing and implementing programmes across a wide variety of thematic areas, including child protection, governance, HIV and AIDS, education, livelihoods and sexual and reproductive health. She has specific expertise in youth engagement and participation, conflict and post-conflict settings, fragile states and gender. She has a Masters Degree in Gender and Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies and has experience of working in many countries across sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Nepal, Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you are looking to join our team, please see our Work & Volunteering opportunities here.