Our Team

Our project coordinator, Dr Emua Ali, currently manages all aspects of the organisation including the recruitment and development of mentors, recruitment of mentees, matching and supervision.

Emua has worked with adult learners in Africa and Europe in higher education, management training and community education for many years. She has run mentoring projects for women in local communities. She has done research in to gender equality among Somali women refugees in London, and the educational needs of Somali refugee pupils in the London Borough of Camden. She has worked as a business coach for a European project in East London to help women set up their own businesses.

Our management committee provides strategic direction and guidance for the organisation.

Liz Baltesz is independent consultant working with professional service firms and not for profit organisations, developing senior leaders and their teams.  She is an experienced coach and has supported many clients in setting up their own businesses.  Liz has introduced mentoring schemes into organisations and trained people to become mentors.  She is currently researching gender inequality in professional partnerships.  Her passions include travel, music, cooking and knitting.

Mamataj Begum is a civil servant, with experience in legislation, contract management and climate negotiations. Previously, she undertook internships in corporate social responsibility and research in philanthropy. As a member of the Faith and Belief Forum’s Youth Council, she plans the annual Interfaith Summit and activities bringing together young people interested in faith and belief. She campaigns on youth engagement in national and international climate policy, with a UK based NGO.

Amanda Couper is Senior Lawyer with 15 years experience practising both at a city firm, Clifford Chance and then in a number of multinational companies, specialising in corporate finance, intellectual property and general commercial contracts. She has been involved with several start up businesses and has held a number of managerial and director level positions. She has passion for travel and an interest in international development.

Thuraya El Kozeh has years of experience as a social entrepreneur in Italy, working at grassroots level to raise awareness of intercultural dynamics and interfaith integration. Specializing in curriculum design and development, she has managed a range of learning programmes and cultural events for different audiences. Thuraya is a Further and Higher Education business studies lecturer at Morley College, specialising in strategic management in the non-for-profit sector. She supports adult refugees and migrants to resettle and rebuild their lives through entrepreneurial ventures.

Kirsten Pansegrouw After qualifying as lawyer and accountant, Kirsten has spent the last 20 years in the mergers and acquisition sector within the financial services industry: initially in South Africa and then in the City of London, after settling in the UK in 2007. She is now a freelance consultant after her last full-time position as Head of Corporate Finance at the FTSE 100 Old Mutual Group, which delisted in 2018.

Anna Reisenberger is a freelance consultant mainly working with refugee groups in the UK and on migrant issues in Europe. Previously she was Director of Policy and Development at the Refugee Council. For many years she taught adult learners, becoming a Vice Principal, and then a researcher and programme manager at national level. She has been a mentor for community group leaders, teachers and other women in and out of work.

Cat Turhan is a policy analyst at the Russell Group who works to support disadvantaged and underrepresented people accessing research intensive universities. Prior to that she worked for the National Union of Students, and GuildHE – as well as living and working in Munich. She is passionate advocate for the transformative power of education. Alongside Laamiga, she also acts as a governor for a girls comprehensive secondary school in Camden.

With deep sadness we mourn the untimely death, in 2015, of our beloved colleague and friend Susie Parsons. She was at the heart of Laamiga. Her dynamism and legendary generosity empowered us during challenging times. She touched many women’s lives through Laamiga with her fundraising, mentoring and support. Her career spanned the voluntary and public sectors, local government and the health service, including as former Chief Executive of the Commission for Racial Equality, London Lighthouse and the Campaign for Learning. We will never forget her.



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