Structure and People
Lalibela Trust is a registered UK charity No 1147147. It raises funds for its own projects and provides on-site Management for all the projects of the Australian charity, Create Impact. This sharing of management by two NGOs which are not competing for funds undoubtedly saves costs and allows more projects to be achieved than would otherwise be possible.
The Lalibela Trust UK team comprises Neil Johnson – Chair, Ros Johnson -Treasurer, plus Norman Coward and Carole Andrews, volunteers.
The Ethiopian team comprises Derebe Getaneh overall Project Manager and Hiwot Minlikalew Finance Manager.
The Ethiopia team is small because all construction projects are undertaken by contractors selected from a pool which the Project Manager has identified over the years. These contractors are very loyal and praise Lalibela Trust’s rapid decision-making, constructive comment, and prompt payment.
create / impact
Create Impact is an Australian NGO which has been working in and around Lalibela since 2009. The Lalibela Trust team in Ethiopia manage Create Impact’s projects, which are mainly in Education and Health, alongside their own. Their Founding Director and Project manager is Georgina Fenton, who visits Ethiopia annually when such travel is permitted.
Neil forAfter graduating from Drama School, Neil spent ten years working as an Actor in Theatre and Television. He has worked as a producer, consultant & coach in the conference and communications industry, including for the BBC and the Tate Gallery. Alongside these activities he specialises in coaching public speaking and presentation skills. In this he has worked with a number of executives of blue-chip companies at board level and also teachers and lawyers. More recently Neil worked as a teacher in both secondary and primary schools.
Neil keeps abreast of business developments through on-going study with the Open University and Cranfield School of Management. He achieved the Professional Diploma in Management and a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA).
In 2012, while working at Millfield School in Somerset , Neil met Dr Hugh Sharp, Chairman of Lalibela Trust, and this meeting culminated in him organising 3 School Trips to Lalibela between 2013 and 2015. Since leaving Millfield, Neil has continued to work to support Lalibela Trust and its projects and is delighted to be taking over the running of the Trust from this year.
Ros trained at the UK’s Central School of Speech and Drama as a teacher and voice coach and quickly developed the skills she learnt there to build up a range of clients working in the field of creativity and the generation of ideas.
She worked in Theatre for 15 years before becoming a teacher. Ros co-founded Naxos Creative jointly with Neil Johnson,which combines their wide range of experiences in developing new creative ideas and ways of working.
After visiting Lalibela with Neil, she set up the Athena Project there, which identifies and funds the most promising and most needy students in poor, mainly rural, schools to attend the High School in Lalibela town. There they can complete Grades 8 to 12 and hence attend a University or Technical College. The results from Athena are already showing the huge potential of many young Ethiopians, if only they can get the secure food and shelter,books, etc. which Athena provides.
Finance Manager, Ethiopia
Hiwot has a 4-year diploma in Law and had several roles in local government before qualifying as a Prosecutor. She manages Lalibela Trust’s bookkeeping and banking. She also volunteers with a local co-operative as Anti-HIV AIDS Coordinator.
Project Manager, Ethiopia
Born in Lalibela, Derebe has a university degree and has managed all our projects since 2011. He has built a strong reputation for hard work and reliability and is highly respected by all the Department Heads with whom we work.
Policy and Development
Norman has worked in and around Lalibela since 2000, following careers in agriculture and banking in the UK and USA, finally as Agriculture Director of HSBC Bank. He visits Lalibela 3-4 times a year, often with Carole Andrews. He and Carole started working in conjunction with Lalibela Trust in 2012.
Administration Manager UK
Carole has had a range of Personal Assistant posts in her career, leading to PA to the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral and finally to Princess Michael of Kent. She now undertakes administrative work for Lalibela Trust and often visits Lalibela.
The UK team receive no salary or expenses and pay all administration costs including travel, accommodation, and communication; plus the salaries of the Management Team in Ethiopia and the purchase, replacement, and running costs of their 4WD vehicle, from their own resources.
As a result, all donations go 100% to the beneficiaries. All buildings and clean water projects are handed over to the community on completion.