Executive Director and Co-Founder: While trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas in Yunnan province, China, Jenny fell in love with the rich culture and stories of the ethnic minority groups of Dali and Lijiang (Yunnan has 51 different ethnic groups!). Since that trip many years back, she’s seized cross-cultural opportunities whenever possible, exploring Tibetan Buddhism, teaching in Afghanistan, and marrying an Indian man. Her professional experience includes 12+ years in the publishing industry. As the ED, she is responsible for the overall strategy and operation of Profugo’s staff, projects, and mission. She is passionate about people finding their “voice.”
Fundraising & Program Development Intern: Eloise is a rising senior at Dickinson College studying Education (with a concentration in Educational Policy), Philosophy, and Spanish. At Dickinson, she is a member of the Women’s Varsity Squash team and is a member of both the Education and Spanish honor societies. From her previous internship at a non-profit organization supporting children in the foster-care system, she has developed a strong passion for helping to provide a better quality of life for those in need. Eloise was drawn to Profugo by its mission and values, and is looking forward to working on projects that will make lasting positive impacts on the Wayanad community. As an Education major, she is especially excited to learn more about and participate in developing Profugo’s educational programs regarding health and wellness, social entrepreneurship, English language, and sustainability. In her free time, Eloise enjoys playing squash and tennis, cooking, going on hikes, and spending time with family and friends.
Communications & Program Development Intern: Amy is a graduate student at Savannah College of Art and Design studying Advertising and Branding. She is passionate about using visual communication to amplify the stories of those making a positive change in the world. In a previous life, she lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and worked as a freelance Graphic Designer. One of her favorite opportunities she encountered while living there working as a designer for a nonprofit that provided tutoring, community resources, and mentorship to middle school students. What she loved about that job is what she has come to love about Profugo: finding new ways to connect people to the variety of opportunities that surround them and sharing resources to learn and grow as a community. She is eager to share Profugo’s mission and story via social media and hopes to open some new doors for our global neighborhood. In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring nature, locally and abroad, photography, drawing, cooking, live music, and spending time with family and friends.
Program Development Intern: Lavinia is a senior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in International Studies and double minoring in Political Science and Italian. Throughout her years at Loyola, she was able to further expand her knowledge on international relations, global health, immigration, and humanitarian action, allowing her to develop curiosity and passion for helping others in need. Inequalities in the world have made her inspired to deepen her understanding in world crises and human rights so that one day she will be able to contribute to reduce poverty, mortality rate, hunger and promote global health and well-being. She is hoping that by applying her knowledge and skills to Profugo’s projects, she will be able to promote its mission and values, as well as help in providing resources and tools to communities so that they can have more opportunities to live a better quality of life. In her free time, Lavinia likes to read, meet new people and travel to new places.
India Center of Development Field Partner PROFUGO Social Ventures (P) Ltd:
Lukka Thurayil Ouseph
Director: A “Loyola” alumnus with Social Work post-graduation and experienced in sectors like Livelihood, Microfinance, HIV/AIDS, Sustainable Energy, Skill Development, Natural Resource Management, Agriculture & Allied Activities. Held catalytic roles in Promoting Livelihood Mission, Community Organization, Empowering the Marginalized, Evolving Management Information System, and Calibrating development interventions.
Embraced social work profession by choice with dream of working with communities in rural settings, Lukka has been in the sector for more than 25 years. Had associated with Development Organisations, Trusts, NGO MFIs, RBI approved MFIs, Farmer Producer Company, Impact investor and Atal Incubation Centre during the career journey.
As Lead Consultant and Trainer in Micro Finance, Public Health, and Participatory Approaches, associated with August Consulting Inc. New York, Virutcham Microfinance Limited, CAPAART, Rashtriya Mahila Khosh (RMK), National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC), Friends of Women World Banking (FWWB), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Kerala State AIDS Control Society, and Loyola College of Social Sciences.
Abhilash V. Thomas
Program Manager: Abhilash was born and brought up in Wayanad, Kerala. Having majored in graduate studies with English from the University of Madras, he went on to earn a Diploma in Small Business Management from National Institute of Technology, Calicut, before signing up with Wayanad Social Service Society as Project Coordinator of Organic Farming and later as Purchase Manager of its Organic Spices Export Division. After a 5-year stint, he served briefly with ING Vysya Life Insurance Company, and then with Ashley Tea Estate as Assistant Manager. His love for English beckoned him to spend five years as a teacher at Al Buraimi Institute of Science and Technology, Oman. Family circumstances brought him back home in Wayanad, and that’s when he joined Profugo COD as Program Coordinator in early 2017. Abhilash helps with planning, launching, monitoring, and reviewing various projects that the COD rolls out from time to time to empower the rural community. He also supervises the Tailoring Unit and ELS Spoken English, besides Accounting and Book-keeping.
Operations Coordinator: Gilgy oversees the daily operation of the Center of Development, acts as the in-house handyman, and assists in all official matters. He and his family have a long history of farming.
Program Associate: Mary is a daughter of the soil, hailing from Prashanthagiri Village where Profugo first set up its COD. She has, since then, been the king-pin of COD’s Tailoring Unit in her multi-hued capacities and responsibilities as the supervisor, tailoring training instructor, fabric designer and cutting-master, et al., in collaboration with team members and field volunteers. Other daily chores include management of the production center, book-keeping, quality checking, and dispatching. Mary started her career as a tailor at a local garments production center, then as Tailoring Instructor at a local institute, and later as center supervisor at a readymade nightie production unit run by the District Industrial Development Center.
Admin & Accounts Officer: Binish grew up in Wayanad and graduated with a degree in Commerce from the University of Calicut. He also earned a Master Degree in Business from the University of Mysore. He has over 18 years of experience working as Accountant and Internal Auditor for various organizations in Mysore. He has been with Profugo COD team since 2017 as Administration and Accounts Officer.
Friends of Profugo
We’d also like to mention the Friends of Profugo, who are an integral part of our team! They are the many dedicated and passionate volunteers who have helped Profugo become what it is today. They are not only a part of the Profugo community, but we consider them Friends of Profugo. We rely on their support and can’t thank these individuals enough for the commitment they have shown towards Profugo’s mission and making the world a better place. THANK YOU!!!