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.”
Communications & Program Development Intern: Calvin is a senior at SUNY University at Buffalo majoring in International Studies. Calvin found a love for India during a four-month backpacking trip he took there, during which he spent three weeks volunteering at an NGO in the province of Tamil Nadu. Here, he gained a passion to work towards reducing international poverty and promote sustainable development. Before transferring to the University at Buffalo, Calvin also spent time working at a ski resort in Colorado and selling solar panels in California. His current hobbies include learning French, playing ice hockey, and working part time at a skydiving center. Upon resuming his studies he has interned for a refugee resettlement center and taken classes in French and African studies. He is planning to apply to graduate schools this fall in Europe, where he plans on majoring in either sustainable development or non-profit management. He is excited to apply his experience towards Profugo, to learn from them, and develop his skills in working with an international NGO in which he resonates with.
Communications & Program Development Intern: Ani is a rising senior at the University of Virginia majoring in American Studies and minoring in Politics. During her time at U.Va., she has been able to shape her worldview through the examination of systems of power and the study of the diversity of humanity, both in the present and past. Driven by a desire to assist others and resolve social issues, she hopes to make an impact consistent with her worldview and the common good. Ani became interested in Profugo because of the fact that it is an international development initiative that seeks to collaborate with a local community as a means to eliminate the mechanisms that cause poverty and achieve a long-term impact. She is enthusiastic about using social media content to spread the word about Profugo and its objectives and employing blog posts as a space to discuss the organization’s initiatives and other pertinent international issues. In her free time, Ani likes to spend time with family and friends, go on walks, read, and cook.
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!!!