Staff

US HQ:

Jenny Koleth

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.”

Taylor Wilson

Program Development & Marketing Intern: Taylor is currently a senior at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, pursuing a degree in both political science and sociology. She is passionate about social justice, international development, and public policy where her two majors meet. Taylor is also a swimmer for Villanova’s varsity swim and dive team. Taylor currently holds an internship position with the public policy team in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office as well. She is passionate about helping others and empowering women and at-risk youth, which Profugo allows her to pursue. Post graduation, she hopes to be preparing for a year-long trip to Bulgaria with a Fulbright Scholar English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Grant, where she can teach and conduct research before going to law school. When Taylor is not in the pool, she enjoys hiking, reading, and going to the movies.

Ellen Clewett

Program Development Intern: Ellen is an incoming sophomore at Michigan State University in East Lansing where she is pursuing a degree in Global Health and Nutrition.  She is passionate about health and wellness as well as helping people around the world.  Ellen hopes to be able to make the world a more sustainable and healthy place through food and agriculture.  She has volunteered with For You Haiti in the past and continues to help them with small projects.  She conducted home visits and shadowed their medical sponsorship program as well as being able to observe the school and Hungry Tummies project.  Haiti is where she feel in love with helping people and giving them the opportunities to better themselves and their communities.  Ellen hopes to work for a non-profit or global organization where she can help to empower communities around the globe and give them access to more opportunities.  Her other interests include food, reading, being outdoors, and cooking.

 

India Center of Development Field Partner PROFUGO Social Ventures (P) Ltd:

T D Peter

Director, Profugo Social Ventures Private Limited: Having grown up in the rural and rainy environs of God’s own country, Kerala, Peter joined the Civil Services in 1985, and served at various locations across India. After over a decade of experience with a non-profit international agricultural research organization in Hyderabad, he has returned to Wayanad in Kerala to team up with Profugo and the marginalized rural community in Prasanthagiri and Valad, and to help them harness opportunities for a better quality of life, education, health, skills development, and sustainable natural resources management. He oversees and manages the Center of Development (COD) at Valad, and is responsible for planning, supervision, training, business development, operations and administration of various programs, projects and initiatives of Profugo. His other interests include reading, writing, music, and spirituality.

Abhilash V. Thomas

Program Coordinator: 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.

Gilgy Peruyaporathu

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.

Mary George

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.

 

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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!!!

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