Susie Ventris-Field – Chief Executive
With a passion for involving people in internationalism, Susie leads the WCIA, and has been involved in the organisation since getting involved as a volunteer in 2013. Her career in the third sector has included work in gender equality, education and inclusion in Wales, England, South Korea and Eritrea.
I’m constantly inspired by the people in Wales who give their time, energy and experience to creating a fairer and more peaceful world. At the WCIA, we want to build on these fantastic examples and get more people involved so Wales can continue to punch above its weight as a globally responsible nation.
Shaela Ismail – Finance Manager
Shaela has a background in finance, having previously worked for the University of Leicester as a Project Finance Officer supporting the financial management of large research grants and as finance assistant at Tenovus Cancer Charity.
At the WCIA Shaela is part of the creation of a Finance Office, establishing procedures, and helps identify how the finance office can support the WCIA and the other projects. Shaela is currently studying her AAT Accountancy qualification Certificate in Accounting to further develop her accountancy skills and knowledge.
Shaela took a career break to raise her two children and spend time travelling and cooking. She loves to explore different cultures and cuisines and firmly believes in educating yourself about different cultures and traditions to break down barriers that exist within society.
Amber Demetrius – Global Learning Manager
Amber is responsible for ensuring that the WCIA’s educational programmes are running smoothly. Her role includes designing and running projects to improve Global learning, evaluating their impact and developing learning partnerships across Wales. She is also developing our existing projects in schools.
Amber has a background in Education and previously taught across the Primary sector for fifteen years. She has also worked with Theatre in Education and Global Learning Groups to provide innovative approaches for students in primary and secondary settings, helping individuals who are disengaged with learning to rebuild their confidence within it. Amber is a zealous reader and a lover of crime dramas and cats.
Gill Peace – Operations Manager
Gill is the trust and foundations fundraiser and works to help ensure the core peace building and internationalist activities of the Centre can continue on a secure basis.
Gill has long experience working in international development, mainly in Africa, and is passionate about global issues. As a geographer and agriculturalist Gill managed a farm in Zambia and taught agriculture in Zimbabwe. After studying economics and management she managed programmes for Christian Aid and Action on Disability and Development. Since moving to Wales she has supported a variety of organisations with their fundraising and campaigns.
Craig Owen – Heritage Advisor
A leading figure in Welsh internationalism over the last 15 years, Craig joined WCIA from WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action), where as International Manager since 2007 he developed the Wales Africa Community Links programme. This supported 150 civil society organisations delivering 500 projects on learning, partnership building and community development between Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa, and sharing practice with European partners.
Craig previously worked on Oxfam International’s Tsunami Relief Programme in Indonesia, with a major focus on peace building in the conflict-stricken province of Aceh. Craig wrote a blog from Aceh which was followed by people throughout Wales and worldwide. As Wales Campaigns Coordinator with Oxfam Cymru, Craig led work on ‘Make Poverty History’, ‘Control Arms’ (securing an International Arms Trade Treaty) and on Fair Trade. He has travelled extensively and gained international experience of peace building and practical community initiatives as far afield as South Africa, Ethiopia, Uganda, Lesotho, Indonesia, Cambodia, Angola, Israel and Palestine. Craig has led public and youth outreach work with Oxfam and during 2 years as President of NUS Wales (National Union of Students), and as a students union officer at Aberystwyth University, where he studied Geography and Geology. In his spare time, Craig volunteers as an outdoor pursuits leader and events organiser with the LGBT charity OutdoorLads.
Jane Harries – Peace Education Coordinator
Jane has been a lifelong peace and human rights activist, most recently coordinating Cymdeithas y Cymod – the Fellowship of Reconciliation – through whom she has also worked with Urdd Gobaith Cymru supporting young people in developing the International Peace & Goodwill message. Jane is a languages expert and fluent Welsh speaker; she taught and was Head of Dept for Modern Languages at Cymer school in RCT, prior to 5 years as Wales Education Advisor for the NSPCC, and 7 years in Welsh government as lead for children’s rights and young people’s participation. Jane spends several weeks each year in Palestine & Israel co-facilitating Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops, building on her involvement as a Human Rights Monitor with EAPPI, about which she is writing this blog.
Jane’s role is delivering the Wales for Peace project’s ambitious Learning Strategy – developing bilingual teaching and curriculum resources; delivering conferences and events for schools, youth & community groups; facilitating networking and advocacy on Peace Education, and ultimately establishing a world-leading ‘Peace Schools’ scheme for Wales.
Bethan Haf Marsh – Communications Officer
As the Communications Officer, Bethan is responsible for delivering day-to-day bilingual communications for the WCIA across projects and programmes, through multiple media including social media, website, e-news, etc.
Bethan is Barry born and bred, and joins us from a Journalism background. She has worked on the Carmarthen Journal in west Wales, and on the North London Times, covering Barnet and Harrow.
She has also worked in Germany at an online magazine, and volunteered in South and Central America. A keen reader, runner and traveller, she enjoys planning which part of the world to explore next.
Mariska Eventon – Admin Assistant
As the Admin Assistant with a background in event management and international aid & development, Mariska supports with the finances and provides is also the first point of contact for volunteers at the WCIA. As such, she takes care of the administration for volunteers on our international exchange programmes.
Mariska is Dutch, and grew up in both Spain and the Netherlands, before moving to the UK after meeting her Welsh husband. When not in work, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters, reading, hiking and gardening.
Vicky Court – Youth Work Lead
Vicky is the Youth Work Lead responsible for managing youth work projects and developing WCIA’s presence within global youth work networks.
With a background in project management she has previously managed a portfolio of EU-funded programmes including Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps.
Vicky has worked for several international NGOs, travelled extensively and participated herself in international volunteering projects in Bolivia, South Africa, and Lesotho working with young people from various different cultures and backgrounds. This international experience has made her a tremendous advocate for active global citizenship and encouraging young people to participate in global learning activities.
Michaela Rochman – ESC Programme Manager
Michaela joined UNA Exchange in 2014 and since then has led across a portfolio of EU-funded programmes, including Erasmus+ and predecessor youth exchange schemes. At WCIA Michaela is managing the European Solidarity Corps projects and international exchanges.
Experienced in international volunteering herself, Michaela has participated in projects worldwide, including in Germany, France, South Africa, Tanzania, England and Wales.