Our Trustees

Adrian Carr, Chairperson

After many years of supporting the organisation, and most recently as CEO, Adrian is the current Chair of Trustees.
After meeting Miriam in the early 2000s and a trip to Sierra Leone with Swithun and James shortly afterwards, Adrian was impressed by EducAid’s impact an d the grass roots approach in improving education in Sierra Leone.
Adrian runs his own investment business, monitoring investments for their social impact as well as their risk and return profile. Adrian acts as a Non-Executive Director and advisor for Volta Capital a specialist impact investment firm focused on sub-Sahara Africa. Adrian spent the main of his career in investment banking at JP Morgan, Paribas and Credit Suisse.

Alongside EducAid, Adrian is working with entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone to set up the social enterprise, Grow Salone, with the aim of creating employment in Sierra Leone including the EducAid alumni.

 

 

James Boardman, Co-Founder

Why and how I became involved with EducAid…

“I was fortunate to be part of an expedition from University College London to Sierra Leone in 1993. It was a life-changing experience that humbled, thrilled, and inspired in equal measure. One of the most striking attitudes I came across was a desire for self-improvement expressed by many across a range of ages, and by both sexes. The people I met had a clear belief that improving their chances, and the fate of their country, depended on getting a good education. I agreed, but wondered how this could happen in a land of economic poverty with no access to free education.

My friend, Swithun Mason, and I returned to London in the late summer of 1993 and set about trying to raise funds for two students whose plights had captured our imaginations. Friends, family and church members were generous, and the donations grew. We registered the charity in 1995, with the aim to improve education among the under-privileged in Sierra Leone and to promote Christianity. We were soon able to establish a sponsorship scheme, whereby we supported students to attend local schools. It was with tremendous excitement that I learned of Miriam Mason-Sesay’s willingness to move to Sierra Leone and direct our project in 2000. Her move ushered in a new era for EducAid because she set up our own schools, which have proven to be very effective at meeting our original aims.

One of the founding principles was to ‘raise honest citizens who are able to earn a living wage’ – to borrow a phrase from the Salesian tradition, and this remains a powerful driver for those who work with and support EducAid. Over the years I have visited Sierra Leone, met volunteers, met students, worked along side EducAid teachers, and witnessed incredible transformations in people’s lives. I have seen that poverty can be degrading and crippling, but it does not destroy the strength of the human spirit and people can work together to overcome it. My involvement has been an honour and a privilege, and that’s why I’m a Trustee today.”

Dr James Boardman
Senior Lecturer in Neonatal Medicine at University of Edinburgh
Consultant Neonatologist at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

 

Stefan Cassar

With vast experience in the retail industry – holding such positions as CFO at House of Fraser, and later as a non-exec director at the retail giant – Stefan helped to steer the company in to it’s current success and eventual sale.

Stefan became involved with EducAid in 2010 when he wanted to help deliver a measurable and significant impact to underprivileged children. Having come to meet our Country Director, Miriam Mason-Sesay, Stefan recognised both the challenges faced and the opportunity for success with EducAid’s programmes, and decided that Sierra Leone was the perfect place to bring his experience and support.

 

 

Matt Claxton

“I’m involved with EducAid to support the wonderful work that it does in transforming the lives of young people and contributing to the development of Sierra Leone.”

Matt Claxton, Divisional Chief Operating Officer of an international Asset Services company.

 

 

Véronique Desnain

Véronique is a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. Véronique first came across EducAid when she was asked to teach the Logical and Critical Thinking module for EducAid’s tertiary-level Development Studies and Leadership course. Since then Veronique agreed to become a Trustee, providing valuable educational and academic insight to Board discussions.

 

Rupert Eastell, Treasurer

“I have visited Sierra Leone a number of times in the past 5 years.  Many issues remain but the rate of progress is exciting and is accelerating fast.   EducAid is about providing a way forward through education for some of the most under-supported young people and children in the country – I love the way that “norms” are challenged and new ways of doing things developed.  It is an exciting journey and one that I enjoy supporting.”

Rupert Eastell – Strategic advisor and introducer to the Retail Sector Head of Retail at RSM

Karen Malia

Karen is a long-standing NGO professional with vast experience in fundraising and charity events. Through her diplomatic efforts, along with her husband, Guy Warrington, the British High Commissioner, Karen is influential in Sierra Leone and around the world.

Karen met Miriam during her first months in Freetown and, following a visit to EducAid Lumley became enthused the charity’s vision, mission and work, not to mention the spirit and dedication shown by our students.

Karen is a valuable member of our Board both in the UK and in Sierra Leone.

Swithun Mason,  Co-Founder

“A student visit to SL in 1993 had a profound impact on me. The resignation to gross poverty I saw was shocking and the Aid ‘solutions’ were demonstrably not working. Arguably they were compounding problems. However, it is not a country I felt able to walk away from: just another tourist destination to tick off.

I’ve worked with EducAid since it’s foundation. It keeps my feet on the ground, adding perspective to a privileged western lifestyle. There is something deeply compelling about the value to be added, unachievable pound for pound in the western world – a little really does go a long way in Sierra Leone. It’s really great to see our students coming through and succeeding at tertiary level. One day we will have an EducAid alumni who changes that failing country: it’s a privilege to be part of that.”

Swithun Mason – Director at MasonBreese

 

Modupe Taylor-Pearce

Modupe  is a scholar and practitioner of organizational management and leadership.

Born in Sierra Leone, and raised in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, and the USA, he is currently the CEO of Breakfast Club Africa and Dean of the African Leadership University School of Business. He is a born-again Christian, and describes himself as a “sinner saved by grace.” He earned his BSc degree at the United States Military Academy (West Point). After West Point, he returned to Sierra Leone, where he served in the Army during the Civil War. He later returned to the USA to complete his Masters in Engineering and Manufacturing at Cornell University. He also holds a PhD in business leadership from Capella University. With his business and military leadership background, he has successfully led the financial recovery of various companies in the USA, Africa, and Europe.

Modupe is married to his bride of 18 years, Renee, and they are blessed with 3 children. He enjoys reading and playing the piano.


Miriam, Country Director

Erin, Chief Executive

UK Staff

SL Staff