As the founder of Safe World for Women, I am committed to bringing together women and men who share our passion for a safer and more humane world.
We need to start by protecting the most vulnerable. Women and children still make up most of the world's poor, most victims of war, most refugees and so it goes on. I truly believe that a Safe World for Women is a safe world for all.
In the summer of 2009, I visited women's groups in the Middle East and Uganda, with my husband Andrew (Safeworld IT Manager). I returned home feeling blessed that we live in a quiet, friendly and lush part of the world and also encouraged by the strength of human spirit when faced with unimaginable challenges.
My dim distant past varies from being head keeper at a wild-life park, book cover artist, columnist for a local journal, running a gardening business, studying biology, natural nutrition, homeopathy and Tibetan psycotherapy, coordinating workshops and retreats ... to bringing up two children in the wilds of Ireland and Cornwall along 'natural nurturing' principles.
Jennifer Timmons - Trustee, Director of Field Partners Programme & Managing Editor
USA. Joined Safe World Dec 2009.
I believe with every fiber of my being that women deserve to be treated with as much respect, dignity, and fairness, as any man. There is no excuse for abuse; I've got my work cut out for me!
I am impassioned about women's rights, particularly on issues of domestic violence and reproductive health rights; whenever I learn about injustices in those areas, my blood boils.
That and the unabated violence against women globally, denial of agency over their own bodies, and obstructed justice are what drive me to work hard toward eliminating the suffering of women and girls.
As Director of Field Partners & Managing Editor, I manage nearly everything to do with our many grassroots organisations throughout the world: first point of contact, application process, editing updates and blogs, and all-around communication. I continue to learn so much from our FP's; they help put things in perspective about what is important in life.
And I love that! They keep the light burning for me.
I am a California native-turned-east coast lover and resident, and have a bachelor's degree in Communication; but for a brief internship in corporate communications, I had not used my journalism skills for many moons until I joined the incredibly awesome and supportive team whom I refer to as my Safe World family. Now, I've come full circle and feel right at home with Safe World, where I intend to stick around as long as SW exists!
When women are supported and empowered, everyone benefits. I know I'm very fortunate!"
Becky Gourde - Online Administrator
USA. Joined Safe World September 2011.
I believe in human rights. Since human rights violations across the globe tend to target women and children most frequently and most disparagingly, focusing on the advancement of these groups is a significant movement toward making the world a benevolent place for all human beings.
Awareness, exposure, and understanding of the rooted issues are crucial in the first steps of that process. Through Safe World, I'm able to participate in many of these conversations and ideas.
I come to Safe World from the upper Midwest region of the United States. My professional experience includes nonprofits, healthcare, communications and marketing, and community outreach. I have a master's degree in public administration, a certificate in nonprofit management, and a bachelor’s degree in English. I also serve on the board of directors for a reproductive health clinic in my community.
You can find me on Twitter at @beckygourde
Linnet Griffith-Jones - Executive Assistant & Outreach
UK. Joined Safe World December 2011.
I joined Safe World for Women as Volunteers Coordinator, after graduating in Politics from Lancaster University.
From March to September 2012, I initiated and pioneered the very successful Safe World Student Writers Project, as Student Liaison Officer - processing applications and coordinating student writers.
I subsequently spent a year at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, and qualified with an M.Sc. in International Politics and, on my return to the UK, again helped out as Administration Assistant to the Trustees of Safe World for Women.
In January 2014, I travelled to Kaabong in Karamoja, a remote, poverty-stricken warrior region in north-east Uganda, bordering Kenya and South Sudan. I worked for six months as an intern with a grassroots organisation, AWARE Uganda - Field Partner of Safe World for Women, helping out with general duties, grant applications, and also writing regular blogs for publication on the Safe World website.
In July 2014, I was appointed as Executive Assistant to Chris Crowstaff, founder and Trustee of Safe World for Women. My general duties include helping to prepare the annual accounts, filing and record-keeping, writing copy for the website and training a successor as Student Liaison Officer.
I am very grateful for the varied experience I have gained with Safe World for Women which I feel sure has prepared me for a future career working overseas in international development - and has certainly provided me with valuable insights, fed my passion for women's rights issues, and brought many treasured friendships.
Courtenay Forbes - Safeworld Correspondent, Student liaison Officer and Assistant Editor
UK. Joined Safe World April 2012
I have a degree in Ancient History and History, and am now studying law, and hope to qualify as a barrister in 2016. I am looking to specialise in human rights law.
I am also fascinated by foreign languages, and can speak French. I believe that my love of history has helped to cultivate an awareness of the various roles that women play within society, and the vast disparities between the rights of women depending on their ethnicity and social standing. I feel passionately that by studying history, we gain an insight into both the mistakes and victories of the past, and can use this knowledge to understand how we develop in the future.
I have recently become deeply interested in women’s issues in the Middle East. As the conflict in Afghanistan is constantly brought to the forefront of our consciousness through the media, I believe it is important to look at the plights of the country with a female perspective. I also feel passionately that the domestic human rights issues concerning women must not be overlooked: this would be easy to do considering the many freedoms we enjoy in the UK.
I firmly believe real progress must be made by re-educating societies with strong cultural, religious or ethnical beliefs concerning the treatment of women, and bridging the gap between these traditions and modern-day human rights. The work that Safeworld carries out, I feel, plays a crucial role in maintaining awareness globally about important ongoing issues. Many human rights issues become high profile cases in British news, for example, for a short period of time, but then fade into the background. Thus, it would be easy for many people to assume these issues have been resolved, when in fact they remain a huge problem.
I feel it is of utmost importance that Safeworld continues to provide the platform for such issues for as long as they are prominent issues.
Joanne Michele - Advocacy and Middle East Correspondent
USA. Joined Safe World July 2010.
I believe that meaningful change to further human rights must be brought about in the capitals of our nations.
Women’s empowerment is the key to sustainability and peace in our world. I believe that meaningful change to further human rights will be achieved only after women are empowered in their own communities.
Women form a majority in most places and are the backbone of a healthy and sustainable society.
My goal is to empower women so not only will they prosper, but go on to empower other marginalized groups and end patriarchy, the cause of war and violence.
In the Safe World family, I have found people who not only work tirelessly to further women's rights, but also the rights of other marginalized minorities and majorities.
Ayesha Asghar - Advocacy Consultant, Pakistan
Canada. Joined Safe World December 2011.
Jill of most trades. Part time dreamer. Full time rebel. On my off days, I plan to take over the world.
When I am not protesting, gathering resources or doing case work I am raging on my blog. Activism is not a thing you do, its a way of life.
Formerly associated with OPIRG, Trent Women Centre, Community Race Relations Committee, Anti-Racism Commissioner' 09 at Trent Central Students Association and BlogHer'13 International Activist.
Harsimran Kaur - Legal Consultant
India. Joined Safe World January 2011.
I qualified as Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales and became Member of the Law Society in November 2008. I did my graduation in Commerce in year 2003 and graduation in Law in year 2006.
Besides this I became an Associate Member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India in January 2008. I handled Corporate Law matters at various levels and have also got additional expertise in other Legal matters.
It is rightly said that “There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.”
Andrew Sampson - Technical Manager
I have been involved with Safe World from the beginning.
I have visited the Middle East and Uganda with Chris learning about women's lives.
Six years ago, my 94 year old father moved into the cottage next door to where Chris and I live. At the time he was showing early signs of mild-dementia.
In the West, when people get old, and are unable to live on their own, the solution is often to find a place for them to live - in care homes where they get looked after day and night. Because Chris and I work from home, and because we live in a very small rural community, we felt we would could look after him ourselves. We cook for him, do his shopping and help arrange his life.
So when Chris and I aren't online you know where we are!