John Fitzsimons is the CEO of Camara Education, a social enterprise that uses technology to deliver 21st century skills and, as such, improve education in disadvantaged communities around the world. John has an engineering and IT background, having worked with Analog Devices before spending two years in Tanzania setting up the IT function in Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre. Prior to Camara, John ran a consulting business that was part of Dell. John has a Degree in Electronic Engineering from University College Dublin and an MBA from Smurfit School of Business and is a board member at Dochas, the umbrella organisation for International NGOs in Ireland.
Jim Murray is the Workshop Manager and is responsible for the day to day running of Camara’s computer workshop since he joined Camara in 2007. Before coming to work with Camara, Jim spent many years working on building sites in Ireland, the UK and Germany. His management and organisational skills are key in making sure that donated computers are refurbished and ready for dispatch in a timely fashion. Jim has a keen interest in the GAA, and is still awaiting the day that Sam Maguire returns to Mayo.
Global HR Manager
Lorna Burke joined Camara in February 2012 as Shared Services Manager. Lorna previously worked in logistics, financial services, senior recruitment and client operations management within the corporate sector and was keen to make a move to the not-for-profit sector. In October 2016 Lorna was appointed Global HR Manager with responsibility for leading HR globally across the Camara network including Ireland, UK and Africa.
Chief Commercial Officer
Jean has a background in services and operations with a focus on regulatory compliance. Prior to officially joining the Camara team Jean was on the Board of Camara Education Limited for two years and also worked with Camara during her previous role with Dell. Before Camara Jean ran a Global Environmental Compliance Solutions Division of the Reverse Logistics Group, (HQ Munich, Germany) supporting the development of regulatory compliance solutions for many of the major global IT companies and retailers. Jean also spent 17 years in the IT Industry working for Dell with responsibility for regulatory compliance programs. She has travelled extensively in Africa managing both regulatory, diversity and education programs for Dell in recycling and education areas. Jean holds a number of Directorships in Ireland.
Global Impact & Learning Manager
David joined Camara in November 2014 as Monitoring & Evaluation Officer having spent the previous two years working in Monitoring & Evaluation in Uganda. David brings a number of years of experience across the business and development sectors in Ireland and Africa. He holds a LL.M from the Irish Centre of Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway and an MSc in African Studies from the University of Edinburgh.
Computer Reuse Manager
Mark Fox is the Computer Reuse Manager of Camara Education and sources computers from organisations and other channels for reuse in disadvantaged schools in Africa, Haiti and Ireland. Mark has a BSc Degree in Marketing Management from the University of Dublin and a Certificate in Sustainable Development. Prior to joining Camara in 2009, Mark was employed in Dell for 9 years in a number of marketing analyst roles.
Director of Development
Tim Hurley joined Camara in October 2014. Tim is responsible for raising funds vital to support Camara’s operations throughout the world. He is an entrepreneurial individual with over twenty years International Business Development experience in the technology sector in Ireland, the UK and the USA, as well as previous Corporate Fundraising experience in Ireland.
Volunteer & Communications Manager
Stephanie Nolan joined Camara in January 2016 as Volunteer & Communications Manager. She previously worked in Volunteer Management with Special Olympics Ireland and more recently as Volunteer & Communications Manager for Solas Project. Stephanie is passionate about volunteering and communications and has a BSc Degree in Management Science from Trinity College.
Ray Hughes initially volunteered with Camara in 2013 as part of his work placement with Dublin Institute of Technology. Following his Bachelor’s Degree in Networking Technologies in 2014 he then rejoined Camara as a volunteer. He subsequently completed a JobBridge internship role as Workshop Supervisor with Camara which resulted in him becoming a member of the staff team in 2015. Ray’s role involves inducting, managing and training volunteers in our refurbishment workshop as well as liaising with recruitment partners and volunteer supervisors.
Maria O' Brien
Maria graduated from UCD with a B.Comm and a Masters in Accounting and is a qualified accountant, ACCA. Maria worked in the financial services sector in Ireland before crossing over to the development sector over 10 years ago.
She has worked in various finance roles in the sector and completed a number of overseas assignments too.
Maria is very passionate about development and excited to be part of the Camara team.
Bernard Coffey joined Camara in August 2015 as Financial Accountant working closely with the Finance Director on the financial reporting and compliance aspects of the organisation. Bernard has vast experience of the financial sector having worked for Ireland’s leading plc in the early part of his career rising to the position of Financial Director in one of its subsidiaries. He has also worked in the retail, commercial and construction industries and more recently with charity organisations advising and improving their financial information processes.
Megan Connolly joined Camara in February 2016 as Bookkeeper. She is a member of Accounting Technicians Ireland and is working toward becoming a fully-qualified accountant. Megan completed a Masters in Ancient Classics at NUIM and her academic interests have led to experience in a variety of sectors including education and ICT. Her previous roles include finance and IT support, website administration, student mentoring, and community outreach. She is a strong believer in the value of education.
Global Learning & Development Officer
Zelalem initially joined Camara Education in March 2016 as an M&E intern and became an employee in October of that year. He now supports all hubs in M&E and impact measurement. He previously worked for a number of NGOs and corporate companies in Ethiopia, Sweden and Ireland in Project Management and M&E related positions. His passion for social causes has led him to work in different sectors including Refugees, HIV/AIDS and Livelihood programs for over 9 years. Zelalem holds MSc in Physical Geography from Lund University and MA in Leadership for Organisation from Malmo University in Sweden.
Head of Education
Mathieu has worked in international educational development in Central America, Caribbean, Africa and Europe for the past six years focusing on teaching and learning practices. He completed a Masters in Science Education at Universite Laval in Canada with a focus on cross-disciplinary framework for studying different forms of human practices as development processes, both individual and social levels interlinked at the same time. His academic background and personal interest have led him to work in a variety of sectors including science teaching, ICT in education, education policies and policy analysis. Mathieu joined Camara in 2015 as Learning Officer overseeing our education and training programmes. In January 2018 he was appointed Head of Education responsible for education, product development, and impact measurement throughout the organisation.
Camara Africa Centre Team
Head of Africa Operations (CAC)
Lotta joined Camara Education as the Africa Operations Manager in 2015 and now oversees Camara Education’s operations in Africa. She supports the hubs and hub CEOs on a daily basis, together with the Camara Africa Centre team. She has worked in international development in southern and eastern Africa for a number of years, and has experience in a variety of sectors including , enterprise and business development, agricultural and environment. She is an experienced project planner and manager, and has experience as a technical adviser in mainstreaming gender, issues of social development and climate sustainability.
Lotta’s academic background is in social sciences and international development but she also has more than ten years experience in sales and marketing and customer service roles in the private sector.
Technical Director (CAC)
Farid Ali is the Technical Director for Camara Africa Centre and is based in Mombasa, Kenya. He was amongst the first volunteers to join Camara Education in 2005. He is very experienced and has spent a lot of time on the ground working for Camara. Farid Ali assisted in setting up the education hubs in Kenya (Mombasa and Lamu), Rwanda, Lesotho, Uganda and Zambia and is responsible for bringing the level of all the education hubs in Africa to the same standard.
Cynthia Ouna Mwaniki
Regional Finance Specialist (Africa)
Cynthia joined Camara in February 2017 as Regional Finance Specialist (Africa) which involves monitoring and supporting the finance function of the African hubs. Cynthia is CPA qualified and has over 15 years experience overseeing and monitoring the financial and grant management of multi donor funding, taxation, auditing and compliance. She holds an MSc in Finance and a BComm in Accounting. Cynthia is passionate about children and is also involved in charities that support children living with Cerebral Palsy in Kenya.
Camara Zambia & Lesotho CEO
Justin was appointed CEO of Camara Lesotho in April 2013 and CEO of Camara Tanzania in August 2014. In August 2016 he departed Tanzania taking over the role of CEO Camara Zambia – he currently oversees both Lesotho and Zambia operations. Justin holds qualifications in mathematics, archaeology and education, and has a background in ICT and communications.
Camara Ethiopia Country Director
Yared joined Camara’s Team in January 2015 and is Camara Ethiopia’s Country Director. Prior to joining Camara, Yared worked for Accenture Consulting for 5 years in the US before he packed his belongings moved to Ethiopia to work in the area of ICT in Education. Since then, Yared has worked as an ICT Consultant for Ministry of Education and has also served as an ICT Director of Dire Dawa University. Yared is passionate about transforming the delivery and quality of Education through ICT. He has a BSc in Informatics and is a Masters candidate in Management and Leadership.
Masoud M. Ali
Camara Kenya CEO
Joined Camara in March 2014. Holds a bachelors degree ( Bachelor of Arts). Has had the opportunity to work as a high school teacher, as an Early Childhood Development teacher trainer, managed an Early Childhood Project of the Aga Khan Foundation between 2007- 2012. Worked for Chemonics International- Kenya Transtion Initiative ( USAID funded ) between mid 2012 to Feb 2014. Happy to get the opportunity to work for Camara to enhance education and the use of ICT in Kenyan schools and the general community.
Our vision is a world-class technology-enabled education accessible to all.
Our mission is to transform education using technology to empower disadvantaged students.
President Michael D. Higgins
Camara is delighted to have President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins as our Patron. On 11 November
2011 (11/11/11), Michael D. Higgins was inaugurated as the ninth President of Ireland. He was elected with the largest vote ever of any politician in Ireland, receiving over a million votes.
A passionate political voice, a poet and writer, academic and statesman, human rights advocate, promoter of inclusive citizenship and champion of creativity within Irish society, Michael D. Higgins has previously served at every level of public life in Ireland, including as university lecturer, Councillor, Mayor, TD, Senator and Minister. Throughout his life, Michael D. Higgins has campaigned for human rights and for the promotion of peace and democracy in Ireland and in many other parts of the world, from Nicaragua and Chile to Cambodia, Iraq and Somalia. In opening Camara’s current HQ in Dublin President Michael had this to say:
“Camara is a leading example of how a valuable idea can lead to a very real positive social change. Its work improves the quality of childrens’ lives and gives them hope in their future. Camara’s dedication to using technology to improve education in disadvantaged communities around the world and at home is such valuable work.”
Lord David Puttnam
David Puttnam is the chair of Atticus Education, an online education company based in Ireland. Atticus, through a unique arrangement with BT Ireland, delivers interactive seminars on film and a variety of other subjects to educational institutions around the world. David spent thirty years as an independent producer of award-winning films including The Mission, The Killing Fields, Local Hero, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone and Memphis Belle. His films have won ten Oscars, 25 Baftas and the Palme D’Or at Cannes. From 1994 to 2004 he was Vice President and Chair of Trustees at the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) and was awarded a BAFTA Fellowship in 2006.
He retired from film production in 1998 to focus on his work in public policy as it relates to education, the environment, and the creative and communications industries. About technology he has the following to say:
“Technology has fundamentally reshaped the way in which people of every age connect with, make sense of and engage with the world.”
Maria Mahon has almost 20 years business experience working in the financial services, media, tourism, internet and software industries. Maria now runs her own management consultancy practice. Previously she held the position of Group Chief Executive of Saongroup.com for seven years and remains on the board. Maria holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from NUI Galway, and a Masters in Business Studies (MBS) from Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business. In 2003, Maria was short listed for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year and in 2006 won the NUIG Business Alumni award. Maria is a Director of a number of leading companies in Ireland and has been Chairman of the Marketing Institute of Ireland.
Cormac Lynch is the Founder of Camara and the CEO of Camara Learning in the UK. He has an engineering and finance background having spent 5 years as a petroleum engineer in the North Sea and 12 years as an investment banker in London, New York and Moscow. Prior to starting Camara, he was Chief Executive of NIKoil, a medium-sized Russian Investment Bank. In addition to his undergraduate degree from Trinity College Dublin (1st Class Engineering Science), he has an MSc from Imperial College London, an MBA from Stanford University and a MSc in Development Studies from UCD.
John Brown is the current Chairman of Camara Learning in the UK. He has a background in publishing and marketing. Having established John Brown Publishing, he has since managed the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, been chairman of Wisden and launched Bob Books. He is currently Chairman of a travel company, Wild Frontiers, Director of Wanderlust and Oldie magazines, Governor of Notting Hill prep School and a Trustee of Keiskamma Trust and the School for Social Entrepreneurs.
Justin Kilcullen served for twenty years as CEO of Trócaire. A qualified architect, Justin worked in Tanzania (1976-78), in Belfast on inner city housing (1979), and for the UNHCR, constructing refugee camps in S.E. Asia (1980). He was awarded the World Union of Architects Medal for the Promotion of Human Settlements (2002). He joined Trócaire in 1981 and spent four years in Laos as country director before being appointed CEO in 1993. He was President of CIDSE, the federation of Catholic development agencies (1998-2001), and President of Concord, the European Confederation of Development NGOS (2006-2012). He is Co-Chair of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness. Justin recently qualified as a Business and Executive Coach at the UCD Smurfit Business School, Dublin.
Jonathan Kelly is a solicitor and a partner in the Dublin law firm Philip Lee, where he has worked since 2002. His legal practice spans the areas of infrastructure projects, media/entertainment, and corporate transactions. He was educated at Trinity College Dublin and at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. He joined the Board of Camara in 2007.
Bobbi Walshe is a qualified accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor, with over 20 year’s experience providing business advisory services in the areas of corporate finance, business acquisition/disposal and forensic accounting over a range of business areas. She is a partner in Russell Brennan Keane and joined the Board of Camara in 2015.