Chief Executive Director and Founder
Dr. Faith Mkwesha (PhD) is the Executive Director and Founder of SahWira Africa International- SAWI. She was a Post-graduate Director at Solusi University in Zimbabwe, a lecturer at University of the Free State in South Africa, and researcher at Abo Akademi University in Finland. Dr. Mkwesha holds a PhD in English Literature and Cultural Studies from a gender and postcolonial feminist perspective, an MA in Literature and Applied Linguistics, and Master of Educational Administration and Management (Partial Fulfillment). She has more than 20 years’ experience in higher and tertiary education and administration, and working with women and children. Her passion is in women’s rights, anti-racism and eradication of poverty.
Dr. Mkwesha stays in Finland. She coordinates work from the head office in Finland, and SahWira branches in Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. In Finland she co-ordinates cultural activities for African, Black Immigrant, and Refugee women and Young Girls with Minority background. She launches campaigns and advocacy work to influence policies on issues that affect the minority and the marginalized in Finland. She is responsible for building a resource center for issues on African, migrant and minority women. She also facilitates the building of alliances with sahwiras of any color, nationality and background who are interested in supporting SAWI agenda. In Africa, she also focuses on work to eradicate poverty, women’s rights and empowering women for leadership.
Albina Gakuru-Hipp is currently a doctoral student at Åbo Akademi University, in Turku Finland. She has a master?s in International Relations and Peace studies. She. Her fields of interest are within the postcolonial, gender and peace research fields. Having researched, taught and worked within community based organizations and grassroots organizations as a social entrepreneur in Kenya for over a decade. She brings with her a wealth of experience in conflict, peace, conflict resolution, advocacy, activism, and agency.
Dr. Suvi Keskinen is Academy Research Fellow and Professor of Ethnic Relations and Nationalism at the Swedish School of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. She leads two research projects: Postethnic Activism in the Neoliberal Era. Translocal Studies on
Political Subjectivities, Alliance-building and Social Imaginaries (Academy of Finland, 2014-2019) and The Stopped – Spaces, Meanings and Practices of Ethnic Profiling (Kone.Foundation, 2015-2018). Her research interests include post/decolonial feminism, racism, whiteness, nationalism, political activism, welfare state and violence. She has been the leader and Finnish partner of several Nordic research networks, the most recent of which focused on critical perspectives to cultural homogeneity and the futures of feminism in the Nordic region (NOS-HS, 2016-2017). Keskinen has published several books and edited Special Issues, as well as journal articles in for example Social Politics, Ethnicities, Women’s Studies International Forum, Nordic Journal of Migration Research, Social Identities and Journal of Intercultural Studies. She also actively promotes interaction between research and civil society as the coordinator of the antiracist research network RASTER and its blog Rasismista ja rajoista [On racism and borders].
Dr. Merja Anis is a professor of social work in the University of Turku, Finland. Her research activities and publications as well as teaching topics embrace multicultural social work, integration practices and policies, child welfare social work, gender and social work and social work ethics.
Her current research topics are ethnic minority and migrant children in child protection services and multicultural and transnational social work expertise.
Ruvimbo Mavhiki-Hodzi is a Doctoral Researcher, Political Activist and Philanthropist currently based in Finland. She is also the current chair of Friends of Zimbabwe Association in Finland.