Human network

Oksana Abboud (Ukraine)

International Coordinator

Oksana Abboud is StreetNet International Coordinator since June 2019. She joined StreetNet in 2013 in the capacity of Regional Organizer for Asia and Eastern Europe. In 2016 Oksana got additional responsibility of a part-time StreetNet Media Officer and greatly contributed to media and particularly –social media development of StreetNet globally.

In 2005-2012 Oksana used to work as an International Secretary at the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU). It was her first official working place after graduation from Kyiv National Linguistic University, which in its turn, impacted and designed her future passion to focus on a field of labour movement, namely promoting workers’ rights and interests at different levels; advocating for human & labour rights and values, campaign for social justice and a fair future of work.

In 2006-2007 Oksana won a fellowship opportunity and completed an education course on International and Security Policy; Economic and Social Challenges in the process of Democracy Building at Robert Schuman Institute in Budapest, Hungary.

Since 2005 she was involved in the KVPU youth work – chairing the KVPU Youth Committee and in 2006-2008 she was serving as an elected Member of the Youth Committee of the Pan-European Regional Council, an ITUC wing for Europe.

Email: coordinator@streetnet.org.za

Lorraine Sibanda (Zimbabwe)

President

Lorraine Sibanda ( nee Ndhlovu) is the current President of the Zimabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) and StreetNet International. She is based in Gwanda town, which is about 600kilometres south of Harare, Zimbabwe. Her life line business is cross border trading and goat farming. Prior to her new life and positions of engagement, Lorraine is a qualified teacher and taught primary school for 10 years. She left teaching to start self-help projects in 2008 when the Zimbabwean economy became complicated for civil servants. This is when she started becoming a member of civic organizations. In 2011 she was voted ZCIEA Gwanda territorial President.

As a result, she started growing through the ranks of ZCIEA work and activism until 2015 when she was voted ZCIEA National President. In 2016, Lorraine was voted StreetNet International President. This StreetNet Presidency was renewed in April 2019 in Kyrgyzstan.

During her National and International portfolios, Lorraine has raised the unsung song of the recognition of the informal economy workers in the global working world as people who contribute to their countries’ economies. They must be recognised and not criminalised. Part of this campaign includes her meaningful participation at the International Labour Conference in 2018 and 2019, where she headed informal economy workers’ International advocacy on inclusion of the informal economy workers in the convention on eradication of violence and harassment in the world of work. She even presented a position paper at the ILC in both years. This advocacy was a formidable success. Lorraine has been a champion of the informal economy workers’ advocacy for change since her International engagement. She has been at various International platforms to defend the rights of workers in the informal economy. This includes expressing vulnerability of women in various forms of precarious work for their lives to be improved. Read Lorraine’s full biography here. 

Pat Horn (South Africa)

Senior Advisor

Pat Horn founded StreetNet International with its international base in Durban, South Africa, on 14th November 2002, after three years of preparation from 2000 to November 2002 together with Nozipho Lembethe, founding administrator.  Pat worked as the International Coordinator from the foundation of StreetNet until the end of May 2019 after the Sixth StreetNet International Congress in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, where it was agreed to hand over the coordination of StreetNet to her successor, Oksana Abboud.  She drew on her experience as a trade unionist in the formal economy in South Africa from 1976 – 1991, in developing new ways of organizing workers in the informal economy and establishing StreetNet as a new global federation of organized workers in the street vendors’ sector of the informal economy.  She now serves as Senior Advisor to the leadership, members and staff of StreetNet.

Email: advisor@streetnet.org.za

Alberto Santana (Dominican Republic)

Vice-President

Alberto Santana is the Vice President of Streetnet Internacional, President of FUTTEINCO, and Secretary for projects of the Confederación Nacional de Trabajadores Dominicanos – CNTD. He started in the union of self-employed metalworkers, in his native Barahona, Dominican Republic, then he studied Industrial Engineering and started his own business. He was Secretary of International Relations of the CNTD, where he studied immigration, international development cooperation and social protection. Alberto graduated as a lawyer and works on projects for the protection of labor rights and social security for independent and self-employed workers.

Read Alberto’s full biography here.

Annelene Shahbaz (South Africa)

Administration and Finance Manager

Annelene Shahbaz joined StreetNet International as a Finance administrator in July 2011. She was retrenched in 2014 and reemployed on a part time basis in 2015. She was employed full-time again in December 2016 and was Promoted to Administration and Finance Manager in June 2019.

Annelene holds a Diploma in Business Studies and Financial Management. Annelene is very passionate about working with figures. She believes that good Financial Management plays a huge role in any organization and helps drive the organization forward.

Prior to working with StreetNet International, Annelene worked as an accountant at various organisations, these raging from a construction company, a printing company and an accounting practice. Annelene  has over 18 years’ experience in Business, Finance Management and Administration.

Annelene  is based at the StreetNet International Head office in Durban, South Africa.

Email: accounts@streetnet.org.za

Jamaladdin Ismayilov (Azerbaijan)

Secretary

Jamaladdn Ismayilov was born in the village of Slavyanka, Gadabay region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. After graduating from secondary school, he was accepted in the Kharkov Civil Engineering Institute, from which he successfully graduated in 1972 with a degree in construction engineer of industrial and civil facilities. He worked in the city of Uralsk in Kazakhstan, and during this time he advanced in his career from a  foreman to chief engineer to head of a construction department to an instructor and part of the city executive committee. Then in 1988, he moved to the city of Baku, Azerbaijan, where he have been working in a trade union since 1990. At present I am the vice-president of the Federation of Trade Unions of Azerbaijan Xhidmat-ISH. The Federation unites trade workers such as street and market vendors, and other service industries. It has always been a priority for Jamal to protect the social and labor interests of ordinary workers right up to litigation. Xhidmat-ISH has defended the interests of their union members in labor dispute litigation in more than thirty sessions and twice in the Supreme Court, and won all of  them. In addition, Xhidmat-ISH engaged in cooperation with local municipalities on the problems of creating worthy places of trade for street vendors in the region. They pay great attention to the promotion and awareness to the public about the problems of street vendors and the activities of StreetNet. Read Jamal’s full biography here.

Jane Masta (Kenya)

Organizer for East and Southern Africa

Jane Masta joined StreetNet International in January 2018 as the Organiser for Africa. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Public Administration and Sociology and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Prior to Joining StreetNet International she worked with Central Organisation of Trade Unions Kenya (COTU-Kenya) and ITUC-Africa as a gender officer and projects manager. She has also been a member of the African Labour Research Network (ALRN) and Committee of Expert’s Member for East Africa Trade Union Confederation (EATUC). Jane has over 15 years’ experience in the Labour Movement.

At StreetNet International she is involved in assisting the International Coordinator in coordinating StreetNet Internationally, Regionally and Lobbying and Advocacy work. She is also involved in project management.

Email: jane.masta@streetnet.org.za

Annie Diouf (Senegal)

Treasurer

Annie Diouf is the Confederal Secretary in charge of the informal economy department of the National Confederation of Workers of Senegal (CNTS). She is also the General Secretary of the National Union of Informal Economy Workers, Street and Market Vendors (SYNATREIN) and the coordinator for the Union for the Formalization of Informal Economy Workers (UFTEI). Annie is the contact person for WIEGO and StreetNet programmes within CNTS and current Tresurer of StreetNet International. Read Annie’s full biography here.

Maíra Vannuchi (Brasil)

Organizer for the Americas, Strategist and Education Developer

Maira Villas-Bôas Vannuchi is the organizer of StreetNet International for the Americas, in addition to contributing in the areas of communication and workers education of the organization. Prior to that, she worked with StreetNet between 2011-2013 on the World Class Cities for All Campaign in Brazil. She was a founder with many other comrades of the União Nacional de Trabalhadores/as Camelôs, Ambulantes e Feirantes do Brasil – UNICAB (National Union of Workers Street Vendors of Brazil). Graduated as a sociologist, she has a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning – IPPUR at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro-UFRJ. Prior to that, she held the MA Globalization and Labor at TISS India under the ILO Global Labor University-GLU program. She worked in Brazilian Civil Society Organizations and at the Social Observatory Institute of Central Única dos Trabalhadores-CUT Brasil.

Email: maira.vannuchi@streetnet.org.za

Angélique Kipulu Katani (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Member Auditor of the Executive Committee

Angélique Kipulu Katani is the leader of the Ligue pour les Droits de la Femme Congolaise -(LDFC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a Member Auditor of the StreetNet Executive Committee and her. With a vast experience in the trade union movement, Angélique was responsible for the Women’s Department of the Trade Union Confederation of Congo (CS) in Kinshasa from 1994 to 2002. She was then elected Vice-President of the CSC, in charge of gender issues and finances. Angélique was also previously in the governing bodies of ITUC Africa.

During these 19 years in the trade union movement, Angélique participated in several trips, trainings, and conferences at the ILO, World Social Forum, United Nations Climate Change conference (COP), and meetings of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Since 2013, she has been fully devote to LDFC. Her main focus is violence against women and women informal economy workers. Angélique is divorced with three children, two girls and one boy. Read Angélique’s full biography here.

Suvarna Ragunan (South Africa)

Administration and Finance Assistant

Suvarna resides in South Africa in the city of Durban. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science Psychology degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The non profit organization world is nothing new to her as she has worked for nonprofit organizations on a part-time basis whenever needed. Suvarna has a huge passion for the upliftment of the poor and of women. She has a passion for helping people and was involved in a lot of community work growing up. Prior to StreetNet, she worked for Santam Insurance as a payment processor and at Bidvest Steiner.

Evelyn Benjamin-Sampson (Ghana)

Organizer for West and Central Africa

Evelyn Benjamin-Sampson holds master’s degree in Development Economics, in the area of “Social Economy and Labour” from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas (SP), Brazil (where she conducted her research on Informal Economy Workers and their Socio-economic Contributions); as well as Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana. She initially trained as a Professional Teacher and taught for 15 years before joining the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) as Gender and Youth Coordinator/Expert, upon studying Gender and Development/Gender-sensitive Planning and Implementation courses at the ILO International Training Center in Turin, Italy. She has trained on Labour and Social Policies for Decent Work (ILO, Geneva), Result-Based Management of Projects, Monitoring and Evaluation, Social Justice for Fair Globalisation and Global Development Agenda. She has repeatedly represented OATUU at International Labour Conference in Geneva; and at High Level Consultative Meetings at the international levels including UNCTAD, AU ECOSSOC, UNECA and ILO. She has worked as Resource Person at international workshops and trained many trainers in Unions across Africa. As Gender and Labour Expert she has offered guidelines to new Gender and Youth Officers. She has written many articles for newspapers and co-authored “Visibility and Voice for Union Women” for Global University Researchers.

Evelyn: evelyn.sampson@streetnet.org.za

Chet (Kumar) Sapkota (Nepal)

Member Auditor of the Executive Committee

Chet Sapkota, also known as Kumar, was born in 1968 in the district of Kaver in Nepal. Unlike his sisters, he was given the chance to attend school, but spent most of his childhood in poverty. This led him to question the discrimination and different treatment for rich and poor people. When he was a teenager, he joined an organized that opposed the authoritarian monarchy in Nepal, going to underground activities with the goal to end the inequalities in the country. Eventually, he had to leave for the capital city of Kathmandu due to the repression of the State. He started working in a factory and became part of a trade union. He was later arrested and tortured by authorities and had to leave his job. After recovering from serious body injuries, Kumar started a street business and became an advocate for the rights of street vendors and other informal traders in Nepal, a struggle he has been leading for decades. Read Kumar’s full biography here.

Jeanette Nyiramassengesho (Rwanda)

Member Auditor of the Executive Committee

Jeannette Jeanette Nyiramassengesho is a gender and informal economy advocate with over 12 years of experience in championing informal workers’ rights, mainly for women and girls. She is the founder of SYTRIECI, a Trade Union for Independent Workers in Informal Economy in Rwanda dedicated to the promotion and protection of Informal workers’ rights and living conditions. She also has a vibrant experience in financial issues management with 9 years of experience in exercising school financial management and audit in her Church parishes and Rwandan trade unions. She is currently the Chairperson of SYTRIECI, an affiliate of Street Net International in which she serves as International Council Member and the focal person of ATUMNET (African Trade Unions Migration Network) ITUC- Africa. She is the vice president of the Forum of Trade Unions in Rwanda.

Jeanette Nyiramassengesho is a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences (Sociology) obtained from the school of social sciences at Kigali Independent University, Rwanda.  She has been trained and is experienced in Financial and Management issues, Conflict transformation and peer mediation, Negotiation Skills, Communication Skills, leadership skills, Counselling, and Psychotherapy skills. With a leadership working experience of more than 13 years, she has been attending various big conferences and meetings at national and international levels. She speaks four languages: French, English, Swahili, and Kinyarwanda.  Lastly, Jeannette is a friendly person, team & hardworking, self-motivated woman who adapts rapidly to a situation and is much interested in giving advice to others and assisting them.

Kateryna Yarmolyuk-Kröck (Germany, Ukraine)

Organizer for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Dr. Kateryna Yarmolyuk-Kröck is a labour lawyer and a researcher on labour and social issues. After studying law at the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” in Ukraine, she has obtained her PhD in law at the International Center for Development and Decent Work / University of Kassel, Germany. She is also a graduate of the GLU Master Programme “Labour Policies and Globalisation” (2007-2008, University of Kassel and Berlin School of Economics and Law). Prior to that, Kateryna worked as a legal advisor to trade unions in Ukraine. Before joining StreetNet International, she has worked as a project coordinator at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Ukraine from 2018 to 2021, where she has effectively implemented a series of projects on workers’ rights, strengthening social dialogue, labour protection, occupational safety and health and gender equality with multiple stakeholders, including global union federations (such as BWI, IndustriALL and IUF), national employers’ and workers’ organisations and NGOs.

Her scientific interests are focused around the implementation and application of international labour law in the national legislation of states, occupational safety and health standards and social protection, particularly in the informal sector, and the role of labour inspection in enhancing labour legislation at work. Besides, Kateryna is actively researching on occupational safety and health in Europe, specifically on work-related psychosocial risks as well as the implications of COVID-19 on the world of work.

 

Email: kateryna.kroeck@streetnet.org.za

 

Nash Tysmans (Belgium, Philippines)

Organizer for Asia

Nash Tysmans is a writer, teacher, and community worker. She joined StreetNet in 2021 as a consultant for social protection but currently serves as its organizer for Asia. As a development practitioner originally based in the Philippines, she has had over 8 years of experience working in government, NGOs, and independently as a researcher in far-flung communities. She received her master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Antwerp where she specialized in governance and conflict. At StreetNet she is most excited to work on extending social protection to informal economy workers, engaging in participatory research, and working with young people in practicing communications for social change.

Email: nastasia.tysmans@streetnet.org.za

Aaron Aiah Boima (Sierra Leone)

Member of International Council

Aaron Boima is the current National General Secretary of the Sierra Leone Traders Union (SLeTU), of which he was a co-founder in 2004 along with other associations of traders. He is also the Coordinator for Informal Economy Workers of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress (SLLC). Aaron is a passionate advocate defending and organizing the unorganized. He is a trade unionist, from the Eastern Province, living in Kono Koidu City in Sierra Leone. He is a member of the StreetNet International Council and also serves as a member of the Human Resources Committee of the organization.

Pilar Balbuena (Canada, Colombia)

Global Advocacy and Urban Policies Specialist

Pilar Balbuena, works in the role of Global Advocacy, Strategist & Informal Economy Analyst for StreetNet International (SNI). Pilar has spent a significant part of her career documenting and analyzing the global trends of workers in the informal economy with particular focus on street vending, Pilar also has worked extensively with global partners in joint inclusive cities advocacy efforts. A particular work focus has been on advising and facilitating the advocacy work in the American Region, while also developing, implementing and facilitating Urban Policies capacity building for street vendors organizations across the globe. She has also played an active role on SNI Informal Cross Border Trade (ICBT) Project and helped to develop a partnership with UN-Habitat on an upcoming Public Spaces project collaboration.

 

Margarida Teixeira (Portugal)

Communication and Media Manager

Margarida Teixeira joined StreetNet International as Media Officer in June 2020. With an academic background in Cinema, Philosophy and Human Rights, she is passionate about communication for development and social change. Previously, she worked mostly with organizations devoted to migrants’ and women’s rights and has continued to be involved with grassroots feminist groups in Europe. Margarida is based in Portugal and she  holds a Master’s degree of Communication for Development from Malmö University.

Email: media@streetnet.org.za

Afiavi Anastasie Chodaton (Benin)

Member of International Council

Anastasie Chodaton is the Acting General Secretary of am Acting  of Streetet affiliate Syndicat National des Vendeurs, Vendeuses et Assimilés des Marchés du Bénin (SYNAVAMAB) and she is a member of the International Council of Streetnet.

She also the current representative of market vendors sitting on the Board of Directors of Société de Gestion des Marchés Autonomes SOGEMA, and President of the Association des vendeuses Unies pour le Développement.

Within her work with these organizations, she carries out awareness-raising activities, actions for the fight for the rights of informal economy workers within markets in her country. They work upstream with the government for a good organization of the markets.

Gabriela Calandria (Uruguay)

Member of International Council

Gabriela Calandria Álvarez belongs to the international council of Streetnet for two terms. She has been a member of the Wiego board since 2018 (representing workers).

She is a member of the board of AFFE (Asociación de Feriantes de Ferias Especiales) Uruguay – Montevideo, and was a founder of this association in 1991. Social leader, member of the social security commission in 1996 for the creation of the monotax for self-employed workers (BPS) .

A worker for gender equality rights, she has been in different feminist organizations in Uruguay, she is a social activist who never received income from her social and union work more than the satisfaction of contributing something to have a more just society. Her job is at the fair as a seller from 1990 to the present and her only income.

José Herminio Diaz Guevara (El Salvador)

Member of International Council

José Hermínio Diaz Guevara has been working in the informal economy since he was ten years old, particularly as a street vendor. He joined the organization FESTIVES when he was 17 years old as Youth Secretary. He stayed in that position for a long period. He then became Finance Secretary and is now the General Secretary of the organization. He has been a part of several associations of informal economy workers and he is a member of the StreetNet International Council at the international level.

Irene Doda (Italy)

Media Assistant

Irene joined StreetNet in 2021 as a media assistant. She lives in Italy, where she also works as a freelance contributor and writer for several magazines. She’s a community activist and organizer, involved in feminist collectives and movements in her country. She has lived and worked in several European countries such as Belgium, Greece, Ireland, and Poland. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Politics & Markets from the University of Bologna and is currently a student at the London School of Journalism.

Eleni Rozali (Greece)

Digital Communications Consultant

A digital native but creative at heart, Eleni has more than 15 years’ experience in the communications industry. The past 5 years she has been focusing mainly on digital marketing and is passionate about helping busy brands and organizations create and maintain an online presence through social profiles and websites, providing solutions that move hearts and minds. Her expertise involves strategy development, crisis management, digital and brand communications and event planning. She holds a BA in Marketing Management and an MA in Communication for Development from Malmo University.

When she’s not on her laptop [ a rare occurrence] she enjoys volunteering for the homeless or wandering the city.

She believes that one smile, one hug, one handshake, one kind word, can make the world a better place. For Eleni all challenges are accepted and all barriers can be transformed into experiential opportunities to gain momentum. Her motto: ·Be Kind·

Kenwilliams Mhango (Malawi)

Member of International Council

Kenwilliams Mhango is the current President of the Malawi Union for Informal Sector. He is also the Country Director of the African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect. Previously, he worked as a Human Resources manager, as leader of the Malawi Congress of Trades Union and Southern Africa Trade Union Council (SATUC), and also served as Special advisor to the State Republican President, on Labor and Social Protection issues.

He holds a Bachelor degree in International Relations of the University of Zambia and a Advance diploma in human resource management and development of the National Institute of Public Administration.

He has over 10 years of experience improving the socio-economic and political position of the marginalized, especially vulnerable workers, and was a Privatization Commissioner for 10 years. Chairman of the Malawi Wages Advisory Council for 10 years. Member of the Governing Council of the ILO for 11 years. Founder of the Malawi Union for Informal Sector in 1998.

He served as a Board Member for HRCC, Media AIDS and Heath Watch (Mawa, a health rights grouping of Malawian online (new media), print, and electronic media journalists and practitioners) and Lifeline Southern Africa, among others.

Kenwilliams is dedicated to the community and his belief is that innovative development processes are critical to the development of poor and historically marginalized communities. His contribution is to effectively and efficiently bring sustainable improvements to the living standards of the people of Malawi, especially children, youth and women through self-help projects based on their priorities, needs and capabilities and other activities aimed at alleviating their poverty.

In 2011, he received Malawi’s ‘Top Human Rights Defender’ Award from the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC, a grouping of 97 Malawian human rights NGOs working in the area of human rights, good governance and social emancipation. In 2011, he received an award from the French Government for Human Rights Defenders. In 2012, he received the third award, from the Mayor of Roma on how best to use IT.

Iryna Yaskevich (Belarus)

Member of International Council

Iryna Yaskevich was born on January 17, 1963 in the city Starye Dorohi, Minsk region, Belarus. She has graduated from Minsk Technological College with the specialization “Designer of female garments “. Since 1996 she becomes an entrepreneur (self-employed). In 1998 Iryna becomes a Chairperson of the Council of Entrepreneurs at a small market “Yuzhny”. In 2008 she was elected as a Chairperson of the Board of Entrepreneurs at one of the largest shopping center in Vitebsk called “Evikom”. Since 2005 the process of registering the Belarusian independent trade union “Together” has been going on. Until now, three constituent congresses of the union had taken place. In order to defend their right to an independent trade union there were three trials held in the Supreme Court and three times the registration of the union has been refused. Iryna has participated and initiated more than 12 strikes not only in the city of Vitebsk, but also in the city of Minsk, one of which lasted about 3 months. In the result of taking part in strikes in 2003, she was included in the working group in the Ministry of Economy. In 2017 she has registered the Entrepreneurship Support Center. Iryna devoted more than 20 years to the protection of entrepreneurs’ rights. She has two children and a granddaughter.

Kadiatou Barry (Guinea)

Member of International Council

Barry Kadiatou is from Guinea. She graduated from Gamal Abdel Nasser University in Conakry, with a Masters in Biochemistry. Barry worked as Section Chief of the Biological Research Laboratory of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture; Coordinator of the CAP and CAPE fishing companies in Conakry; Head of Training Section at the Human Resources Division of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Director of the Kénien Refrigeration Center.

As a trade unionist, Barry is a member of the trade union section of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Federation of Professional Trade Unions for Rural Development (FSPDR). She is also a member of the Executive Board of the National Confederation of Guinean Workers (2nd Secretary of the Cooperatives, Mutuals and Informal Department) Deputy Coordinator of the WSM / CNTG Union Cooperation Program, and member of the StreetNet International Council. Barry also has additional training on mutuals and cooperatives in Guinea and has followed trainers’ training in Atlanta (USA) and Paris (France) and participated in an exchange of experiences in Algiers on gender equality and Social Dialogue in Africa

Mduduzi (Mdu) Phenyane (South Africa)

Caretaker and Receptionist

Mdu lives in Durban and is working in a part-time position as a caretaker and receptionist in StreetNet’s office.