We work together to amplify community member's voices and empower individuals with the right to self expression.
Louise Contino is an artist and activist based in New York City with a passion for community building, self advocacy, storytelling and photography. Louise holds a BA from the University of Vermont (2010), and has since studied at the International Center of Photography. Picturing Wanteete was self-started and funded by Louise in 2013 as a means to better understand the community-led development paradigm within the context of international development. Louise also likes to think of the project as the perfect union of her two undergraduate majors, Geography and Studio Art. When not working on Picturing Wanteete you can generally find Louise cruising down the city streets on her beloved bicycle or reading high on a mountaintop.
Waiswa John is a long-term resident and community activist of Wanteete, Uganda. Currently he serves as the lead Community Based Field Facilitator for BESO Foundation in Wanteete, as the local Agricultural Advocate for a cooperative of sugarcane and maize farmers in the Kayunga region, and as a local Council Member for the Wanteete community. Waiswa is most passionate about sustainable forestry and is currently endeavoring to plant 5,000 trees by 2020 in Wanteete in a reforestation effort to improve the air quality and soil health of his community. Waiswa was an integral member of the Wanteete Photo Collective and effortlessly assumed his leadership duties as the WPC President and primary community based translator.
Aaron founded BESO-Foundation in 2008 and currently sits as the Executive Director. Aaron was the first person from the Wanteete community to ever finish primary school and move on to higher education. He holds a BA from Makerere University in Education, as well as professional certificates in Project Management and Development Studies. He is proud of having the opportunity to go to school when he was younger and wants every child in Uganda to have the same opportunity. Aaron lives in Kampala with his wife, Frida, and his two young boys, Arthur and Anderson.
Esther is a warmhearted individual who believes that all human beings have the right to dignity, economic wellbeing, and healthy bodies. She is an integral member of BESO Foundation's management team, and brings more than 10 years of experience in financial administration and economic development to the table. Esther holds a BA from Makerere University in Education and Accounting, as well as a professional certificate in Business Administration. She is also a dedicated and loving single mother of a bright, bubbly and beautiful twelve-year-old girl named Daisy.
Kaaka is a teacher by profession and a social worker, he joined BESO Foundation in 2010 and currently coordinates BESO's Education and Economic Empowerment programs. He holds a BA from Makerere University in Textile Design and Studio Art. When he is not in the field facilitating community-driven projects, Kaaka is often in the gym preparing for body building competitions.
Sasha Fisher moved to East Africa in July 2010 to develop the Spark MicroGrants model. Her previous experiences in South Sudan, South Africa, India, and Uganda have led to her passion for community-led development. Sasha holds a BA from the University of Vermont in Studio Art and a self-designed major of Human Security, a paradigm for development that recognizes the rising legitimacy of non-state actors in securing basic human needs. Sasha splits her time between New York City, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda, maintaining her beaming bright smile and enthusiastic energy all the while.