David Hope-Jones OBE
David joined the Scotland Malawi Partnership in 2008 and has since been heading up the office as the organisation has grown significantly.
He is responsible for the management of all aspects of the Partnership's work and is managed by the Board of Directors. Specifically, much of David's time is focused on the strategic development of the organisation, engagement with the respective governments, and external partnership working. He has long been interested in Malawi, having spent his earliest years in the region, and regularly returned since. Before starting with the Partnership, David managed the British Red Cross in the City of Edinburgh.
Although not originally from Scotland, David has lived in Edinburgh since 2001 and greatly enjoys all Scotland has to offer: he can usually be found of a weekend up a hill, on his bike, running or fishing. He was awarded an OBE in 2016, in the Queen's 90th Birthday Honours List.
Member Services Manager
Kathy joined the Scotland Malawi Partnership in June 2017 as Member Services Manager. She is working with our members to support, connect and champion all their many and varied links with Malawi. Kathy also supports Emily, Jackie and Grace in their roles.
Kathy has worked in a number of international development organisations, including SolarAid in London and the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease in Edinburgh. Her first encounter with Malawi came when working for SolarAid which had one of its first programmes there. She was lucky enough to visit and was immediately won over by the warm welcome she received.
A keen cyclist, Kathy can often be found riding the many beautiful cycle routes in Scotland, and is hoping to one day cycle round Lake Malawi!
Media and Communications Officer
Jackie is leading with media and communications for the Scotland Malawi Partnership and is responsible for increasing awareness and support for Scotland's links with Malawi.
Fresh out of studying for her Masters in Journalism at Strathclyde University, Jackie hopped on a plane to Malawi to intern with SMP Members, Mary's Meals. She spent nine months supporting the UK and Global Media and Communications teams and writing a blog for The Herald. Despite a personal battle with the monkeys on Zomba Plateau (!), she fell in love with the Warm Heart of Africa. She's a keen photographer and videographer and loves to travel.
Head of Youth and Schools
Emily joined the Scotland Malawi Partnership in October 2014 and works to support existing school partnerships, encourage new partnerships with schools and youth groups, and increase the Partnership's engagement of young Scots.
Emily first visited Africa as an eight year old and told her parents that she would move to Africa one day! She worked as a Primary teacher in England and then her wish came true as she moved to Malawi to work as a teacher trainer with VSO for two years. After her VSO placement she worked directly with a Primary school in Lilongwe as Acting Primary Head Teacher. When she returned to the UK she decided to move to Edinburgh as her family live here, and she thinks it’s a great city! Emily doesn't have much spare time (as she has a very energetic 3 year old daughter!) but when she gets 5 minutes peace she enjoys reading, arts and crafts, dancing and teaching Chichewa for the SMP.
Member Services Officer
Grace joined the Scotland Malawi Partnership in September 2017 as the Member Services Officer. She is the first point of contact for all our members, provides support, and leads on the implementation of key SMP events, forums and member-related projects.
Grace's background is in international sustainable development and she has worked with a number of NGO’s, charities and member-led organisations, including the University of Edinburgh, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, and the Democratic Progress Institute in London. She studied International Relations at the University of St Andrews, completed an MSc Africa and International Development at the University of Edinburgh, where she focused on environmental sustainability in Malawi, and most recently finished her Law degree at the University of Stirling, focusing on Environmental Law.
While she was born in South Africa, and went to school in Canada, she has lived in Scotland for nearly 10 years and considers herself lucky to call Edinburgh one of her favourite places in the world! You can usually find her googling flights to different countries, doing road-trips around Scotland, and searching for off-the-beaten-path things to see and do.
Olu is a qualified accountant with over 10 years experience working in different sectors including finance and not for profits. Olu is responsible for most of the internal processes at the partnership including finance.
She's lived in Edinburgh for over two years and when not at work, her little son keeps her busy! In her spare time Olu enjoys travelling, reading and watching a good movie.
Beata Skobodzinska joined the SMP team in January 2017 in the capacity of Youth Officer responsible for organising the annual SMP Youth Congress.
Beata has an extensive experience in managing educational, cultural and networking events. She has been long involved in the third sector activities working for educational and integrational charities including the European Youth Parliament Poland (CEO) and Edinburgh’s Just Festivals (Festival Director). She is particularly interested in engaging disadvantaged people in the arts and culture activities. Since 2014 she has been a Production Manager with a South African non-profit organisation, After Freedom Productions, that creates opportunities for young South African street performers to share their talent and culture with the wider international audiences.
In her spare time, she enjoys family activities with her son and partner.