Marissa Alvarez

Head of Projects

Role in indiGO: I met Holly and Benjamin at a Together4Africa conference. It took only a few minutes before I was completely taken by them and their work. I had recently returned from Tanzania where I had been volunteering as a project coordinator responsible for ensuring that both the projects and the volunteers were benefitting from the volunteer placements. The experience had given me the opportunity to spend time with enthusiastic volunteers, ready to share their skills and experiences, limited or extensive, with local projects. I was also able to visit dozens of projects needing these skills and experience. However, it soon became apparent there was little matching between the needs of the projects and the skills of the volunteers. As project coordinator I wrote several reports (based on the volunteers’ extensive feedback and my meetings with the projects) to the organization, but I left there knowing that nothing was going to change. Income-generation was the driving force. And then there they were – Holly and Benjamin doing exactly what I thought needed doing – what a gift! They have generously let me take on the role of Head of Volunteers. I will be overseeing any work relating to external volunteers including spreading the word through talks to schools and universities, as well as assessing the suitability of projects for the website.

Interesting facts: I am a Cuban-American-Dane living in the UK, and I have fallen in love with Tanzania. Turns out (to the great surprise of friends and family, as well as myself) that I have a green thumb and gardening is now a great passion of mine. I have an enduring love of Jackson Browne that has not weakened in 35 years. I make a mean New York Style Cheesecake.