Our Alumni


Jessica Kaku is South Sudanese, moving to Uganda following the war for South Sudan's independence.  She returned to South Sudan in 2009 and began working for development organisations, concentrating on agricultural strategies.

Jessica's MSc in International Development from Bristol University helped strengthen her knowledge and understanding of underdevelopment.  The course was highly-structured, with cross-cutting units that looked at different aspects of development: social, economic and political.  She says that the course units provided her with the analytical skills to understand different concepts of development and to develop strategic interventions and apply these to various projects in her own country.

She is currently employed as a consultant to the Eastern Africa Grain Council.  By improving warehouse operations and imparting skills to various stakeholders, the assignment will help farmers to grow and sell more produce in order to address food insecurity, as well as escape poverty.

With this great wealth of knowledge I feel more confident and better skilled than ever at performing tasks in the field.

Jessica in the library


Mukhtar Ahmed Mohamed is currently Deputy Country Director for Action Contre La Faim (ACF) in Somalia.  Raised in Kismayo, Somalia, he was displaced to Dadaab in Kenya, where he volunteered as a teacher in Hagadera refugee camp in 1992.  At the time there was little provision of activities for children, and the initiatives started by Mukhtar and his colleagues attracted the support of UNHCR International and NGOs.  Mukhtar progressed to found the first secondary school in the camp in 2000, serving as the founding principal.  Between 2002 and 2004 he worked in the Somali Bantu Survival Literacy Programme.

Mukhtar lead an inter-agency initiative to eliminate the abuse of refugees in Kenya.  Despite his extensive experience and ability, he was then told by the UN that he would need high level qualifications to continue in his post.

Windle Trust supported Mukhtar’s undergraduate study at Kabarak University in Kenya, from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce.  Following a stint with the World Food Programme (WFP), he came to the UK with Windle’s support to study for a Master’s Degree in International Project Management, at Glasgow Caledonian University.  He graduated with a distinction in 2013.

His master’s degree was the route to his current position with ACF.  His duties include supporting ACF’s developmental strategy n Somalia, ensuring high quality project management, team building, capacity development and security management. 

My study in the UK exposed me to diverse cultures and ways of doing things.  I was inspired by the advanced state of political, economc and social development in the UK.   It gave me an idea of how such development is attained and what it takes to maintain it.  I believe that such systems are possible everywhere.

Mukhtar in protective UN uniform


Dennis was born in South Sudan in 1983. He is the first born of a family of 9 with three brothers and five sisters, and he grew up in a refugee camp in Northern Uganda. Dennis was awarded a DAFI/Windle Trust Uganda scholarship in 2007 to study a BSc in Biomedical Laboratory Technology at Makerere University, Kampala. Following completion of his undergraduate degree, Dennis volunteered as a Medical Laboratory Technologist at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences department of Microbiology from July to December 2010, and doubled as a Research Technician. In March 2011, Dennis relocated to South Sudan to work as Laboratory Tutor in Rumbek Health Institute where he was the acting principle of the institution for one year.

In 2013, Dennis was awarded a Windle Trust International Postgraduate Scholarship to study an MSc in Molecular Medical Microbiology at the University of Nottingham. Upon completion, Dennis returned to South Sudan and joined the Ministry of Health Public Health Laboratory (PHL) in Juba to work as a laboratory scientist, conducting diagnostic tests for Cholera, HIV and TB.  PHL recently won its first ever research grant from a Korean diagnostic company to validate a test kit, as a result of a proposal Dennis developed using application of his MSc knowledge.  In January 2017, he was offered a new assignment to work as a laboratory manager for the Central TB Reference laboratory located at the same institution.


Mary Goretty Oyella was born in Loa in Eastern Equatoria State in South Sudan, and following the outbreak of conflict, moved with her family to Uganda as a refugee. In 2002, Mary graduated from Makerere University, Kampala with BA in Sociology and Social Administration. After graduation, she worked for World Vision Uganda Children of War Rehabilitation Programme, and Christian Relief Services Uganda as an Assistant Peacebuilding/Protection Officer.

Mary was awarded a postgraduate scholarship by Windle Trust International in 2012 to pursue an MA in Education, Gender & International Development, at the Institute of Education, University College London. She returned to South Sudan in July 2013, after completing her dissertation entitled:  ‘Expanding girls' capabilities to overcome barriers to their education in a post-conflict rural South Sudan-Case study Tambura County, Western Equatoria State, South Sudan’. Shortly after returning to South Sudan, Mary began working for UNFPA as Gender Based Violence Specialist, based in Bor, Jongolei State.  She is passionate about educational opportunities for girls and women, and Mary is now pursuing the possibility of a PhD at the Institute of Education in London.

 Life is about supporting others; Windle Trust’s contribution in my life is an investment for me and my family as well as my country, the challenge remains on how I can pay back this generosity to other people who may need help. Academically, am motivated to move beyond MA - in the near future I would like to undertake my PhD. Learning never ends and exposure is the best teacher


Mary (centre) at the launch of ‘16 Days of Activism Against GBV’ in 2016


Simon Duku is a Windle Trust Scholar 2015-2016. He studied an MA in Education, Gender and International Development at the Institute of Education, University College London (UCL). After graduating from his postgraduate degree, Simon returned to South Sudan. He is now working for UNICEF South Sudan as Education Officer contributing to addressing the challenges the country is undergoing in the field of education. Part of his role includes the implementation of Education in emergency interventions. His key duties include supporting program development and planning, providing technical and operational support to program implementation, creating networks and partnership building. 

The Master’s Degree that I obtained through the Windle Trust scholarship has not only enabled me to acquire knowledge of critically analysing contemporary development issues but also get exposed to multi-cultural settings in the UK that has shaped my future destiny. Windle Trust has made me who am today and the inspiration overwhelmingly directed my thoughts towards transforming communities through humanitarian interventions as a tool for empowerment