My Choices Foundation was founded by Elca Grobler. Elca has a background in finance and investment banking. She holds a CFA and MBA. She has always had a heart for the plight of women and children and whilst completing her MBA in Sydney in 2006 she realized that she would never be able to go back to a ‘normal’ corporate job.
In 2011 Elca and her husband took a leap of faith and moved to India with their three young children. Soon after, My Choices Foundation was born and there was no looking back. When you ask Elca how long she is in India for, she answers “indefinitely”. Which is a good answer, as there is a lot of work to be done.
Elca volunteers all her time and energy to My Choices Foundation and is also one of the primary funders. Elca is married to her loving husband Roger Grobler and is a proud mother to three young children, Gabrielle, Joshua and Zoë. She still loves playing her violin and in the little spare- time that is left she enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, traveling and hanging out with her kids. She is a keen photographer and moviemaker. A large number of the photos on the My Choices Foundation website were taken by her and she has produced over a dozen “documentaries” capturing the zest and joy of trips and holidays with friends and family!
Hannah has been the volunteer Head of Marketing and Communications for My Choices Foundation since October 2013. She has been passionate since childhood about working in the development sector, specifically assisting women and children facing the lack of equal opportunity. Hannah holds an undergraduate degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London with a final year dissertation on violence against women in India.
Don’t be fooled by her blond hair and blue eyes, Hannah was born in the small Andhra city of Guntur and raised in Hyderabad! When not working, Hannah can be found developing old and new hobbies like horse riding, event planning, singing, and being a mango and dhal connoisseur. She was also bitten by the travel bug in childhood and loves having adventures in new places.
These team members work with Operation Red Alert to prevent and intervene on the trafficking of young girls for sexual exploitation.
Vivian is one of the few Program Directors who rarely ever sees his office because he is always on the move, in the field. His greatest love is connecting with people, and building coalitions of like-minded groups.
Vivian is a graduate of law with a post-gradate degree in Advertising and Public Relations. He has more than 17 years experience working with local and international NGOs heading humanitarian, media and counselling divisions. He has led diverse teams in a range of projects including education and mentorship programs for children of poor families and who have been affected by trafficking. Vivian has also worked in disaster relief and rehabilitation projects in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and parts of India. He is highly skilled in creating partnerships between NGOs, the government, police local administration, media and the law. Vivian is married and blessed with two children. He loves to travel and meet new people.
Reena has been an Operations Red Alert Program Manager since July 2015, focussing on documentation and recording of field operations, assisting field workers in coordination of grassroots programs, and building and improving the networking among NGOs in the anti-trafficking field. Reena has a Masters in Social Sciences from TISS, Mumbai and 31 years experience working in the Social Sector addressing many Human related issues, particularly focussing on streamlining NGO systems and field work procedures. Anti Human Trafficking is the cause closest to her heart. She says she’s very happy to be part of Operation Red Alert Team , which addresses what she believes to be the most important component – Prevention of Trafficking. Reena loves a positive team spirit and pursuing new skills, meeting new people and expanding her world. Her home is always open for warm hospitality and warm food.
Arpitha is an Electronics and Communications Engineer who is passionate about helping women stand on their own. She is also a graphic designer and web developer. When she is not in front of her computer, you will find her cooking and baking.
Kranthi Ahron Jannu is an Operation Red Alert SC and QC based in Warangal, looking after the SVPs in Telangana. Kranthi has a deep love for her home city of Warangal, and a passion to see the culture of violence transformed locally. Kranthi has a degree in Computers, as well as a degree in Theology for her masters from South Asia Bible College. Inspired to serve Mother India she also completed National Cadet Corps (NCC) ‘B’ Certificate and National Service Scheme for two years in her school and college respectively. Kranthi was selected as counselor for street children by Juvenile Justice Board in the year 2008. In her career, she found it necessary to extend her counseling services to the parents as well, realising that every person in the family needs counseling. Thus, Kranthi pursued a Diploma in Counseling.
Kranthi’s vision is to educate others that it is not anyone’s birthright to abuse another, nor is it justifiable under any custom or culture. She is passionate about working with families to keep their daughters safe. She considers it her calling to work for this cause in her hometown of Warangal and the state of Telangana. Kranthi also loves to read, do crafts, and photography. She has a great love for creator and creation.
These team members work with Operation PeaceMaker to end violence and discrimination against women and girls that happens at home.
Pearl Choragudi has been a Senior Counsellor with Operation PeaceMaker since the inception of our work in 2012, and has become a Mentoring Counsellor overseeing the best practices of the entire Counselling Team. Pearl is deeply passionate about helping people help themselves. A chance meeting with Elca Grobler led to Pearl’s association with Operation PeaceMaker. Armed with a Masters in Psychology, with a specialisation in Counselling, Pearl works hard to ensure every client leaves our counselling centres with a lighter heart and hope in her steps. Pearl is married to Chriso who believes very strongly in her work and they are blessed with a son, Abishai.
Noorjahan Ma’am has been a Senior Counsellor at Operation PeaceMaker Falaknuma Centre since our first PeaceMaker training in early 2012. She has varied experience as a Teacher-Counselor (6yrs), Assistant Supervisor (13yrs), a very active Coordinator in social empowerment for women (16yrs) in Confederation of Voluntary Association (COVA). A very serious incident kindled a passion in her to work among the women who are suffering enormously with various issues like Dowry harassment, Child Marriages, Girl Education, Rape victims, Curbing Arab marriages and Domestic violence. She is too humble to advertise it, but she is one of the most respected women in the community in and around Falaknuma, the overtly conservative and patriarchal area in which Operation PeaceMaker has its first and most active Counselling Centre.
Beena has been an Operation PeaceMaker Counsellor since June 2014. Beena has a Bachelors Degree in Homeopathy Medical Sciences. She completed an internship in domestic violence in the USA, and has completed her Level 2 Counseling Course accredited through ACC South Asia. She has 8 years of experience managing medical operating theaters. Aditionally, she has conducted many medical camps for the Devdasi community, children with special needs and orphans. Beena worked (5 years) at the Infertility and Research Centre as a Senior Researcher and Counselor handling fertility treatments and counseling of couples. In this position she handled over 200 hours of medical counseling. When not working Beena loves to travel and dreams of travelling all around India.
Tajwar is a Counsellor, working with Operation PeaceMaker since 2014. She is passionate about women empowerment and working to motivate her clients to lead a better lives.
She is an extremely versatile person, with a unique blend of characteristics including interpersonal skills, strong team management expertise, excellent counselling and analytical skills. She holds a master’s degree in Psychology, a master’s diploma in Counselling Psychology, and holds a degree in Bachelor of Education. Tajwar has also been a lecturer on Psychology at the English and Foreign Languages university (EFLU). In all, she has 13 years of experience in teaching and counseling. Tajwar uses her expertise in teaching to train and up-skill our PeaceMakers, making them more effective counsellors.
Aparna is an Operation PeaceMaker Counsellor having joined in 2016. She is currently pursuing her PHD in Psychology, having completed her M.Phil in Psychology with Counselling as specialization. She has over 15 years working experience in development sector. She is very passionate about and derives energy from her work. Aparna believes in the power of positive thinking and mindfulness. She was elated to join Operation PeaceMaker and she feels that the journey of helping and empowering families to develop trust, build positive relationships and respect every human being in family will help her grow personally. Other than Counselling, Aparna is passionate about travel, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Sharmila is a Psychologist with Masters in Applied Psychology (MSc), with Counseling as specialization. She also holds a Masters Diploma in Training and Development. Prior to Operation PeaceMaker, Sharmila worked training students in soft skills and managing a franchase of Global Art Organisation. Her journey with Operation PeaceMaker started on July 1st 2015, when she joined with a passion to empower women, see a smile on their face and help them in living a violence free life. In addition to Counselling Operation PeaceMaker clients, Sharmila runs Training Programs in psychology and life skills for PeaceMakers. She is driven by passion to bring positive change in the thought process of individuals towards the approach to their lives through counselling both individuals, and families. In addition to her love for counselling, Sharmila loves long drives, movies and being with people.
Ratna Sri is a Team Leader for Operation PeaceMaker Warangal Team. She joined the team in March 2014 as a PeaceMaker, but soon grew to the level of a Team Leader helping guide other PeaceMakers on case progression and tracking. Ratna has completed her Bachelors and Masters of Education and is a certified teacher.
Rahimunissa is a PeaceMaker Team Leader at our Falaknuma Centre. She is a patient, quiet women, but don’t let Rahimunnisa’s quiet ways deceive you. Our Team Leader at Falaknuma is not just deeply passionate about empowering women but is also well-versed with the legal aspect of women’s rights. She manages a team of 14 women who are just as passionate as her. Teaching children from weak socio-economic backgrounds and reading up on Muslim customary laws are her other interests.
Hajera is a doting mother of four and a strong believer in women’s rights. She is a teacher and motivational speaker by profession. Hajera found her calling as a PeaceMaker when she attended the My Choices training programme three years ago and since then, there has been no looking back. She is the group leader at Operation PeaceMaker’s Falaknuma centre and manages a team of 16 enthusiastic women. When she’s not leading her team, you can find her cooking, listening to music and watching movies with her family.
Najma runs a private practice as a Psychological Counselor and has a master’s degree in Psychotherapy and Family Counseling. Najma is trained in a variety of conflict-resolution techniques and leads workshops for parents, children, couples, and professional organizations. Along with Arshia, she is a weekly contributor to Hyderabad’s Times of India and co-founder of MAP, an organization which leads peace-building workshops.
Arshia is a trained facilitator for conflict-resolution, culture of peace and parenting workshops with 15 years of counseling experience. She is co-founder of MAP (Mediators and Peacebuilders), an organization which works in areas such as conflict transformation, inter-faith dialogue, enhancing parenting skills and building couples’ relationships. She has a master’s degree in Psychotherapy and Counseling.
Raju is the Center Coordinator for Operation PeaceMaker Warangal Centre. Raju has his Masters of Social Work with the specialization of community devolopment from K.U Warangal. During his course he participated in National Service Scheme (N.S.S) Camps at village level conducting cultural and social awareness programs on rural poverty, female feticide, harmful superstitions, violence against women, child marriage, illiteracy and alcoholism. He has worked as a lecturer in Social Work for Masters students and a PG College in Hanmakonda. During his teaching period he did field work with various NGOs and GOs.
Raju joined Operation PeaceMaker in June 2015 with the vision to see weaker sections of society strengthened. He strongly believes that the empowerment of women is the path of a nation’s development.
Ravi has been Centre Coordinator for Operation PeaceMaker Secunderabad Centre since 11 December, 2015. He completed his Master of Social Work with the specialization in Community Development from Osmania University in 2014.
Purushotam is the Centre Coordinator for Operation PeaceMaker Lakdikapul Centre. He has worked in various organizations for more than 10 years as commercial administration and accounts executive. He has a graduate degree in Political Science, Economics and Public Administration from Osmania University in Hyderabad. He has been passionate about community development and helping the people those are in need since his childhood. Through his Church, Purushotam also assisted in various social services as a Community Coordinator in identifying the school dropout children helping get them admitted in boarding schools and hostels and looking after their education, medical care and other facilities. He feels it is a God given oppurtunity to be a part of Operation PeaceMaker’s work to end violence against women and girls.
Satya Vani is a trained lawyer who specializes in helping female victims of abuse, violence and exploitation work through their case in court. She is responsible for assisting each Operation PeaceMaker client who chooses to take her case to court for legal action .
Archana has been Operation PeaceMaker Program Director since September, 2014. She has an impressive background in marketing, training & counseling, recruitment & outsourcing, financial planning and franchising. She prides herself in her ability as a strong leader with visionary outlook on every task she sets out to do. Archana, or “Archie” as she is affectionately called, is one of those rare people who can achieve remarkable results in executing strategy without losing sight of the ever important element of team work. Her focus is on people, and maximizing the passion and strengths of those around her.
Dr. Farzana lives by the motto, “I Prefer Dangerous Freedom over Peaceful Slavery”. She has been the Program Manager at Operation PeaceMaker since 2014. Farzana has doctorate in political science with gold medal and PG diploma in human rights, and an amazing background of 7 years of working with Human rights organizations in Uttar Pradesh. Her field of expertise encompasses constitutional and legal frameworks as well as the international human rights mechanism. Her professional and academic interests include gender, patriarchy, identity based violence, and laws related to women and children.
Soon after becoming a part of Operation PeaceMaker, she has taken up oversight of all centers in Hyderabad and Secunderabad as well as our Warangal center. She has great enthusiasm for the capacity building of the PeaceMakers and providing legal support to the survivors of violence.
Asima joined us as a legal advisor and project manager for the newly started “Shakti” program in early 2016. After finishing her Bachelors of Commerce (Hons) from Osmania University she realized that accounts was not really her forte and went on to pursue a degree in law to fulfill her passion to help people. She is a firm believer of women’s rights and thinks that the happiness and progress of women and children has a major effect on society as a whole. She believes that working with Operation PeaceMaker will give her the opportunity to change people’s lives for better. It is her easy going nature and relaxed temperament that makes her connect well with people. Asima is an avid reader who hates the idea of E-Books and prefers reading the traditional paper book.
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