All work carried out by Barefoot Initiative has been done on a volunteer basis with no salaries or benefits being paid to founders, board of directors or volunteers. The cost of flights for members of the team traveling to Ethiopia are paid by the individual, not the organization, to ensure all donation money is used directly on projects.
Barefoot Initiative was founded by three Australians, Aidan Glasby, Kyra Marwaha & Sunil Marwaha who are interested in sustainable and community driven development.
Our name ‘Barefoot Initiative' is symbolic of our goal to work closely with communities at a ground level assisting them in realising their ideas for development.
In 2015, a new structure was formed with the growth of the organisation. New directors were invited to join the board. There are now seven members of the board who volunteer their time and skills. We share a common vision to assist marginalised communities in self-development, and aim to achieve this by utilizing the variety of skills between us.
Aidan was born in Australia and educated at the Mt Barker Waldorf School. Growing up in a family of four siblings and parents who loved adventures, he had a colorful and exciting childhood that took him through Europe, Asia and throughout Australia. After completing year 12 Aidan completed a shipwright apprenticeship. In 2003 he started a degree in environmental science, but after returning from his trip to Ethiopia decided to change over to nursing, which he completed in November 2008. From 2009 through to 2012 Aidan, together with his partner Lexi, worked in remote Indigenous communities in the NT. In 2013 Aidan was part of a team named Desert Microlight Odyssey, which was a cross-cultural adventure story of two young couples travelling 5000km across Australia in two Microlights. The aim of the project was to share through a documentary the positive stories of the diversity of characters living and working in remote Australia. Aidan and his partner Lexi and their two young children are currently based in Cambodia where they are working as volunteers on behalf of the Australian government.
ALEXANDRA (LEXI) KENEALLY
After a trip to a remote Australian community when she was a young child, Lexi had always envisaged herself working alongside minority groups with a particular interest from a health perspective. Once she graduated from nursing in Adelaide she moved to Alice Springs to work in Indigenous Health. It was here she met Aidan, Sunil and Kyra and embarked on her first overseas trip to Ethiopia in 2010. Lexi strongly believes that in our western world where education is so accessible it is our social responsibility to work alongside minority groups and share this knowledge. She believes that it is vital to build a mutual respect through relationship, which develops over time. She feels particularly passionate about empowering women to bring about change in their lives through education. Lexi is committed to building relationship, learning more about the Afar people, their culture and how we can best support their goals and ambitions in the future.
Anna Fawcus is an Australian fine art and documentary photographer, currently based in New York. She works on humanitarian, environmental and animal welfare projects, with various NGO's and international development organizations around the world. Anna became involved with Barefoot Initiative in 2010, when she visited the Afar for the first time. She was impressed by not only the incredible work that Barefoot Initiative were doing, but also in their method; engaging with the community and working with them to create change together. Anna's admiration for the organization got her more involved, and she went on subsequent trips to the Afar, building relationships in the community and continuing to document both the place and the people. Her photographs of the community have been used at various fundraisers over recent years.
Kerry Taylor is an Associate Professor with the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, Flinders University, based in Alice Springs. She has lived and worked in Central Australia since 1988 in Indigenous health and education. Kerry has a strong interest in the principles of social justice and primary health care as a means of addressing inequities in health.
Kyra (Aidan's younger sister) is a dedicated and passionate aid worker with over a decade of experience working professionally and as a volunteer within the development sector. After completing year twelve Kyra travelled through Ethiopia, the Middle East and Asia, where her time was spent working as a volunteer in a variety of settings, which included living and volunteering in a remote Afar village named Buri in Ethiopia. Through this experience Kyra had the privilege to witness the incredible richness of the Afar culture, and she also witnessed the extreme challenges that the Afar people endure on a daily basis. As a result Kyra was determined to return to Australia to study nursing, so that she could work to support marginalised communities. Kyra now holds a Bachelor in Nursing and a Masters in International Health and Development and now lives in Cambodia where she is working as the Country Director for a German International NGO.
Zeshi is a Midwife with qualifications and experience in international health and development. She initially visited Ethiopia with Barefoot in 2003 and has followed their journey ever since. Zeshi has been involved with a number of other health based NGOs in the Solomon Islands, East Timor and Australia, and is currently working with the Birthing Kit Foundation in Adelaide. Her professional interests are centred on reproductive and maternal health programs, education and training, and sustainable community development.
Scott Lindqvist is a Chartered Accountant and Member of the Institute of Company Directors, with more than 20 years experience dealing with many facets of business ownership and management. Having worked in a major accounting firm, and as a partner in a middle sized firm, and then in a small two partner firm, Scott established Outcome Accounting in 2008. The subsequent growth of Outcome Accounting is due, in part, to the high level of responsiveness and commitment shown to clients, and the provision of fairly priced services. Over the past twenty years Scott has worked as an advisor on transactions involving the significant restructuring of public and private businesses. More recently he has focussed on the particular needs of small and medium sized enterprises and family businesses, including consulting on business improvement, strategic planning, succession planning, compliance, accounting and tax. He also has had and continues with particular interest in the pre and post start-up needs of not for profit enterprises. Driven by the need to make a difference, Scott's passion is to see the people and enterprises he works with succeed, and in doing so, be in a position to empower disadvantaged communities globally to prosper through enterprise.