On this page you will see the full list of research participants, along with brief biographies (participants choosing to remain anonymous have been assigned a pseudonym and general descriptions of their experience and affiliation).

Amy Bosche

Amy Bosche has always been passionate about global issues and global inequality. Although she started her career as an inclusive education teacher, Amy has more than ten years working in NGOs specializing in community work, international development and education. Currently, Amy is the education coordinator at the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC).

Carol Sherman

Carol Sherman, as one of the founders of Aid Watch Australia, has always been interested in social development and the impacts of multilateral and bilateral aid. At present, she is an independent consultant in humanitarian and international development. For more than 25 years, Carol has worked in international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) in different contexts, including child sponsorship programs, and geographies, such as Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

David Jefferess

David Jefferess is a settler-situated scholar who teaches at UBC Okanagan, in unceded Syilx territory. His research is focused on humanitarian discourse and how it relates to global citizenship. In the late 1990s, David lived and worked in Malawi for two years as a secondary school teacher. During this experience, he witnessed the work of various development organizations. David examines humanitarian discourses, mainly focusing on representational practices of mainstream NGOs from a critical perspective.

Development Expert, DE1

Development Expert, DE1 [anonymous participant] is a Canadian who has been involved in international cooperation and non-governmental organizations for more than thirty years, with an interest in critical analysis of society and social transformation, and having worked many years in South and Central America.

Development Expert, DE2

Development Expert, DE2 [anonymous participant] has a degree in international development and works as a public education and engagement coordinator for a Canadian NGO.

Emilce Peñón Esquivel

Emilce Peñón Esquivel has a degree in education from the University of Tolima, Colombia. For more than twenty years, Emilce has worked for a large non-governmental organization focused on supporting children without parental care and families at risk. She has held different positions throughout Colombia, and is presently the regional donor service coordinator for Latin America.

Joyce de Gooijer

Joyce de Gooijer has been the director of Volunteer International Christian Service (VICS), Canada, since 2013. Joyce’s affiliation with VICS started when she served as a volunteer, along with her husband John, in 1988. Joyce’s perspectives on child sponsorship have been shaped by six years of volunteer experience in Kenya, Tanzania and Kiribati; 25 years as a classroom teacher and principal; and 10 years as VICS director, traveling to and building relationships with partners in over 10 Global South countries.

Juan Mones

Juan Mones holds a degree in Communications and an MBA in Business and has almost 25 years of experience in fundraising. His journey started in Plan International and continued in other NGOs, mainly in South America. He currently leads the global fundraising innovation program at UNICEF headquarters in Geneva. Previously, Juan served as the Fundraising Manager for UNICEF Colombia.

Lisa Taylor

Lisa Taylor is Professor in the School of Education at Bishop’s University (Canada). Her research focuses on equity and social justice pedagogical models to address social diversity emerging from colonization, globalization and transnational flows. Her experience supporting different social movements in other countries informs her pedagogical perspectives related to equity. In 2012, Lisa published a book chapter Beyond Paternalism: Global Education with Preservice Teachers as a Practice of Implication—a text which challenges global citizenship education and raises concerns about the persistent colonialist approach in respected and well-intended fundraising programs.

Luke Stocking

Luke Stocking has been involved in Catholic social non-governmental organizations and communities from a very young age. Currently, he is the Deputy Director of Public Awareness and Engagement at Development and Peace Caritas Canada (DPCC), an organization he has been involved in for more than fifteen years. He started working as an animator in Ontario in 2006, where he was responsible for recruiting, forming and accompanying the organization’s members. He served in this position until 2018 when he became Deputy Director. 

Maria Velasco

Maria Velasco is an Ecuadorian sociologist with a master’s degree in media studies and social development. Maria is currently the representative in the Latin American region for She has vast experience in the public sector working on child rights and eradication of child labour, as well as working in corporate social responsibility departments of private companies and different NGOs. Her approach to child sponsorship is informed by her experience working towards children’s rights in these areas.

Nathan Dirks

Nathan Dirks is an Action Pastor at the South Ridge Community Church in the Niagara region of Ontario (Canada). Nathan supports social programs for marginalized and discriminated groups, seasonal migrants, and homeless people. His experience living and working in the Global South has impacted his perceptions of social justice and equity.

Peter Ove

Peter Ove is Professor at Camosun College in Victoria, BC. He has been teaching sociology for about ten years at Camosun and the University of Victoria. Previously, Peter was a high-school teacher in Denmark and an officer in UN-Habitat Brazil. His interest in international development and global poverty alleviation began in his early years. His graduate research revolved around global poverty, non-profit fundraising, and child sponsorship programs, focusing on Canadian perceptions and worldviews. His book Change a Life, Change your Own: Child Sponsorship, the Discourse of Development, and the Production of Ethical Subjects (2018), critiques child sponsorship programs for not addressing the deep roots of poverty and inequity. 

Rachel Tallon

Rachel Tallon is interested in development studies and critical thinking in education, and currently works as a tutor in the Bachelor of Youth Development course in Weltec/ Whitireia, New Zealand. Rachel was a research assistant at Victoria University of Wellington from 2014-2017 and is now a co-director of Right Place Resources. Rachel has published widely on topics of international development, child sponsorship and youth perceptions on NGOs, and has produced resources for alternative ways of thinking for educators and schools which challenge how society addresses international development.

Shannon Neufeldt

Shannon Neufeldt is the Member Relations and Network Coordinator at KAIROS Canada. Having grown up in a Mennonite Church, Shannon became familiar with child sponsorship from an early age, though she has never been involved as a sponsor. As part of her role with KAIROS, Shannon supports grassroots organizations in their own countries and with their links to the churches. She conducts workshops and develops workshop resources related to all areas of KAIROS’ work.

Simon Granovsky-Larsen

Simon Granovsky-Larsen is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Regina, and has served twice as a member of the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation’s (SCIC’s) board of directors. His research focuses primarily on international development, social movements, and the impact of extractivist projects in Central America. His critical development perspective comes from years of working closely with Indigenous small farmers and grassroots organizations in Guatemala.

University Academic, UA1

University Academic, UA1 [anonymous participant] is a professor at a university in the United States, with research focused on a critical examination of non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).