Massimo Gini, Founder
I founded Sustain for Life in 2006. During visits to some of the poorest and least developed parts of the world, I saw first-hand the lack of opportunities for children and other vulnerable people. I committed to helping the poorest of the poor by giving them the tools and skills to create a better future for themselves. I was amazed at how even a little bit of funding could make such a transformative difference to the lives of those existing in extreme poverty. Frustrated by seeing the amount of charitable funding that was wasted on unnecessary expenditure I made a pledge to fund the entire running costs of Sustain for Life to ensure that 100% of income would go directly to the people who need it the most. I travel to our projects regularly and encourage our partners and donors to get involved directly. It’s our collective duty to help our fellow human beings, particularly the vulnerable and underprivileged, so hope that many others will join me in supporting projects through Sustain for Life and help to create a better world for us all.
Abigail Akirapa, Country Manager
Through my role as Country Manager I hope to shape initiatives that are impactful and help countless others improve their circumstances through self-sufficiency. I am a dedicated Ugandan woman who is passionate about creating opportunities for vulnerable women, children and youth. I have worked in development for about 15 years now, with a progressive career path, rising from junior to senior positions through the years. I have gained experience in international development by working with state and non-state actors, both at the lower and national levels. I have worked for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Papua New Guinea, Child Fund International in Uganda and the VSO. My development career has partly been shaped by the African proverb: “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.” Together, we can create the change we want to see, one step at a time.
Martin Bichachi, Project Officer, Uganda
My role for Sustain for Life is to make sure that the charity’s funding reaches the people it is intended for and follow those people to make sure that our support makes a big impact on their lives. I also play a key role in implementing projects, especially those that deal with training and educating vulnerable youth, such as those in the remand homes. My mother, who has suffered with leprosy for some 35 years, has inspired me to help others by her willingness to maximise life despite her difficult circumstances. Sustain for Life has given me an opportunity to reach those less fortunate than me and to see lives of people change for the better.
Gerry Hutchinson, UK
After a long career in the Armed Services involving travel to some fairly exotic places, I eventually joined Eurochange plc towards the end of the 90s. Through this I met Massimo and became involved with the Sustain for Life vision at a very early stage. It has been a rewarding experience (if somewhat ‘seat-of-the-pants’ at times). I am pleased to be part of a very small but dedicated team, which gives its best and turns its hand to almost any aspect in support of an earnest desire to make a difference for some of the poorest people in the world. At Sustain for Life, in everything we do, a little goes a long way. “It is a peculiarity of this age that humility and gentleness are often taken as some form of weakness. Frequently, they indicate precisely the opposite – great strength!” - David Yallop
Jo Kroes Randell, Head of Development, UK
I work with Sustain for Life to develop our programmes and build partnerships, with the aim of maximising the impact of our projects and ultimately helping more individuals and communities to become self-sufficient. With many years experience as a development professional, I became discouraged with the amount of money that was wasted on unnecessary expenditure. I am proud that every penny raised for Sustain for Life goes directly to help people that need it the most. We might not be able to change the world overnight, but we can have a huge impact on the lives of others, one person or community at a time. “Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” – Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
Patrizio Ziggiotti, Head of Development, Italy
I am a long-time friend and business partner of Massimo Gini, the founder of Sustain for Life. When Massimo told me about the charity, his newest and most passionate venture, I was immediately captured. Here was a chance for me to do something personally, to learn more about how charities operate and find out how to maximise my own philanthropy. I am very pleased to have travelled, seen and understood how much we can do, and how difficult and complex it is to do it properly. I live in Milan, am happily married, have three fantastic children, speak English, French and Spanish, and love tennis, nature, and good food and people. I graduated from the University of Milan and attended a Program for Management Development at Harvard in 1984. I have enjoyed various professional roles, worked in many different sectors and countries and have travelled the world extensively. My last position before starting my own company in 1993 was CEO of a Swiss multinational group active in the duty free shops business worldwide. I am glad to apply my professional experience to furthering the mission of Sustain for Life.
Our Strategic Advisors
Marianne is a Director at Justice Studio, a UK based consultancy and research organisation specialising in the fields of child protection, youth justice and penal reform. She is an expert in strategic development, business planning, and project management and design. She has worked extensively in the UK and internationally. Adept at working in complex international environments, Marianne has to date worked in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. In Africa, Marianne has recently written an advocacy report on girls in conflict with the law and being sexually exploited in Sierra Leone, and carried out a review of five juvenile detention facilities in Uganda. On the back of her 2010 publication, Juvenile Detention in Uganda: Review of Ugandan Remand Homes and the National Rehabilitation Centre, Sustain for Life has worked closely with Marianne to develop a programme of aid to juvenile detention facilities in Uganda.
Nicoletta Zappatini is an Investment Banker with Crédit Agricole CIB in Milan, Italy. She has international finance experience in debt capital markets and infrastructure finance both in OECD and Emerging Markets and is an energy finance specialist. Nicoletta has a BA from L.Bocconi University, Milan and is an International Finance graduate of NYU, New York. She is also member of various professional organisations aiming at improving women’s leadership and well-being. In 2011 Nicoletta was honored by being named one of Italy’s “Ready for Board” women.