SASHITA - Key Persons


Christine Finlayson

Job Titles:
  • Trustee
I am a self employed tutor doing freelance work at Pembertons Sewing and Craft centre in Stirling. I teach general dressmaking, pattern drafting and embroidery. In 2003 I attended Jewel & Esk Valley College completing a short course in Historical Heirlooms for which I was awarded a Highly Commended Certificate. Wanting to further my embroidery, I embarked on City & Guilds Course in Creative Embroidery at Edinburgh's Telford College, which I completed in 2010. I am promoting my work through exhibitions with fellow students. I became involved with SASHITA through my son Grant and his wife Maggie Mazoleka and visited Samuye at the time of Grant and Maggie's wedding. I therefore, have seen first hand how difficult life there can be. I am committed to helping the people of Samuye as much as I can. Over the past few years I have run craft work shops, teaching the trustees/volunteers sewing and jewellery making skills and together we make craft items to sell at craft fairs. During 2014, I was fundamental in teaching the "Stitch in Time" sewing classes, helping local women in Oxgangs learn sewing skills. In turn, many of the students have continued to make sellable items for us to raise further funds for Sashita.

Francoise Gaudron Rutherford - Chairman

Job Titles:
  • Chairman
I joined the Trust in May 2012. I am now retired but have many years of experience in project and programme management. I worked with the Lothian Regional Council's Urban Regeneration programme supporting voluntary sector organizations in disadvantaged areas In the 1990s, I worked in Brussels where I had oversight of transnational training and employment initiatives at EU level. Long before that I had spent a year in an upland village on Bougainville Island, now in Papua New Guinea with my social anthropologist husband. More recently, I have been a Citizen's Advice Bureau adviser in North Edinburgh and a mentor of black and ethnic minority people with Linknet Edinburgh.

Grant Finlayson

Job Titles:
  • Trustee
I was born in Edinburgh and grew up in Penicuik where I attended Beeslack High School. I am currently employed with Burness Paull LLP one of Scotland's largest law firms where I work as an IT Regional Support Analyst.

Maggie Mazoleka - Founder

Job Titles:
  • Founder
I founded SASHITA in 2008 with support from my family and friends, who believed in my idea of empowering communities in rural district of Tanzania, where I was born. I am a mother of one, married and an entrepreneur! I speak Sukuma as my first language, Swahili as my second and English my third language! I was born in Tanzania, from a huge and strong tribe in Shinyanga called the Sukuma. The wealth of a Sukuma family in Shinyanga, is having lots of cows! Normally, when a girl gets married an exchange of cows as a ‘dowry' is paid to her family. I was born into a large family of 8 (5 girls and 3 boys). Traditionally, a family of 5 girls in Shinyanga means the family is very wealthy. Girls bring lots of cows, and with boys in the family it means cows are taken away to the other ‘girl's' family.

Martha Masanja

Job Titles:
  • Trustee
As a young entrepreneur, I have a deep passion for business, strategy and management. I am a warm young lady with a friendly and full of life attitude. My great sense of humour only adds to the fact that I am both focused and motivated. I love reading, shopping (which unfortunately, I never quite have enough money for), being around my family and friends, planning and organising (I am not quite sure whether this is a hobby) and everything that involves music. I come from Dar es Salaam, the industrial capital of Tanzania and I have many relatives in Samuye including my grandparents, who are Maggie's parents. Although I have been to Samuye on numerous occasions, it is after my engagement with SASHITA that made me see the village in a completely different perspective. I had never realised how easy it could be to change someone's life and make a difference. Being a part of SASHITA has given me a deeper understanding of my responsibility and capability to