Meet the Team
Vashti Seth, Deki Founder and CEO
After building a successful career as a freelance production manager in the Australian film industry, Vashti decided to move back to the UK to study Philosophy, and it was during her final year at University, that she founded Deki. Inspired by a young Tibetan refugee and a £2,000 legacy left to her by her father for Vashti to “do something good” with.
Vashti has always held the core belief that everyone should have an opportunity to empower themselves, and is particularly passionate about empowering women to hold leadership roles within their communities and homes. Vashti believes that businesses are integral to shaping a fairer, more sustainable future and is dedicated to helping businesses to put positive impact at the heart of their company culture and create positive change.
She has also worked with local, national and international businesses to increase and measure their positive impact and has been featured in The Observer, The Guardian, Daily Mail, Red Magazine, Grazia and Marie Claire.
Vashti has won numerous high-profile awards such as; Bristol and Bath’s Businesswoman of the Year and IOD’s Third Sector Director of the Year; Vashti was also awarded an Honorary MBA from the University of West of England for her commitment to community and entrepreneurship.
Christian Kadangah, IADES Founder and Managing Director
With over 13 years of experience in inclusive microfinance and working with underpriveleged populations, Christian left his job at a microfinance bank in 2011 and used his savings to start IADES. He holds multiple qualifications in finance and accounting from the University in Lomé, Togo.
“For me it is clear that for vulnerable communitites to flourish, they need basic economic and social services such as access to healthcare, access to clean energy, clean water and education. We are pleased with the work being done with our sister partner Deki, which brings well-being and smiles to the rural communities.”
Katy Bird, Business Development and Programmes Manager
After working in a corporate environment for the last 20 years, Katy decided she needed to have a more fulfilling and meaningful role where she would make a real difference to people’s lives.
All of her previous roles were in the financial industry. She is a qualified mortgage advisor and legal executive after completing both of her Ilex and Cemap qualifications, all of which help her in her role at Deki.
From the first moment she heard about Deki, Katy fell in love with Deki’s values and vision as she truly believes that if you empower people with the tools and opportunities to change their lives, then they can work their own way out of extreme poverty.
Outside of Deki, Katy’s passion is the practice of yoga and the healing power of breathwork. Katy is currently completing a 200-hour yoga teacher training course to enable her to help others to combat difficult situations, with the power of self-awareness.
Liz Stagg, Deki volunteer
Liz has been with us since 2014 and has become an integral part of the team and we would be lost without her. Her skills are limitless; from proof reading copy and project research and support to being our very own in house translator. Liz speaks and writes French fluently and joined us on our field trip to Togo last year. She is vital to us gathering information from Deki entrepreneurs and translating back and forth between team members from different continents.
Not only does Liz contribute to our website copy, she has also provided many of the photographs that she took during the Togo field trip in 2019.
An avid traveller, Liz has explored far reaching places, she has hiked the Himalayas and explored Patagonia. She is no stranger to the African continent where she has worked with a lion conservation charity and orphanage community projects around Zimbabwe.
Liz regularly writes travel blogs about her adventures in Antarctica, Greenland and Svalbard, a place she loves to photograph and longs to return to.
After a corporate career in the telecoms industry, Liz is seeking a more meaningful role – to make the world a better place; helping women in Africa to grow their way out of poverty.
Olivia Lassey, IADES Operations Manager
Joining Christian in 2013, Olivia is currently in charge of IADES’s operations and also heads up the Women’s Empowerment Collectives programme. She is deeply committed to empowering women and through her work she can help vulnerable women to become self-sufficient. Olivia holds a degree in Marketing and Strategy.
Gabriel Hini, Cooperative Project Manager, Ave region
As Rural Manager, Gabriel is responsible for the day to day running of the Agricultural Cooperatives Programme. He joined IADES in 2019 after studying for a degree in Sociology, during which he specialised in social development. He feels proud to be part of IADES and to be working alongside farmers to help achieve the sustainable development of Togo’s rural communities.
Ambroise Houndzou, Cooperatives Project Manager, Plateaux region
Through providing training, financial and technical support, we can empower agricultural producers to increase their productivity and income. I care deeply about about this programme as it works towards improving the lives and living conditions of smallholder farmers and their families.
Cyril Gagban, Healthcare Project Manager
Cyril began working as a rural credit officer for IADES in October 2020. He holds a BTS qualification in local development animation and enjoys challenges which allow him to develop his skills. In January 2022, Cyril became the Mutual Health Insurance Project Manager.
Eloge Alona, Environmental Sustainability Manager
Working on our vital projects, which aim to work towards the sustainable development goals, means we can have a real impact to significantly reduce the effects of CO2 on humans and the environment.
The changes which will have the most effect on the region will be the reduction of deforestation and air pollution, and by nurturing our biodiversity and ecosystems, we will naturally see an increase in harvests and health.
Gabin Amouzou,Wezou Lim Project Manager
The safe water project supports women, as women and girls are the ones who suffer the most if there is a lack of water in a community. Thsi project entrusts women with the responsibilty for their water source, and experience has shown that the involvement of women in projects increases their chances of success and sustainability.
Consulota Price OBE
1st Chair of the Board of Trustees
Consulota has spent most of her career working in the developing world alongside and in partnership with organisations and individuals committed to empowerment, equity and capacity building. Consulota has extensive experience working in the UK and overseas with government and non-government organisations, in complex environments and with wide ranging risks.
“Deki’s simple and powerful goal of opportunity not poverty captures beautifully what attracted me to the role of trustee.
The focus on Togo, a country that does not feature highly on most funding agendas, means that Deki and our partners are truly able to demonstrate that no one is forgotten in their hope to lead healthy, fulfilling lives on a decent income.”
Digital Transformation / Agile Delivery Lead
Financial Inclusion and International Development Consultant
Max has a passion for financial inclusion with over 20 years of experience working for microfinance institutions, banks, development organisations and as an independent consultant. Max enjoys working with people from different backgrounds and disciplines who shared the same purpose: making a positive change in the world, primarily through microfinance. This is one of the reasons why Max joined Deki in 2016 as member of the Board of Trustees.
Max loves cycling and restoring bikes. Max is currently working with DAI as Programme Director leading the implementation of the British Embassy’s, Mexico Financial Services Prosperity Programme.
Valentine is passionate about addressing food security and social justice internationally and is dedicated to improving food systems and the lives of marginalised communities. She is a certified agronomist in both Quebec and France, trained at McGill University, where she obtained a Bachelor’s in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (BSc). She also holds a Master’s of International Law with International Relations (LLM) from Kent University. Valentine has experience working for NGOs in France, Belgium, Canada, and Chile, serving diverse communities. She has experience as a researcher, project manager, legal case worker, and team manager. She was drawn to Deki because of its focus on addressing poverty in rural contexts to effect long term change, and its commitment to true collaboration, partnership, and mutual benefit with its field partners.
Managing Director at CableCom Networking.
Mark’s professional interests focus on IT and in particular managed services, where he has successfully grown his company to be the market leader in both the UK and central Europe. He is delighted to suppport the work of Deki, helping disadvantaged adults in Africa to develop life skills, in parallel with real-world training opportunities. By providing individuals with the necessary experience, qualifications and financial support to start their own business, the longer term benefit is that whole communities become self-sustaining. Mark also has a particular focus on education and is the Chair of Governors for the Downs Preparatory school in Wraxall and Colstons school in Bristol.