Introducing Our New CEO

Anthony Carrigan, Reduced Size

Anthony Carrigan

I joined Kyeema on 16 May 2022.  What I knew of Kyeema from years of watching the organisation in operation was happily borne out in practice: dedicated positive people, work grounded in science and supported by scientific rigour, all aimed at improving the lives and prospects of marginalised communities. In short, I joined an intelligent organisation of hope and optimism. Like others we experienced a world still coping with the ravages of COVID-19 and conflict but through that hope and optimism were able to commence some exciting new work and expand on successes of the past.

The depletion of healthy reef systems, along with loss of mangrove areas, are diminishing coastal communities. They are reducing disaster resilience and having significant impact on nutrition and quality of water. Which is why I am pleased my first act as CEO was to sign an agreement for Kyeema’s participation in the DFAT funded World Wildlife Fund Climate Resilient by Nature program in the Pacific, that we are implementing with our partner Corals for Conservation (C4C).  I have been pleased to see such an important piece of work grow and produce great results. The focus of this program is to help coral reefs adapt to ocean

warming by identifying and cultivating thermotolerant bleaching-resistant corals and establishing these ”super-corals” on well-managed coral reefs, work that C4C has been focusing on for many years now. With methods fostered by C4C, this is a cost-effective way of addressing a problem that is impacting seaside communities around the world. The way the program is being executed has the added benefit of bringing together and building a community of like-minded marine scientists and coral gardeners from around the Pacific. This nature-based solution combines many of the things integral to Kyeema. It is science-based, has practical measurable outcomes, is directed at the community level and consequently is cost-efficient in both the capacity building process and downstream project execution. The project involves genuine partnership with local organisations, and most importantly it is directed at solving a number of extant problems – a true One Health approach.

I am also pleased to say in addition to the above we have added USAID to our list of funders in the Pacific, expanding the footprint in Central Province currently supported by Rotary Club of Brisbane, the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia-NGO Cooperation Program (DFAT ANCP), and other vital individual Kyeema donors.

One part of my new role that I am enjoying is rekindling my interaction with the key Kyeema countries in Africa. Our teams and partners in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Malawi are delivering excellent programs. We continue to work with our partners in Ethiopia, the African Union Pan-African Veterinary Vaccine Centre and Addis Ababa University, and together we are supporting continuing professional development for sustainable Newcastle disease (ND) control. In Mozambique we are partnering with organisations such as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture to continue our work in food, nutrition, and income security for rural households through improved smallholder chicken and goat production. We are also undertaking research on improved village chicken breeds with Eduardo Mondlane University and supporting smallholder women to set up sustainable village chicken businesses with funds donated to Kyeema. Through our Malawi DFAT ANCP project, our hardworking partner, the Rural Poultry Centre, has reached 9,773 households in Mchinji and Dowa East with livelihoods support interventions through improved village poultry production, focusing on ND control.

Activities funded through our corporate partnership with Palladium have also proven to be well targeted and rewarding, reaching 21,651 people in 10 countries over the past year. These activities worked to improve community nutrition, health, and livelihoods, build resilience, and catalyse innovative and inclusive solutions through three program channels: Humanitarian Relief, Our Communities, and Challenge Funds. At an operational level it is great to see the work with a well-respected development partner grow in scope and opportunity. We partnered on 13 activities this past year ranging from support for women and families in Afghanistan to a forest carbon project in Vanuatu. Given the success of this relationship we look forward to growing the partnership and replicating the relationship with other partners.

I want to finish this message with a vote of thanks. Thanks first to you, our donors. Kyeema’s work is only possible because of the valuable support that you provide. Don’t be shy about sharing this report and our details with organisations and individuals who may be interested in supporting and growing our work!

Thanks also to our partners around the world – particularly the leads in our core countries. Rosa, Bethy, Ali, and Pat are integral to the effective delivery of our work and discussing program activities with them is a highlight of my week. I also want to say thanks to a talented and dedicated team of staff and volunteers. We are learning from and with each other constantly and your input is incredibly valuable and inspiring. I want to particularly give a shout out to my predecessor Celia Grenning who has been a great mentor and continues as an important compadre for myself and the organisation.

Finally, I want to take a moment to thank the Kyeema Board who have supported me to make this role and organisation rewarding and effective.  I look forward to continuing all of these relationships in the coming years.