ActionAid International welcomes Julia Sánchez as its new secretary general

ActionAid International welcomes Julia Sánchez as its new secretary general

Johannesburg, 21 January 2020 – Following a global selection process, the board of ActionAid International is pleased to announce that it has appointed Julia Sánchez as its next secretary general.

Julia has extensive experience in leadership positions in the international development sector, including many years of working in the Global South.

She was president-CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) until 2018 and is currently chair of CIVICUS, the global alliance of civil society organisations and activists.

Julia has been promoting equity and sustainable development for over 25 years and, throughout her career, has demonstrated her commitment to feminist principles and to a human rights-based approach.

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, chair of ActionAid International, says: “After a rigorous selection process, we are in no doubt that Julia is the right person to lead ActionAid at this crucial time. We know she will play a pivotal and effective role in the delivery and success of our strategy to 2028, Action for Global Justice.

“As we embark upon a new decade, the social challenges faced by many in the Global South are becoming more pronounced. This is already being acutely felt by women and girls fighting for economic rights and tax justice, particularly in the face of the climate crisis and the humanitarian emergencies that are intensifying as a result. We are confident that Julia’s leadership will galvanise the ActionAid International family to position ourselves for greater impact in achieving our mission.”

Julia Sánchez, who joins ActionAid International as secretary general in March, says:

“I am very excited to be joining ActionAid as its next Secretary General and to be moving to the organisation’s global headquarters in Johannesburg.

“For many years, I have been advocating for organised civil society to focus its efforts on supporting and promoting social movements and people’s organisations. ActionAid has been ahead of the curve in taking on this challenge, and I am motivated to work with staff and board members across the federation to realise the ambitious goals of its 2028 strategy.”

From 1 March 2020, Julia will succeed Anne Jellema, who has served as acting secretary general since the departure of Adriano Campolina in August 2019, following a five-year term leading the organisation.

“Together with the board, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Anne Jellema for serving as ActionAid International’s acting secretary general during this transition period and stewarding the organisation through key events such as the UN General Assembly and COP25,” adds Nyaradzayi.


Julia Sánchez is a development practitioner, feminist and environmentalist who has been promoting equity and sustainable development for more than 25 years.

Born in Peru, Julia grew up in Latin and North America. A global citizen, she is trilingual and has lived and worked in numerous countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa.

Early in her career, Julia worked with a Canadian INGO for many years, first in Guatemala, then in Canada and finally as regional director for Asia based in Nepal. From 2009 to 2011, she was then national campaign coordinator with the global secretariat of the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA) based out of Delhi. She was appointed as president-CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) in 2011, a position she held until 2018. Subsequently, she ran as a federal candidate for the Canadian parliament in 2019 and just completed a research contract with the largest union in Canada, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), on privatisation of municipal services.

Julia has been a spokesperson for the Canadian and global international development community, advocating for progressive development policies and an enabling environment for civil society.

She has served on numerous Canadian and international boards and advisory bodies, including as co-chair of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) from 2016 to 2018. Julia is currently serving as the chair of CIVICUS and was previously treasurer from 2016 to 2019.

Julia has designed and managed programs in areas such as humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, governance, democratic development, community-based economic development, international volunteering and, more recently, campaigning on climate change.

She is an economist and political scientist, with a BA in Economics and Political Science and an MA in Economics, both from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

For more information please contact Jenna Pudelek in the ActionAid International press office on +44 7795642990 or email

โรงเรียนขนาดเล็ก “ขอให้ทุกโรงเรียนไม่ถูกปิด”: พี่ทรอส นักเรียนชั้น ป.4 โรงเรียนวัดโคกทอง

“I wish every school gets to stay open”: Tross, Grade 4, Wat Kok Thong School

How long have you come to Wat Kok Thong School?

I have studied here since the second year of kindergarten. So it’s five years.

How do you like it here?

I like it. We have a big BBL (Brain-Based Learning) activity ground. The teachers are nice and good. I like my homeroom teacher, Teacher Mob, and my favourite activity is PBL (Problem-Based Learning). I get to find out answers and write them down. Sometimes we work alone, sometimes in groups, and write about things that we’re studying.

The term has just started. Now we’re studying about burners and ovens. The teacher asked us to think about what they look like and write the details down. We also think about what they are made of and their use. We can use them a lot to cook. I learned about different types of burners like gas stoves and charcoal burners. I know that we can cook food with them or burn trash. To burn trash, we will need dried tree leaves or twigs as fuel.

Jitta-sueksa is fun. Some days it’s fun, some days it’s boring. When it’s fun is when I get to draw, because I like drawing. And stories. I like drawing cartoons, like Ultraman, because I’ve watched Ultraman since I was very little. Jitta-sueksa lets us write and draw, and the teacher is kind. He gets angry sometimes when students don’t listen. I would listen to the teacher because if I don’t, I may not be able to catch up with the class and send my classwork in time. When the teacher asks something and I have an answer in mind, I would raise my hand. The teacher said to raise our hands when we want to speak. If not, no one will listen to us. I think I can still use this lesson when I grow up. When I grow up, I will listen to the question carefully and raise my hand before I say something.

If you have to choose between going to a big school and coming to this school that is closer to your house, what would you choose?

Coming to this school, because there aren’t too many students so it isn’t loud and crowded.

If one day you have to go to a different school, what do you think would be the impact on your life?

It would be tiring for my grandfather and he would spend more money on gas. My grandfather gives me a motorbike ride to school. It doesn’t take a long time to get here but it isn’t close enough to walk from home. I can’t ride a bike by myself because the road is too big. If students here go to a different school, this school would be left empty and there won’t be a good school like this anymore.

What can you do if you want to keep this school open?

I can go talk to the school director.

What do you want to do when you grow up?

I want to help my parents sell mushrooms. I think by helping them with calculations. How many kilograms we can sell, things like that, because I learned it in maths class. My parents usually sell the mushrooms to regular customers. And I help them pick fresh mushrooms on the weekends sometimes.

What would you like to say to adults?

I wish every school gets to stay open. Because some students live near their schools and if they don’t want to travel a long distance, they still get to go to school.

Located in Ratchaburi Province, Wat Kok Thong School is a small school of 102 students, teaching from kindergarten level to Grade 6.

Like 15,000 other small primary and secondary schools all over Thailand, Wat Kok Thong is facing the risk of closure and merger with a magnet school, after the Office of Basic Education Commission has issued a “most urgent” letter to directors of education service areas to begin considering closing and merging small schools in order to achieve budget efficiency.

In the official document dated 19 November 2019, there is no mention of improving the quality of public education in the long run, or the multidimensional social and economic impacts on students and their families.

Wat Kok Thong School, led by the school director Ms. Chanita Philachai, believes the voice of strong school networks and local communities, coupled with innovative tools and a strategic move to improve local education beyond the roadmap drawn by central authority, will help them win over a policy that views education through an economics lens – as a commodity that has to be worth the government’s per-head investments.

Run for small schools this holiday season with ActionAid Virtual Run 2019

Run for small schools this holiday season with ActionAid Virtual Run 2019

ActionAid Virtual Run 2019 - Let's Run for Small Schools

We invite you to join our charity run for small schools, ActionAid Virtual Run 2019 - Let's Run for Small Schools. Unite as one to support small schools in remote areas to ensure the equal right to education of all Thai children.




  • To improve the capacity of teachers and educational personnel, equipping them with the teaching skills for 21st century learners.
  • To support teachers in the “systematic classroom change” to become more responsive to children and their needs.
  • To strengthen the networks of target small schools both at regional and provincial levels.
  • To provide channels and space for small schools to engage in the policy and decision making process.

Event type

  • Virtual Run: run or walk anytime and anywhere you would like.


  • 10 kilometres

Application and result submission period

  • 1 November to 31 December 2019 (until 11.59 PM of December 31, 2019 Bangkok time).


Get a 100-baht discount by applying via

*All packages are inclusive of domestic delivery. International shipping is 350 Thai baht.


Packages A-G (E, F and G are charity gift packages, running is not included.

Terms and condition

  • Submit your result by 31 December 2019 to
  • Take a screenshot of your result on a mobile running application or a smart watch, or take a picture of your distance as appears on a treadmill display.
  • When you have collected 10 kilometers, you will receive a medal and other souvenirs in the package you have chosen when applying for the event.

Package delivery 

  • Running packages will be delivered after the end of the event by January 2020 according to the order of distance submissions respectively.
  • Charity gift packages (running not included) will be delivered after the end of the event by January 2020 according to the payment order respectively.


A look at the finisher medal


For more information and inquiries about ActionAid Virtual Run 2019

Call 02-279-6601 to 2 ext. 102 (Ms. Wannisa) or ext. 110 (Ms. Kanchana).

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ActionAid Thailand Newsletter Issue 4/2019 (October 2019)

Stay connected to ActionAid Thailand through our latest e-newsletter.

In this issue, we announce the return of ActionAid's run event with ActionAid Virtual Run 2019. Read stories our key programme work between August and October 2019, including the coalition of development organisations, Equal Stand, to improve the quality of Thai education and make its access equal and equitable; and the First Pin Initiative that enlists students and the public's help in identifying urban spaces prone to street harassment and reporting them via an application.

Catch highlights of people's actions during the Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2019, followed by youth-led Global Climate Strike activities, in which Thai environmental activists and students joined millions around the world on 20 September to combat climate change and demand better of their governments.

Download the October 2019 issue of the newsletter

Diamond in the rough: The dreams of Oum and Mafueang

With only 61 students, Baan Nam Lat School is like one big family. The oldest class, sixth graders, helping teachers to take care of the younger students, from minding the kindergarteners during milk breaks to guiding the primary juniors on discipline and morality. For 12-year-olds and close friends Oum and Mafueang, this “big sister” role is one they are happy about. They like that it makes them more responsible.

But more importantly, it fits who they are and what they want to be: Like her cousin, Mafueng dreams of becoming a nurse to give care to people, while Oum sets her heart on being primary teacher. “I want to teach art to children and look after them,” Oum said “I want to get the Phet Nai Tom Scholarship (translated to “diamond in the rough” in Thai, the scholarship is established by Srinakharinwirot University to support youth aspiring teachers). My parents will have less burden. They’ll get the benefits. It’s what I dream for us.”


Diamond in the rough: The dreams of Oum and Mafueang
Photo: Burassakorn Gitipotnopparat / ActionAid


Encouraging young students to have an answer to the age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is not an arduous task if there is a learning process that understands and centers around children. Indeed, dreams can change, but another thing that Thinking Schools give dreamers is self-esteem and the ability to turn dreams into plans.

“Since this school became a Thinking School, I feel that teachers have become more interested to hear us. They want us to think more and express more,” Oum shared. “The tools are applicable to each subject. We’ve learned how compare things, tell the difference between good and bad. Tools can help me think faster. Like Six Thinking Hats, very useful when I want to make a decision.” “Wearing” the Six Thinking Hats helps students make a decision from all points of view, and each hat signifies a different manner of thinking. For instance, the White Hat focuses on facts and numbers, while the Red Hat urges students to look at a situation emotionally.

“Mind-Mapping is a good tool for ONET exam revision, too,” Mafueang added. “We can design it how ever we like. We can also use it for problems outside of class. We can design the solution. It can do anything.”



Oum and Mafueang are two of of the many children who have had access to quality education through the support of ActionAid Thailand.

Donate today to help improve education in rural small schools. Contact our Fundraising team at +66 2 279 6601 to 2 ext. 113.

ActionAid Thailand 2018 Annual Report

ActionAid Thailand 2018 Annual Report

This report is the story ActionAid Thailand’s year in 2018. It shows our human rights-based approach to development and the progress we’ve made in our three programme priorities – the story of how we strengthen small schools and advocate for the right to education, how we work with the government and public in campaigns and policy advocacy work on gender equality and the right to safe cities for women. It also shows how we support landless and land-poor communities to secure their rights to land and natural resources, and the global efforts to tackle climate justice and bring about climate justice.

In here you will also find our audited accounts, ensuring that we remain transparent and accountable to the poor and excluded people that we work with as well as our partners, supporters, donors and all other relevant stakeholders.

Download the 2018 Annual Report