Who Is Emerging Voices?

Messages from the Staff

Monica Sepulveda - The founder and Executive Director of Emerging Voices.

I was born in Bogota, Colombia. I studied at Hofstra University where I received a Bachelors degree in International Business. I also received a Travel management certificate from New York University and I have received a certificate from Santo Thomas University in Foreign Affairs. I authentically enjoy helping others work towards a better, richer and sustainable future.

I have previously volunteered in Colombia with sexually abused children. I continue to visit them periodically and help them in anything they need.
I also worked as a counselor with over-weight children between 13 to 15 years old in upstate NY through the YMCA. I was their program supervisor in order to motivate them towards their nutritional and exercise goals.
In addition, I volunteered with the Red Cross during September 11, 2001. I was in charge of the evacuation program logistics.

In 2006 went to Kenya and work with three different projects, an orphanage project, a teaching project, and AIDS project. In the following year, along with a group of professionals from New York, we made a movie out of a collection of stories that I collected from the children in Africa. This was to create awareness to the media in United States how important is the environment that children live in, to motivate people to work in volunteer work and to finish the school in Massai land in Africa where the children wrote the story.

I worked in New York with a shelter of Mother Theresa of Calcuta with homeless people who have AIDS. In 2008 I went to Peru as a volunteer to teach English in a School and to work with special needs children and adults, elderly, and street children. I really enjoyed meeting the wonderful people that came and helped. They encourage me to open a program in Colombia.

A great deal of my work, volunteer and travel experience involves interacting with people from different cultures, which has developed my awareness to help others. I am extremely grateful for the life I have. For that very reason, I feel compelled to give back. This is my ability to relate to, engulf myself in, to learn through, to give love and affection unconditionally to those I work with as if they were my own. I am finally aware of that gift. Therefore, I am blessed to have this opportunity to be Executive Director of Emerging Voices. I want to help most people in need. This global organization will help and save many lives. I feel it is my duty to be part of the lives of these innocent children, abandoned elderly and more people in need. I would like to embrace my experiences and share my knowledge in my home country of Colombia.

Ultimately, I envision myself running the best volunteer program in Colombia, where we will work at all times on small and big projects to assist all people in need from hospitals, orphanage, elderly shelters, schools, soup kitchen, special children, and much more.

Amanda Ecklesdafer - Program Director of Emerging Voices

I was born and raised in a small town near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Volunteering has always been an extremely important aspect of my life. I started volunteering in Girl Scouts during my grade school years and moved on to working with homeless and victims of domestic violence while in high school and college. My first over seas volunteer trip was to Lima, Peru. There I worked in two orphanages, one with special needs children and adults, helping with their day-to-day activities. The second orphanage was for young girls found working on the streets as street performers or prostitutes. I also worked in two extremely poor schools teaching English. I fell in love with the volunteer work and have returned to Peru two more times since my original trip. During one of my trips to Peru I met Monica Sepulveda and Alistair Barbour-Brown. We shared the dream of opening a program of our own in Bogota, Colombia and helping more people.

Alistair Barbour-Brown - Program Director and volunteer coordinator of Emerging Voices
 I was born in the UK and raised in the county of Cheshire. I've studied and have qualifications in both Arts and Design and Drumming and Percussion. When it comes to volunteering and charity work my family have always been the greatest inspiration. 
From an early age i've been a volunteer classroom assistant for my mum at Oaklands School for children with learning difficulties and I followed in my dad's footsteps at the age of 21 when I worked in Tanzania, East Africa. I built classrooms and houses for the teachers of Mampando, teaching english to children aged 6 to 16 and i also started a football team to play against nearby villages. It was in Tanzania that i became addicted to volunteer and charity work and wanted to spread this message all over the world.
In 2007 I worked as a sports and swim department head and a music teacher at a summer school in New Jersey, USA. I would supervise over the sports and swim staff as well as teaching the children aged 9 to 17. It was an amazing experience that opened my eyes to how children can really make a difference to the world. 
In 2008 I started volunteer work with IVHQ for the first time. I volunteered in Lima, Peru. It was there that I met Monica and Amanda. We worked together throughout Lima teaching english at schools and working at orphanages for children and adults with special need, the elderly and street children. We all shared dreams and experiences and realised that bringing volunteers to Colombia with our own program was the way forward.
In 2009 I returned to Lima to volunteer and gain more experience to bring to Emerging Voices.
I now live and work full time for Emerging Voices in Bogota, Colombia.
In conclusion, i've been lucky enough to work with some amazing and inspirational charities and programs such as Kidney Research UK, National Deaf Childrens Society, Volunteer Africa, Camp America, Kuyay Sonqo, IVHQ, Breast Cancer Campaign, International Cancer Research, Cancer Research UK, Independent Age, Save the Children and Action Aid. My goal is to use all my knowledge and experiences to give Emerging Voices Volunteers the biggest and best adventures they could ever dream of!