Hands of Mothers (Manos de Madres) was founded in 2007 by Susan Moinester and her daughters, Arielle and Margot. The vision began in Honduras in 2003 with Arielle’s development of an innovative women’s craft initiative. Hands of Mothers is firmly rooted in the principles of Fair Trade and fiscally guided by a commitment to direct all income from product sales and donations directly into in-country development.
Yvonne Umwali - Yvonne possesses a unique background in business and social work. Her leadership of our Rwanda organization reflects both her strong management skills and her compassionate heart. She is dedicated to improving the health and welfare of women and contributing to the development of her country.
Immaculee Icyizanye - Immaculee works with the Baho Agriculture Cooperative, connecting them with markets for their organic produce and assisting in the management of their savings and lending program. Immaculee also mentors one of the microloan recipients. Immaculee has given us permission to share her story.
Nancy Ishimwe - In addition to working for Hands of Mothers and being a Peer Parent, Nancy is a member of the Dutete Cooperative, specializing in computer-generated design. As a Management Associate, she works with the Young Mothers entrepreneurship program and assists the Ejo Hazaza jewelry cooperative in administration and marketing. Nancy has allowed us to share her profile.
Peace Corps Response Volunteer
Cari Peck - Before joining the Peace Corps, Cari traveled around the world living in 8 different countries and working on diverse humanitarian projects. She has spent built classrooms and rebuilt mud huts from cow dung in rural villages of South Africa, taught English in South Korea, assisted in developing education curriculum in village communities in Cambodia, worked at an Eco-Wilderness Resort in the Outback of Australia, helped with elephant conservation in Thailand and sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica, just to name a few "jobs," along her journey. She is passionate about people and driven to help motivate others to succeed in life.
Susan Moinester - Managing Director
Susan’s career has traversed the sectors of women’s health advocacy, occupational health, and business. Susan has an extensive background in entrepreneurship and corporate marketing. From 1991 to 2009 Susan managed a personal accessories import start-up, CONNECT USA. Prior to launching CONNECT USA, she was Director of Marketing and New Product Development with the Dr. Scholl’s division of Schering Plough. Susan lives in Memphis, TN where she is actively engaged in her local community. She serves on the board of her synagogue and is the long-term Chair of the community outreach committee (“Tikkun Olam”). Susan is also a board member of Kavod, an organization dedicated to provide support for the emergency needs of Holocaust Survivors in the Memphis area. Susan volunteers as a reading tutor with the Shelby CountyTeam Read Program and as a mentor with the innovative Tennessee Promise/tnAchieves program college program. Susan holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from Brooklyn College in Psychology.
Arielle Moinester - Advisor
Arielle Moinester co-founded Hands of Mothers in an effort to bring sustainable, women-led business opportunities to agricultural communities in Honduras. She brings a wealth of experience and passion for connecting commercial and public sector strategies for resilient economic growth and food system development. Arielle is the Regional Technical Advisor (RTA) in Agroenterprise and Small Enterprise Development for the international NGO Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) Europe, Middle East, and Central Asia (EMECA) region, previously serving in capacities of RTA and Program Manager with CRS programs in Asia and Africa. From her home base in Northern California, Arielle is a consultant to triple bottom line companies driving food system innovation to sustain our farmers, our planet, and our bodies. She shares her personal food passions as co-owner of Earthjuice, a raw juice and health food company based in her hometown of Memphis, TN. Arielle serves as a University of California, Berkeley Development Impact Lab (DIL) Practitioner in Residence, Kiva Zip Agriculture Ambassador, a founding Advisory Board Member of Ag Innovation Development Group, and a 2014 Fellow of the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy. Arielle worked with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), AVRDC The World Vegetable Center in Tanzania, BioDimensions agricultural startup incubator, and the Women’s Earth Alliance India Women and Food Sovereignty Initiative. Arielle earned her M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics and an M.S. in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis.
Margot Moinester - Advisor
Margot Moinester became involved with Manos de Madres (Hands of Mothers) in 2007 as an Ethics Center Student Fellow at Brandeis University. As a Fellow, Margot spent two and a half months in Kigali, Rwanda working to expand INEZA, an income generation project connected with Women's Equity in Access to Care and Treatment (WE-ACTx). The following summer, Margot returned as a Davis Projects for Peace recipient and worked to transition INEZA into an independent cooperative. Margot is now a doctoral student in sociology at Harvard University and serves as an advisor to Hands of Mothers.
Kerrlene Wills - Fellow
Kerrlene is a second year Master’s student at The Fletcher School Of Law and Diplomacy focusing on Strategy and International Consulting and Development Economics. Prior to attending Fletcher, Kerrlene was a teacher in Extremadura Spain for 2 years. She studied government and politics at The London School of Economics and attended Babson College where she focused on entrepreneurship and interned in the financial sector. Kerrlene has a strong interest in exploring ways to make financial tools more accessible to people in developing countries.