UK and Tanzania Team

Friends of the Children of Tanzania was founded by a group of friends who had observed at first hand the degree of poverty, disability and great need for support. One of them, Matthew McIlvenna, was stationed in the region when he was sent by the United Nations to help those who had fled Rwanda during the crisis. The Co-founders were invited to see for themselves the extent of the problems faced and the charity was born. FoCT is run on a voluntary basis by a team of five:

Matthew McIlvenna, Director of Operations, Tanzania

Matthew McIlvenna

Matthew worked with the United Nations in East Africa and Asia for over twelve years, and speaks fluent Swahili. He lives in North West Tanzania and oversees the management and implementation of the ongoing activities, works alongside the NGOs and identifies future needs on behalf of FoCT.


Sean Robson-Hanafin, Co-Founder

Sean Hanafin

Sean is the Chairman of the Trustees and co-founded FoCT after a visit to Tanzania to see the work that his friend, Matthew McIlvenna, had been leading for the United Nations. Sean is a former banker and now runs his own clean energy business (Emerging Power Group) which is focused on providing power to emerging economies across Asia and Africa. Sean has a degree in Economics & Politics from the University of Warwick and an MBA from City Business School, London. He lives in Dora Road with his wife, Alex, and their three young children.


Alexandra Robson-Hanafin, Co-Founder

Alexandra Robson Hanafin

Alex lives in Wimbledon with Sean, and their 3 children. She is a professional singer and runs the charity from her home in Dora Road. She is passionate about making a difference to the lives of the children in Tanzania, and giving them the chance to meet their full potential, as her own children have here in Britain.


Abby Mardon, Trustee

Abby Mardon

Abby has a background in advertising and is currently working as Director of Fundraising and Communications for a national youth charity in the UK. Abby focuses on supporting the fundraising and marketing activities for FoCT including the development of a new website and marketing materials. She also lives on Dora Road and is mother to three boys.


Owen Davies, Co-Founder

Owen works in financial services and currently resides in Ireland. He went to school with Matthew and through him became aware of the problems children face every day in Tanzania. Along with Sean and his wife Alex the charity was formed in 2007.

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