About us

Our Team

Volunteers are the backbone of our Global Tree Initiative.

We are of different ages. We have varied backgrounds, skill sets, talents and education. What we share is a strong attitude of universal social responsibility.

Congratulations, Beth! And thank you for joining us!

Beth is our South Island Global Tree Initiative (GTI) New Zealand coordinator and has been helping us around the Coromandel area. She has kindly taken the role of fundraising specialist for GTI.

A warm welcome to Bengu, our new project coordinator!

Welcome to your new role, Bengu! We are very happy and thankful to have you here, and we are looking forward to a lot of exciting developments with you!

Global Tree Initiative’s community helps protect the rainforest in Australia

Here is a final update on the fundraiser conducted by Global Tree Initiative (GTI) Australia’s community.
Mark shares, “Our small donation will save about 60 mature and semi-plants as a forest habitat.”

Living more sustainably with Chhaya Taralekar

Chhaya Taralekar advocates for more sustainable and simpler ways of living, with composting as a cornerstone of her activities.

Emma Defresne meets Ösel Hita at Vajra Yogini Institute, France

Later that year, during the Summer of 2023, Emma met Ösel, our founder, in Vajra Yogini. Emma shares it was a “nice surprise”.

We are looking for a new Fundraiser!

Reach out to us with your CV and motivation letter, so that we can learn more about you. Applications are open until December 3, 2023.

Meet Lana Popovic, our new Project Manager

Lana met Osel in his HAK Mexico retreat in March 2023 and felt strongly connected to him and aligned with his purpose.

Reflections on Walk For The Trees 2023 – Part 2

Mark shares with us that, “Overall, Jill and I are thrilled about the outcomes and the way things went during the whole process”.

GTI India offers their collective success and efforts to the Dalai Lama!

Mrinalini Nigde, one of our dedicated coordinators in India, tells us about a wooden plaque that was offered to the Dalai Lama.

Thank you GTI Portugal!

Having spent significant time together, the team retired from their GTI Portugal responsibilities. They are continuing their service in support of environmental and educational projects in Portugal.

Core staff

Tenzin Ösel Hita
Founder, President, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Email to OselOne Big LoveClear Light
Bengu Fetzer
Project Coordinator

New Zealand / Turkey
Read more about Bengu

Francisca Gusmão
Project Specialist
Kind Dish
Valerie Ray


Arnoud Smits
Communication Designer

The Netherlands

Hans Timpner
Global Coordinator Director, Regional Coordinator Aruba

Aruba / Australia / Germany
Read more about Hans

Javier Torres Espino
Regional Coordinator Puerto Rico

We come from across the planet

Anna Colao

United Kingdom
Read more about Anna

Jacie Keeley
Peter Kedge

Canada / UK

Jill Lancashire & Mark Allaway
Regional Coordinators Australia
Matheus Pangracio Italiano
Regional Coordinator Brazil
Jérémy Arusi Adeba
Regional Coordinator Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo
Read more about Jeremy

Emmanuelle Defresne
Regional Coordinator France
Marie Henry
Regional Coordinator France
Dipen Mehta
Regional Coordinator India
Lokendra Balasaria
Regional Coordinator India


Mrinalini Nigde
Regional Coordinator India
Marco Farina
Regional Coordinator Italy


Nathanael Shikongo
Regional Coordinator Namibia
Beth Pearsall
Regional Coordinator New Zealand

New Zealand

Imam Maiyaki
Regional Coordinator Nigeria
Katherine Peláez
Regional Coordinator Spain

Spain / Colombia
Read more about Katy

Jennifer Coyne
Regional Coordinator United Kingdom

UK / Ireland

Rowena Field
Regional Coordinator United Kingdom
Inessa Slavski
Regional Coordinator Germany

Ukraine / Germany

Kat O'Lone
Regional Coordinator USA
Miss Bonnie McSquirrely
Official Mascot and Educator

Somewhere in a tree, USA
Read more about Bonnie

Miss Bonnie FanmailTikTok
Patty Rangel
Regional Coordinator CaliBaja

California, USA / Baja California, Mexico

Jussa Kudherezera
Regional Coordinator Zimbabwe
Marie-Claire Miyaguchi
Translator French
Marilyn Magazin
Translator French
Julia Soeder
Translator German


Sophie Kaiser
Translator German
Manuel Vasquez
Translator Spanish
Klaus Hanemann


Ralph Doe
Interpreter French
Alan Keane
Social Media Support


Brigitte Schaer
Social Media Support


Jennifer Troyan
Social Media Support
Vadim Kulmatetskiy
Social Media Support
Anita Saran
Editor / Proof Reader


John Castelloe
IT Consultant


Ella Humphrey
Regional Coordinator

Brisbane, Australia

And a big THANK YOU to all who have helped us in the past!

Afonso Dinis, Portugal, Alejandra Boquete, USA/Argentina, Alexandra Hoyle, United Kingdom, Amanda Russell, USA, Anouk Burel, France, Anrich Bester, South Africa / Germany, Ariana Biren, Argentina, Bárbara Pedro, Portugal, Beatriz Dinis, Portugal, Cynthia Zak, USA/Argentina,  Deepthy Chandrashekhar, India, Fred van der Zee, Spain/Netherlands, Hermann Wittekopf, Germany, Inês Chaby, Portugal, Javi Peña, Spain, Jorge Robles, USA/Puerto Rico, Joseph Geglia, USA, Madalena Lopes, Portugal, Maria Cersosimo, USA/Argentina, Mer Stafford, USA, Sue Emonson, Australia, Stephanie Brennan, Australia, Tania Duratovic, Australia, Tiago Carrilho, Portugal, Tiago Jesus, Portugal, Vasco Valdez, Portugal, Ven. Kalden, Brazil, Ven. Sherab, France, Yaron Bahir, Israel