Neelima Raheja is a creative and passionate development professional with 6+ years of experience, and a diverse skill set across project management, capacity building, program strategy & design, and implementation. She discovered her passion for empowering the community and working in the nonprofit sector during her college years, wherein she volunteered for high-impact civic initiatives on issues such as education, gender-based violence, environment, and mental health. She holds an undergraduate degree in commerce; with a diploma in Guidance & Counselling from Panjab University. In her role with Bhumi as a Program Director for Supplementary education, she designed the program’s long-term strategy to ensure holistic education and sustainable livelihood for the children from under-served backgrounds. Previously, Neelima worked with Make A Difference – a volunteer-driven organization, as a Program Operations Director to improve the long-term outcomes for youth from institutional care by supporting and preparing them for life outside institutions. She is currently pursuing a Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy and Masters in Counselling Psychology. Her goal is to continue empowering children and youth through holistic care with a focus on emotional well-being for better life outcomes.

Host Organization: Heartland Alliance International

Role at Host Organization: At Heartland Alliance International, Neelima will be serving as the Field and Program Operations Fellow. Neelima will help standardize operations and key business process workflows, and support the organization’s strategic planning process. The Fellow will support the development of a global field operations manual and contribute to the new roadmap and strategy for the organization’s future. In addition, the Fellow will provide support to local Chicago-based efforts to support health and healing activities held in conjunction with HAI’s Kovler Center.