João Martinez da Cruz

Operations Manager

João Martinez da Cruz (Melissa Ong)João’s role has specific emphasis on fundraising, strategic planning and resources, monitoring, evaluation and learning within the National Organizations and at the international level.

His past experience includes the management of large grant budgets and portfolios of partnerships with church-based organizations and networks throughout Latin America, including Brazil, his home country.

João holds a Master’s degree in Development Management from the Open University as well as qualifications in NGO management, tourism studies, coaching, language teaching and translation. He lives in West London with his wife Rachel and their two children, Daniel and Jonathan.

Why A Rocha?

Working in relief and development for many years, I was interested in the connection between the environment and poverty. A Rocha is enabling me to gain a better understanding.

What do you enjoy most?

Attitudes: no-one pretends we have all the answers. The team is very aware of its reliance on God. Also, it’s very relational and there’s a commitment to learning and improving our performance which is important to me.

You grew up in Brazil. Is that helpful?

Yes, it is, not because of nationality, but because I was raised in an urban, violent community, with frequent gang killings. Quite often, going to the bakery for the morning’s bread, there would be a corpse in the street. I know the realities of poverty, lack of choices, inequality. Fortunately, an international company moved into the area, providing good jobs for my father and my older brothers, who worked hard. My brothers and I went to university, we got an education. In Brazil, Ghana, Kenya and elsewhere, A Rocha is working with struggling communities who want better opportunities. I understand that.

Has A Rocha influenced the way you live?

It’s maybe too soon to ask. I’m professionally interested in sustainable living, yet I’m not certain my little changes in lifestyle could make a worthwhile difference. Should I drive less and make better use of public transport? I’m recycling more, but should I be persuading my sons to do it too? I’m asking a lot of questions!

I couldn’t do my job without…

Talking! I need to interact with others at least once a day, face to face, by phone or on Skype.

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