I am Barbara Cerizza. I graduated in Economics and Banking at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Milan. I also obtained a master in Internal Auditing and management control at the University of Pisa. Moreover, I attended a master in team coaching and I became a professional counsellor. After a trip to Brazil, I understood that my dream was to work for Ethical Financeand I started my professional career at the cooperative “verso la Banca Etica”.   

During those years, Muhammad Yunus, the Grameen Bank’s founder, inspired me. He believed that “credit is a human right”. In 1999 I opened Banca Etica’s office in Milan and in the same year, Mani tese obtained the first loan from Banca Etica for the restructuring of its headquarters. After my experience at Banca Etica, I became an economist at Altroconsumo.   

During a trip to Senegal, I saw directly how much microcredit could help local communities to grow. After this experience, I decided to quit my job at Altroconsumo and starting a new experience as microcredit project manager in Kosovo.  

I also have an experience in Sri Lanka, where I went as a post-Tsunami co-operator. 

After three years abroad, where I had the opportunity to live unforgettable professional and human experiences, I decided to come back to Italy. I worked for several years at the NGO ACRA, first as desk officer and then as human resource responsible.   

Since 2014, I became Mani Tese’s Director. Mani Tese is the NGO that I was looking for. Thanks to its history, Mani Tese is the NGO in which I can express my values and my journey.