Martin Knops OBE

Martin served on the Trustees of St Joseph’s African Aid from October 2002 to December 2021 having worked for Oxfam for 27 years. He received an OBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list for his services to the charity.


Martin began working for Oxfam on their education and campaigning programme and was then asked to establish a psychosupport programme for UK staff and volunteers. This was expanded to cover field staff in their humanitarian work worldwide. He provided support during catastrophic humanitarian disasters, e.g. the 2004 tsunami and the Haiti earthquake of 2010 as well as abductions and hijacking which put enormous strain on staff, their families and managers. He became well acquainted with the experience of paradox in working within a humanitarian and development context.


Martin joined the Trustees of St Joseph’s African Aid shortly after the Charity had been set up in 2001. The first 4 Trustees were all members of the Congregation of the Josephites. Martin brought to the fledgling charity the vast knowledge he had gained during his time with Oxfam. His advice was invaluable. He helped guide the board through its earliest years.


In the early years the Trustees met 3 times a year in the evening. Martin faithfully made the journey from Oxford to Stanwell Moor Village to attend meetings. St Joseph’s African Aid was fortunate to have Martin as a Trustee for so long.  His presence on the board provided an excellent fit with the skills and experience of his fellow trustees who joined the Board over the next few years. During meetings, and outside them, Martin was a source of wise, carefully considered advice. His presence in a meeting raised the standard of discussion. His inter-personal skills enabled him both to address and handle difficult issues whilst remaining fully supportive of the work of his colleagues. He was a “critical friend” in the proper sense of the expression.


Martin wanted to play his part in trying to improve the lives of those in Africa whom SJAA tries to help.  He succeeded.

Saint Joseph's African Aid is a Registered Charity in the United Kingdom, Charity Number 1087768

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