Our Team

For media inquiries please email Michael Penny, Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator

[email protected] or call or text 250 674-7750 (cell).

Thank you. 

Zeynya Shikur Alemayehu -  Research & Policy Lead

Zeynya is SMA's research and policy lead. Zeynya is a researcher and policy professional with an interest and experience in human rights, sustainability, and public policy issues. In her past roles, working with non-profits, think tanks, and governments, she has coordinated and contributed to several research and policy projects. At SMA, she oversees and collaborates to implement and disseminate the results of SMA's participatory research projects focusing on child care policy and the work-related impacts of COVID-19 on low-income lone mothers in BC, as well as other research conducted by SMA. She also provides research and analytical support to design and execute SMA’s broader policy advocacy initiatives and campaigns. 

Viveca Ellis - Executive Director 

Viveca serves the Single Mothers' Alliance in the role of executive director. Viveca is a founding member of the organization; in 2014, she banded together with other lone mothers impacted by poverty and lack of access to legal aid, housing, and child care, to mobilize grassroots leaders and advocate for public policy solutions to lone-parent family poverty in BC. In past roles, Viveca has worked for the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition as the founder and coordinator of the BCPRC's Community Action Network, then led the Coalition through the pandemic as Interim Community Organizer until her departure to create the first staff role at SMA in 2021. In 2017, Viveca was nominated to the Minister's Advisory Forum on Poverty Reduction to design BC's first poverty reduction strategy and resulting legislation. Viveca also represented the BC CEDAW Group at the UN's review of Canada's compliance with the Convention to End Discrimination Against Women in Geneva in 2016. Viveca remains dedicated to mobilizing grassroots movements and campaigns toward human rights, gender equality, and socioeconomic equality for BC families. In her spare time, Viveca can be found trying to keep up mountain biking with her 12-year-old son and paddling her canoe on BC's remote lakes and rivers.

Vibusha Madanayake - Northern & Rural BC Engagement Liaison

Vibusha Kalanee Madanayake (she/her) is the northern and rural BC engagement liaison for the Single Mothers’ Alliance BC located in Prince George, BC. Vibusha’s previous experience involved managing projects on post-conflict development and gender-based violence in war-affected communities in Sri Lanka. Vibusha is a passionate advocate for gender equality and youth empowerment while pursuing her post-graduate education in Gender Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). In her spare time, she is keen on spending time with her family, enjoying movies, and exploring diverse destinations and food cultures. 

Michael Penny - Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator

Michael Penny is a dedicated activist and organizer and communications specialist who has worked and campaigned in multiple regions across Canada, including the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes including many years with the Broadbent Institute. He has worked professionally in law, market research and municipal governance and has a passion for leveraging technology for social good.  

Michael recently relocated with his young family to the picturesque District of Clearwater, nestled in the Trophy Mountains of the BC Interior. In his free time, Michael enjoys reading, writing, keeping up with current events and spending quality time with his family.