Toluwalola Kasali is the Founder of My Internally Displaced Persons, a cause, focused on reintegrating forcibly displaced people into society with dignity. She is an international speaker who has addressed global audiences at high-level meetings of the WHO, World Bank, and the UK Government. She recently completed an MSc in Public Policy at the London School of Economics, winning the Lloyd Gruber Prize for the Best Policy Paper in the School of Public Policy for her work promoting self-reliance in protracted displacement. In 2019, Toluwalola was selected as a British Council Emerging Policy Leader in Nigeria for her work on Internal Displacement. As part of this programme, she engaged global leaders, including Members of the UK Parliament and the International Development Committee of the House of Commons, on policy issues regarding internal displacement.
She published her first book in 2019 titled, “My Name is Aisha – A Collection of Stories from Internally Displaced Persons.” Her book aims to educate and create awareness about the plight of Internally Displaced Persons. In 2018, she was a speaker at a high-level meeting organised by the World Bank Group and Canada’s Public Health Agency on Mental Health Stories from Around the World and the Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit hosted by the UK Government. The Summary Report of the Symposium and the Report of the UK Department of Health & Social Care included her work stream’s contributions and recommendations.
Toluwalola has published several reports on Internally Displaced Persons. In 2015, she published her first report titled, “An Integrated Approach to Rehabilitating Internally Displaced Persons with Dignity.” This report was referenced by the World Bank publication, “Mental health amongst displaced persons and refugees: making a case for action at the World Bank Group.” It was also featured on the World Bank Blog and the Huffington Post in an article titled “Mental health services in situations of conflict, fragility, and violence: What to do?” She also published a report titled “A Multisectoral Approach to Internal Displacement.” and an expert opinion for the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) on lessons learned to close the transition gap from aid-dependence to self-reliance.
She has implemented bottom-up interventions to promote self-reliance among displaced persons and build evidence to inform humanitarian and development policies. Together, the cause has supported over 6000 internally displaced persons by providing humanitarian support, dignity kits to empower girls & women, self-learning educational materials, psychosocial & physical health support, vocational skills training, and business start-up grants.
Toluwalola is certified in Core Humanitarian Skills and Safeguarding Essentials. She is also a finance and public policy professional. She previously served as a Special Adviser on Macroeconomics, Research, and Reporting to a Minister of Finance in Nigeria. She holds a BSc in Accounting from the University of Lagos and is a Fellow Chartered and Certified Accountant. She has an MSc in Energy Studies from the University of Dundee and recently completed an MSc in Public Policy from the London School of Economics. She intends to devote herself to causes that make a difference in the lives of others and seeks to drive sustainable change by influencing policy. She hopes to make an impact in the world.