Our team is comprised of smart and dedicated people who believe in our long-term vision, that it is indeed possible for all South African kids to learn to read for meaning and calculate with confidence by age 10 by 2030. These are the people we trust to lead our programs, develop our materials, and advocate for their widespread uptake by government.
Nangamso Mtsatse is currently the CEO designate of Funda Wande and an experienced education leader. Before being appointed as CEO designate, her previous portfolios included being Funda Wande’s Versioning and Relationships lead and Head of Literacy.
Nangamso is also completing her PhD in Education Policy at Stellenbosch University and an affiliated researcher at the Research on Socioeconomic Policy (RESEP) group. She has published her research in a number of accredited journals. In January 2019 she was also selected by the International Literacy Association (ILA) as one of the Top 30 Under 30 researchers around the world.
Nangamso has contributed to a number of important initiatives in the South Africa literacy sphere. She is a board member of Wordworks as well as a Section 11 committee member of South African Human Right Commission’s “right to Read and Write” and subcommittee chair of African Languages in the committee. Nangamso is also a co-author of the influential “Benchmarking early grade reading skills in Nguni languages” report.
Head of Limpopo
Nwabisa Makaluza, PhD is the Project Lead of the Funda Wande intervention in Limpopo. The intervention in Limpopo will test the use of coaches, teacher’s assistants, and specialised workbooks to improving early learning outcomes.
She is a research associate at the Research on Socio-Economic Policy (ReSEP) at Stellenbosch University where she obtained her PhD in Economics.
Through research and application, we can find the best practice of improving children’s early learning outcomes. The three questions to constantly ask are:
(1) What works? (evidence)
(2) Will it be used? (utilization)
(3) Does it scale? (scalability)
Head of Operations
Jolene was one of the first team members to join Funda Wande in July 2017. She started her career off in London working as a designer and layout artist for various newspapers and magazines. Her adventurous spirit took her to all corners of the earth volunteering and working at various organizations in Uganda, India, USA, Hong Kong, Ireland and the UK.
With a degree in Video Technology, filmmaking and telling stories is at the heart of who she is. Having gained experience in production on award-winning, international films, commercials and documentaries she has a knack for juggling a million balls in the air at the same time. At Funda Wande, she ensures the engine room keeps running smoothly with all operations and supporting the full Funda Wande team.
Head of Content
Permie Isaac is currently the Head of Content at Funda Wande. Initially employed as a coach in the Eastern Cape intervention, Permie was quickly promoted to Maths Specialist, to Head of Maths Implementation, and finally to Head of Content. Her rapid career progression highlights the fundamental role she plays in Funda Wande and the clear advantages her deep knowledge of all content areas as well as teacher practice has for the organisation.
Before joining Funda Wande Permie worked as a lecturer at Rhodes University teaching PGCE and BEd students. She lectured two courses, IsiXhosa Methods and Education Environment. She also later lectured the Foundation Phase Literacy Teaching Short Course. Permie started her career as a successful Foundation Phase teacher in a struggling environment and holds a PGCE in Foundation Phase from Rhodes University.
In addition to her rich career and educational history, for the past 9 years Permie has emersed herself in many aspects of education, from working with experts in literacy and numeracy, curriculum planners, subject advisors, school management teams, teachers, parents and learners. Together this vast network of experience gives Permie essential insights into the educational system at various levels, providing her with critical knowledge into how key stakeholders work together to either ameliorate or exacerbate existing social inequalities.
Permie strongly believes that teachers are the most essential ingredient in shifting learner outcomes. Her key interest is in strategies to improve and sustain teacher practice within classrooms.
Lead: Strategy & Grant Management
Sipumelele Lucwaba is Project Manager: Strategy, Finance and Communications at Funda Wande.
Previously, she was an education specialist at the National Education Collaboration Trust. Prior to joining Funda Wande she was a social investment analyst at Tshikululu Social Investments, with a particular focus on designing and managing client social investment strategies in the Basic Education sector.
Sipumelele is a graduate of Rhodes University and holds a LLM in Law and political justice from the University of Pretoria. Her keen interest lies in creating practical solutions to accessing justice through the intersection of law, education and the leveraging of catalytic social investments.
Head of Western Cape
Portia October joins the Funda Wande team as Literacy Specialist: Western Cape. She is a qualified teacher, registered counsellor and trained coach. Her teaching career has spanned 28 years from Primary to High School.
In 2014 she joined READ Educational Trust as a literacy coach in the Zenex Foundation Literacy Project. In 2018 she became part of the Education arm of New Leaders Foundation-a coaching and management NGO.
She has worked intensively in 7 schools in Mitchell's Plain. This included working with principals and SMTs around leading for reading, capacitating HODs as instructional leaders and coaching teachers to become expert reading teachers in English HL and Afrikaans FAL. For the past 6 months she has worked as a FP Curriculum Advisor for WCED.
Currently Portia is completing the Rhodes University Teaching reading for meaning course. She is passionate about impacting literacy in South Africa and partnering to improve reading levels.
Head of finance
Holly joined Funda Wande as head of finance. She comes from a background in audit, consulting and retail and has extensive experience in financial management, project management and team leadership.
She's passionate about creating learning environments and developing potential.
Senior Literacy Specialist
Clare Verbeek is part of Funda Wande’s content development team and is the point-person for liaison with universities. She is working closely with Rhodes University to develop multimedia courses on teaching reading for meaning. Clare has been involved in the education field in both rural and urban contexts since 1981. She has worked as a teacher, community educator and educational materials developer, and as an academic at the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town. Clare’s PhD was about teaching reading for meaning in mainstream South African schools.
Ingrid has been a typesetter in the publishing industry since the early 80s. Her main focus has been the design and layout of educational material for various publishers. She is part of the production team at Funda Wande.
Claudine is part of the design team at Funda Wande which produces the educational material for print. She studied Financial Information Systems and planned to work in the IT sector. Things took a different turn though, and Claudine now has 25 years of design and typesetting experience and has freelanced for all the major educational and trade publishers in the country.
My first job in education publishing was as a curriculum developer and writer for the PROTEC World-of-Work course. That was 1994. Many years in the commercial education publishing sector honed skills from authoring, to editing and publishing. This broad-ranging experience has led to a deep understanding of the educational content development process and curriculum requirements.
I am grateful to have come full circle, back to working with an educational NPO. For me there is no more meaningful or fitting reason to put shoulder to the wheel. I work alongside the Funda Wande Production team, who happen to be a group of very accomplished and committed contributors to learning and making meaning.
Jermaine has over 21 years of print procurement and publishing experience and has freelanced for some of the major educational and trade publishers in the country.
His current role in the Funda Wande production team involves Print Procurement & Publishing production trafficking & sourcing freelance production consultants.
Project Manager: Operations
Mehnaaz is extensively experienced with over 24 years’ experience with a demonstrated record in driving efficiency and productivity through evaluation of procedures, implementation of process improvements and motivating staff.
Prior to joining Funda Wande, Mehnaaz worked at Cape Nature for 9 years. Where she started off as the Personal Assistant to the CFO, then progressed to Supply Chain Management where she dealt with all forms of procurement for the company and finally to Shared Services as a Team Leader, heading up Facilities Management, Records Management, Concierge Travel Desk, ICT Projects and being the Covid Compliance Officer.
Her key strengths are that she is dependable, a quick learner, a team player and self-motivated.
Mehnaaz has a distinct ability to work well under pressure and thrive in applying innovative thinking to complex tasks, which shows in her vigorous work ethic.
Khanya Mpahlwa is all round creative i.e. Video Editor, Videographer and a Music Producer and has been contributing to this industry for more than 10 years.
He is currently working at Funda Wande producing educational videos for the South African Educational sector as a Video Editor and Videographer. Khanya has a lot of experience in narrative storytelling and in the past 6 years, he has been doing work for Companies and Foundations i.e. VW Qubeka, UN, Children Radio Foundation, Red Bull, Red Bull Amaphiko, Bill Gates and Melinda foundation, UCT GSB, Raymond Ackerman Academy, UNICEF etc.
Editor & IT Support
Thina Daniel is a Filmmaker and Community Journalist, she has graduate as a documentary film making. In 2011 Thina attended the Big Fish School Documentary filmmaking she studied under the tutoring on Melanie Chart, and that is where she received her training to be film maker. In 2012 she received her first job in the industry working as an Office manager for an Organisation called StreetTalk and was soon promoted to working as an Editor for the organisation, she was selected to go to the United State to go except an award of the organisation.
She has also worked independently and one of the biggest jobs she has done independently was a job she did for the Robben Island Museum in 2018. She has also worked for the Big Fish School of Digital Film making and some of films she edited were nominated for festivals.
Thina is currently working for Funda Wande as an Assistant Editor.
As Community Journalist she was amongst the group of women who fought hard for the Social grants, and has continued to be a journalist for the community.
Vusumzi Mkhangeli is an E-Learning coordinator at Funda Wande, responsible for managing digital content on the Funda Wande App, WhatsApp chatbot and Website. His tasks extend to Translating and Editing text/ subtitles on videos and recording sound during Film shoots.
He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree - BA focused on Language and Communication at the University of the Western Cape. He is also part of the Desmond Tutu TB Centre (DTTC) Steering Committee at Stellenbosch University.
His fields of interests are Education and Community development.
Alana has been with our team since January 2019, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge having worked in the publishing industry for close to a decade.
However, she started her career off in the advertising industry working across NPO brands such as Red Location Museum, Wildlands Conservation Trust and the Domino Foundation where she gained some valuable insight into the realm of designing for social development and upliftment.
Through her experienced gained in both designing for NPO brands and her passion for publication design that has seen her as the head designer for Bicycling magazine at Media 24 for 7 years, it was fitting match for her to take the reins on numerous publication designs for Funda Wande.
She recently completed a User Experience course through the University of Cape Town and Getsmarter and this has further encouraged her to produce educational materials that not only achieve learner objectives but which foster and enhance the learning experience for teachers and learners.
Ms. Sarah (Mamikie) Melane is a well-seasoned and highly experienced professional and leader in Human Capital Management, with generalist expertise acquired both in the Private and Public Sectors respectively, spanning over 25 years including HR & Business Strategist Consulting.
She’s recently been appointed as a Talent Manager for Funda Wande, one of the entities of the Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropies South Africa. Her role focuses on HR strategy development, leadership development, organizational development, talent acquisition and on-boarding, change management, performance management and coaching.
During her tenure in the Public Service, she served in different capacities as Director: Integrated Human Resources Management, Director: Human Resources Management; Acting Chief Director: Human Resources Management & Development and Chief Director: Fisheries Operations Support in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Department of the Premier: Western Cape Government respectively. This is where she provided extensive strategic leadership in HR Policy development and leading projects in transformation and disability strategy development, integrated HR & Knowledge Management, Information Systems; Virtual Knowledge Hubs, Learning Forums, Strategic Planning, Legal Services; Intergovernmental & International Relations; Stakeholder Management and Communication Services strategies as well as coordinating the implementation and monitoring of organizational-wide Enterprise Risk Management Strategy and Fraud Prevention Strategy among others.
She has also worked for the University of Fort Hare, the University of the Western Cape as well as Old Mutual respectively in the beginning of her career as an academic and a Human Resources consultant.
Travel & Logistics
Siphokazi is an experienced Project Administrator with a demonstrated history of working within the non-profit organisation sector. Skilled in customer service, office administration, sales (Internal and External), and has great interpersonal skills. She hopes to use her skills and experience to further the Funda Wande mission.
Phoebe provides administrative support to the Funda Wande team. She holds an honours in community development studies from the University of the Western Cape. She comes with years of experience in working within non-profit organisation sector and has a love for literacy and books. She hopes to use her knowledge and experience in facilitating the growth of Funda Wande.
Janine obtained her Master's degree in Research Psychology at the University of the Western Cape. After graduating in 2011, she started her career at a crime and violence research institute. While working for the NGO she was part of numerous empirical studies focused on crime and violence affecting children in schools, both nationally and abroad.
Janine's fields of interest are child development, child and adolescent mental health, educational psychology and violence prevention in schools.
She is currently the Project Administrator for the Western Cape Interventions at Funda Wande.
Head of Finance and Operations
In 2017 Natasha joined the Endowment as Head of Finance and Operations in Cape Town. Natasha is a South African qualified Chartered Accountant with 18 years post qualification experience, in senior finance positions at international organisations and in the development and corporate sector in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Her experience covers a variety of management and financial accounting, planning, performance management, and Controller roles in both smaller and larger businesses, and more recently held the positions of Director of Finance and Operations at ActionAid International at the International Secretariat in South Africa.
Cwayita Baliso - Junior Accountant, joined the Endowment 1st August, responsible for all aspects of Payments; Advances; Claims,Fixed Assets, Supplier statements & reconciliations; and Fixed Assets.
Holds a B Tech in Taxation, Diploma in Internal Auditing and Certificate in Accounting from Cape Peninsula University of Technology and a Certificate in Financial Management from Northlink College.
Loves Food and People.
Mpho Rapholo is a Chartered Accountant who completed her articles with Deloitte in 2011 and following an overseas secondment with Deloitte, joined the Firstrand Group in 2012.
She has held various Finance roles at Firstrand; in Group Treasury at Firstrand Bank, at Ashburton Investments and FNB Private Bank Lending.
She is passionate about economic and social development and currently serves as Financial Manager supporting the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Endowment and its various programmes.
Linzi has been working within the HR space in public sector, NGO and corporate environments. Her 12 years HR experience extends across all areas of recruitment & selection, psychometric assessment, performance management, job profiling, policy development and implementation, employee wellness & training and development. She hold an Honours degree in Industrial & Organisational Psychology and is a certified Strengths Coach.
Linzi is passionate about people development and thrives within an environment where she can assist individuals in reaching their full potential and contribute towards a greater purpose and impact.
Khanyisa is the HR Officer at Allan Gray Orbis Endowment. She joined us on the 1st of October 2020. She has worked for Woolworths Head Office as an HR Administrator for 7 years.
Khanyisa is passionate about using her skills and work ethic to make a difference within the Endowment and its related entities. Her experience extends across HR Admin, payroll, recruitment, learning and development.
Graduate Intern (e-Learning)
Ambeswa Mgandela is a Graduate Intern at Funda Wande. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree - BA focused on Geography, Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of the Western Cape.
She is also a cofounder of the Awakening Dreams Tutoring Initiative that aims to help learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to excel in their studies. Her interests are in digital literacy in Africa and environmental sustainability. She hopes to utelise her skills and expertise to further the Funda Wande mission.
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