Breadline Africa Trustees

International Board

Louise Seligman, Chairwoman

Louise is a founding trustee of Breadline Africa and has been the Chairwoman of the Breadline international board for the last 15 years. Her connection with South Africa is through family members who have worked to help relieve poverty in Africa over many years. Louise has worked in the voluntary sector for the past 20 years and has been involved with a number of fundraising campaigns at various UK charities including Notting Hill Housing Trust, the Cardinal Hume Centre for Homeless Young People and the South West London Community Foundation.

Louise is also a trustee of the SA/UK Trust, which promotes collaboration between UK-based charities operating in South Africa. Before moving into the voluntary sector, Louise worked as a Financial Services head hunter with Korn Ferry and the Barnes Partnership, where she was a founding partner. Prior to this, she spent several years working in the research and marketing side of the Financial Times conferences division. Louise has an M.A. in modern history from Oxford University. She is married, lives in London and has three children.

Eric Atmore Photo

Professor Eric Atmore

Eric is a master’s graduate in social planning and administration. He is Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Development at the University of Cape Town and also founder and director of the Centre for Early Childhood Development (CECD).

Eric has worked in the non-profit sector in leadership positions for 36 years. He has lectured at various universities on NPO (non-profit organisational) functioning and consulted to a range of non-profit organisations around South Africa. His interests are the non-profit world, education policy, funding and advocacy.

He has published extensively including refereed and peer-reviewed articles, chapters in books and conference proceedings and numerous articles in the media. He has been appointed to the National Education Collaboration Trust Dialogue Team.

Peter Montalto Picture

Peter Attard Montalto

Peter became a Trustee of Breadline Africa in 2014, bringing a wealth of experience of South Africa from his day job as Senior Emerging Markets Economist and Strategist at the Japanese investment bank Nomura. There Peter has a focus on emerging markets across Europe and Africa but a particularly in-depth and long standing concentration on South Africa – researching the country’s economy, markets and politics. He advises a wide range of investors, from pension funds to hedge funds and companies currently active or considering gaining a presence in South Africa, about risks and opportunities within the country.

Peter is a regular visitor to South Africa, interacting with senior politicians, policy makers, business leaders and civil society – he also has an extensive profile as a commentator in the local South African and international media on economic and political issues. Peter has a particular interest in the drivers of long term development of South Africa with a focus on education and township economies. He studied Mathematics and Economics at Cambridge University and was previously in a similar role at Lehman Brothers. Peter lives in London and enjoys collecting South African wine and South African art amongst his hobbies.

 Alex Chisholm

Alex is Chief Executive of the UK’s new Competition & Markets Authority (CMA), the national competition and consumer agency established by the Enterprise and regulatory reform Act 2013 and responsible for merger control, market investigations and enforcement of competition and consumer law.
Formerly Alex served as Chairperson and Commissioner of Ireland’s communications regulatory agency, ComReg. ComReg is the statutory body responsible for economic regulation of the telecommunications, radio-communications, broadcasting transmission, and postal industries in Ireland.
Over a 24-year career-to-date, Alex has held a variety of senior executive posts in a diverse range of public policy and business positions, in the UK and Ireland, including government and regulatory agencies, an international media business, internet start-ups and a software services supplier.
A highly analytical individual, Alex’s main experience over the last decade has been in leading organisations through change, and this remains his prime focus and ambition.

Alex read History at Merton College, Oxford and obtained an MBA at INSEAD. He is married to Eliza, daughter of the historian, Thomas Pakenham. The couple have three sons and live in London.

RD Photo

Sir Robert Dunbar

Sir Robert has been a trustee of Breadline Africa and member of the UK Advisory Committee since 2007 and has been the chairman of Breadline’s International Finance Committee for the last 7 years. His initial connection with South Africa is through family, living mainly in Johannesburg, which prompted his first visit to the continent some 30 years ago.

Sir Robert has an MA in jurisprudence from Oxford University and, following Law School in Chester, qualified as a solicitor with Allen & Overy in 1982. After several years working in their private client department advising on trust and taxation matters he joined Mercury Warburg Investment Management to handle the investment affairs of private individuals and charities. He worked there for 17 years, latterly as a director of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (Private Investors).

He lives in London with his wife and 2 children.


Louisa Edwards

Originally from South Africa, Louisa grew up in Zimbabwe and has lived in Dublin, Ireland since her student days.

Her career was spent in the Irish public sector, first in the civil service, in the departments of Finance and Transport, and later in the Irish Aviation Authority, from which she retired as Senior Manager, Strategy and Planning.

She has an M. Litt. degree from Trinity College, Dublin and a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of London. Louisa has been a member of the Irish Advisory Committee of Breadline Africa since 2002. She joined the International Board in 2013 and is also on the Finance Committee.

Louisa maintains her connections with South Africa and regularly travels there to visit her family and keep in touch with Breadline Africa’s activities.


Ben Elwes

Ben embarked on a career in fund management in early 1987 soon after graduating from Bristol University with an Honours degree in Economics and Politics. Since then he has been involved in several aspects of the financial world and is a qualified member of the Society of Investment Professionals and of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute. For the last few years Ben has been managing investment portfolios for GIC Private Ltd as well as being a governor and Chair of the Finance Committee for Worth School. In the recent past Ben has also been a trustee of the Order of Malta Volunteers charity and became a trustee of Breadline Africa in 2010.

Ben has no specific connection with South Africa but since being involved with BLA and the extent of the projects they are involved in he has gained a great interest, insight and commitment to the both the country and the work of the charity. Ben lives in Sussex with his wife and three children.

Renee - NED trustee (cropped)

Renée Hopster

Renée qualified as a lawyer at Leyden University in the Netherlands and practiced law for more than 36 years prior to retirement.

In her leisure time, Renée exercised her passion for mountaineering and held several volunteer positions in the mountaineering world, which brought her into contact with the people of many poverty-stricken countries. This awakened a desire to help, and during a visit to Cape Town, she was introduced to the work and beneficiaries of Breadline Africa. Moved by their circumstances, she became a board member of Breadline Africa Netherlands, and has served as its chairperson since 2003.

She is still a keen hiker and trekker, and is an active golfer. She is married and has two sons.

Henk Kleizen Picture

Henk Kleizen

Henk is an Executive Mentor Coach and runs a leadership development business based in Cape Town. Henk is an affiliate of the Edgecumbe Consulting Group, works on business coaching assignments and advises, guides and supports CEOs in the challenges of company performance, change management initiatives and ways to build great companies. He helps forward thinking organisations improve their competitiveness and profitability.

An expert in the leadership field, Henk’s passion is augmented with hands on competencies in strategy development and implementation as well as team and customer engagement, to produce enhanced business results. Henk qualified from the University of the Witwatersrand with an Honours Degree in Microbiology and Genetics and used his MBA degree (University of Witwatersrand) to bridge into the commercial world. For over 30 years Henk has built solid all round business experience, culminating in holding CEO positions for 10 years at Colman Foods and Pillsbury South Africa.

Mariella Norman Photo

Mariella Norman

Mariella was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, finished her schooling in the UK but returned to South Africa to complete a B. Com (Economics) degree at the University of Natal in 1980. She married in 1981 and chose to be a full time homemaker and mother during her children’s formative and student years. During this time she enjoyed working part time and volunteering for many organizations and institutions that contributed to the community and society in which she lived –including Head of Fundraising on the PTA of her daughters’ school, PA to a leading member of Parliament, project work for Catholic Welfare and Development, and Member of the Justice and Peace Commission for the Archdiocese of Cape Town.

Having always been interested in Psychology, she completed a Post-graduate Diploma in Coaching at the South African College of Applied Psychology and worked with managers and team leaders in the NGO sector in Cape Town. In 2012, her husband’s career required a move to the Netherlands, where she has been appointed an International Trustee for Breadline Africa, Nederland. Mariella is also the daughter of the Patron and one of the founding members of Breadline Africa, Frances Greathead.


Marijke Schep

Marijke grew up in Nigeria as part of a globe-trotting family that has always been involved in philanthropic work.  While living in Nigeria, Marijke was closely involved with a group of ex-pat women who set up “The Motherless Home” – a place where babies could be taken when found on the street.

When presented with the opportunity to become involved with Breadline Africa, Marijke jumped into the role. The charity’s focus on improving the lives of children appealed to Marijke as she had developed an interest in working with young people to achieve their goals while studying Child Psychology during her University Graduate Studies.

Pippa Smyth

Pippa Smyth

Pippa was born and brought up in Zimbabwe.  She qualified as a psychiatric social worker at the University of Cape Town in 1972 and worked in East London and Cape Town for the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of Offenders.  Following her emigration to the United Kingdom and marriage to Tony Smyth she was employed by the Social Services Department and then the Panel of Guardians ad Litem in Suffolk.  Aged 40 years she went back to university to study law and was called to the Bar at Lincolns Inn in 1994.  She worked until her retirement as an advocate in the Family Courts in East Anglia.

Pippa has been a Trustee on the boards of Breadline Africa and Grow Peace in Africa since their respective inceptions.  She visits South Africa for three to four months every year to work as a volunteer on a farm-based charitable trust in the Western Cape assisting rural children to combat poverty through education and social development.  She as three adult children of her own.


Tony Smyth

Tony is a lawyer and although retired from full time practice in 2008, remains an active consultant at Bates Wells Braithwaite. It was in these offices that Breadline Africa UK operations started in 1993 and continue to do so today.

Tony is a former President of the Ipswich Medico-Legal Society and was also a member of the Suffolk & North Essex Law Society Council. Tony has a strong links with South Africa and is Trustee of Grow Peace, a UK-registered charity that supports a child education programme in the rural area north of Cape Town.

He and his wife, Pippa, spend three months a year living and working on the farm where the project is based. They are also regular visitors to the BLA office in Cape Town, where their support and assistance is appreciated.

Noo Wallis Phots

 Noo Wallis

Noo was born in South Africa and has lived in Ireland for over forty years. She has always kept in close contact with South Africa and is a frequent visitor. Noo has always had a great interest and involvement in the NGO sector and in 2003, she joined the Irish Advisory Committee and became Chairperson in 2008. Noo’s husband, Peter Wallis is also a member of the Irish Advisory Committee and together they have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.

Advisory Committees


South Africa Advisory Committee

Henk Kleizen (Chairperson), Prof. Eric Atmore, Farzeen Bhana, Nicola Bosworth, Sally Burt, Chance Chagunda, Frances Greathead (Patron), Karen Morris, Nthabi Mohlakoana, Andrew Warner

United Kingdom Advisory Committee

Tony Smyth (Chairperson), Peter Attard Montalto, Alex Chisholm, Sir Robert Dunbar, Ben Elwes, Louise Seligman, Pippa Smyth

Ireland Advisory Committee

Noo Wallis (Chairperson), Louisa Edwards, Robin Hanan, Charles Lysaght, Ian Scott, Peter Wallis

Bestuur Breadline Africa Nederland

Renée Hopster (Voorzitter), Nancy van Bilsen, Mariella Norman, Marijke Schep, Hendrik Struik