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. 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 was appointed an International Trustee for Breadline Africa, Nederland. Mariella and her husband currently reside in Cape Town.
Kelsey Finkel serves as the Executive Director and Education Programme Director for the Robertson Foundation, a family foundation based in NYC with education grantees in the US and South Africa. Kelsey previously oversaw research and strategy for the New York City Foundation for Computer Science Education, the private partner working with the NYC Department of Education to bring computer science education to the city’s 1.1 million students. She holds a B.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. in Philosophy and Education from Teachers College, and an MSc in Education and Technology and a DPhil, both from the University of Oxford.
Alex is Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office. Prior to that, he was the Permanent Secretary to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) following his appointment as the Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority. Alex previously headed up high-performance public agencies responsible for economic regulation and market development. Alex read History at Merton College, Oxford and obtained an MBA at INSEAD.
Rebekah is a qualified solicitor and has worked at Bird & Bird since 2012. Rebekah specialises in Intellectual Property Law and completed her Diploma in Intellectual Property Law at Oxford University in 2017. Before embarking on a career in law Rebekah studied modern foreign languages at Durham University during which she spent time working in Africa. Born to South African parents, Rebekah grew up in the UK but has spent much time working and traveling throughout Africa. Rebekah also has experience in the charity sector as both a Trustee and a fundraiser.
Jessica Lewis is an admitted attorney specializing in corporate and finance law. Jessica practiced as an associate in the banking and finance departments of two leading law firms in South Africa for a number of years and also established her own legal consultancy. She is currently employed as Senior Legal Counsel at Absa (Corporate and Investment Banking). She also has experience in general corporate law and mergers and acquisitions.
Jessica has a LL.B. (summa cum laude) from the University of the Western Cape and a LL.M (Professional) in International Trade Law from the University of Cape Town. She is passionate about entrepreneurship, economic empowerment, education, mentorship and the advancement of women in business and leadership.
One of Breadline Africa’s founder members, Frances Greathead was the first Chairman of Breadline Africa. It all started in August 1992 when Frances and a group of trustees met in the UK to review setting up a charity to fundraise in Europe to support local township projects to address poverty elimination. Several of the same trustees are still active in Breadline Africa today. At that meeting, Frances was elected chairman and held this position until she turned 80. Frances kept in touch with Breadline Africa on a regular basis always wanting to know what difference we were making to help the poor. Sadly, Frances passed away on 22 February 2020 but will be remembered by all as an amazing, passionate and inspirational lady, who in her hundred years made such a remarkable difference in the lives of so many.
Marleen Huisman (1992) is in 2019 toegetreden tot het bestuur van de stichting Breadline Africa Nederland.
Haar wens om zich in te zetten voor stichting Breadline Africa komt uit haar persoonlijke ervaring met Zuid-Africa tijdens haar studie. Zij heeft ondervonden hoe belangrijk onderwijs is voor de ontwikkeling van Zuid-Africa. Het is een groot goed als kinderen onderwijs kunnen genieten in een veilige omgeving.
Marleen heeft Rechtsgeleerdheid gestudeerd in Utrecht, Leiden en Amsterdam en heeft daarnaast een half jaar in Zuid-Africa gestudeerd. Zij is werkzaam als advocaat bij het internationale advocatenkantoor Osborne Clarke in Amsterdam.
Pelle de Laaf (1988) is in 2019 als penningmeester tot het bestuur van de stichting Breadline Africa Nederland toegetreden.
Grote motivatie om zich in te zetten voor Breadline Africa is de structurele bijdrage die onderwijs levert aan de verdere ontwikkeling van een land. De jeugd heeft de toekomst.
Hij heeft Financieel Management en Politicologie gestudeerd in Utrecht en Amsterdam en heeft daar later nog Cultuurgeschiedenis aan toegevoegd. Vanaf de start van zijn carrière is hij werkzaam geweest als financial in uiteenlopende organisaties. Momenteel is hij werkzaam als Financial Controller bij de Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam.
Pelle woont samen met zijn vriendin Narda in Amsterdam.
Hendrik has been a trustee of Breadline Africa The Netherlands since 2015 and was appointed to the role of chairman in 2017. He has a law degree from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and a post-graduate degree from the College of Europe in Bruges. He is currently a judge in the Amsterdam Court of Appeal and practiced law as a partner at the CMS Netherlands law firm from 1984 to 2018.
Hendrik is bestuurslid van Breadline Africa Nederland sinds 2015 en voorzitter sinds 2017, en als zodanig ook lid van de International Board van Breadline Africa. Hendrik is bestuurslid geweest van verschillende goede-doelenstichtingen.
Hij wordt geïnspireerd om zich in te zetten voor Breadline Africa door de duidelijke en consequente focus op heel concrete projecten voor de jongste generatie in zuidelijk Afrika.
Hendrik heeft rechten gestudeerd aan de Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam en deed een post-doctorale studie aan het Europa College in Brugge. Hij is raadsheer in het Gerechtshof Amsterdam en was van 1984-2018 advocaat en partner bij CMS Nederland in Amsterdam.
Hendrik woont in Utrecht met zijn vrouw Lucie en drie kinderen.
Godfrey Mokaeane is a social impact entrepreneur, with a key focus on investing in businesses that can benefit from this. He also runs his own businesses that have strong social missions. He is Group CEO of Motion Holding Group. He assists and guides non-profit organisations globally to make the shift to for-profit with a social mission.
Godfrey also mentors more than 40 entrepreneurs and invests early in their start-ups, with the intention of injecting his ethos of social impact.
He is also Alumnus of the United States of America IVLP (International Visitors Leadership Program), where he drives partnerships between South African and US entrepreneurs, through the Consulate based in Cape Town, South Africa.
Sandy Daniels is a born and bred Capetonian, who has worked in the education sector for more than 30 years. Principal of Silverlea Primary School in Athlone, she was recently seconded to serve as a Circuit Manager, managing 23 principals in one of the districts of the Western Cape Education Department.
She has taught all grades at primary school level and has served learners from diverse, multi-cultural disadvantaged and poverty-stricken communities. Sandy has a master’s degree in Education Administration, Planning and Social Policy Development from the University of Cape Town.
Khulekani Dlamini is an aeronautical engineer with close to 20 years of experience in investment markets. He obtained a master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. He joined CSIR’s Aerotek Division as a researcher and subsequently joined a telecommunications company, Comverse Network Systems in Israel for three years. He then worked at Investec Asset Management in Cape Town. He then co-founded Afena Capital, which he sold in 2016. He currently runs KD Capital and Lwembu Group, both of which are financial services companies.
He was recently appointed as an advisory board member of the University of Stellenbosch’s Business School.
Ruth Kama has extensive experience in business and as an entrepreneur. Throughout her career, she has worked in the hospitality, food-related and healthcare industries. She has worked in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria and New Zealand.
She is currently managing director and co-owner of iKhaya Lodge and Conference Centre, a boutique guesthouse and conference venue in the heart of the Cape Town City Bowl. Born in Kenya, Ruth holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Oxford Brookes University (UK) and a bachelor’s degree in Business Education from Kenyatta University (Kenya). She is fluent in English, Kikuyu, Kiswahili and speaks conversational French.
Laura is in Barcelona geboren, Spanje en woont op dit moment in Amsterdam. Ze bezit een rechtendiploma van ESADE Business and Law School, Barcelona en een Master of Laws (LLM) in internationaal handels en investeringsrecht van de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Laura is Senior Legal Counsel van Spencer Stuart en verantwoordelijk voor EMEA en LatAm.
Debbie works as Breadline Africa’s financial administrator. Her drive for meaningful work led her to the organisation in 2002. She has extensive experience of the non-profit sector and has worked in all departments at Breadline Africa in one form or another, gaining not only valuable insight into all aspects of the organisation but also building a reputation as Breadline Africa’s institutional memory centre.
When not in front of a computer, you will find Debbie painting or exercising her considerable creative talent in one way or another.
Puleng has had a long career in the NGO development and non-profit sector. She spent her formative years coordinating and managing HIV treatment literacy and HIV Policy development programmes in South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Botswana. She worked at the University of Cape Town in HIV/AIDS prevention, education and management while creating platforms for shared learning and opportunities for networking between partners.
Puleng holds a Masters degree in human nutrition from the University of Stellenbosch. She has been with Breadline Africa since 2012 and manages the organisations’ infrastructure placement.
Mariella werd geboren in Johannesburg, Zuid-Afrika, voltooide haar opleiding in het Verenigd Koninkrijk maar keerde terug naar Zuid-Afrika om een Business Commerce (Economie) graad te behalen aan de Universiteit van Natal in 1980. Ze huwde in 1981 en koos ervoor om een fulltime huisvrouw te zijn en moeder tijdens de studiejaren van haar kinderen. Gedurende deze tijd vond ze het leuk om parttime te werken en vrijwilligerswerk te doen voor veel organisaties en instellingen die hebben bijgedragen aan het welzijn van haar gemeenschap. Zo was ze hoofd fondsenwerving op de PTA van de school van haar dochter.
Voorts was ze personal assistent bij een vooraanstaand parlementslid, deed ze projectwerk voor Catholic Welfare and Development en was lid van de Justice and Peace Commission for the Archdiocese of Cape Town. Ze was altijd al geïnteresseerd in psychologie, voltooide een postdoctoraal diploma in coaching aan de Zuid-Afrikaanse hogeschool en werkte met managers en teamleiders in de NGO-sector in Kaapstad.
In 2012 bracht de carrière van haar man naar Nederland waar ze is benoemd tot International Trustee voor Breadline Africa, Nederland. Mariella is ook de dochter van de patronesse en een van de stichtende leden van Breadline Africa, Frances Greathead. Momenteel woont ze weer met haar man in Zuid-Afrika.
Drs. George Oomen (1958) is in juni 2018 als secretaris tot het bestuur van de stichting Breadline Africa Nederland toegetreden.
Zijn brede, ruime ervaring op het gebied van Human Resources Management, leiderschap en samenwerking in teams draagt hij nu als docent over aan studenten van een hogeschool in Amsterdam.
Hij studeerde onder meer organisatiepsychologie aan de Open Universiteit en werkte als HRM-manager, mediator, consultant en trainer voor uiteenlopende organisaties. Hij is getrouwd, woont in Amsterdam en raakte in 2012 via zijn vrouw betrokken bij
Breadline Africa Nederland. Als hobby speelt hij jazz op een tenorsaxofoon.
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. Eric has worked in the non-profit sector for 36 years, and has lectured at various universities and consulted to a range of non-profit organisations around South Africa. He has been published extensively, including refereed and peer-reviewed articles, chapters in books and conference proceedings and numerous articles in the media.
Louise is a founding trustee of Breadline Africa and was the Chairman of the international board for 17 years until July 2016. Louise has worked in the voluntary sector for the past 20 years. Before moving into the voluntary sector, Louise worked as a Financial Services head hunter and 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.
Peter became a Trustee of Breadline Africa in 2014, bringing a wealth of experience of South Africa from his day job as an Emerging Market’s Economist and consultant. Peter has a broad experience working with emerging markets across Africa, Europe and Middle East over his career 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 foreign and local investors, from pension funds to hedge funds and companies currently active or considering gaining a presence in South Africa, as well as foreign and local banks – about risks and opportunities within the country.
Peter is Head of Capital Markets Research at South African consultancy and research company Intellidex. He continues to be based in London but travels to South Africa regularly. Peter has an extensive profile as a commentator and thought leader on economic and political issues and 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 at Lehman Brothers and Japanese bank Nomura. Peter enjoys collecting South African wine and South African art amongst his hobbies.
Sir Robert has been a trustee of Breadline Africa and member of the UK Advisory Committee since 2007 and is the chairman of Breadline’s International Finance Committee. He 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, he joined Mercury Warburg Investment Management to handle the investment affairs of private individuals and charities.
Stephen has spent his career in the Irish civil service, joining the Irish Department of Defence in 1973 and working in various branches, including personnel, contracts and property management. He spent ten years in the Department of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister). From 2004 to his retirement in 2007, he worked as assistant secretary to the President of Ireland. He has a B.A.(Mod) and an M. Litt. In philosophy, and a Ph.D. in public administration, from Trinity College, Dublin. He joined the Irish Advisory Committee of Breadline Africa in 2015 and has been on the International Board since 2016.
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. 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.
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. To support Breadline Africa efforts Tony took to the skies in 1999 in a home-built aircraft, flying from England to Cape Town, and the funds raised paid for a converted container clinic for mothers and children which was opened the following year.
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 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.
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.
Henk is the Chairman of Breadline Africa and took over from Louise Seligman in August 2016. He is an Executive Mentor Coach and runs a leadership development business based in Cape Town. 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.
Edna has been Breadline Africa’s Donor Liaison Officer since 1998. She has worked for various charitable organisations, including Community Chest and The Haven Night Shelter Organisation. She has qualifications in marketing, fundraising, public relations and management.
Edna has been involved in the conversion of shipping containers for all kinds of projects, including early childhood development centres, classrooms, libraries, soup kitchens and ablution facilities. She also plays a key role in organising Breadline Africa’s annual visit to the seaside with disadvantaged children. This initiative aims to broaden children’s horizon by offering them new experiences. Outside of Breadline Africa, Edna is the current secretary of the Western Cape Branch of the SA Institute of Fundraising.
Graeme studied Architecture at the University of Natal and worked at various architectural firms for a few years before realising that his passion lies in Construction Project Management and Property Management. He then added a Project Management Diploma to his C.V. Graeme managed a multi-million rand property portfolio in Cape Town for a foreign investor, where he held the position of CEO for nearly 28 years.
Graeme joined Breadline Africa in 2016, bringing a wealth of hands-on construction/project management experience with him. Graeme plays golf when time allows, is married to Wendy and has two adult sons.
Selina moved to Breadline Africa in 2004 from Isonka Trust, the administrative arm of Breadline Africa. Selina refers to the NGO sector as “the place where she truly belongs” and she is extremely passionate about the work that Breadline Africa does in under-resourced communities. She has extensive marketing experience and is determined to use her skills to contribute to the greater good.
Selina is very family orientated and spends her free time with her family, “doing things her children love”. She is committed to raising children who are committed to doing good things for others.
Cleon joined Breadline Africa in 2007 as a Junior Marketing Assistant. She has since obtained a Marketing degree and is currently a valuable member of our Marketing Team. Cleon is responsible for Breadline Africa’s extensive Direct Mail Programme which spans South Africa, Ireland, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. She is the proud mother of two young girls and is very enthusiastic about her contribution to community development.
Gail joined Breadline Africa in 2009 as Allocations Assistant and is now an important member of our Programmes Team. She previously worked at Grow Peace in Africa, a non-profit organisation, where she managed the office and administration. Currently, she engages on a daily basis with Breadline Africa’s beneficiary organisations. This feeds Gail’s passion for working with people at grass-roots level who run inspiring projects in their communities.
Gail believes that the community is her university. When she’s not in the office, she loves a good run, hates a messy room and can do a mean push-up. Working at Breadline Africa has taught her that “all of us can and should contribute to the humanitarian effort needed in our societies”.
Thandiswa started working at Breadline Africa in November 2005. She currently works as Receptionist, a role for which she is very well suited, and also assists our finance department with bookkeeping. Thandiswa was born in Eastern Cape. In 1998, after completing her schooling, she moved to Cape Town. She is happily married and takes pride in being a part of community development through Breadline Africa.
Jaco joined Breadline Africa in 2018 as head of Finance. He has 8 years of corporate experience and expertise in corporate finance, governance, empowerment, business development and management. Jaco has a BAcc degree from Stellenbosch University and a BComp (Hons) from UNISA. He successfully completed his auditing articles at Baker Tilly Greenwoods, Cape Town.
Jaco is passionate about his civil society roles: he is the current vice chairman of Hope Street (a Cape Town-based NGO that works within the homeless community to build bonds with the community and to assist in connecting with viable employment opportunities). He is also an avid volunteer at numerous animal welfare charities. A keen sportsman, Jaco has completed more than 5 warriors OCR races and has participated in multiple trail running races. In 2016, he even participated in a charity boxing fight (which he won) to raise funds for the Peninsula School Feeding Association.
Diane holds responsibility for monitoring & evaluating Breadline Africa’s key projects. As Strategic Partnerships Manager, she also plays a key role in forging relationships with other non-profit organisations to ensure that Breadline Africa’s beneficiary organisations have access to early learning and literacy resources as well as training opportunities.
A UCT Sociology graduate, Diane also holds an MA(Social Science Methods) from Stellenbosch University. She has worked in academic, non-profit and donor environments and has extensive experience in large-scale evaluation studies, having participated in the evaluation of a number of higher education transformation initiatives in South Africa, Nigeria and Tanzania. Diane has been with Breadline Africa since June 2015.
Marion is the Director, having previously worked as Breadline Africa’s Group Marketing Executive. She has specialist skills in marketing, eCommerce and large scale programme management as well as extensive experience in the corporate world where she headed major global projects in a 20-year career with Shell International.
Marion has a BA.Hons degree as well as a Diplom Betriebswirtsschaft (Degree in Business Administration) and MBA from Heriot Watt University. Her compassion has led her to roles in the NGO sector including Chief Operating Officer at Umthombo Wesizwe, followed by a Deputy Director position at African Solutions to African Problems in Cape Town. She is passionate about her civic responsibility and is a previous chairman of the Muizenberg Improvement District; a volunteer with the Homestead Street Children’s Project; is a Neighbourhood Watch committee member and a volunteer wildfire fighter with the Volunteer Wildfire Services. She is also an outdoor junkie and has completed more than 50 marathons including 11 at ultra-distance.