Meet the Neema team

Neema Foundation Trustees

Bruce Sobey, Pr Eng, MBA, BSc (Mech Eng)

“Education gives you wings to fly, and I want to assist those with limited educational opportunity.”

Brian Anderson, Theology, BTC

“It is exhilarating seeing the hope being born in a young life learning to read.”

Mike Coppinger, B.Com – University of Natal

“I believe that Neema is able to provide literacy skills to children who are not developing these skills through their formal schooling. I consider these skills to be key to their education, which in turn is fundamental to the upliftment of South African society.”

Adrian Birt, B.Com (Honours) CA (SA) – University of Natal

“I have always believed education is key to real change in our country and I am excited to be part of an organisation making a difference in the area of education.”

Neema Foundation Staff

Jenny Anderson the author of “Gateway into Reading,” is a primary school teacher with over 40 years teaching experience. She has been involved in the founding of Neema’s reading project. Jenny developed this programme as a tool to help learners establish basic reading skills. She is especially passionate about the material being used in the lives of those who would not be able to otherwise afford this educational support. Jen is the director of the Neema Foundation and oversees all of its areas of influence. Jen still loves her one-on-one teaching time and is involved in large group teaching.

Helen Mitchell has been teaching with us at the Neema Foundation since 2013. She teaches the “Gateway into Reading” syllabus at Gillitts Primary school, does a large amount of one-on-one teaching at the Neema Learning Centre and oversees our volunteers. Helen is a backbone of wisdom and strength and is extremely passionate about helping those who are underprivileged.

Ziggie Smit has always been passionate about facilitating learning and she has 15 years of teaching experience both in High Schools and in Adult Education. She has had experience working with NPO’s where she has been involved in Leadership Development and in facilitating entrepreneurship and enterprise development. She has also had 5 years of Sales and Marketing experience with corporate companies. Her current role on our team is to fundraise and promote Neema, supporting our work as we bring hope through education and make a lifetime of difference for so many.

Cathy Potter has had 25 years’ teaching experience. She works with our programme in two schools, teaching large groups of second language learners. Cathy is passionate about Gateway into Reading and the difference it can make in the community. She especially loves to promote Neema whenever she can, encouraging other educators set up their own Gateway into Reading teams. Her willing spirit and servant heart are an invaluable asset on our team.

Monica Haines has joined our team after 25 years in the corporate industry where she worked primarily as a project co-ordinator. Neema was glad to welcome her on to our team as our administrator in 2017. On a daily basis, we are reaping the benefits of her diverse administrative skills. Monica is passionate about serving her community and supporting people as they reach their God given potential. Her sincere faith, love for Jesus and sweet spirit are a great asset to us all in our office.

Lorryn Töllner began teaching in 2001 and has enjoyed working in various pre-schools and primary schools across the Durban and Upper Highway areas in KZN. She is passionate about bringing hope wherever she goes. For Lorryn, working at Neema is a dream opportunity to fulfil this passion. She is involved in training teachers to use GiR – mainly with second language learners. Lorryn oversees our quarterly newsletters and enjoys sharing insights on our digital platforms. Neema is strengthened by the love and kindness Lorryn brings into our offices each day.

We have over 60 volunteers including 16 qualified teachers, who assist us in teaching learners either directly or indirectly with the admin preparation of the lessons. The Neema Foundation and its learners benefit hugely through their generous gift of expertise and time.