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 30 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 the pilot projects for large group teaching.

Helen Mitchell has 6 years teaching experience. Helen 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.

Lise Mangiza has 11 years teaching experience. Lise joined our team as a very valuable volunteer with a lot of experience in working in underprivileged schools and organisations. Lise has used the “Gateway into Reading” programme for two years and wrote and lectures our phonics training material. She thoroughly enjoys heading up a teaching team into a large rural school. Lise is passionate about supporting and mentoring teachers.

Hayley Birt has 10 years teaching experience.  She works with our programme at Gillitts Primary School once a week.  She is a great asset to our team with her pioneering experience in teaching Gateway into Reading to large groups of 2nd language learners.  She heads up teaching teams in 3 rural schools where our focus is not only on teaching learners but also on the training of 2nd language teachers in the use of our material.

Carol Dent is part of our administrative staff, playing a vital role in the preparation of lessons and contributing greatly towards the smooth running of Neema’s training days. She loves teaching on one of our teams in a rural school. Her fun-loving spirit and warm heart make her a great asset to our team.

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.

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.