Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Welcome to Project HOPE in South Africa! Meet the Staff

It's taken a long time, but finally Project HOPE has arrived in South Africa! Project HOPE in partnership with Project HOPE UK is setting up a country office in the West Rand District, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Over the coming months, I (Stefan – the new Country Director) will be sharing my thoughts, feelings, experiences of what it is like to set up a new office, try to strategise and focus on specific need areas, implement programs and generally try to make you feel part of what Project HOPE is trying to do here! So enjoy!

Our Staff

At the moment Project HOPE in South Africa has 4 staff members – 2 full time and 2 part-time. Here is a little bit about each of them:

Betty Nkoana – Betty was born in the West Rand District and has been living in Randfontein for 27 years. Her husband is a retired pastor and she has 4 children of her own and has also adopted her sisters 1 child. Betty is muli-lingual speaking English, Xhosa, Tswana, Zulu, Sotho, and Shangan. Betty has been working for PH since last November, and before that was employed by the Haven (our partner here) to run a small Village Savings and Loans VSL) program that was funded through UK donors. Betty is our VSL Project Officer and has been overseeing the formation of the groups as well as supervising our two part time staff members.

Eva Mogopodi – Eva comes from Munsieville and is a native Tswana speaker. Her husband is a local pastor and she has 3 children. She is one of our part time volunteers who predominantly oversees the Tswana speaking VSL groups and is passionate about helping orphaned and vulnerable children

Engeliniah Mogebisa – Engeline came from Limpopo Province, but moved to Munsieville 3 years ago. Her husband is a traffic officer and they have 2 children. Engeline speaks fluent English and Shangan and oversees the Shangan speaking VSL groups.

Stefan Lawson – I am the new PH Country Director here in South Africa. I love Africa and I love my job! After school I came to Mozambique and for the most part have been on the continent ever since. I met my wife Jenni in Maputo and we have a son aged 2.5 called Sam and another baby due at the beginning of May. It's my job to build our portfolio of programs with lots of help from my great colleagues around the world here in South Africa starting in the West Rand and expanding outwards throughout the country.

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