Meet Our Team In South Africa
Our BIA team in South Africa consists of 9 employees. The daily work of BIA is in the hands of three coordinators- general, academic and education. Our individual social support is provided by 6 mentors. There are also 3 trained assistants (2 of them also mentors) working in the schools assisting the teachers, particularly with reading classes.
We are also supported by our board of directors, both in South Africa and Belgium.
Meet our board members: in South Africa who comprise of a dynamic group of individuals all dedicated to offering advice and guidance in order to take our organization to a level of excellence.
Remi De Backer (Chairman), Isabelle Brink (General Coordinator & co-founder), Janet Harding (Vice Chairman), Ruby Chetty (advisor), Toralf Nordbotten (PR, liaison for Norway), David Pickering (advisor) and Adje Bos (PR).
We would also like to make mention of Lieve Platteau, Sofie Wieërs, Stijn Ingelaere and Fred Arijs, co-founders of Born in Africa in South Africa.
Isabelle De Smul-Brink
Isabelle is our general coordinator and she is in charge of various facets of business administration. She also communicates with godparents. Her other duties include writing the newsletter, fielding requests for potential sponsors and general public relations with Belgium. In addition, she also acts as a guide for tourists, visitors and BIA godparents. As general coordinator, she keeps a watchful eye on all the projects and consults with BIA Belgium.
Belinda Coram Academic Coordinator
Belinda works with the Tertiary Education Project- completing applications, as well as monitoring the academic results and the social wellbeing of students. She does career guidance for the Grade 9-12 pupils and mentors our tertiary and Wittedrift students. She is also responsible for PR in South Africa.
Veronique is responsible for all educational classes and project, such as the homework classes and after- school classes, holiday outings and camps and the learn to swim project. Besides this she also supports the volunteers and interns from overseas. Veronique also updates the website and social media platforms.
Kranshoek – Mentor
Marita mentors more than 90 children who live in Kranshoek and attend school either at Kranshoek Primary, Harkerville Primary or Plett Secondary.
Catherine mentors all 90 children from the Crags, who either attend The Crags Primary or Plett Secondary School.
Mentor In Plett Sec, Harkerville, Wittedrift
Sarija mentors children from Plett Secondary school, Harkerville Primary and Wittedrift Primary.
Teacher Assistant Wittedrift Grade 1
Judy assists the Gr 1 teacher at Wittedrift Primary school.
Nadine is an assistant teacher at The Crags Primary in grade 1.
Assistant- teacher Harkerville Primary school
Antoinette is the assistant teacher at the primary school of Harkerville for Born in Africa. This small school grew rapidly over the past few years and the major increase in pupils demanded an extra teacher at the school.
Remi De Backer
Chairman BIA South Africa
Remi De Backer is the chairman of BIA South Africa. Remi and his wife Lieve are both godparents and spend 5 months in South Africa and 7 months in Belgium every year. He acts as an advisor and both help with fundraising and PR.
Janet Harding is vice chairman of BIA South Africa. She regularly attends staff meetings, acts as an advisor and helps with networking locally. Janet is a succesful business woman.
Ruby is a board member of BIA South Africa. She is not only a local business woman, but also our link with the local Rotary club and she assists with the BIA - Rotary interact club.
Toralf and Reidun Nordbotten are BIA godparents from Norway and SA board members. They spend the summer months in South Africa volunteering for BIA and the remainder of the year Toralf is actively involved in fundraising for BIA in Norway.
Adje Bos is a board member of BIA South Africa who assists with networking and helps to nurture the relationship between the Siya Phambili group and BIA.
David is our new board member who is living in Plett and has been involved with community work for years. He will fill an advising roll for BIA.
Emma was a big help for many years as a volunteer and administrative support to Born in Africa before she became a board member in 2018. Emma now has an advising role, but still helps with translating the newsletter, does a lot of PR- work and updates the database of our children in South Africa.
Evangeline is the teacher of grade 1 in The Crags Primary School. Since many years she welcomes Belgian visitors from travel agency 'De Blauwe Vogel' with open arms in her class room and explains all about the South African schooling system to curious visitors and Born in Africa volunteers. As a board member she has an important PR role as a local teacher besides her advising role.