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 educational. Our individual social support is provided by 5 mentors.
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.
Janet Harding (Chairlady), Isabelle Brink (General Coordinator & co-founder), Ruby Chetty (advisor), Veronique Claes, Remi De Backer, Emma Irvine 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 works with the Tertiary Education Project- completing applications, as well as monitoring the academic results and the social well-being 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 our educational coordinator at Born in Africa, which means she is the one organizing the educational camps, holiday outings, after- school project and other life skill programs throughout the year. She is also the mentor of interns and volunteers who stay with us in SA for a couple of months.
Catherine mentors all 90 children from the Crags, who either attend The Crags Primary or Plett Secondary School.
Mentor Harkerville and New Horizons learners
As the number of learners residing in New Horizons and Kwanokuthula grew, we identified the need of having a local mentor for these children. We met Liezel in 2022 and knew this was the perfect match for our need! Since then, Liezel mentors learners who attend Harkerville Primary, Wittedrift Primary or Formosa Primary and live in the beforementioned communities.
Mentor In Plett Sec, Harkerville, Wittedrift
Sarija mentors children from Plett Secondary school, Harkerville Primary and Wittedrift Primary.
Mentor Kranshoek Primary and Plett Secondary
Tamarin, a Kranshoek local with tons of experience, joined our team in 2022. She mentors all learners from Kranshoek Primary as well as the grade 8 and 9 learners from Plett Secondary School, living in Kranshoek.
Care taker at the BIA educational centre and driver
Delina, mom of 4 children of whom 3 are part of BIA, is our care taker at the Born in Africa educational centre in Kranshoek. Besides these responsibilities, she is also the driver transporting our children to swimming and surfing lessons, on camps and outings.
Janet Harding is chairlady of BIA South Africa. She regularly attends staff meetings, acts as an advisor and helps with networking locally. Janet is a successful business woman.
Remi De Backer
Remi De Backer is a board member and the former chairman of BIA South Africa. Remi and his wife Lieve are both godparents and used to spend 5 months in South Africa and 7 months in Belgium every year. They both help with fundraising and PR.
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.
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.
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.
Kranshoek – Former Mentor
Marita was a mentor of so many children who live in Kranshoek and attend school either at Kranshoek Primary or Plett Secondary from 2008, when she started working for Born in Africa, until her passing in 2020. Marita was part of the team for 12 years and will never be forgotten by all our staff, children and families. Rest in peace, Marita.