Our Team


Kaathima Ebrahim

Chief Executive Officer

Kaathima is an Early Childhood Development strategist - she has worked as a management consultant to the public and social sectors, and worked directly in the social sector in various strategic, programmatic and implementation roles.


Karen Ross

Programmes Manager

Karen has worked for the last 10 years in community development, setting up and running sustainable livelihoods programmes in Kayamandi. Prior to this she ran her own business, and worked in the corporate sphere managing events, entertainment, client services and the development and implementation of an online ticketing system. She has also taught in a number of schools and has a keen interest in education.


Zikhona Jongizulu

Programmes Manager

Zikhona has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social work obtained from University of Fort Hare. She has done voluntary work at the Sizakuyenza shelter in Philippi and worked for Cesvi Foundation as a Project Coordinator as well as with Mosaic Training Services and Healing Centre as a Sexual Violence Program Manager. She is a writer and in the process of publishing her isiXhosa book (Ndiligqiyazana Nje Ndomelele). 

Board of Directors


Mdebuka Mtwazi (Chairperson of the Board)

Mdebuka is the Executive Director of Sikhula Sonke Early Childhood Development, and has led the organisation for more than 10 years.


Fatima Abba

Fatima is a partner in the Accounting and Auditing Technical department at Deloitte and has been in the division for eight years. In this role, she supports both the audit practice as well as clients in interpreting and applying IFRS and GRAP. She also served on the board of a national South African NGO called SANZAF.

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Pulane Kingston

Pulane is a Partner at Webber Wentzel. She was formerly a Managing Principal of Absa Capital, the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Sphere Equity Holdings, and a Fellow of the African Leadership Institute. 


Linda Biersteeker

Linda is a developmental psychologist and adult educator with nearly 40 years of research, training and programming experience in the early childhood development sector.  She has undertaken extensive research on ECD policy, programming and training strategies in South Africa, the Eastern and Southern African region and internationally.


Nafeesa Rahbeeni

Nafeesa is Operations Manager at the Foundation for Community Work.  She is a social worker by profession, and was formerly a Projects Manager and Foster Care Worker at the Cape Flats Development Association. 


John Smelcer

John is a Business Development Director at Globeleq. He was formerly a Director at Webber Wentzel and National Programme Director of the Public Policy Partnership in South Africa.


Tebogo Skwambane

Tebogo is a Partner at McKinsey & Company. She was formerly a Managing Partner at Monitor South Africa, and a Director at North Road Consulting. Tebogo is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a Fellow of the African Leadership Institute.


David Jeffery

David is a Senior Public Policy Consultant. He was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of the Mikhulu Trust, and previously worked as a regional coordinator for the Nali’bali Trust.

Advisory Board


Lynne Murray

Lynne is Research Professor in Developmental Psychology at the University of Reading in the UK, with an honorary professorship at the University of Cape Town. She is a Fellow of the British Academy.