Michelle is one of the original members of our team. Recently married and with two kids of her own, she has a compassionate heart and vibrant love for children. Michelle was orphaned very young and understands the pain of growing up without parental guidance and love. She has grown into the role of administrator and acts as the operations manager of the preschool.
Vuyiswa is an original member of the team. She has an undeniable skill as a teacher, and has taken many ECD courses to develop a deeper understanding of teaching. Her passion extends to the youth in our community where I often find her sitting and chatting with kids about the problems in their lives. Vuyiswa organizes the preschool curriculum and assists other teachers in training in our community.
Nurse, an original member of our team, grew up in our community. She also experienced a painful upbringing. Nurse loves dancing, drama and games, and brings great game and activity ideas to the team. Her talents include coaching the children for our annual concert. She is a wonderful storyteller and has a very patient heart for children.
Promise came to the staff only a few months after we opened. She is living at home with her mom and sisters as she raises her child. As our enrollment grew quickly, Promise helped add another class to the preschool, and has taken ECD courses to grow as an educator. Promise is steady and even handed with the children and brings a great stability and comforting spirit to the preschool environment.
Letty came to our staff in 2014. She cooks for us full time, which enables other staff to focus on teaching the children. Letty does a massive job at the preschool preparing both breakfast and lunch daily. She is dedicated to her job and is the first one at the gate every morning. Letty has three children of her own and walks several kilometers to work every day.
Charity joined us in 2016. She is from Malawi and came to South Africa seeing asylum several years ago. Charity came to us looking for a job as she was trained as a teacher in Malawi. We took her in to help us with our after-school tutoring programs. In 2018, our enrollment increased again, so Charity began teaching our fourth preschool class. She continues to do after school reading programs for primary aged children.
Mantwa came as a volunteer to us out of high school, a former student of my wife, Victoria. She has been with us since the end of 2016. Her role at the preschool is really vital as a support to all the staff. She is sometimes in the classroom helping with activities, or helping peel potatoes in the kitchen, or at times cleaning up the yard. Mantwa is now taking courses to be an educator.
Victoria, my wife, is a full-time teacher in our local public high school, but she is an avid supporter of our after-school programs. She meets with a group of teenage girls after school, and they enjoy aerobics and dance together. Victoria is passionate about mentoring young girls and truly pours her life into them.
John R Finkbeiner
I wear many hats, doing everything from transporting food, fixing plumbing, accounting, writing newsletters, to keeping up with donors. Playing with the children and spending time with the staff and parents are valuable parts of my day. I also love the boys who play soccer in our school yard and support their dreams. I dream of seeing our beautiful preschool develop multiple campuses in our extended community.
I was unemployed before coming to Zonke Izizwe. I was given the opportunity to be trained and to gain the skills to teach preschool. I was an orphan myself and struggled along with my brothers and sisters to get through high school. It was a great opportunity for me to join the staff of ZIA. We make a great team and love working with the children. Last year Road Works helped me to be trained in office administration. Now I am keeping the records of the preschool.