Our Team

Our Staff

Mandy Pearson
Founder & CEO
Lillian Mokoatle
Bhambayi Co-ordinator and Guardian fieldworker
Anne Taylor
Governance and Programme Management
Sne Mdibi
Special Star and Rising Star fieldworker and Admin Support
Sinamandla Mgcisane
Special Star and Rising Star fieldworker
Mia Venter
Project Administrator



Supported by Shirley Holmes (finance), Dale Hartley (Logistics and food provision) Juliet Hartley (Special Star logistics and admin), Marguerite Koch (food provision) and more than 100 volunteers.

Our Board

Mandy Pearson
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Founder of the project in 2007 and a minister in the Anglican church, Mandy has been involved in Development work for over 20 years. She has a business degree and a Masters from Cambridge (UK) in Economics of Developing Countries. As well as working previously in small business development, she has worked in the corporate world locally and abroad, and run her own strategic consulting business. Mandy is passionate about enabling everyone to see their God-given identity and gifts and encouraging all peoples in our nation come together as equals to build for the future. She is married to Steve and has three children. Mandy oversees the Bhambayi Project.
Lillian Mokoatle
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A leader in the Bhambayi community who not only overseas the crèche of 280 children, but has served on various development forums and ward committees in various capacities. She is the core person leading on the ground operations- identifying needs (short-term and long-term), growing the individual relationships from the Bhambayi community's perspective and giving valuable community insight.
Kevin Robertson
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Kevin Robertson is the rector at St Martins Anglican Church, married to Cathy, a father of two and grandfather of 3. He has spent most of his working life with high school learners, as a teacher, school chaplain, spirituality and leadership facilitator. Kevin loves coaching people and helping them discover their God-given strengths. He is passionate about growing and empowering youth to be free of the past chains that shackle them, allowing them to discover the richness of God's blessing, their unique God-given gifts and the Holy Spirit's power in their lives.
Rodney Spencer
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Transformational Strategist, Social Entrepreneur and Family man. 10 year journey following God's call on his life to serve children in Africa has seen him working in several organisations in Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa, in areas ranging from Paediatric HIV & AIDS clinics, Orphaned and Vulnerable children Villages and small scale farming. As a result of this journey he has developed a passion to see Africa and her people have their dignity returned to them, and believes that one of the biggest steps forward in seeing this come to reality will be if fathers take up their responsibility of provider and protector in their families.
Judy Tate
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Judy Tate is currently the Executive Director of School at Inanda Seminary, a secondary school for girls in Inanda Mission, as well as Executive Director of Khanyisa Inanda Seminary Community Projects, a teacher development NGO working in community schools. She has over 40 years' experience as an educator in South Africa both in the public, independent and community sectors and in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions as well as Adult Education. Judy is a founder member of the South African Extraordinary Schools Coalition (SAESC) a coalition where like-minded schools throughout South Africa offer quality education to previously disadvantaged learners through collaboration and sharing of best practice. In addition, she is a board member of the Global Teacher Institute (GTI), a national teacher development organisation using a mentorship model. Judy has been married to her husband Dave for 44 years, and they have 4 children and 9 grandchildren.
Mandla Hamilton Ntshingila
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Mandla Hamilton is the chairperson of the ministers' fraternal in Bhambayi. He is a minister at Mahon Evangelical Church of Southern Africa, ministering to a circuit on the South Coast and runs a Bible College in Bhambayi. His passion is for teaching and children's ministry.
Dr Tshitshi Mbatha
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Tshitshi Mbatha studied social work, city planning and social welfare policy and has a post-doctoral fellow in poverty. She has worked in diverse organisations, including USAID, International Development Research Centre, United Nations and provincial government. Her llast position before her retirement was as CEO of Inkezo Land Company. She is passionate about poverty eradication initiatives. She has served on many boards in the public, the private and the NGO sectors.
Tom Butterworth
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Tom Butterworth currently manages the Blue Roof Life Space, a holistic development space for vulnerable youth in the communities of south Durban. Tom holds an Urban Design and City Planning masters degree from the University of Cape Town, and an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pretoria. He has wide ranging experience and is passionate about community development, city planning, urban design and landscape architecture.
Anne Taylor
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Lived in Durban since 1951. Qualified as pharmacist at Natal Technicon. Married to Graham. Owned Stella pharmacy for 10 years. Ran CARE NGO an HIV/AIDS outreach for 10 years, where, in partnership with Zoe-Life, impacted the lives of many adults and children.
Zodwa Sithole
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Professional Nurse and Palliative Care Advocate. Zodwa has worked in the health sector in various disciples including general nursing, midwifery, community health and palliative care. She gained valuable experience in various private, government and community institutions and has worked in environments with limited resources, illiteracy, abject poverty and general deprivation, hence covering a diverse content of first and third world care. She holds a B. Cur degree and a master's degree in Nursing. Zodwa has participated in numerous national and international conferences and advocated for palliative care in many contexts such as the South African prisons.
Juliet Hartley
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Juliet has worked extensively in research and is currently working in a school environment. She plays a crucial role in managing all sponsor and Special Star information, co-ordinating the core functions and managing the relationship with sponsors.
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