Thanks to the help of volunteers we were able to welcome in the previous years and the devotion of our local volunteers and staff, the Izizwe projects has been very successful. The key to success for this project is the people who are involved and make it happen every day. Below you can find some of the local people who have been of great importance to the several projects in Walmer Township.
Martijn van der Put, co-founder
Born in Germany and raised in the Netherlands, Martijn was born curious of the world around him and inspired to help those in need. A social worker back in the Netherlands, Martijn also spent time volunteering across South America, Zimbabwe, Egypt, and Israel. He moved to South Africa permanently in 2005, where he met Prof and began putting together township tours and assisting international visitors with finding volunteer opportunities. Along with directing Izizwe Projects, Martijn is also the director of Khaya Volunteer Projects and the general manager of Port Elizabeth in 4Exchange Internships. He is the proud father of two and loves to travel in his spare time!
Prof Mtyaleka, co-founder
Prof is a well-respected community leader in the Walmer Township. Having moved from Alexandria to Walmer in 1998 as a hardware salesman, Prof quickly become more involved in the community. He began to volunteer in local schools and community events before becoming a youth director of a community centre in the 2004. He then started his store, Village Foods, which is a favorite for Walmer High students and our volunteers. As a co-founder of Izizwe, Prof is integral with building lasting connections in the community and helping inspire those in the township to serve each other.
Lungi, Community and education coordinator
This caring woman always knows what is going on in the township. Lungi helps the people who need it the most and that is why she is a very well-known woman in the Walmer Community. She is essential for the organization because she knows where help is needed and how things work in the township. Next to this, she is involved in her own soup kitchen. In this kitchen, a group of women cook for the people in need. This kitchen cannot exist without the donations they receive. Lungi likes to share her experiences with all the volunteers. (Staff, sd)
Florence Mtengwana, Dance teacher
Florence arrived in Walmer Township in 2000 as an accomplished dancer and singer. She gives dance lessons to enthusiastic boys and girls of the township. As she is very dedicated to gain exposure for her dancers, she often submits her group into dancing competitions across the Eastern Cape. Whilst instructing a Walmer youth dancing group and a group of adults, she also finds the time to be a dancer of the Ibxupei group and lead singer of the jazz group Yinu Sabasa. In 2015, Florence started giving dance lessons at the Schools in Walmer township. The schools involved are Walmer Primary School, Human Dignity Centre and Ilitha care centre. She is very well known amongst the children as she can be very entertaining! (Staff, sd)
Sandile was born and bred in South Africa in a City called King Williams Town, which is three hours’ drive from where he currently works and lives. When growing up he was part of different leadership positions such as: Football team Coach and Captain, Peer educator leader, Like-skills programme facilitator and aftercare coordinator. Sandile is currently working for Izizwe as a Program Manager. His responsibilities consist of: meetings with the stakeholders, developing new programs, teambuilding with the local and international volunteers, keeping the office container clean and visiting different projects to facilitate the progress.
In the beginning of 2016 Leesah joined Izizwe Projects via another guy from the Township. She is 24 years old and was born in the Eastern Cape in a town called Idutywa. When she was three years old, she moved to Port Elizabeth with her mother and brother. Leesah started by helping with the Sport Program and she enjoyed it so much she decided to officially join Izizwe Projects. Leesah helps every day of the week with sport at different schools in Walmer Township. She is enjoying every moment of her time at Izizwe Projects.
‘’Lloyd’’ is 25 years old and was born in Port Elizabeth. His first coaching job was U13 Soccer team’s Assistant coach at Kabega Primary School for the 2013 season. In 2014, he volunteered to be the U13 Soccer team Head Coach at local club Caledonian FC. At that time, he was employed as a Head Coach for SoccerStarz. Since January 2017, Lloyd co-ordinates the sport and recreation the Sport Program at Izizwe Projects. Furthermore, he is also volunteering for the other programs in the community.