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 favourite 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.
Samantha Dullisear, director
This woman does not only have a big smile for everyone – she has a big heart.
Samantha has a determined and courageons personality, which strengthens our IZIZWE team. Because she grew up in Port Elizabeth, development of underpriviliged communities here in our beautiful city is vitally important to her. Samantha is eager to see IZIZWE grow and do even more of the wonderful work that we are already doing here!
Celia Pienaar, manager
This passionated local woman is the manager of Izizwe Projects.Celia strives to make a difference and to have a positive impact in people’s lives. Izizwe is all about closing a gap between people who are always getting the best opportunity and the ones that need it the most. Involving people in their own development, from babies to adults, is the most important goal. Celia shares these goals and with 10 years of experience in community development, she is the perfect one for the manager job.
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)
Yanelisa Mhambi, local volunteer
In the beginning of 2016 ‘Leesah’ joined Izizwe Projects via another guy from the Township. She is 25 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 Sports Program and she enjoyed it so much that she decided to officially join Izizwe Projects. Nowadays, Leesah has become an all-rounder who helps wherever she is needed. She has a lot of knowledge of the township, loves the kids and is down to earth: which all makes her an important asset to our team!
Samkelo Koli, dance coordinator
Izizwe is about empowering the local youth to be also involved in the development of their own community. Zweli started off as one of the children participating in the Holiday Program and now he is our dance coordinator. We are glad to have made a difference in his life. Now he is making a difference in the life of the children through the dance program.