I am a social entrepreneur, educational researcher and development practitioner with extensive experience working in community and international development. I am passionate about early childhood, care and education as well as being a social justice advocate. I have a BA in Community Development from the University of South Africa, a Post Graduate Diploma in International Youth and Child Care from the University of Victoria, Canada, an MSc in Development Studies from the Women’s University of Africa. I hold a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Studies – Curriculum and Instruction, from the University of Victoria, Canada.
My experience working with children at an orphanage in 2002 led to my establishing in 2008, the Nhaka Foundation, a charitable organization that has provided access to education, food, health care, psycho social support, and other essential services to children throughout Zimbabwe in Southern Africa. In 2020, I had the honour of extending the work of Nhaka Foundation to neighbouring Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). In 2021, Nhaka Foundation began work in Lesotho, another country in Southern Africa. In all the three countries Nhaka has been partnering with local organizations and governments there for the implementation of early childhood care and programs. The partnerships established with the government and civic society stakeholders in education and early childhood care and education (ECCE) are supporting communities to utilise strength based and asset based approaches to support community development.
In 2011, I served as a Global Leader for Young Children through the World Forum Foundation for Early Care and Education. This program was part of a leadership capacity development program that provided coaching and mentorship to leaders within the Early Years sector. A key part of this program was the designing and implementation of a country focused project and I focused on establishing an organization that would be a home to others working within the early years sector. I am honoured to currently serve as Vice President of the Board of the World Forum Foundation (US).
In 2012, as a result of the Global Leader for Young Children program, I founded the Zimbabwe Network of Early Childhood Development Actors (ZINECDA) a national network for organizations working in the early childhood care and education sector. Over the years, through this organization I have designed, led and managed projects supporting young children to access foundation learning. I have carried out research on early childhood and community development which in turn has informed national education policy development. ZINECDA has now grown from having an initial network of 20 members to one with over 250 members intersecting on the need to provide expanded early childhood development programs, policy implementation and advocacy. In 2020, ZINECDA was awarded a 3-year grant to lead transnational early childhood development advocacy and policy work in Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe. As the Chair of the Board, I continue to provide guidance to the Management team at ZINECDA and supporting leadership support across the three countries involved in this project.
In 2014, a conversation held in San Juan, Puerto Rico led to my co-founding of the the African Early Childhood Network (AfECN) with other colleagues from Africa. With offices in Nairobi, Kenya, AfECN works to champion early childhood development in Africa. This network was established based on the need to bring together civic society professionals, academia and funders to support the Early Childhood Development sector on the African continent.
I am an alumnus of the Mandela Washington Fellowship (YALI 2017 cohort). The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Since 2014, nearly 4,400 leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Fellowship. The Fellows are accomplished leaders and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries.Through a six-week residential program at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, honed my global perspectives on social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion among other leadership development courses I took.
I have had varied consulting experiences across Africa, USA and Canada. In the US, I have consulted for various organizations that include Childhood Education International, Detroit Champions for HOPE, Global Health and Education Strategies LLC amongst others. I have previously served as Regional Director for Africa at the Childhood Education International based in Washington D.C, USA.
I am an Appreciative Inquiry practitioner and a believer and learner of Trust Based Philanthropy approaches in grant making. My experience establishing and working with non-profit organizations has shown me that when trust is at the centre of all grant making, the outcomes are even greater for organizations and communities served.
I love writing and have several articles that have been published along with some book projects that I am currently working on.