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Check out our Za newsletter below for the latest news about the After School Clubs and details of our new project, Sponsor a Child.

The Za Team

The Za Team


Our members and our Board of Directors have made Za what it is today. We are clear that we want our membership to bring us the range of skills and knowledge that we need to enable our supporters to have a say in how we’re governed and to represent the people that we serve, in Nkomazi and in North Somerset and to provide a route to becoming a Director for those who might want to help in that way. We recognise the huge range of different ways in which people volunteer to help us, whether its playing in a concert to raise funds or giving up time to organise an event. Membership helps to strengthen those links between our supporters, our volunteers and the organisation and what it does. Our Board of Directors plays a particularly key role by ensuring that Za is run properly, that our affairs and our finances are properly managed and that we review the risks that we face, the opportunities that we have, and make the right decisions for the future.

Jayne Morris-Thurgood (UK Director)

Jayne spent two decades working in London Hospitals, primarily in cardiovascular research which culminated in a PhD from Imperial College in 1997, she then continued her research at the Wales Heart Research Institute in Cardiff until 2003. On venturing into the charitable arena Jayne volunteered for the Prince’s Trust and later became a board member for the Aled Richard’s Trust. In 2005 she set up a not-for-profit business in order to secure funds for projects she was passionate about in the Nkomazi region of South Africa. Then in 2009 Jayne together with friends brought over the first Zakhele group to the UK. The success of this visit culminated in the launch of Za Foundation in 2010 of which Jayne is a founding member.


Kate Birnie (UK Director)

Kate worked for the blue chip consumer goods company Unilever for twelve years as a Manager in their international business development division. During this time she travelled extensively to the Far East training staff and implementing new software and procedures in local Unilever companies. From her time with Unilever Kate gained experience in customer interface, export procedures, staff management and business administration. More recently Kate has been a professional photographer and partner in a privately owned photography business. She became involved in the 2011 Zakhele tour originally to create a photographic record of the visit. Kate was so inspired by the Zakhele tour that it became a turning point for her and she has worked voluntarily for Za Foundation ever since, becoming a Director in May 2012 and Chair in 2015.

Anna Young (UK Director)

As a primary school teacher, a volunteer leader of a Brownie pack and a respite carer for children with learning disabilities, Anna has a keen interest in the education and welfare of children. Her 15 years of experience in the classroom has given Anna valuable insight into how children learn; an understanding of current educational practices and a firm belief in the value of global education. During a stint living in South East Asia, Anna joined the committee of a local expat volunteer organisation and became the Editor of the organisation’s monthly magazine. In this role, Anna developed desktop publishing, marketing and editorial skills whilst getting involved in various volunteer projects for women and children in the local community. Anna has transferred these skills and is now responsible for producing all of Za Foundation’s marketing literature as well as assisting in the management of Za Foundation’s other programmes and projects.

Cleopas Maseko (South African Director)

Cleopas joined Thembalethu Home Based Care, (THBC), in 2004. This Charity gave him the opportunity to utilise not only his skills but his compassionate understanding of the many social and economic challenges that affect the African people. One such challenge is the devastating effects on individuals and families as a result of HIV/AIDS and abject poverty. In 2005 Cleopas was given an opportunity to teach firstly at Shammah Private College and later at Imbongozi Faculty of Training, here he used teaching as a way of equipping young people in the skills and knowledge necessary to confront such social and economic challenges. Cleopas re-joined Thembalethu in 2008 as Manager for the Youth in Action programme (This included all the Youth projects run by THBC including the GOLD Peer Education Programme). He is now CEO of Thembalethu and managing all the strategic, planning and operational aspects of the charity. Currently Cleopas is completing a B.Comm degree in Economics, Insurance & Risk Management.

Lisa Penney (Treasurer)

Lisa worked in banking for over 17 years employed by both the NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland Groups. During her career she worked in both Branch and Head Office roles and covered a multitude of disciplines including financial control, risk and balance sheet management. She is an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and Association of Corporate Treasurers. Lisa met Jayne Morris-Thurgood upon relocating to the North Somerset area in 2005 and having seen at first hand the evolution of Jayne’s work in Nkomazi, she joined Za as a Trustee at its inception in 2010. As well as dedicating voluntary time to Za, she is also Treasurer for a local Girl Guiding Group.

Gill Baldwin (Part-time volunteer)

Gill’s interest in international development was initially sparked by her son’s work for a global children’s charity. While visiting him in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2009, she was inspired by the work of a life-changing street children’s project, providing shelter and education to the city’s most vulnerable children. She also sponsors and corresponds with a young girl in India. During her time as a Modern Languages teacher at Backwell School, Gill witnessed first hand the positive impact of the Zakhele group on students, both in terms of cultural awareness and understanding of HIV/AIDS. Since January 2014, she has volunteered alongside the UK directors; she assists Backwell School Sixth Form students organise fund-raising events for Za Foundation, manages the charity’s website and has produced videos which illustrate the work of the Zakhele group in clinics and schools in South Africa.

Random Posts

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    Patricia is a member of our Zakhele group

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Get In Touch

Address: 36 High Street
Bristol BS20 6EN
Phone: 01275 848775
Email: info@zafoundation.org

Founded 2006. Registered Charity No.1135748 (since 2010)