Meet the Staff of Ubuntu Africa
Ubuntu Africa has skilled and experienced staff members dedicated to serving HIV-positive children and their community. Meet some of the core staff members below!
Founder and Executive Director of Ubuntu Africa
Whitney Johnson is an ardent activist and youth leader. Inspired by her experiences while studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and volunteering in an orphanage in the nearby township of Khayeltisha, Whitney was drawn to the cause of supporting HIV-positive children. She noticed a gap in services and sustained assistance for children living with HIV. She wanted to ensure that HIV-postive children received the support they needed to live long and healthy lives. She graduated from Colorado College in 2006 with a degree in psychology. At the age of 21, Whitney established Ubuntu Africa, a non-profit organization with the mission of providing health and support services to HIV-positive children in South Africa.
Nontuthulzelo Patience Ntwana (Ntuthu)
Operations Manager / Nurse
Nontuthulzelo received her Diploma in Nursing in 1999 from Carinus Nursing College and her B Tech in nursing from the Peninsula University of Technology in 2009. Prior to taking a fulltime position with Ubuntu Africa Child Healthcare, Ntuthu had ten years of dedicated service in HIV care facilities. Ntuthu is also certified in the management of HIV-related conditions, integrated HIV/AIDS treatment programs, and anti-retroviral treatment. Prior to working at Ubuntu Africa Child Healthcare, Ntuthu was the Professional Head Nurse for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the Post Rape Care Clinic, both located in Khayelitsha.
Ntuthu is passionate about improving the health of children in Khayelitsha. Through her work in local clinics, Ntuthu witnessed the devastating impact that HIV/AIDS was having on children and felt strongly that more comprehensive and personalized care was needed for infected children to successfully overcome illness. This inspired her to join Ubuntu Africa Child Healthcare where she feels that she is able to truly make a difference!
US Director of Operations and Strategy
Jessica Annis joined Ubuntu Africa in July 2011 as a Princeton in Africa Fellow. Prior to joining UBA, Jessica worked in HIV prevention research on various clinical trials including the iPrEx and Partners PrEP studies. Jessica is a graduate of Emory University where she received a BA in International Studies and Global Health. While at Emory, Jessica developed a passion for the health issues most affecting the world’s most vulnerable populations. Jessica’s work with other non-profits includes volunteering for the Center’s Development office as well as at the Georgia State Capital with Planned Parenthood. After 1.5 years working in Khayelitsha, Jessica recently returned to the US taking on a new role as US Diretor of Operations.
US Development Director
Robyn Deutsch joined UBA as Director of Development in January 2013. She received her BA from Emory University where she studied Political Science and was a Community Building and Social Change Fellow. During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, where she decided to stay for 2 years and worked for Ikamva Labantu, a community development NGO in the Western Cape. When she returned to the States, she began working with international youth development organization MCW (Miracle Corners of the World) where she focused on fundraising and media and communications and served as program coordinator for MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner. She also completed her Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management from The New School. Her love and passion for South Africa and experience with non-profit fundraising and development makes this what Robyn calls “her dream job”.
Lisa Nozuko Godana
Accounts Officer/Office Administrator
Lisa joined the UBA family in September of 2011. She has received a Marketing Management Diploma, Diploma in Personal Computing and Public Relations Certificate obtained at Varsity College. Lisa is a community worker who generously devotes of her skills to all areas of services needed. Before joining UBA Lisa worked at iThemba Laboratories for 9 years as an Administrator, afterwards joining The Hope Centre / Way of Life Church for 5 years. Later Lisa moved to The Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture where she worked in Fundraising and Human Resouce Administration. She is currently involved in varied community structures involved in management and administration of HIV/AIDS. We just love Lisa’s bright spirit and get’er done attitude!
Shelley is a Southern California native who began her work with Ubuntu Africa in June 2012 after returning to South Africa for the third time. After graduating from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas in 2009 with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Communications, she spent half the year working for a talent and brand management company in Los Angeles and the other half in Cape Town; there she lived with a host family while volunteer teaching grade 1 at a public school and handling all PR-related materials for a women and children abuse intervention non-proft organization in Lavender Hill. She spent 2011 back in Los Angeles as a digital advertising sales representative for Turner Broadcasting System (TBS). Shelley is now thrilled to be back in the Mother City completing her Masters degree in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Nokwayiyo Sani (Skwayi)
Nokwayiyo has a B.A. in Social Work from the University of Western Cape and is also certified in the developmental assessment of children, youth, and families; family preservation; and assessment and therapy for child sexual abuse.
Nokwayiyo or Skwayi, as she is fondly known by the children, is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of the children she serves. In addition to protecting children from abuse and neglect, Nokwayiyo also helps families obtain government grants, enrolls children in schools, and provides child and family counseling to Ubuntu Africa Child Healthcare’s participants.
Bathandwa Sylvester Matyile
Sylvester has been counseling youth for many years in his capacity as a youth pastor, and holds certificates from the College of Cape Town FET Business Studies Department and from the Peace, Human Rights and Anti-Racism Education training course. He is a certified soccer coach and an active leader in his church.
Sylvester has a gift for engaging and inspiring young people, especially teenagers. He listens to and advises youth with empathy, and always manages to bring out the best in the young people he serves. Sylvester leads support group meetings and provides support and encouragement to the children he counsels. He also makes HIV education fun and engaging for the children as he fosters an in-depth understanding of HIV while empowering the children with the knowledge and confidence they need to take care of themselves.
Nkoliso oversees facility maintenance and kitchen support. Nkoliso is energetic and charismatic and provides endless entertainment for the youngest age group (4-7 year olds), which he leads in fun and educational activities during the afterschool program.
Siphokazi prepares healthy and delicious daily meals for participants at Ubuntu Africa Child Healthcare’s center. She pulls off the superhuman feat of making vegetables and whole grains appealing for children! Children at the center are drawn to her sweet nature and nurturing personality.
Siphokasi Fusa & Thumeka Fusa
Social worker students at UBA
We are thrilled to welcome Siphoaski & Thumeka, sisters-in-law who have come to do their year-long practical training to attain diplomas in social work at Continuing Education for Africa (CEFA).