SOS Africa Charity Staff
Introducing the SOS Africa Children's Charity Staff based at our Fundraising Office in Somerset, UK and 4 Education Centre's in Mafikeng, Grabouw, Somerset West and Elgin, South Africa...
SOS Africa, UK Office
Matt Crowcombe was just a young 18-year-old on a gap year placement at the International School in Mafikeng when he and school teacher Henry Matthews shared an idea over a bowl of jelly and ice-cream. Little did they know that this idea would flourish into a successful organisation empowering hundreds of children through education. On his return to the UK, Matt began his studies at Swansea University and dedicated every spare moment to raising money for the SOS Africa cause together with his friends and family. In 2010 SOS Africa had a break through when Hyundai partnered the charity during the 2010 Football World Cup in South Africa. This inspired Matt to pursue a full-time career in SOS Africa. Since August 2011, Matt has set the fundraising bar higher and higher with a variety of daring and creative fundraising challenges; has personally corresponded with each and every one of our child sponsors around the World and continued to evolve SOS Africa's Education Programmes and support throughout South Africa. Without realising it, at 18 years old Matt embarked on a lifetime dedicated to transforming children's lives, and their communities, through the empowerment of education.
Claudia Titley joined SOS Africa’s UK team in 2009. A skilled graphic designer with a passion for education and a love for children, Claudia’s creativity has transformed the charity’s marketing approach; it is no co-incidence that SOS Africa’s support base and global sponsorship grew exponentially soon after she joined our team. Always smiling, Claudia inspires those around her and is adored by the SOS Africa children. Claudia’s dedication to our cause was further demonstrated in 2013, when she fearlessly Kayaked around the Island of Mauritius to raise funds for the SOS Africa Children. Regularly spotted at the top of a high-rise building, Claudia is also a talented photographer and captures brave fundraisers conquering their fears for the SOS Africa cause. Also a Part 2 Architect, Claudia has designed SOS Africa's Grabouw and Elgin Education Centres. Claudia is one of the main driving-forces behind the charity’s future development and an invaluable member of our UK Team.
SOS Africa, Western Cape
Hi, my name is Karen and I was appointed as Western Cape Operations Manager in January 2020.
My main responsibilities as Operations Manager include ensuring that the Charity's Education Centres are fully operational in terms of resources; relevant learning programmes; relevant policies & protocols and staff development. I also work at fostering good relationships with the staff of our partnering schools and external service providers. Working closely with CEO Matt and Finance & Admin Manager Rae, I also focus on the impact and future development of SOS Africa's Western Cape Education Programmes.
It's difficult to say what part of my job I enjoy the most without writing down every aspect. However, it always comes down to the children at the end of each day - their well-being, their best interests and happiness! Seeing them happy and achieve their goals gives me hope for a better future. SOS Africa embodies all the values and principles I believe in and am passionate about. Joining SOS Africa has brought me full circle in my career and I can say I am truly humbled and honoured to work in this amazing organisation.
Hello, I am Rae and I joined the SOS Africa team in 2017 and have played a variety of roles - right now my focus is Administration and Financial Management.
My role entails keeping everyone’s ducks in a row! I am involved in some way in almost every aspect of the organisation. Whether it’s documenting operations, researching best practices or making payments and paying staff salaries as well as keeping a careful eye on that budget, I like to work in the background and keep the wheels of this magic machine well-oiled!
The job itself is very satisfying, it’s wonderful to work in a small team and know that every little thing I do has an impact. Being part of SOS Africa Western Cape is an honour and a privilege. The work done by this organisation is dynamic and relevant; it truly makes a difference in the lives of the children we interact with and their families. What a gift to us all!
Hi there, we are Des and Sharnice and we run SOS Africa's Education Centre at Grabouw Primary.
Each morning we provide learning support for children with learning difficulties, in particular those who struggle with reading and writing. In the afternoons we oversee the 17 Scholarship Scheme Children who are based at SOS Africa's Grabouw Education Centre. We manage all aspects of the day-today running of the Centre to ensure that these children receive the holistic support they need to thrive.
DES: I love my job and am passionate about harnessing the potential and unique qualities of each student and witnessing the positive changes we can make to their lives. I have been inspired by Matt, the leader of the organisation, because of his compassion, attitude towards life and genuine humanity.
SHARNICE: What I love most about SOS Africa is that it's main focus is the development and well-being of the children; I love seeing the learners succeed and achieve their goals.
Hi, we are Li-andi and Eden and we run SOS Africa's Education Centre in Somerset West.
Each morning we run a reading programme for children in Grades 1 and 2 who are behind their correct reading level. The WordWorks Reading Programme is an interactive course which has an immediate impact upon the children's reading abilities, self-confidence and academic performance. In the afternoons we manage SOS Africa's Somerset West Aftercare programme which provides holistic support to SOS Africa's 15 Scholarship Scheme Children who are currently in Grades 5-8.
LI-ANDI: I love that no single day at work is the same! There's always excitement and so much love and care for each other. Knowing that my job is to help children achieve their full potential by simply just lending a hand or ear brings a huge smile to my face.
Hello, we are Abigail and Nita and we run the Porta Romana Education Centre at St Michael's School.
We also run the WordWorks Reading Programme each morning for up to 36 children with reading difficulties. In the afternoon we run Aftercare which supports learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure they get extra educational support, nutritious meals and lots of love and care. We do our best in assisting them so they feel motivated to give their best and be a success in life.
ABIGAIL: SOS Africa has become a big part of my life and a big part of my heart. I love working with children and getting to know them as individuals; not only do I teach them, they teach me. The past 5 years has been so incredible, I’ve come to witness what love and care truly is.
JUANITA: The best part of my job is working with the children. Oh what a wonderful experience it is! Going to your workplace, getting unexpected hugs, interacting with the children in such way that they trust you completely. I have great team members and could not ask for a better job or second family.
SOS Africa, Mafikeng
Jenny Matthews is our longest serving member of staff in South Africa, having worked for SOS Africa Mafikeng since the charity was first founded in January 2003. Jenny is now responsible for the management of our Mafikeng Education Programme. Her devotion to the SOS Africa children is revered by everyone she meets. Jenny chooses to be on-call 24 hours and is always there to support our children whenever they need her. Our children see Jenny as their second mother; each Mother’s Day she is flooded with cards and gifts thanking her for all she does. In addition to her SOS Africa role, Jenny is Primary School Secretary of the International School of South Africa in Mafikeng. We are all indebted to Jenny for the incredible impact she has had upon the lives of our children. SOS Africa wouldn’t be what it is today without her dedication over the years.