About us

The Foundation in Switzerland

The Phenduka Literacy Programme is self-financed through contributions of institutional and private donors. The Kaiser Staub Foundation in Winthertur is our invaluable support.
We can count on strong supporters like the Gabriele Foundation, Lugano Switzerland, who has been pivotal in creating our mathematics programme, private citizens and South African companies.
A Foundation was set up in Switzerland by Dr. Alberto Ferrari, attorney in Zurich.

The team in South Africa

    Nomi has been teaching at Phenduka for 8 years and has recently been promoted to the position of Project Manager. She is our phonics specialist, and heads up the literacy section of the programme. She is completing a degree in biomedicine and this year started a diploma in Project Management with UNISA. She is a wonderfully serene presence in the classroom but at the same time is super-organised and gets children through the phonics phase of the programme in a thorough and efficient way. Nomi is married with two children in primary school.

    Jan is a founder member of the staff, and has been with us for 17 years. He is an ex-dancer with CAPAB and PACT and has danced with the Dutch National Ballet as well as London city Ballet. Thanks to his career as a dancer, he is wonderfully creative in story-telling and choreographing stories for children to act out. His dynamic approach to teaching in a kinetic way means we can use movement on a daily basis for learning new vocabulary, High Frequency words and in oral work with stories. Movement is a powerful channel for learning in children who struggle with mainstream methods. Part of our work is expanding vocabulary knowledge in English as a basis for reading, and Jan has developed what we call "the physical dictionary", a very powerful way to learn new words and their meanings.

    David has been with us for 4 years and wanted to work with Phenduka because he liked our innovative methodology and our child-centred approach to teaching and learning. He is completing a BSc through OFS University and brings an interest in Science and Maths to our programme. He is a teacher who is great at building self-esteem and confidence with his gentle approach and expertise in explaining Maths concepts and procedures. He is adept at both Maths remediation and literacy remediation, so he is a great asset to Phenduka.

    Zippora has recently joined us to replace Precious, who left us earlier this year. She has a BA in Education specializing in Geography, and has over 3 decades of experience teaching at primary schools. She has also worked as a coach for teachers who need upgrading of their skills. Her experience working in remediation with children in hospitals is particularly valuable and she is currently focusing on the Maths remediation aspect of our programme.

    Alison Beynon
    the Director of the project, is 72 years old and has an MA degree in Second Language Education from Wits University. She has taught in various primary schools and also at tertiary level at Wits University Education Faculty. She has also been active in writing language textbooks for primary schools.
    She started the project in the year 2000, because she wanted to be active in making a difference to literacy levels in disadvantaged learners. She takes great joy in the daily teaching and remediation of the children and in developing new and effective materials to facilitate their progress.