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About Us

OUR STORY

In the spirit of collective impact, Nation Builder emerges as the unified force born from the rich histories of two organisations, Valcare and Nation Builder, who have joined together in 2024 under the name Nation Builder. From its beginnings in the Cape Winelands, Valcare has been a catalyst for social change, nurturing networks, and fostering collaboration among nonprofits and social investors for over 20 years.

While Nation Builder, with its commitment to building a thriving impact sector, has been at the forefront of thought leadership, collaboration and knowledge sharing within the sector for over a decade.

As we journey forward, Valcare’s legacy merges with Nation Builder’s vision, creating a powerful entity that amplifies the impact of both. Our story is a testament to the belief that together, we can achieve more.

About Us

Our Team

The Nation Builder team consists of a group of professionals who are not only experts in their respective fields, but who are also passionate about facilitating social change in South Africa.

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Ivan Swartz

Chief Executive Officer

Ivan has worked in the social impact space for nearly a decade and specialises in strategy, organisational culture and building collaborative teams. Before his involvement in Nation Builder, he worked as a management consultant in the petro-chemical, insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing industries. Ivan holds an MBA, an honours degree in Industrial Psychology and a BA in Communications from the North-West University. He enjoys long-distance running, any form of chocolate and spending time with his beautiful wife and son.

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Brendan Smith

Chief Operations Officer

Brendan has over 20 years of experience in the social sector. He is a former British Army officer specialising in humanitarian aid. He has worked with several international organisations, including NATO and the United Nations, in over 40 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. Brendan holds a Master’s Degree from Tabor College, Australia, and a BComm (Hons) from UKZN. He also has several professional post-graduate degrees and qualifications from Cambridge University. He loves the outdoors, scuba diving, hiking, his family, and ice cream.

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Anniza de Wet

Chief Impact Officer

Anniza has more than ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including working in the UK for multiple nonprofit organisations. She is passionate about the professionalisation of monitoring and evaluation to empower nonprofits to elevate their evaluation practices, bringing life, meaning and value to evaluations. She has a BA in Social Dynamics and a PGD in Monitoring and Evaluation from Stellenbosch University. Anniza loves to bake. She bakes intricate cakes, cupcakes, and treats for her dog Bo and his friends.

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Jolanda van der Lingen

Relationship Manager

Jolanda has been with Valcare for almost 20 years and has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She is passionate about building and retaining strong and meaningful relationships and empowering nonprofits to build and expand their networks. She has been involved with academic institutes for the past ten years, sharing her experience and knowledge with students. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Stellenbosch University. Jolanda believes a good day is filled with laughter; she loves spending time with her family and pets.

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Courtney Gabriels

Network Officer

Courtney has over ten years of experience in interpersonal relations and five years of experience specialising in Community Development and implementing community-based projects. Before joining Valcare, she worked for the Local Government and the Department of Health. Courtney holds a BA in Psychology and an Honours Degree in Social Development, focusing on Development Management and Community Development. She loves to laugh, eats good food, and is a sports fan.

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Munashe Muchenga

Monitoring and Evaluation Officer

Oupa has six years of experience in results-based monitoring and evaluation. Prior to joining Valcare, he worked in both the public and private sectors in the field of research, project management, monitoring, and evaluation. He has an Honours degree in Development Studies and a postgraduate certificate in Project and Programme Monitoring and Evaluation. Although he appears shy and reserved, nothing gets him out of his shell like a good game of cricket or football.

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Ronlyn Zwaan

Data and Systems Officer

Ronlyn has been with Valcare since 2018 when she interned as a Social Auxiliary Worker. In 2019, she took on the role of administrative assistant and is currently the Data and Systems Officer. She has a qualification in Social Auxiliary Work from Hugenote College and a qualification in Community Health Work from Glen Lilly Training College. She enjoys walking her dogs, spending time with her family and eating everything that contains sugar.

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Liezl Tolkin

Office Manager

Liezl joined Valcare in 2006 and is currently working as the Office Manager. She manages the Vuka Co-working Space, which Valcare shares with three other organisations. Her focus is on ensuring operations flow smoothly through systems practices and efficiency. She has a qualification in Secretarial Public Relations from Boland College Stellenbosch. Liezl loves reading fiction and binge-watching series. She often wishes to escape to the 80s—the decade with the best music ever!

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Siphesihle Cekiso

Receptionist

Siphesihle started her career at Valcare as an administrative intern, and now she works as our front-of-house receptionist. She is passionate about working with people and has a qualification in management assistance. She enjoys unleashing her creative side by experimenting with different make-up styles.

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Maurisa Moloto

Training and Development Manager

Maurisa has over 15 years of experience in the development field. Her dynamic involvement spans social innovation, entrepreneurship, education & and health across the public, private as well as social sectors. Maurisa holds a BSc Degree in Allied Health Sciences (UCT) and post-graduate studies in Social Entrepreneurship (GIBS) & Inclusive Innovation (GSB). She is passionate about social change for the development of women & and youth. Maurisa enjoys spending time with her family & and loves dancing with her husband or beach walks with her 2 daughters.

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Jeanne-Loïs Bakkes

Communication Manager

Jeanne-Loïs brings over 13 years of branding, design and art direction experience across diverse industries. With a Bachelor of Arts degree, specialising in Broadcast Media from Stellenbosch University, and an Events Management qualification from UCT, she has a solid background in artistic expression – and her expertise lies in aligning business objectives with creative strategies. With a desire to see effective social transformation in SA, every thought, design, and communication strategy is crafted with the awareness that our work has the power to touch and change lives.

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Toni Grobbler

Social Investment Manager

Introducing Toni, who is passionate and dedicated to unlocking the potential within people’s lives. Toni has spent a decade shaping impactful experiences in the dynamic realm of the event industry. Driven by an unwavering work ethic, Toni has honed her skills over the past ten years, serving, coordinating, and conceptualising events for both top-tier corporate entities and nonprofit organisations. Her true passion lies in connecting with people on a meaningful level. Managing the social investment department, she combines her experience and purpose to serve our network. She’s a mom & wife who enjoys cooking and keeping her single handicap husband on his toes with the occasional round of golf.

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Courtney Pieterse

Communication Coordinator

Courtney started her career as a communication intern at Valcare and is now the communication coordinator. She holds a BA in international studies from Stellenbosch University and a social media and communication qualification. Courtney loves good music, TikTok and quality time with friends and family.

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Hlengiwe Zulu

Associate

Hlengiwe Zulu is the co-founder of Uhuru Development Consulting, a consultancy that exists to empower Social Investors and Implementors to achieve optimal social impact. She completed her Master’s degree in Social Development and Policy at the University of Pretoria, with a focus on how education-related CSI projects can contribute to upholding human rights. Prior to joining the Mergon Group, Hlengiwe held positions with The Foschini Group, as well as McKinsey and Company. Hlengiwe is passionate about the potential of well-planned and collaborative social investment strategies and how these can further social justice.

Board Of Directors

The Nation Builder board consists of both original Nation Builder and Valcare representatives. This composition aims to blend the experience and expertise of both organisations, enabling Nation Builder to pursue its mission with effectiveness, excellence and accountability.

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Mapitsi Mary Malatji

Former Chief Director: National Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities

Mapitsi Mary Mathabatha (Mononela) is an experienced social advocate in education, gender and development. She devotes herself to creating women and child-friendly communities where the voices of these vulnerable groups are integrated into the development of policies and in all spheres of government. She holds a degree in education from the University of the North-West and postgraduate qualifications in education and gender studies.

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Nqobile Dlamini

Deputy Chairperson

Nqobile is a Social Impact consultant with over 16 years of development experience. She currently drives strategic partnerships for LIV Invest at LIV Village. Prior to consulting, Nqobile worked as the Corporate Citizenship Lead at Microsoft where she led the company’s local relevance strategy in addressing the ICT skills gap and youth unemployment in SA. She also worked successfully in driving strategic funding partnerships with the Jobs Fund and Microsoft business partners. Nqobile also chairs the Invincible Empowerment Fund board and sits on the Experian SA board.

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Lauren Henning

Director

Lauren has a passion for South Africa, its people, and social justice, and is one of the co-founders of Nation Builder. Lauren believes in the collaborative power of business and NPOs in affecting greater social impact. Lauren has an MA in political science and development studies, and has worked in the social impact sector for over 20 years. She is a mom of 2 beautiful girls and is a big fan of really good coffee.

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Keri-Leigh Paschal

Executive Head of Mergon Integrated, Ziwani

Keri-Leigh Paschal, Executive Head of Mergon Integrate, heads Ziwani, a community of Christian business leaders who partner to live out their calling in the African marketplace. Formerly leading Nation Builder for 9 years, Keri, a 2020 Accenture Rising Star Award recipient, believes business leaders can shape the marketplace for societal transformation. Holding an MBA from Henley Business School, she brings expertise from marketing and development. Keri and her husband Brandon are avid travellers who enjoy the many outdoor sports that Cape Town has to offer.

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Pieter Wasserfall

Managing Director at Six33 Group
Co-founder of the Aslan Trust

Pieter Wasserfall is the Managing Director at Six33 Group. After completing his studies at Stellenbosch University and qualifying as an actuary, Pieter worked predominantly in the financial services industry for ten years. He is also the co-founder of The Aslan Trust, whose goal is to empower nonprofit organisations sustainably to reach marginalised and vulnerable people across Africa. He is a natural visionary and strategic thinker who offers guidance and leadership in our fast-paced culture.

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Morné Bosch

MD of the Val de Vie Management Group of Companies

Morné Bosch is the Managing Director of the Val de Vie Management Group of Companies. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Val de Vie HOA. He follows a hands-on approach in managing the estate operations to ensure that the stakeholders’ vision is achieved. His field of expertise lies in business restructuring and operations management. He completed his articles at PricewaterhouseCoopers and obtained a CA (SA) and an MBA (USA).

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Ivan Swartz

Chief Executive Officer

Ivan has worked in the social impact space for nearly a decade and specialises in strategy, organisational culture and building collaborative teams. Before his involvement in Nation Builder, he worked as a management consultant in the petro-chemical, insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing industries. Ivan holds an MBA, an honours degree in Industrial Psychology and a BA in Communications from the North-West University. He enjoys long-distance running, any form of chocolate and spending time with his beautiful wife and son.

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Brendan Smith

Chief Operations Officer

Brendan has over 20 years of experience in the social sector. He is a former British Army officer specialising in humanitarian aid. He has worked with several international organisations, including NATO and the United Nations, in over 40 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. Brendan holds a Master’s Degree from Tabor College, Australia, and a BComm (Hons) from UKZN. He also has several professional post-graduate degrees and qualifications from Cambridge University. He loves the outdoors, scuba diving, hiking, his family, and ice cream.

Get involved

Make an impact

Become an Investment Partner

Join a wide range of social investors to make an actual change.

Become a Member

Join our network of social investors + nonprofits to collaborate, share knowledge, and access co-created resources to amplify our collective social impact.

Make a Donation

We welcome financial and in-kind donations such as services and goods.