We are committed to creating sustainable socio-economic change in Cape Town’s township communities.

Our Vision
Communities where people thrive.

Our Mission
Ikamva Labantu works with active community leaders, following their direction, acknowledging their ownership, and providing access to resources and opportunities.



In 1963, Helen Lieberman mobilised individuals to better their communities. Various initiatives were started, including centres for the disabled, and childcare and income generation projects to better the lives of the people living in those communities.


Community members start peer support groups. We open care centres and start working with seniors. The mamas of the community take orphaned children into their homes. We establish programmes for the blind and disabled and start to work with the youth of the communities.


We start informal schools in several townships in Cape Town. Our work starts to spread throughout South Africa, including Mossel Bay, George, Cradock in the Eastern Cape and Johannesburg. We also start cultivating our own food gardens, which to this day are still going strong.


In 1992, Ikamva Labantu is formally constituted. We build or upgrade over 100 pre-schools, and build our first seniors club, Noluthando 1, where the elderly can meet in a safe and secure environment. Our Rainbow Centre in Gugulethu is built. Today it houses a Senior Club, a pre-school and our Afterschool Programmes.

2000s +

We build two additional centres in Khayelitsha – our Early Childhood Development Centre and our Enkhululekweni Wellness Centre. We open our model pre-school, Kwakhanya, which is a practical training-ground for township practitioners and principals. We open the Ikamva Labantu Family Centre housed in our ECD centre.


Ikamva Labantu was built by a group of determined women who envisioned a better future for South Africa.


Our team is over 130 strong, of which at least 100 live in the communities we serve.


Ishrene Davids
General Manager

Ishrene has over 30 years of experience in the social development sector, having worked for the Department of Social Development, Cape Mental Health Society and Community Chest.

Ishrene joined Ikamva Labantu in 2000, where she worked as the HR manager, before becoming the COO and later the Director. In 2011, Ishrene left to pursue her Honours degree in Social Policy and Management at the University of Cape Town, and worked at Community Chest until 2018, where she took on a range of roles, from grant-making to interim COO.

Ishrene returned to Ikamva Labantu in early 2018 as the General Manager, overseeing the operations and management of the organisation.

Barbara Stemmert
Head of Programmes

Barbara graduated from University of Western Cape in 1994 with a BSc in Occupational Therapy. Her career has included working as a Clinical Supervisor at the UWC OT Department and as a Community Rehabilitation Therapist at SACLA Rehabilitation Project. Barbara has also practiced as an OT in the USA, specialising in gerontology.

Barbara joined Ikamva Labantu in 2003 as Programme Manager and has since occupied various positions and spearheaded the expansion of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme. In July 2017, Barbara was appointed to the critical position of Head of Programmes at Ikamva Labantu. She is currently in the process of completing her MSc in Occupational Therapy at the University of Cape Town.

Jovana Djeri
Head of Sustainable Development

Jovana Djeri joined the Ikamva Labantu Fundraising team in 2007, having spent a year as the Antiretroviral Programme Co-ordinator for the Catholic Relief Services’ South African Office. Jovana is of Serbian origin, and prior to moving to South Africa, spent 4 years as the Financial Officer at the Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe.

Jovana studied Marketing Management at the University of South Africa and also has experience in the financial and administrative management of non-profits.

Today, Jovana is Head of Sustainable Development at Ikamva Labantu and is responsible for strategic leadership and development on the fundraising function, including the implementation of a fundraising strategy, donor stewardship and establishment of donor partnerships.

Janine Glanz
Head of Finance

Janine studied a BComm degree through Unisa, while working part-time as a bookkeeper. She completed her articles at Baker Musikanth/Moores Rowland (now Mazars) and qualified as a Charted Accountant in 1995.

Janine took time off to raise her children before going back to work in 2008 as Finance Manager for Col’cacchio restaurant group, where she worked until early 2018. Janine joined Ikamva Labantu as Head of Finance in March 2018.

Isaac Peterson
Head of Operations and Facilities

Isaac has more than 25 years of experience in the non‐profit sector and is well‐versed in NGO Financial Operations and Property Operations.

He joined Ikamva Labantu in 2009 as Finance Manager and in 2015, he assumed the role of Head of Facilities and Operations. Isaac now manages the full spectrum of this portfolio including building operations, employment equity and financial management.

Isaac serves as a Trustee on the Ikamva Labantu Empowerment Trust (ILET) which is a BEE Investment partner of the Ikamva Labantu Charitable Trust.

Programme team

Lulama Sigasana
Programme Manager: Seniors

Lulama holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics from the University of Western Cape. She started working in the communities in 1992 through the Department of Health in the area of nutrition and policy development and joined Ikamva Labantu in 2009 as the Health & Nutrition Manager.

Currently, Lulama is Programme Manager of Ikamva Labantu’s Seniors Programme which supports vulnerable elderly throughout the Cape Metropole.

Mthunzi Funo
Programme Manager: Life Skills and Recreation

Mthunzi holds a Diploma in Oral Health from University of the Western Cape and a Postgraduate Diploma in the Management of HIV/Aids in the World of Work from the University of Stellenbosch.

Mthunzi has experience at Educo Africa, where he started the flagship Sisonke HIV/AIDS programme, working nationally with people affected by the pandemic.

Mthunzi joined Ikamva Labantu in 2014 as a Programme Head for the Community Relations Department and became immersed in the broad work of Ikamva Labantu, supporting all programmes through his work. In March 2018, Mthunzi took on the role of Programme Manager for the Life Skills and Recreation Programme.

Nyasha Manjengenja
Programme Manager: Psycho-social Support

Nyasha holds a Bachelor of Social work and a Masters in Child & Family Studies from the University of Western Cape. She has experience working as a Social Worker at Cape Town Child Welfare and Masigcine Children’s home.

Nyasha joined Ikamva Labantu in 2014 as a Social Worker in the Orphans and Vulnerable Children department. She was then promoted to Programme Manager of the Child & Youth Enrichment Programme and currently works as the Programme Manager of the Psycho-Social Support services.

Nyasha is completing a PhD focusing on healing for survivors of genocides & mass massacres in the absence of justice. She is also undertaking a Diploma in Practitioner Coaching.

Mildred Bopoto
Programme Manager: Early Childhood Development

Mildred obtained her Diploma in Education in 2000 in Zimbabwe and has worked as a Primary school teacher for seven years.

She joined Ikamva Labantu’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) team in 2010 and was soon promoted to the ECD Centre Principal position. In October 2017, she was promoted to ECD Programme Manager. She is currently studying towards her Early Childhood Development and Foundation Phase B.Ed Degree.

Board of trustees

Neetesh Ramjee

Helen Lieberman
Founder and Honorary President

Ilana Shone

Avin Lieberman

Board of protectors

Gaynor Rupert (Chairperson)

Director and owner of the Drakenstein Stud; Chairperson of the South African College for Tourism and initiator of the Tracker Academy (Peace Parks); Founding and Executive Trustee of the Imibala Trust, and Board Member of the Rupert Family Foundations.

“Over my 20-year association with the board, I have been moved to see the way in which Ikamva Labantu works with township communities to empower them to uphold the cause of the weak and needy, defend the fatherless and provide refuge for the elderly. It has been a great privilege to join hands with the Ikamva Labantu family and participate in the realisation of such a grand vision.”

Philip J Krawitz

Executive Chairman, Cape Union Mart Group

“Ikamva Labantu is an organisation which focuses on ‘hand-ups’ rather than ‘hand-outs’. Its culture is one of inter-dependency rather than dependency. I consider it a privilege to be able to help people help themselves in order to live the dream of our Rainbow Nation.”

Maria Ramos

Chief Executive Officer, Barclays Africa Group Limited

“Ikamva Labantu does inspirational work, touching the lives of the most vulnerable people in our society, and living up to its vision of ‘every human being has the right to a dignified life’. I am proud to be associated with an initiative that enables communities to be self-reliant by providing them with hope, information, support and resources.”