Who We Are

Michelle Potter

Michelle Potter, co-founder and Executive Director of SA-YES, graduated from Roehampton University with a BA (Hons) in Education in 2007. After working in the music industry for 12 years Michelle trained and qualified with the UK Football Association as a coach. She went on to coach in London and New York for three years before becoming a full-time student in 2004 where she studied for a degree in Education with additional subjects in Human Rights and Philosophy. In 2008 Michelle received the Froebel Guild Award for her dissertation on children in care in SA and the UK. Since 2008 she has lived and worked in Cape Town, developing the SA-YES TIL programme.

Kim-Lynn Bowers

Kim-Lynn Bowers joined SA-YES in 2014 as the Resource Coordinator; she has the distinction of being the first SA-YES graduate to find employment with SA-YES.  Kim-Lynn is also a SA-YES Youth Ambassador, a Western Cape representative for youth in care, and was the speaker for the 18th Biannual youth in care conference which took place in Port Elizabeth in 2011. Kim-Lynn’s knowledge and experience of living in a children’s home provides a valuable perspective as we continue to grow and develop our programme.

Wendy Abrahams

Wendy Abrahams, the SA-YES Programme Manager, has a Higher Certificate in Business Administration and Management, and is an accredited assessor, moderator and facilitator. Wendy worked in the youth sector as a Community Development Worker for 15 years before joining SA-YES. Her passion is youth and their wellbeing, and so she has found her way to SA-YES, where she is happy to be part of an organisation making a difference.

Philani Zama

Philani Zama, the SA-YES Programme Coordinator, was previously a Programme Officer for a residential independent living programme. Philani is currently also studying for a degree in Theology, and hopes to gain additional foundation and wisdom to help shape the youth of tomorrow.

Michelle Potter

Michelle Potter, co-founder and Executive Director of SA-YES, graduated from Roehampton University with a BA (Hons) in Education in 2007. After working in the music industry for 12 years Michelle trained and qualified with the UK Football Association as a coach. She went on to coach in London and New York for three years before becoming a full-time student in 2004 where she studied for a degree in Education with additional subjects in Human Rights and Philosophy. In 2008 Michelle received the Froebel Guild Award for her dissertation on children in care in SA and the UK. Since 2008 she has lived and worked in Cape Town, developing the SA-YES TIL programme.

Andrew Planting

Andrew Planting, chair of the SA board and trustee of the UK board, is co-founder and executive director of Market Makers, a specialist venture capital company. A university graduate, Andrew has worked internationally for various management consultancy companies, and was appointed managing director of two companies. Andrew’s recent work has been in investments with 1TapCapital and Market Makers.

Malcolm Charles

Malcolm Charles, treasurer of the SA board, is a Rhodes University Commerce graduate with many years’ experience in finance and investing. He has worked as a financial manager, currency and bond dealer and portfolio manager for UTI and Old Mutual. For the past ten years Malcolm has held the position of portfolio manager at Investec Asset Management.

Marit Mohn

Marit Mohn, chair of the UK board and trustee of the SA board, is a qualified chartered engineer and solicitor (specialising in civil litigation and employment law). She has worked in Canada, the UK and the USA. Marit is a founding member of a UK charity supporting disadvantaged youth and was previously chair of Women’s Pioneer Housing Ltd.

Mfundo Kevin Galada

Mfundo Kevin Galada, has a National Diploma in Sport Management. Previously he worked as the Youth Programme/Projects Coordinator for the Desmond Tutu HIV Research Foundation. He is an enthusiastic rugby player and played the part of a rugby player in Invictus, the Mandela Movie Project.

Iain Low

Iain Low, a professor of architecture at the University of Cape Town, was a Fulbright scholar in the USA and visiting scholar in Rome. His work has been published in numerous architectural journals and books. Iain is currently the editor of the Digest of SA Architecture and the Digest of African Architecture.

Rahla Xenopoulos

Rahla Xenopoulos, a published author, studied drama in education at the Market Theatre Laboratory and has facilitated workshops in Soweto, Johannesburg and Khayelitsha. She has extensive experience in education and counselling, specialising in marginalised children.

Leanne Gordon

Leanne Gordon studied marketing and accounting, after which she attended Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London. She has worked as the assistant fashion director of British Vogue and fashion director of British Tatler. After fifteen years in London she now lives with her family in Cape Town, and supports a number of charitable causes.

Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson, a co-founder of SA-YES, is an actress and writer. She has starred in numerous films and is best-known for her role in The X-Files. Gillian supports numerous charities, including Artists for a New South Africa, Treatment Action Campaign, Buskaid and Neurofibromatosis, Inc.

Andrew Planting

Andrew Planting, chair of the SA board and trustee of the UK board, is co-founder and executive director of Market Makers, a specialist venture capital company. A university graduate, Andrew has worked internationally for various management consultancy companies, and was appointed managing director of two companies. Andrew’s recent work has been in investments with 1TapCapital and Market Makers.

Marit Mohn

Marit Mohn, chair of the UK board and trustee of the SA board, is a qualified chartered engineer and solicitor (specialising in civil litigation and employment law). She has worked in Canada, the UK and the USA. Marit is a founding member of a UK charity supporting disadvantaged youth and was previously chair of Women’s Pioneer Housing Ltd.

John Pinkerton

John Pinkerton, Professor of Child and Family Social Work at Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a founder member of INTRAC, an international network of researchers on youth transitions from state care. His research and writing in this area is widely published. John is a member of the board of the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town and is a regular visitor to South Africa.

Diana Gerald

Diana Gerald, a specialist in organisational change, has twenty years’ experience as a consultant in a range of business, public sector and not-for-profit settings. Diana is the Chief Operating Officer for Ark Schools – a UK education charity which runs 18 state academy schools in challenging inner city areas across England, a trustee of Women’s Pioneer Housing Limited and the chair of the finance committee for a large maintained sector primary school in North London.

Lisa Bryer

Lisa Bryer, co-founder of Cowboy Films, has produced numerous commercials, music videos and award-winning feature films. She is a trustee of Action on Addiction, a charity involved in the research and treatment of addiction. Lisa is also a trustee of a school in London for teenagers disengaged from mainstream education and who are at risk of exclusion.

Reza Beyad

Reza Beyad left India in 1977 to study for a postgraduate degree in business management in the UK. He has many business interests in the UK, including bulk tea and manufacture.  In addition to his many roles for charities and the community, Reza is chair of the Harrodian School in Barnes, and is on the development committee of the London-based charity, Kids Company.

About SA-YES

SA-YES was founded in 2008 to offer much-needed support and guidance for children and young people in South Africa.

We provide youth leaving children's homes with guidance that will enable them to develop their skills, further their education and source suitable housing, in order for them to participate in society as independent, mature, responsible adults.

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"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” -Carl Jung