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Small but perfectly formed, the Za Team works incredibly hard to ensure that our projects are run efficiently and reach the largest possible number of children and young people. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, we all bring different experiences and skills to the table, something which has proved invaluable in the running of our charity.  


Read on to find out all about us!

Jayne Morris-Thurgood

UK Director since 2010

Jayne spent two decades working in London Hospitals, primarily in cardiovascular research which culminated in a PhD from Imperial College in 1997, she then continued her research at the Wales Heart Research Institute in Cardiff until 2003. On venturing into the charitable arena Jayne volunteered for the Prince’s Trust and later became a board member for the Aled Richard’s Trust. In 2005 she set up a not-for-profit business in order to secure funds for projects she was passionate about in the Nkomazi region of South Africa. Then in 2009 Jayne together with friends brought over the first Zakhele group to the UK. The success of this visit culminated in the launch of Za Foundation in 2010 of which Jayne is a founding member.

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Kate Birnie

UK Director since 2012, Chair since 2015

Kate worked for the blue chip consumer goods company Unilever for twelve years as a Manager in their international business development division. During this time she travelled extensively to the Far East training staff and implementing new software and procedures in local Unilever companies. From her time with Unilever Kate gained experience in customer interface, export procedures, staff management and business administration. Kate became involved in the 2011 Zakhele tour and she has worked voluntarily for Za Foundation ever since, becoming a Director in May 2012 and Chair in 2015.

Anna Young

UK Director since 2012

As a former primary school teacher and a respite carer for children with learning disabilities, Anna has a keen interest in the education and welfare of children. Her 25 years of experience in the classroom has given Anna valuable insight into how children learn; an understanding of current educational practices and a firm belief in the value of global education. During a stint living in South East Asia, Anna joined the committee of a local expat volunteer organisation and became the Editor of the organisation’s monthly magazine. In this role, Anna developed desktop publishing, marketing and editorial skills whilst getting involved in various volunteer projects for women and children in the local community. Anna has transferred these skills and is now responsible for producing all of Za Foundation’s marketing literature as well as assisting in the management of Za Foundation’s other programmes and projects.


Cleopas joined Thembalethu Home Based Care, (THBC), in 2004. This Charity gave him the opportunity to utilise not only his skills but his compassionate understanding of the many social and economic challenges that affect the African people. One such challenge is the devastating effects on individuals and families as a result of HIV/AIDS and abject poverty. In 2005 Cleopas was given an opportunity to teach firstly at Shammah Private College and later at Imbongozi Faculty of Training, here he used teaching as a way of equipping young people in the skills and knowledge necessary to confront such social and economic challenges. Cleopas re-joined Thembalethu in 2008 as Manager for the Youth in Action programme (This included all the Youth projects run by THBC including the GOLD Peer Education Programme). He is now CEO of Thembalethu and managing all the strategic, planning and operational aspects of the charity. Currently Cleopas is completing a B.Comm degree in Economics, Insurance & Risk Management.

Cleopas Maseko

South African Director since 2010

David Clarke

Company Secretary since 2010

David has worked in social housing for over 35 years, almost all of that time being spent at Housing Associations in Bristol, Bath and North Somerset.  He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Although principally concerned with operations, dealing with tenancy and asset management, he has also been involved in governance and has had spells as Company Secretary to two Associations. He was a youth and junior church leader at a Church in Portishead for many years. On retiring from that role he became involved with Za and has acted as Company Secretary since 2010. 

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