Meet our team
Tracey is a Chartered Accountant with 25 years’ experience in the corporate and social sector. Before starting The Clothing Bank she worked for Woolworths as the Head of Financial Planning and Performance Management. In 2010, she founded The Clothing Bank, an award-winning non-profit organisation which inspires, skills and supports unemployed South Africans to eradicate poverty in their families. In 2014 she co-founded GROW Educare Centres with Lisa Voortman, which is pioneering a new model for 5Star quality early childhood education in South Africa.
Head of education
Lisa is a qualified special-needs teacher with a postgraduate psychology diploma. She has many years of experience in successfully running her own early childhood development centre. She is responsible for implementing the project process/road map from beginning to end, with a particular focus on the recruitment of new franchisees and the training and mentoring of principals and teachers.
Head of business sustainability
Tracey has a BA-Social Sciences degree, a post graduate diploma in Human Resources and a career of more than 28 years in skills and enterprise development, human resources, retail management and market research. 15 of her working years have been in human resources where she has worked in a broad spectrum of sectors in Southern Africa. When she returned from a stint living in the Middle East in 2010, Tracey pursued her passion for people development in the non-profit sector by being instrumental in the establishment and running of a skills centre in the Cape Winelands to empower disadvantaged unemployed women. Tracey is responsible for national policies and procedures as well as business sustainability within the schools at GROW with Educare Centres.
Marketing and fundraising manager
Heléne Brand joined GROW Educare Centres in January 2019 with 12 years’ experience in senior leadership, business marketing strategy, brand development and social responsibility. Her qualifications include a B.Comm Honours in Marketing (University of Stellenbosch) and certificates in Digital Marketing and Senior Leadership. At GROW, she is responsible for developing and executing an integrated marketing, brand and communication strategy, fundraising and also acts as the company spokesperson.
Head of partnerships
Bachelor of Social Science degree in Sociology and Organisational Psychology and a Masters Degree in Sociology from the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Worked as a Writing Centre consultant and tutor at UCT. Lectured part-time at UCT and Cornerstone College. Research Coordinator at Kuyasa Fund, a housing microfinance initiative. Before GROW, Lyndsey spent 5 years at Innovation Edge, an impact-first investor, in the Portfolio Management Team.
Melanie joined GROW in 2021 with experience in consumer research, project management and data analysis. Her qualifications include a Honours BA degree in Psychology and certificate in Data Analytics.
Prior to embarking in a career in the NPO sector, she worked at Kantar SA as a Senior Research Executive. Before joining GROW, she was responsible for the Programmes, Training and Patient portfolio for Operation Smile SA. At GROW, Melanie’s portfolio includes managing the operational implementation of the Technology suite offered by GROW which includes the App and Learning Management System.
Programme Manager KwaZulu-Natal
Kim is a post-level one educator with specialization in Media Science and Remedial Education. She joined the KZN GROW with Educare Centres team in Oct 2017, after spending 17 years as an educator, teaching at a local primary school. She taught Grade 3’s, Grade 4, a LSEN class and run the Media Centre. As a passionate remedial teacher, she has also been teaching at a Kip McGrath Education Centre for the past 20 years where she helped learners who experience learning difficulties in Mathematics, English and Afrikaans.She is responsible for working with the Regional Implementation Manager to implement the ECD road map, with a special focus of providing ongoing onsite support and coaching to the principals and teachers of all GROW with Educare Centres.
Regional Implementation Manager KwaZulu-Nata
Tara is qualified in the fields of Financial Accounting and Human Resource Management. She has 18 years’ experience specifically in the development, setup and management of the financial and HR administration departments within the educational field. She is responsible for the management of the KwaZulu Natal GROW with Educare Centres project role out and implementation.
Regional Implementation Manager Gauteng
Vasie Sewramulu has a 4 year diploma in education, specialising in the pre and junior primary phase, with over 25 years in the education sector. She is an ex principal of an independent school, having served in the senior management team of the school and being responsible for the successful management of the primary school. She is passionate about education and has been instrumental in providing various enrichment programs at the school to enhance teaching and learning. Having left teaching, she joined forces with two female partners in establishing a manufacturing company in 2015. However, her passion has always been in education and she therefore decided to join the Grow team.
Regional Implementation Manager Western Cape
Sheilah Chikoki is a holder of a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Psychology from the University of Zimbabwe. Sheilah has 12 years of experience of working in communities managing projects, formulating concepts, facilitating and training in Early childhood development, family preservation, prevention and early intervention programmes. She has worked for Power-Child Campus for 10years and briefly for It Starts With Me Global before joining GROW Educare Centres in January 2019. In her role as the Regional Implementation Manager of Cape Town she is responsible for identifying and recruiting potential Franchisees, establishing and maintaining functional relationships with them. Sheilah fosters an environment of team work in the region and ensures that strategy is clearly defined while overseeing performance and maintaining morale. Her strong communication skills, people skills, critical and strategic thinking ensures that the mission of GROW is driven and that an ecosystem for development and empowerment is created.
Lincey van Niekerk
Programme Manager Western Cape
Lincey’s passion for education has seen her teach from Grade R to Grade 12. The first 17 years was in Early Childhood Development and the following 10 years was at a high school. With strong organisational and administrative skills, she was led to a new position where she served as an Executive Assistant for a Business Consultant. This position afforded her flexibility, and she was able to consult for a non-profit organisation, mentoring Grade R teachers at schools in the Western Cape. She joined the GROW team in 2021 to manage education outcomes for the region.
Programme Manager Gauteng
Kulupa obtained a BSc Biochemistry and Psychology degree, with Honours in Psychology specialising in Community and Health. Her career started in Administration and finance for 3 years, then moved to Human Resources in the Health Sector, where she was exposed to people and education management. “My education and experience ignited a passion towards youth development and education. Subsequently, I joined the NGO sector, where I started off as a Physical Science Trainer in High School for 2 years. I was drawn to ECD and Foundation Phase Education, where I led Training of ECD Practitioners, Maths & Science Clubs in Primary schools, Youth Mentorship, Research, M&E Strategic development, e-learning Training for Principals and educators for 4 years before joining GROW. I love working with people and advocating change through good communication, teamwork, and interpersonal skills.