Our Team

Stella Burger

Stella is the Operations Lead of the Indaba Institute and the teams support structure. Stella joined the Indaba Institute in 2018 to link the many moving parts of the Indaba Institute that contribute to the daily running of the office and well-being of the staff and overseas all professional development at Indaba Institute. She holds a Legal Secretary diploma from the Collage of Stellenbosch

I’m lucky to say Indaba chose me and not the other way round, so I was meant to be here.

Patience! And planning when something unforeseen is given your way.

My flipflops 😊

Seeing the change that happens in people when they are on a course.

Coconut. I will have the best view of an island 😊

Juliet McGear

In 2017, Juliet joined the Indaba Institute as its Accreditation Lead. She is responsible for the process of accreditation and is the team’s lead liaison between various education governing bodies. Juliet’s energy and her ability to engage and connect with individuals helps the team to develop mutually beneficial relationships with mission-aligned partners, with the local and national government as her main focus.

It is essential to work for an organization that is representative of your heart, emotions, and soul. Where profit is not the motivating factor but the quality of what you touch. My experience has been that skills, knowledge and attitude are valued most at many organizations however work-life balance, as well as your physical and mental health, carries equal value at Indaba Institute. This is a true “home away from home” environment because going to work has become like going to my granny’s house because love lives there.

That is perfectly fine not be perfect! The first time is not meant to be perfect. Additionally, your imperfection and thoughts of inhibitions are an inspiration to others by just being yourself!

Can I take the 5th amendment on this one 😊 I will have to tell you that I can’t go without laughing till my eyes are filled with tears.

Being autonomous in my work and seeing that my contribution is just as important as everyone else’s.

Thai Lychee, it looks scary and dangerous from the outside but sweet, soft, close to perfectly round and juicy on the inside 😊

Shandre Adendorff

My question is: “Why not INDABA INSTITUTE?!” Everything about Indaba Institute and what it’s focused on is for everyone, for every race and all mankind.

I’ve learnt to always be mindful of others and to always make space for myself to grow.

I cannot live without my Bible.

The drive to work and this beautiful environment I work in.

Pineapple, I can be misunderstood at times due to how I look and the facial expressions that I’m unaware of, but when you get to know me, you’ll realize that I’m actually very sweet from the inside.

Nomvelo Lupuzi

Nomvelo is the student and community leader and supports the Indaba Institute’s student community on their learning journey, from start to finish. Joining the Indaba Institute in 2017 she works with Indaba Institute trainers and students, develops processes and protocols and mangers all course workshop enquires, student applications and admissions to facilitate the best experience for students on all Indaba Institute courses.

I always wanted to be in a teaching environment, but I never had an opportunity to study and reach that goal. By working at Indaba Institute, I have fulfilled that need. I feel like the fact that we empower women,  empowers me too.

I have the capacity to make connections with others in my team and outside the office, that is something I prioritize. I always remember to look on the bright side, not every day is going to be the best day.

The deep, intense love of seeing children in the morning and smiling at them even if they don’t smile back.

The flexibility in terms of working with very strong boundaries. The sense of being okay to make mistakes and grow from them in order not to repeat the same mistakes.

I would be a coconut which grows on a tree on a deserted island. I would have fun watching the seagulls, crabs and the ocean, I would stay happily in my tree forever.

Deon Rosslee

Deon is the Finance Lead of the Indaba Institute and joined the team in 2020. He is responsible for the financial function of the institute, ensuring that past performance is well recorded and the Indaba Institute has the financial means to continue making a difference in the community. Deon is a registered Associate General Account (SA) with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Working as part of the Indaba Institute team allows me to work in my trained field of accounting and to use my passion for serving others for the upliftment of the country I love, South Africa. The Indaba Institute strives to create a community (inside and outside the organization) that is built on love, respect and is a safe space for individuals to unlock their full potential.

I have learnt that everybody is unique, with a different story and a different perspective, and that’s okay. Even if I don’t see eye to eye with a person, I can still love and respect them.


Being allowed to be a human being, to fail and to get back up and try again. Also being challenged daily to be a better human being.

Litchi because I am yet to find someone who does not like litchis.

Yolanda Benya

Yolanda Benya was born and raised in Cape Town. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cape Town and is pursuing an honours degree in Development Studies at the University of South Africa. Her key passions are youth and community development. She has more than ten years of experience with different non-profit organizations. After the ten-years Yolanda bridged to corporate where she worked with small and medium-sized enterprises. She is adept in digital marketing with broad experience in developing data-driven marketing campaigns and strategies. Outside of work, she likes anything involving art, hiking, and camping.

It was fate really, being at the right place at the right time and the universe’s timing being aligned. Indaba Institute was recommended by someone who knows me well. They knew the organization’s mission and culture would suit me and they were 100% right.

Oh my gosh, this place gets mad but good mad. The “I want to wake up and get some more kind of mad”. The biggest lesson is teamwork makes the dream work and we are very good at that.

It has to be my plants; my plants are my biggest obsession so much that I have been asked a number of times if they are real because of how pretty they look.

The freedom to be creative. I am creative and I like exploring new techniques and modes to engage with people especially when it comes to digital marketing & communications, one can never say they know it all.

If an avocado is considered a fruit, then it’s definitely avocado. I can have it with almost anything, any time of day.

Jasmine Jacob

Jasmine joined the Indaba Institute in 2017 and began serving as its Director in 2021. She is responsible for the strategic development and management of the Institute’s work and the development of its team and partner ecosystem to create measurable and sustainable change within the communities it serves. She is a former Candidate Fellow of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation and holds a BSc in Environmental Science, PGDip in Sustainable Development with further training in Social Entrepreneurship and Systems Thinking.

When I first joined the Indaba Institute, I had no idea it would be a place I would spend the next 5 or so years of my life. Nor that it would start me off on a journey in understanding how crucial human development and the sheer potential of children, and the adults who serve them, is in education reform and broader systems change. Montessori’s findings really helped open my eyes to how heavily the inclusive, equitable and regenerative future many of us so desperately seek relies on reframing what it means to be human and what it takes to be human in an interconnected world.  What has been incredibly inspiring is not only the bold vision of the Indaba group and partners to go beyond offering quality teacher training – to consciously work to address the historic injustices of the past by providing opportunities for children and adults to grow – but seeing those changes take place on the ground. I also deeply value the culture and diversity of the team which has made it feel like a real safe space to work and be challenged.

  1. If we want to support humanity in reaching its full potential, we need to create environments that serve holistic human development, and that shape our way of thinking, being and acting in this world.
  2. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is thinking “being compassionate” equates to “having no boundaries”.
  3. What has become our unofficial team motto: “It is what it is! But it will be what you make it”

Music (and a good sense of humour).

Always learning something new, being part of an inspiring community and sharing meals with the team.

Watermelon on a hot, summer day. Because it’s wonderfully refreshing. And it floats.

Our Partners

Together with our partners, we are taking strides towards a galvanizing consensus that ECD investment is the most valuable contribution to a healthier, sustainable collective future. We build local agency and sustainability with:

  • The Cape Wine industry – Together, we are pioneering a “Wine Industry Social Compact” to champion industry support for ECD.
  • Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) – Especially social partners with deep roots in Cape Winelands communities.
  • Government and State Agencies, in education, social development, agriculture & health.

The South African wine industry is an enormous asset to the country and its people – as well as to the global tourism market. Unfortunately, history has given the wine industry a heavy burden – fetal alcohol syndrome is one; gender-based violence is another. Deep inequality is pervasive in this region. The organized sector is determined to find solutions.

Indaba Connect

With a significant number of children excluded from quality early childhood development, it is of utmost importance to develop world-class scientifically inspired Montessori research to tackle this challenge. A world-renowned Indaba Foundation ACADEMIC ADVISORY core team has been established to provide guidance and content proposals in scientific research linked to key focus areas in neuroscience, early childhood development, and Montessori education.

Lynedoch Children’s House

The Lynedoch Children’s House (LCH) was established in 2000 by Lynedoch Development (NPC) for 19 children from the Lynedoch Valley. Further developed by the Sustainability Institute, today +-60 children attend the Infant Community (0 –3 years) and Children’s House (3 –6 years).

Association Montessori Internationale

AMI functions as a social movement that strives to promote the rights of the child throughout the world, irrespective of race, religion, political, and social beliefs. It works in cooperation with other bodies and organizations, such as the II, that further the development of education, human rights, and peace.

The Sustainability Institute

We have partnered with the Sustainability Institute to house the globally and locally accredited full-time AMI Training Center, the Indaba Institute. The SI, a non-profit trust, founded in 1999 focuses on learning for sustainable African futures. The Institute is based in Stellenbosch, South Africa, and has provided development facilitation to create a child-centred approach to building sustainable communities in Africa.

The Indaba Foundation

The Indaba Foundation (IF) is the II’s largest funding partner. The IF aims to improve young children’s capacity to develop and learn by providing world-class, internationally-recognized, and accredited Montessori teacher training, learning materials, and educational infrastructure.

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