Shaun Samuels started his working career in the NGO sector and spent most of his youth and working life fighting for social change, equality and justice in South Africa, and continues to do so. He worked for the Government of South Africa post 1994 in the Mandela administration; and has been consulting for over 20 years for a number of client institutions in South Africa, on the African Continent and globally. He was part of the founding team of Simeka Management Consulting and subsequently managed Simeka Consulting for a few years. Shaun has acquired expertise and experience in organisational development, change management, strategy development and business planning, human resource development, facilitation processes and skills training, monitoring and evaluation, grant-making and business process reengineering.
Shaun works extensively with results-based planning and monitoring processes. He consults to national, provincial and local government in South Africa, and has been integral to many transformation programs and processes in government in South Africa during the last fifteen years. He also works in the African continent, and at country level, with regional NGOs, with the United Nations and Regional Economic Communities such as SADC and SADCPF.
SGS, operating since 2003, works in three fields within South Africa, on the continent and globally. These include social justice and constitutionalism, growing community philanthropy and acting as infrastructure for the growth and development of community foundations in Southern Africa, and education that includes school improvement. SGS also consults to the United Nations system, working on institutional strengthening processes with UN agencies, as well as sexual reproductive health and HIV and AIDS. SGS Consulting is the administrator of the Constitutionalism Fund (CF) to advance and promote constitutionalism in South Africa, a joint fund of the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ford Foundation and The Open Society Foundation. Shaun is integral to all the programs within SGS and plays many roles that include among other, leadership, technical support and as mentor.
Shaun is also the founding trustee of the Other Foundation, a regional grant maker and field builder of the LGBTIQ+ sector in Southern Africa.
Head of Operations
Olwethu graduated from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University with a BCom Honours in Mathematical Statistics. In 2012, she volunteered for a year at the African Enterprise, a Christian Mission organization based in Pietermaritzburg. Her work focused on facilitating Life Skills lessons in previously disadvantaged schools and hosting youth sessions using dance and drama as the main medium. Olwethu joined SGS in February 2013 as an intern. In 2014, she started the SGS Youth Givers’ Circle that aimed at not only prototyping givers’ circles amongst youth, but also create a platform for young people to give back to organisations and causes they were passionate about. Over the years, the givers’ circle has hosted two Street Stores at the Bethesda Methodist Mission. In 2015, she was one of the founding and current Steering Committee members of Vois-Africa. Vois-Africa is a group that aims to advocate for the voice and presence of young people on decision-making platforms. It promotes inter-generational learning as well as encourages young people to begin to document their own narrative on philanthropy. In 2016, she assisted to pilot the YouthBank concept in Alexandra Township and remains as one of the facilitators. Currently, Olwethu works as the Head of operations at SGS Consulting. She is responsible for the day to day operations of the organisation including managing a team of 5 staff members. She is also heavily involved in the content work of the organisation, playing a lead role in some of the Monitoring and Evaluation projects, Education programmes, Youth philanthropy, as well as supporting the work on Community Foundations. In 2017, she was also appointed as the Administrator of the Constitutionalism Fund.
Yolisa holds a Master of Arts in Development Studies from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. After completing her studies, she was a fellow at the Foundation for Professional Development for a year. She joined SGS Consulting in the last half of her fellowship in April 2015. As Programmes Coordinator, Yolisa managed the Asset-based Community-led Development (ABCD) programme which focuses on influencing and assisting with the application of the ABCD approach in policy making at a local government level, contributing research regarding the integration of ABCD in institutions of higher learning and incorporating ABCD into youth philanthropy and Community Foundations. In 2017, Yolisa completed a course in ABCD at the Coady International Institute in Antigonish, Canada. In 2018, she was project manager of the ABCD Imbizo which took place in February 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This conference was the first of its kind on the African continent and hosted over 180 international delegates from 24 countries. Yolisa has also been involved in youth philanthropy, particularly with YouthBanks. She is also a Steering Committee member of Vois-Africa, which is a group of young people that aims to advocate for the voice and presence of young people on decision making platforms, it promotes inter-generational learning as well encourages young people to begin to document their own narrative on philanthropy. She is also involved in monitoring and evaluation projects and action research in the education sector. Currently, Yolisa leads the Community Foundations programme, ensuring the efficient running of the various sub-elements of the programme. She is most excited to learn about the contextual differences that have dictated the various ways in which the CF programme has been implemented and what possibilities lie ahead for Africa within the scope of Community Foundations and community philanthropy. Yolisa is passionate about career development for young people and believes it should start at a young age, specifically for disadvantaged youths located in places with scarce access to resources, so as to make informed choices about their futures.
Troshini Naidoo started her career in the Education Sector for the Government of South Africa. She then moved on to work in the public/private Educator Sector both nationally and internationally. She worked extensively with the European Union promoting Astronomy to young children between the ages of 4-9 years in South Africa. Through her work in the educational transformation field, she developed strategic development plans for public/private partnership programs, co-drafted funding proposals, developed curriculum training material for primary school teachers in the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia, and conducted evaluations on educational programs. Troshini holds a degree in Education and went on to study Project Management. She completed her Honours Degree in Curriculum Development (Cum Laude) at North West University. Troshini joined SGS Consulting in 2017 as the Program Manager for the KST District Whole School Development Programme with the prime focus on Research, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Ntombekhaya works as an office administrator at SGS Consulting. Her job entails financial management, management of the office calendar, events administration, management of travel arrangements, and general office management. She started her journey with SGS Consulting in January 2015. Ntombekhaya matriculated in the year 2008 at Ngwayibanjwa Senior Secondary School in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, she then proceeded to do a six months computer literacy course at Siyakhula Computer School in Ebony Park, Midrand. She completed a Higher Certificate in Office Administration at Rosebank College in Braamfontein. She is also a facilitator in the Alexandra YouthBank which was established in 2016. Ntombekhaya is passionate about administration and working with young people, and feels that young people should be given an opportunity to contribute towards their own community development.