EwB’s Board of Directors possesses a wealth of knowledge about South Africa and educational development, and share a passion for the cause. The Board serves to develop and oversee programming and fundraising efforts that fit with the Foundation’s core principles and policies. EwB’s Directors do not get an honorarium for their participation on the Board.
Ruth Hershler is a founding member of EwB. She immigrated to Canada from South Africa in 1974 and is a senior statistical analyst manager at the University of British Columbia, doing research with the Human Early Learning Project (HELP). Aside from her duties as Executive Director, her focus is on programs, governance and short-term fundraising. She’s also involved with the Vancouver South African Film Festival.
Why I’m involved: “Born into privilege in Cape Town — where the opportunity for education was a given — I feel passionate about giving others an equal opportunity to access their right to a good basic education.
Board of Directors
Cecil Hershler (Chair) is a founding member of EwB. He is a physician, storyteller and actor. After immigrating to Canada in 1974, Cecil maintained his links with his birth country, South Africa, by bringing EwB into realization with his wife Ruth and early founding members Mel Beaton and Rodney Benson. He assists with programs, governance and the Vancouver South African Film Festival.
Rodney Benson was instrumental in getting EwB off the ground with a capital project to build classrooms in 2002. He is president of Danica Imports, a design company that creates homewares products. His original training was as a chartered accountant. He immigrated to Canada from South Africa in 1974. He heads up the long-term fundraising efforts for EwB, including attracting corporate partners and donors.
Why I’m involved: “As an ex-South African I found an opportunity to give something back to the country that had given me my education and start in life. Cecil and Ruth told me of their dream and I took the opportunity to visit the school before EwB was even formed. I was inspired by the enthusiasm and dedication of the principal, staff and students.”
Sandy Berman has been a member of the board since 2002. She has a Masters in Advanced Education and, through her company Circa Enterprises, has for more than 20 years been involved in the design and implementation of research, curriculum development and evaluation projects. She’s been instrumental in both guiding EwB’s programming and organizing fundraisers. She also helps run the Vancouver South African Film Festival.
Janine Kroser joined the EwB Board in 2008. She qualified with an LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and now works as COO of Watson Goepel, a law firm in Vancouver.
Why I’m involved: “Having grown up in South Africa and having been privileged to have received an excellent education, I wanted to give back to South Africans who never had the opportunities that I did. I was inspired by the vision and dedication brought to this endeavour by Cecil and Ruth. Given my background as a lawyer, together with my organization skills, I felt I was able to make a meaningful contribution.”
Thato Makgolane is a passionate African who’s been living in Canada for over seven years. He has co-founded two Africa-focused initiatives: Arc Initiative and Young-Pan African Dialogue. Additionally, he volunteers extensively with the South African Cultural Association of B.C.
Why I’m involved: “I have an interest in African development, specifically on youth and entrepreneurial innovations. For this reason, and the values of the organization, I wanted to contribute my time to advancing the education mandate of EwB, both as a volunteer and as member of the board.”
Vis Naidoo, a South African working in Vancouver, has been on the Board since 2013. He has expertise in ICT in education, using open and distance learning methods and policy development. Vis’ passion is to support people to realize their potential. He is equally excited about running, cricket, good wine and spending time with his family. His areas of focus on the Board are governance and programs.
Why I’m involved: “I believe education is the critical platform for social and economic development. By being involved in EwB and the work being done in South Africa and other countries, I can make a small contribution to helping people realize their potential. In this way, I can use my experience/expertise in education to make difference.”
Karen A. Moola joined the Board in 2016 and is responsible for EwB communications. Her professional background in urban planning has fuelled her commitment to community building. She recognizes education and the arts as key building blocks of resilient communities and is actively involved in non-profit work in these areas. Karen has visited EwB schools in Gugulethu and seen firsthand the beautiful children that are benefiting from EwB’s work.
Thank you for your invaluable contributions!