Contact Us

Our Team

As the Akan proverb teaches, “Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it,” it takes a team of experts to bring you the exceptional EDU Africa experience. Our company is staffed by friendly, innovative people who care about Africa, her environment and her people – individuals who believe that Africa is where you’ll feel most alive.

Meet the people who collaboratively make EDU Africa’s Transformative Learning Journeys possible:


Sean Anderson | Muna Tree Managing Director

Sean studied Environmental Science and Economics at the University of Cape Town and is currently completing his MBA studies at the University of Illinois. He is the Managing Director of Muna Tree Holdings (which includes EDU Africa). Sean thrives in providing practical leadership on projects where the twin goals of ecological restoration and community empowerment exist. This is also evidenced in the key role Sean plays

in the work being done to model African Forest restoration at the Brackenhurst Botanic Garden in Central Kenya. Sean is passionate about the transformative experiences EDU Africa offers to students from abroad, especially with regards to the intersect between community development and environmental stewardship.

Barry Rawlings | Founder & Managing Director

Barry is EDU Africa’s Managing Director and co-founded the organization with Michael Massingham. He is based in Harare, Zimbabwe, where he has lived for a number of years. He studied Social Science at the University of Cape Town before pursuing postgraduate studies in Global Learning and Development Education, and also worked in finance in South Africa for five years before founding EDU Africa. The combination of his educational

expertise, his love for new ideas and concepts, and his business acumen position him well to lead the organization. Barry is deeply passionate about community development and meaningful cross-cultural engagement, and is at his happiest when able to connect personally with the students and academics that travel with us.

Michael Massingham | Founder & Commercial Director

Michael co-founded EDU Africa, currently holding the title of Commercial Director, and also advises to the boards of several non-profit organizations. He holds a business degree with specializations in Business Management and Industrial Psychology. All who know Michael will tell you that his most prized possessions are his relationships - he readily invests his time and trust in multiplying and supporting others, and is passionate

about advocacy. He believes in the power of study abroad in creating a more just and equitable world, and his areas of interest lie in sustainable community-based global learning, ethical global exchange, accessibility and environmentalism in Africa.

Adrian Maarschalk | Operations Director

Adrian is the Director of our East Africa hub and is responsible for oversight of all programming and operations in our East Africa regions (including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda). He is originally from Zimbabwe, but has lived all over - the United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand, Kenya and, most recently, Tanzania, where he has been based for almost a decade. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Rhodes

University and has been a pivotal member of the EDU Africa team since 2008. Adrian is enthused by spending time outdoors and building strong relationships with clients and partners. He is a strong mediator and brings harmony and camaraderie to EDU Africa’s team. His dedication to the support and well-being of others is well-known throughout our organization, and he loves being a part of programs that make a difference in students’ and partners’ lives.

Charl Ackermann | Marketing Director

Charl heads our Marketing team as Marketing Director, and is passionate about innovating and finding creative avenues for sustainable development. He was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa but now calls Cape Town his home. He holds a BA (Hons) in Tourism Management Degree from North West University and, after studying, spent two years working in England before joining EDU Africa in 2009.

He loves to collaborate with others, and believes in the importance of highlighting the African continent’s many voices in international education.

Heidi Barends, PhD | Academic Director

Heidi currently serves as Academic Director at EDU Africa, overseeing various facets of academic programming across our regions and keeping abreast of innovative and pertinent transformative learning practices. Before joining EDU Africa, Heidi was involved in research and teaching at the University of Cape Town from 2014 to 2018. She was also a faculty member at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology from 2015-2018.

Heidi completed her PhD in English Literature in 2018, with specialization in 19th century women’s writing and transnational feminisms. Her current research interests include transnational solidarities and transformation education. She loves to ideate and innovate, and is grateful to work for an organization such as EDU Africa that values continuous learning and growth.

Annerien Nel | Sales Operations Director

Annerien joined the EDU Africa team as a program manager in 2016, moving over to the Marketing department shortly thereafter. She currently fulfills the role of Sales Operations Director encouraging the performance and growth of our programming team while overseeing key internal processes to ensure quality and efficiency across the organization. She is energized when things run productively and loves being able to contribute to team health, good communication, and collaboration across our offices on the continent.

Program Designers

Our Program Designers work collaboratively with faculty to curate and deliver unique custom programs. Each program will have a dedicated Program Designer to assist with curriculum development, building the itinerary, and taking care of all logistical arrangements.

Roseanne Kinyua | Program Designer

Roseanne was born in Kenya and currently lives in Nairobi. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Education from Kenyatta University and was a high school music teacher from 2005 to 2010, whereafter she ventured into the world of administration and program management. She is a passionate educator at heart, but has realized that being on the production end of educational experiences is more fulfilling than being at the front of

the classroom. Roseanne has traveled to several different parts of the world and has seen first-hand the importance of travel in getting to know oneself, examine worldviews, and appreciate what host and home countries have to offer. Her role as Program Manager in Kenya is the perfect marriage of her educational and administrative skills and experiences.

Desireé Haakonsen | Program Designer

Desiree is a Program Designer for the Southern African region, creating tailor-made transformative learning journeys for clients. She holds a BA in Film and Media Production from the University of Cape Town, and her passion for the Arts is evident in her programming. She is a creative perfectionist at heart -- her innovation is key to creating custom programs and her attention to detail ensures that those creative visions become a

reality. She furthermore thrives in collaborative environments and loves working with people – all of which make her a firm favourite among partners and clients alike. She is passionate about serving others, and loves that her programming work at EDU Africa allows her to live out this mandate both locally and internationally.

Nicole Mostert | Program Designer

Nicole has been involved in international education for as long as she can remember and has witnessed first-hand the mutual learning that is possible through intercultural experiences. Nicole is the Individual Programs Manager for EDU Africa. Originally from Vancouver, she is now based in Cape Town. She holds Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Social Work, and has a strong interest in ethical community development.

She is passionate about social justice, supporting youth, and using stewardship as a vehicle for positive social and environmental change. She has a wealth of experience in international programming and provides valuable service learning and internship expertise to our wider team.

Esther Banda | Program Designer

As a Malawian, who grew up in the United States and currently lives in Zimbabwe, Esther truly understands the struggles of intercultural exchange. She uses her unique insight to create programs that challenge participants to engage with cultures and ideas that may seem alien to them in order to expand their worldview and encourage personal growth. Esther Holds a BSc (Hons) in Sociology, Gender and Development Studies. Prior to joining EDU Africa, she crafted and facilitated training programs in the corporate field.

Levina Wentzel | Program Designer

Levina is a qualified educator. She holds a Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Education. She worked as a teacher for almost a decade and spent five years teaching abroad at a private international American school as an English teacher. As our Schools Program Designer, Levina meets with clients to discuss their program requirements and learning outcomes, then curates and develops a transformative and unique study abroad/virtual exchange program for these schools that want to learn more about Africa.

Jacqueline Irimu | Program Designer

Jacqueline holds a Master's in International Studies. With her deep love for communication intertwined with education, and having studied how states learn from each other through trade, she is eager to learn how education and programming are part of the bridge that brings unity among different countries. Before joining EDU Africa, Jacqueline worked in advertising and public relations as a program executive and was face to face with different companies. She exclaims that working as a Program Designer is in line with her passion for educating different people across borders and her love for travel.

Candice Soupen | Program Designer

Candice is a Program Designer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is a qualified educator, holding both a Bachelor's and an Honors degree in Education. Prior to joining the EDU Africa team, Candice worked as a school teacher and assistant principal. She also designed short courses for various universities. While she will always have a passion for teaching, Candice now enjoys being behind the scenes, creating transformative learning experiences for students.

Program Coordinators

Ashley Cilliers | Program Coordinator

Ashley was born in Evander, a small mining village in Mpumalanga, South Africa, and moved to Cape Town once she finished her schooling. She holds Bachelor's degrees in both Theology and Psychology from the Cornerstone Institute. Ashley is an expert administrator, having worked in events, PR and marketing in the past.

She currently spends the majority of her time assisting the South Africa Programming Team with a host of backend processes, but also plays an important technical role in Virtual Exchange programs across the continent. She loves being part of a company that strives to see people grow and develop and being able to make a difference in people’s lives through education.

Rutendo Manganimanja | Program Coordinator

Rutendo serves as the Operations Support for Southern Africa. She has nearly a decade of experience working in the travel industry, and holds advanced Diplomas in Tourism and Business Studies (ICM and AITA). Rutendo (or Ruety, as she is commonly known) is currently based in Zimbabwe where she was born and raised. She thrives on meeting new people, traveling, and learning. She is passionate about serving

communities and youths in particular. She serves as a youth leader at her local church and actively engages with volunteer work.

Melanie Mogoiwa | Program Coordinator

Melanie has had a passion for making a positive impact on people's lives for as long as she can remember. After completing school, she embarked on a journey abroad to work with young people in the USA and Zimbabwe. It was there that she discovered her love for working in the NGO sector. She coordinated life skills programs in primary and high schools and planned and ran camps and holiday programs. Through her experiences, Melanie learned the importance of effective project management.

Martha Njoroge | Reservations Coordinator

Martha holds a Diploma in Technology (Journalism and Mass Communication). After her studies, she ventured into the world of tours and travel and enjoys working in a friendly environment. She likes to assist clients with their booking needs to ensure they have a pleasant stay. Martha thrives on organization and relationship building. She enjoys coordinating work activities that involve starting up and carrying out projects that bring transformation.

Group Operations

Lincoln Njiru | Operations Manager

Lincoln hails from central Kenya and is a pivotal member of our East Africa programming team.Lincoln has been involved with wildlife conservation programs in the Maasai Mara for a number of years and is particularly interested in community based conservation. His desire to balance biodiversity conservation with the improvement of livelihoods brings an innovative edge to his programming. His passion for nature led him to

pursue his Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from Egerton University. Thereafter, he worked in Bostwana before moving to South Africa to complete his Masters degree in Environment and Development at the University of KwaZulu Natal. He has a strong sense of responsibility, ensuring that no task is left undone, and is also a skilled arranger with the ability to piece things together for maximum productivity.

Loretta Ferreira | Operations Manager

Loretta serves as the Operations Manager in our South Africa office. Before joining EDU Africa, Loretta worked in project management and quality assurance. She holds certifications in both areas. She was born in South Africa and currently calls Cape Town her home. Loretta has a deep passion for problem solving and getting things done, and prizes an excellence in her own work that inspires others. She is at her happiest when helping others to achieve, and plays a pivotal role in health and safety, facilitator training, and vehicular quality control at EDU Africa.

Dax Jackson | Program Facilitator

Dax is a proud Zimbabwean and is currently based there. He is a Program Facilitator for our Southern African programs and, as such, is responsible for coordinating programs and supporting groups on the ground. When he is not facilitating programs, he works as a Chef. He is passionate about community and environmental work, and is at his happiest when out in the field.

Team Support

Tafadzwa Muchopa | Quality Assurance Coordinator

Tafadzwa was born in Zimbabwe and has lived there all her life, save for three years that she spent studying in the UK. She holds a BSc (Hons) Degree in Molecular Science, a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health and Certificates in Community Development and Counseling. She also completed an Advanced Diploma in Scientific Writing and Medical Journalism. Tafadzwa is responsible for quality assurance at EDU Africa,

co-ordinating health and safety protocols and ensuring general organizational materials and documentation are of a high standard. Her methodical approach and thoroughness are much valued in her role. Tafadzwa is glad to be part of a team that holistically combines education with sustainable development and empowerment.

Angie Kritzinger | Admin & Finance Support

Angie manages administration and financial support for our South Africa office. She is a glass-half-full type of person and lives passionately through everything that she does. She thrives on learning and growing, and has been involved in a variety of sectors before joining EDU Africa – from Educare teaching to property management. Angie’s supportive role

enables her to encourage and assist others in a myriad of ways, and her friendliness and readiness to give advice is renowned amongst her colleagues.

Kesia Abrahams | Marketing Coordinator

Kesia currently serves as the Marketing Coordinator at EDU Africa. Before joining the team in late 2022, Kesia worked in the Broadcasting Industry as part of the Digital Team for a Television Production company. This Stellenbosch University journalism graduate has a passion for people and the environment, and hopes to positively impact the future of our planet and its people.