In 2007, the two established the Andreas and Susan Strüngmann Foundation to sponsor educational initiatives, currently focused in the Western Cape. The Foundation has undertaken three key initiatives to date: the Sue Strüngmann Chair in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town (UCT), the Students for a Better Future® High School Scholarship Programme and the construction of Disa Primary School in Imizamo Yethu (opened January 2012) which offers excellent educational facilities to the children of Hout Bay.
Dr. & Mrs. Strüngmann
Andreas Strüngmann and his South African-born wife Sue live in Southern Germany, fifty kilometres outside Munich, although they spend part of each year in Cape Town, South Africa. They have two adult children, Nicole and Florian. The family enjoys travelling together, sailing, playing tennis and golf in the summertime and skiing in winter.
Andreas came to South Africa as a medical intern, after studying in Freiburg and Munich. At that time, he and Sue worked together in Tsolo, in the Eastern Cape, where they were struck by the lack of resources in both the hospital and the school where Sue was working. “There wasn’t enough medicine and there weren’t even pens and pencils available to learners. We made a promise to each other that if we were ever successful enough, we would do our part to help young people in this country get a good education”, remembers Sue.
Our vision is to develop successful individuals through quality education and holistic support to become change agents in their families and communities.
SBF’s mission is to ensure that our children reach their full potential through holistic support and the provision of scholarships at excellent partner schools.
A family is a group of people joined together by a particular relationship who genuinely care about, trust and look out for each other. They have shared values and goals and have long-term obligations to each other. Your family influences your emotional, personal, intellectual and social development.
Accountability is the responsibility of a person or an organisation to justify its activities, as well as take responsibility for all of its actions.
Having respect involves how you feel about someone and how you treat them. This means that we can have respect for ourselves as well as others because we think good things about who that person is and how he/she behaves, and we act in a way that shows that we care about their feelings and well-being, as well as the value that they bring.
Growth refers to a positive change in maturity and independence which results in improved capacity to manage daily life and continued personal growth and development.
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking!
Fairness refers to doing what is right and equal in terms of provision and opportunity so that everyone involved has the same platform from which to endeavour.
Meet The Team
- Halli ManolakosExecutive Head of FoundationHalli ManolakosExecutive Head of Foundation
Halli is an experienced and accomplished development specialist and leader whose life’s mission is to positively affect change in the lives of woman and children in South Africa and Africa. Halli comes to SBF with over fifteen years of experience in the non-profit field, with a focus on social development, health, education and programme implementation. Halli brings vast experience in building long lasting partnerships, developing strong and successful teams who can ultimately affect change in individual’s lives, with a true passion for education and healthcare. Halli has lived and worked in many different communities in South Africa and Africa more broadly.
Halli is a team player who is focused delivering the mission of Students for a Better Future to ensure that our children reach their full potential through holistic support and the provision of scholarships at excellent partner schools.
Halli lives in Cape Town with her husband and beautiful little girl who lights up her life. Besides Halli’s passion for change, she is a nature lover, a lifetime adventurer and an avid yoga guru.
- Caryn BishopProgramme Officer: Dean of ScholarsCaryn BishopProgramme Officer: Dean of Scholars
Caryn is a proud wife and mom to two young and busy boys. She is passionate about education and youth, and the support necessary for young people to reach their potential. Caryn started her career in Clinical Social work having graduated from UCT with honours. She worked in a number of schools, and later moved to SHAWCO at UCT where she worked on the International Student Programmes as well as in a student support role.
Caryn joined the SBF team in December 2016. She focusses on the strength of relationships to assist learners in overcoming their individual challenges, establishing coping strategies and setting goals, study techniques as well as emotional intelligence building. Caryn’s role at SBF is to use these skills to support our current Scholars in reaching their potential and to thrive at their schools.
- Zaakirah DuncanProgramme Officer: Training, Development & AdministrationZaakirah DuncanProgramme Officer: Training, Development & Administration
Zaakirah is a fun and friendly Capetonian who loves the outdoors. She is hardworking and determined in everything that she does.
Zaakirah recently graduated with an Honours Degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of the Western Cape. She enjoys working with people and understanding them better to try and assist in their development. Her experience comprises of administration, customer service, recruitment, training, and general HR exposure from the likes of UWC, Community Chest of the Western Cape and The Foschini Group.
Zaakirah joined the SBF team in January 2017 as a temp and assisted in the recruitment of scholars. She then became permanent in March 2017 and focuses on management of devices, learning materials and development for scholars and HR related issues for staff. She admires SBF and the support it offers to their scholars and hopes that in her area of work she will be able to contribute positively.
- Merle MansfieldProgramme Officer: Scholar Recruitment, Development & SupportMerle MansfieldProgramme Officer: Scholar Recruitment, Development & Support
Merle is a dynamic young married woman who was born and raised in Cape Town. She has a keen sense for travelling and learning about other cultures around the world. Merle is part of a large vibrant close knit family who values spending quality time together.
Merle started her career in Social Work Assessment and Play Therapy with child survivors of trauma after completing her Bachelor of Social Work degree from UCT. In 2011 she obtained her Honours degree in Social Policy and Management from UCT and started lecturing Social Work at Varsity College. Merle has worked in a number of settings throughout her career but has always found the common thread of development through education as a constant in her work.
Merle joined the SBF team in January 2016. She plans and co-ordinates the scholar recruitment and selection process. Merle is responsible for co-ordinating and planning all SBF camps and workshops that pertain to the development and support of SBF scholars. She works closely with the Deans of scholars in the organisation to ensure the implantation of an intentional development plan for all SBF scholars.
- Pamela Meselane-VidaProgramme AdministratorPamela Meselane-VidaProgramme Administrator
Born and raised in Cape Town, Pamela matriculated at Gardens Commercial High School and completed her ND: Management at the Walter Sisulu University of Technology in East London. She is a very committed individual, which can be seen in her work and personal life. She operates very well in a structured environment and loves order. Pamela enjoys singing and heads her church’s music department.
After her tertiary studies, she involved herself with non-profit organisations by offering her services voluntarily to the Gender Advocacy Programme with an aim to gain work experience and put her acquired knowledge to use. Her responsibility included coordinating training manuals and organising training workshops. This opened the door to employment for her in training. She then moved on to Social Change Assistance Trust, Common Purpose and the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation amongst other organisations.
Pamela joined SBF in August 2012. She oversee’s the upkeep and maintenance of the office environment and office equipment, administering HR-related duties, providing administrative support to staff, attending to all office procurement activities and coordinating events.
- Thando SebeshoProgramme Officer: Dean of ScholarsThando SebeshoProgramme Officer: Dean of Scholars
Thando is a thirty-something, mother of two children, daughter and a sister. She comes from a multi-lingual family, who speaks four out of the nine official languages and have been raised in two major cities, namely Johannesburg and Cape Town and have experienced rural and township life in areas like Soweto and Langa, as well as suburban living.
Thando matriculated from Rustenburg High School for Girls’ and in 2003, she obtained her BA: Journalism and Sociology degree from Rhodes University, Grahamstown. Thando also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations Management and a Certificate in Events Management. She has recently enrolled for BSocSc (Community Development) and hopes to complete it in the next few years.
Thando has over 14 years’ experience working broadly in the field of internal communication with exposure to journalism, public relations, media liaison, marketing, events coordination and administration. She is self-driven, passionate and committed to her craft. She enjoys working in a dynamic, people-faced environment and has a keen interest in the development with a passion for youth. She enjoyed working with young people and seeing them develop, and now that she’s working with adolescents, she believes that her skills and passion can be used to help teenagers navigate the challenges and successes during high school.
Thando joined SBF in January 2017 and is responsible for ensuring that scholars navigate their way soundly, in terms of their academics. As a Dean, she guides them through high school and offers referrals for psychosocial support.
- Janine SmithProgramme Assistant: Disa Scholarships & SBF RecruitmentJanine SmithProgramme Assistant: Disa Scholarships & SBF Recruitment
Janine recently became a mother to an adorable six month old, who has brought new meaning to life! In her spare time she spends time with her family, friends and loved ones. With her vivacious nature and love for humour, Janine also brings a sense of fun and laughter to the SBF team.
Janine has studied Public Relations, Events Management and Creative Writing all on a higher course level. Her career spans over a period of 15 years in different sectors, with extensive experience in hospitality in leading hotels such as the Mount Nelson Hotel where she got her first job. She then moved on to the corporate sector through Amway South-Africa in their marketing department, then manufacturing and lastly at a Conservation NGO in Kirstenbosch before SBF.
Janine joined the SBF team in February 2014 on a temporary contract. She soon fell in love with the organisation and joined permanently as Programme Support Officer in September 2014. She has since taken on new responsibilities in the team and has moved on to become the organizations Program Assistant for their annual recruitment drive and Disa High School Scholarship programme. Janine also takes on a shared role in their annual events management.
- Nosipho SitholeProgramme Officer: Dean of ScholarsNosipho SitholeProgramme Officer: Dean of Scholars
Nosi started her career by adding value in some of South Africa’s corporate organisations. In order to marry her passions for education and helping adolescents, she branched out into the non-profit space where she has worked as a teacher trainer, a graduate programme officer for a scholarship foundation and an operations manager. She is a bookworm, wanderlust, photography enthusiast and has a dry sense of humour, which only those close to her understands.
Her educational background includes a Bachelor degree in Social Sciences and an Honours degree in Psychology. She was nominated by the US Consulate to participate in the International Visitors’ Leadership Programme: ‘Empowering the Next Generation’. Her interpersonal, administrative, customer-service and organizational skills help her manage her daily responsibilities.
She joined SBF in December 2015, providing academic and pastoral care to the scholarship recipients. She has since been made Team Leader of the Deans.
- Mary-Anne PosthumusFinance ManagerMary-Anne PosthumusFinance Manager
Mary-Anne has lived and worked in Cape Town all her life and matriculated from Westerford High School.
After matric she joined Kodak South Africa and went on to further her studies through Kodak ,then later become their Accountant. She left Kodak in 1980 when her first child was born and unfortunately only returned for a short period as Kodak moved their Head Office to Johannesburg. In 1997 Mary-Anne joined Herschel Girls School as the Assistant Business Manager and during this time at Herschel she worked very closely with the scholars from SBF. She retired from Herschel in 2015 and joined SBF as Financial Consultant in February 2016.
Mary-Anne and her husband are both retired and they try to spend as much time as possible at their family home in Knysna and with their two grandsons in Cape Town.
- Inez WoodsProgramme Officer: Tertiary & AlumniInez WoodsProgramme Officer: Tertiary & Alumni
Inez lives in Blouberg with her husband and much loved Reggie – her furry four legged child! Her favourite past times include taking Reggie for walks on the beach, watching sci-fi movies, and meeting friends and travelling, especially to her son Alex in Manchester or whichever city he finds himself!
Inez has a teaching qualification from UCT and a coaching qualification obtained in Ireland. She has worked in the Education sector for many years. Most recently she was a Programme Coordinator for The Moshal Scholarship Programme where she provided psychosocial support for tertiary students in the Western and Eastern Cape. In the past, she has also facilitated development programmes at both UCT and CPUT. Developing human potential has always formed part of her focus in whatever role she has occupied.
Inez joined SBF in September 2016 focusing on supporting the personal, academic and professional development of SBF students at tertiary level in the Western Cape.
- Lucille DunnePreparatory Programme Teacher & Co-ordinatorLucille DunnePreparatory Programme Teacher & Co-ordinator
Lucille grew up in Ladysmith, Kwa-Zulu Natal and studied at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Pietermaritzburg. She started her teaching career in Pietermaritzburg before moving to Cape Town. In her 30 plus years of teaching, she has taught at Fish Hoek High, Plumstead High, Rustenburg Girls High and a Middle School in the USA. She is currently a teacher at Herzlia Middle School where she teaches Mathematics, Robotics and Computer Literacy.
Lucille considers herself as a lifelong learner and when not taking courses in professional development, whether it be in-person or on-line, she enjoys reading, doing crafts and walking in the mountains.
Lucille joined the SBF Preparatory Programme in 2013 as a Mathematics teacher.
- Henry BarenblattHenry BarenblattHenry Barenblatt has recently retired. In his business life, he was CEO of Research Surveys, South Africa’s largest consumer research company. Before co-founding Research Surveys, his initial business experience was gained in the family business, National Distributors (started in 1939), manufacturers and distributors of polishes and detergents for the consumer and industrial markets. Henry holds a number of marketing and business management qualifications both in South Africa and from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, California. He has spoken as guest lecturer at many academic institutions. In addition, he has frequently addressed the SAMRA (South African Marketing Research Association) conventions and was awarded the MRSA trophy in 1991 for his paper enhancing the professional standards in the industry. In 1996, he was awarded the SAMRA trophy for the best paper presented at the 18th SAMRA Convention. In his spare time, Henry is a keen cyclist and enjoys outdoor activities such as golf, tennis, water skiing, snow skiing and hiking. He also has a passion for music and enjoys playing jazz piano. To counter balance all the outdoor activities, Henry’s other passion is wine and he is a member of a number of wine tasting clubs. Henry is past chairman of the Cape Town branch of the International Wine & Food Society. He is an active member of the Young President’s Organisation (YPO)/World President’s Organisation (WPO) and completed his term as chairman of the Cape Town Chapter of YPO.
- Astrid BergAstrid Berg
Astrid Berg is a Psychiatrist, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist as well as an Analyst. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town and a senior consultant in the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town where she heads the UCT Parent-Infant Mental Health Service.
Astrid has been involved in working in the community of Khayelitsha since 1995 where she is in charge of a weekly mother-baby mental health clinic. She has written about this work and presented it extensively internationally. Her particular interest is in inter-cultural communication. This has also led her to work with Israeli and Palestinian colleagues in the Middle East – a collaboration which aims to increase understanding and to build bridges.
- Heather CooperHeather CooperFoundation Advisor
Heather is currently the director of the South Africa Grants Programme for The TK Foundation, a private independent foundation supporting programmes working in the youth development and maritime sectors. Heather helped to plan and implement The TK Foundation’s first grants programme in South Africa. She is currently responsible for the selection, administration and oversight of The TK Foundation’s youth development projects in South Africa.
Heather has a strong background in fundraising and operations in the education and non-profit fields. Through her work with the St John’s College Foundation and the Student Sponsorship Programme, Heather was responsible for fundraising and donor relations as well as operational management. Prior to this work, Heather held positions with Standard Bank, Abt Associates and Procter & Gamble.
Heather lives in Johannesburg with her husband and their four boys. In addition to her passion for education and youth development, Heather has a keen interest in trail running, reading and travel.
- Donald KauDonald KauFoundation Advisor
Donald Kau joined the SBF Advisory Board in 2017. He hails from Soweto, Johannesburg and has a remarkable story to tell of his own experiences as a scholarship recipient in the 1980s at St Albans College in Pretoria.
Currently, the head of Marketing and Communications at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, Don has 20 years of experience in his field and sits on the Boys and Girls Town board. Donald brings a unique understanding to the scholarship journey the SBF children navigate.
Donald has a special interest in the mentorship of young adults and has already provided value to our SBF university students in this area.
Don says his life experience has taught him the following (3 things I’ve learned the hard way):
1. Living your own truth is key.
2. Work can be satisfying, but make sure you have a life outside of it.
3. Wishing for something to happen is different from working towards it and making it happen
- Marina PetropulosMarina Petropulos
Marina Petropulos is a writer, broadcaster and former national magazine managing editor. Over a period of more than thirty years she has advised parents about caring for their children on Radio Xhosa, Radio SAfm and other stations. Her child care columns have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and she has written two books: Baby and Child Care Handbook (Baba-en Kindersorg-Handboek), and the Facts of Life (Die Ware Fiete).
She is currently writing the New Baby and Child Care Handbook in order to cover changing circumstances in child care and health. Marina was also a consultant to Gerber Purity for many years. Her other interest is doing bronze sculptures which can be found in collections worldwide.
- Bruce ProbynBruce Probyn
Bruce spent twenty-six years serving as Headmaster of both state and independent high schools. He began his teaching career as a Biology Teacher and was the Head of Sea Point High School, Wynberg Boys’ High School, Diocesan School for Girls and most recently Herschel Girls’ School, from which he retired in 2012. Bruce’s affiliation with SBF began during his tenure at Herschel, one of the first schools to partner with the Foundation.
Upon his retirement, Bruce joined the SBF Advisory Board. Bruce is currently part of an innovative UCT Graduate Business School-developed executive management programme for school leaders, with the goal of turning schools into centres of excellence in underperforming areas. The short term goal of the ‘Principals Academy’ is to develop a strong corps of competent school leaders by exposing them to business school-style, high quality executive management training, together with on-going mentoring and coaching using experienced principals with a history of success as leaders of highly regarded schools. Bruce and his wife Margaret have 3 children, and 3 grandchildren.
- Gordon RushtonGordon Rushton
Gordon Rushton is a practising attorney. He graduated in 1982 from the University of Cape Town with a BA LLB Degree. He is a director of Bowman Gilfillan Inc. and specializes in litigation. He has litigated extensively in the various High Courts in South Africa and has conducted litigation out of the Royal Courts of Justice in London, at the London Court of International Arbitration and in Italy.
Gordon is married to Susan, a high school teacher, and they have two daughters, one at the University of Cape Town and the other in high school. Gordon enjoys surfing, fishing and scuba-diving. He is a keen follower of sport and plays golf, touch rugby and action cricket. He is also interested in antiques and art.