About us / Team Africa


Our Team in Africa 

help2kids staff in Tanzania and Malawi.


Harriet Smith (England) is the Field Manager for help2kids Tanzania. Harriet holds a Masters in Human Rights and Social Justice, and has spent her career working with children and young people. She has worked with a variety of NGOs in both the UK, Ghana and Tanzania. Harriet's work has focused around special needs education, supporting the rights of children and young people with disabilities through advocacy, delivering training and workshops, programme design and delivery. Most recently Harriet was living in Moshi, where she worked for an autism awareness NGO. Now she is the help2kids Field Manager in Tanzania, and manages and provides support to all of our wonderful staff on the ground. 



Mama Leah (Tanzania) is the Children’s Home Manager, and has worked for help2kids since 2010. Mama Leah is from Kilimanjaro.  After graduating from Usangi Secondary School, she completed her studies in Childcare at Upendo College. She then worked for a private school in Dar es Salaam for three years before starting at help2kids. Mama Leah plays an integral role at the Children’s Home. She manages our wonderful staff and is a kind and positive caregiver. She is married and has a son named Alex, who the kids at the Children's Home view as a little brother. 


Paulette Jiménez (Ecuador) started working as Primary School and Assistant Field Manager in January. Her professional background is in the educational field and she taught second and third graders for nine years. Following this, she completed a master’s degree in Education, Policy and Society at King’s College London, and worked for two NGO’s that were carrying out teacher training and curriculum development. Her current interest lies in improving the quality of education children are exposed to, which means making them analytical, curious, and critical thinkers who are continuously interested in  developing their skills. Paulette's role at help2kids allows her to put this interest into practice and explore different ways to achieve this goal.


Imerine Lyakurwa (Tanzania) is the Health Project Manager with help2kids. Originally from Arusha, Tanzania, Imerine graduated with a degree in Sociology from the University of Dar Es Salaam in 2012. Over the past few years she has served as a volunteer with Equal Opportunity for All Trust Fund and held a Business Relations position with MIM Co. in Tanzania. In her current role, she oversees the wellbeing of more the more than 600 children involved in the program, manages the Health Project partner database, and collaborates with outside organisations to organise new health workshops. Imerine hopes to one day pursue a master’s degree in Public Health.  


Jamila Palermo (Italy) is the Manager of the Friendly Gecko and Volunteer Coordinator for help2kids Tanzania. She has a Master’s Degree in International Cooperation, Development and Human Rights and after graduating gained experience working in a refugee reception centre in Bologna. Before joining help2kids, she worked as a social business manager in the field of organic agriculture, supporting to farmers and organising the Arusha Farmer’s Market. As well as her considerable experience in international development, Jamila is also a talented linguist - she speaks Italian, English, French, Swahili, and some German!


Maureen Gituru (Kenya) is the Children’s Home and Nursery Coordinator with help2kids Tanzania. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Nairobi. Maureen has been working in the education and community development sectors for the past six years, focusing on orphaned and vulnerable children, women's empowerment programs, youth entrepreneurship training, and the creation of community-based income generating activities and community mobilisation. In her current role at help2kids, Maureen coordinates the activities of the Children’s Home and Kunduchi Daycare Centre working everyday to ensure that the kids grow up to be well-rounded individuals.


Ambrose E.H. Ibihya (Tanzania) holds a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development from Tumaini University and a Bachelor of Law from the Open University of Tanzania. He was employed as a community legal advisor at SorL Consulting where he worked with small women entrepreneurs and vulnerable women and children around Kinondoni. He also worked with World Vision as a project facilitator at Mkazingara Handeni. Currently he is working with help2kids as the Education Sponsorship Coordinator and he acts as the main point of contact for sponsors and the help2kids accounting team in Switzerland.


Kasmiri Massion (Tanzania) is the Assistant Program Coordinator with help2kids. He graduated with a degree in Environmental Planning and Management from the Institute of Rural Development Planning in 2015. Kasmiri has worked with several NGOs in Tanzania including Raleigh International's water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project in rural Tanzania, with the ICS volunteering program as a volunteer and team leader, with Swiss Contact as assistant project officer, and with the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) as a research assistant. At help2kids Kasmiri assists the project managers and coordinators to improve, monitor, and evaluate project sites and programs. 




Modest Macha (Tanzania) is the headmaster of Bajeviro Elementary School. He earned his teacher's certificate at the Mpunguso Teacher College in 1998. Since 1999 he has been working in Bajeviro Elementary School and in these two decades, he has gone from a simple teacher to headmaster. In his spare time, he is an active youth leader in his church community.


Our Team in Malawi

Team Africa Volunteer Coordinator Kate

Kate Mensinger (United States) is the Field Manager for help2kids and the Manager of the Friendly Gecko Guesthouse in Malawi.  She has a Master’s degree in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance from New York University, and a Bachelors of Social Work.  She has spent time volunteering and conducting field research in Uganda with street children.  She is very excited to be back on the African continent and to experience life in the Warm Heart of Africa!


Phoebe Harger (Ireland) is the Program and Volunteer Coordinator for help2kids Malawi.  She holds a Bachelors Degree in International Development and Food Policy.  Her work has already brought her to Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia, and she is excited to learn and share what Malawi has to experience.  If you are coming to volunteer with us, Phoebe will be here to assist you!


Patson Mtalimanja (Malawi) is the Assistant Manager of the Friendly Gecko Guesthouse. He started working for us in July 2012. Patson is a bricklayer and builder by trade and assists us with many different kinds of work at the guesthouse and at our help2kids projects.


Anette Gomani (Malawi) is our wonderful cook and housekeeper.  She has been with help2kids since the very beginning, and is an excellent chef.  If you're lucky, you'll get to experience her incredible pizza!


Lekeleni (Leke) Phiri (Malawi) is our Cleaner and Assistant Cook.  She has been working at the Friendly Gecko for several years.  Leke has one child and is a beautiful singer. 


Issac Gomani (Malawi) is one of our guards, and he is no stranger to the Friendly Gecko since he is Annete’s husband!  In the past, Isaac has run businesses in fisheries and agriculture.


Amidu Sigere James (Malawi) is one of our guards here at the Friendly Gecko.  He loves to paint, and you'll never miss him due to the amazing hats he tends to don during the day while working!


Daniel Jango Banda (Malawi) is part of our guard staff as well.  He is a native of Lifuwu village, and lives here with his wife and children.  Daniel is a carpenter by trade, and has done much of the woodworking here at the Gecko.