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.  


Gabriella Tagliani (Italy) has been the Manager of the Friendly Gecko and Volunteer Coordinator for help2kids Tanzania since June 2016. She studied Linguistics and Cultural Mediation at Milan State University and speaks Italian, English, Spanish, and a bit of French. She is extremely well-travelled and experienced, having held leadership positions in several NGOs in Uganda, India, and Sri Lanka. She participated in an environmental sustainability project in Latvia before becoming an Educator and member of the Italian Emergency Roster for Save the Children, for which she worked in Expo Milan 2015 as well as in Greece during the current refugee crisis.  


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. 


Wisdom Munisi (Tanzania) currently lives in Dar es Salaam where she works as a teacher for Kunduchi daycare centre, and also as Community Engagement Coordinator for help2kids. She has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Dodoma, having graduated in 2013. Previously, Wisdom worked for the National Bureau of Statistics as an enumerator for industrial and agricultural surveys. Before that she volunteered at AMREF International as a counsellor for people with HIV/AIDS. At help2kids, she teaches and also works as a care giver, along with working in matters related to help2kids and the  communities around the projects.


Elysia Jones Saronga (Tanzania) is originally from Kilimanjaro and now works with help2kids as the Health Project intern. She completed a Bachelor in Human Nutrition in 2016. While studying, she worked in Temeke Hospital as a nutritionist toward the medical development of health. She also worked in the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre as a nutrition counsellor collaborating with different government and non-government sectors such as MUHAS and World Vision. Elysia believes children are the future and works to insure collaborations with the Health Project partners are effective in terms of supporting children's health both physically and mentally. She also empowers caregivers through different health workshops. 


Petrina Darrah (New Zealand) is the Marketing Coordinator for help2kids Tanzania. She studied Linguistics, French, and Spanish at university and after graduating taught English in vulnerable communities in both France and Colombia. More recently, her career has focused on digital marketing and communications and she has spent time working with Australasia's largest content marketing agency and writing for a range of websites in the travel niche. She is excited to be working for an NGO for the first time, alongside the talented and international help2kids team.  


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.


Dzinyeto Nyamawi (Kenya) founded the Kunduchi Daycare Centre in 2007, after marrying a local woman and seeing the need for better education in the community. His main goal is provide quality schooling for Kunduchi’s children, and also to engage the parents of the children to help them understand the importance of education. Dzinyeto’s three children have all attended the Kunduchi Daycare Centre, which he hopes will now be a permanent fixture of the local 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.