Meet Our Team: A True Partnership
Kuda Vana Partnership believes that Zimbabweans know the needs of their country's children the best. The local leadership team runs operations and implements initiatives, while the stateside team works to secure resources and help develop overall strategy. Our wonderful staff are educated, passionate and committed to empowering each child in their care to reaching his or her full potential.
William Pepukai - Director
Uncle William is the Director for Kuda Vana Partnership. He is the man who makes sure everything is running as smoothly as possible and does much of the unseen work. Communicating with local leaders, negotiating with government officials, organizing projects and much more, Uncle William does his work with determination. Something that can be said about Uncle William is that he does everything possible to do whatever is needed and what he says, he does. He drives four hours twice a month to oversee the happenings of Kuda Vana Children's Home. He is a valuable mediator for our home and local leaders, however, he does not allow his job to stop there. When he arrives for his bi-monthly visits, many of the children run to him and delight in his attention and it is clear he also enjoys theirs. During school breaks, Uncle William invites children from the home to stay with him and his family where they thoroughly enjoy being a part of family life. Uncle William has experience running his own hospital equipment business and is currently pursuing a Project Development degree in school.
Davis Mundirwira - Administrator
Uncle Davis is the Administrator at Kuda Vana Children's Home. He oversees all aspects of day to day operations, and works hard to create an environment of love, support and family for the children and all members of the staff. He also serves as an important father figure to the children, as he has three children of his own. Uncle Davis understands the importance of mentorship and education - he also grew up without a father in his life and it was his older brother who inspired him to pursue a complete education. Uncle Davis provides important financial and operational oversight to Kuda Vana Children's Home, as he holds a Bachelors degree in Accounting from Africa University and has held positions in finance at other nonprofits in Zimbabwe. He heard about Kuda Vana Children's Home from Uncle William, his childhood friend, and says he knew he had to get involved when he got to know the kids - there was no way he could walk away. Uncle Davis says of his goals for the children in his care:
“The best way to empower our children is to give them an education, we must enable them to help themselves.”
knowledge Manyere - assistant administrator
Uncle Knowledge is a firm believer in the power of education. The youngest of 11 children, he worked hard to help provide for his family while also excelling in school. Despite many hardships, Knowledge earned a Bachelors degree in accounting, and most recently worked with Youth Advocates Zimbabwe where he worked in finance and administration. Uncle Knowledge is passionate about helping the children of Kuda Vana learn skills that can help them care for their own families someday. He says that his biggest desire for the children in his care is to support them as they grow spiritually, and help them get to know a God that loves them unconditionally.
John and Colleen Ordelheide - Managing Trustees
John and Colleen's lives changed forever in 2011 on their first trip to Zimbabwe. The children and the country captured their hearts, and the task of ensuring each child was given a chance to not just survive, but thrive, was something they couldn't walk away from. As Managing Trustees, John and Colleen work tirelessly to ensure the vision of Kuda Vana Partnership is realized. They spend at least six months of the year at Kuda Vana Children's Home, where you are likely to find "Uncle John" building a playground, fixing plumbing or tinkering in the gardens. "Auntie Colleen" is equally a fixture, making sure that each Mama has what they need to care for a family of 10, and coordinating school and doctor's schedules for the 50 children in Kuda Vana's care. You will often find her in the nursery snuggling with a baby when she has a spare moment. John and Colleen are blessed with two children and six grandchildren, and their entire family has truly embraced the Kuda Vana family as part of their lives. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tara Petersen - Executive director
Tara has had a lifelong passion for travel and connecting with people across the globe. She first visited Africa at the age of 17, and is honored to have a small part in making life better for 50 children in Zimbabwe. Tara has worked in resource development for more than a decade, and holds a Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management. She enjoys the process of helping people discover the joy of philanthropy, and thinks the best part of her job is telling stories. Tara lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado and travels to Zimbabwe at least annually. In her free time, you'll find her and her husband and daughter camping in the mountains. You can reach her at email@example.com.