Our Team

Laura Washington Biography.

Laura Washington is the Director of Project Empower, and has overall responsibility for developing the strategy of the organization in line with its vision and mission, for resourcing its activities and for developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders. She is a trained teacher, although she has worked for many years in the NGO sector. She has a deep commitment to the development of individuals and communities, and enjoys working for Project Empower as it contributes to enhancing the lives of young people, especially young women. She also values the hard work, commitment and enthusiasm of her colleagues.

Amanda Zembe Biography.

Amanda Zembe is 28 years old and holds an Honors degree in Criminology (2015) and a Bachelor of Social Sciences majoring in Community Development and Criminology (2014), both obtained from the University of KwaZulu Natal. Amanda works as out Administrative Coordinator and is now in her third year of employment with Project Empower overseeing administrative and operational functions for programme teams and managers . Backed by her communication, team leadership, and multi-tasking capabilities, Amanda Zembe ensures that all teams are resourced and accountable. Amanda Zembe enjoys working at Project Empower as it has given her a stepping stone in her career, a flexible working environment and the opportunity of working with people from all walks of life.

Fundile Ngcobo Biography.

Fundile Ngcobo is 27 years old and joined project Empower in January 2018. She co-ordinates finances, recording and maintaining Project Empower’s accounts, processing payments and co-ordinating payroll. Prior to Project Empower she was a Finance officer at Thandolwethu Community Centre and a Trainee accountant at Kana Pillay Consulting. She is a graduate of Durban University of Technology with a diploma in Cost & Management Accounting obtained in 2013. She currently lives in Illovo with her family including her eight year old daughter. When she’s not keeping busy with work, you can find her listening to music. She loves working for Project Empower because of its transparency and open communication with its employees: “We are clued up with what is happening within the organization in terms of performance, availability of funds, vacancies that are to be available, “ she says, adding that “ We have become a family, I trust and can confide in my colleagues regarding personal matters. I love that we work efficiently and effectively but there is also a room for pleasure.”

Mziwethu Cleopas Gcuma Biography.

Mziwethu Cleopas Gcuma is a research intern at Project Empower. He holds a bachelor’s degree and an honours degree in Community and Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu Natal (Howard College). During his undergraduate studies he was part of an organization called Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) as a voluntary intern. In his first year as a voluntary intern at YMCA he was voted as deputy treasurer. After serving a year he was promoted to be treasurer at YMCA. In 2019 he was employed as a facilitator (Stepping Stones) by Project Empower, and as one of the Simunye Sports Event organisers. He is committed to promoting the wellbeing of women and girls, and is enjoying his internship at Project Empower as it is an opportunity to deepen his understanding of this work.

Nonhlanhla Ndlazi Biography.

Nonhlanhla Ndlazi is a facilitator at Project Empower. She holds a diploma in Paralegal Studies from Community Law and Rural Development Studies in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu Natal. She also worked with Project Empower as a facilitator in a project called Mkabayi which was aimed at stopping violence against women and children , as from January 2012 until July 2017.She also participate in community work as she was appointed as a secretary of Ndumo Policing Forum in 2016.

Sivuyile Khaula Biography.

Sivuyile Khaula is the Programmes Manager at Project Empower. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Community and Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu Natal (Howard College) and has completed all requirements for the degree of Masters in Development Studies. He has over four years of community work implementing programs that seeks to improve psychological well-being, promote sexual health, and prevent GBV and HIV. Sivuyile has worked in several roles within Project Empower including facilitation of discussion groups, supervising facilitators, training facilitators, and managing community-based implementation teams. Sivuyile enjoys working at Project Empower because it provides an opportunity to engage with people and to practice community development as well as an opportunity to work with others who are passionate about developing intervention seeking to prevent HIV and GBV.

Zama Khoza Biography.

Zama Khoza worked within the Industrial Psychology and HR space for over 6 years. However, her passion has always been with psychosocial interventions thus pursuing the opportunity to work with Project Empower. Having completed her dissertation on young perpetrators of sexual violence in South Africa, she hopes to further her knowledge in interpersonal violence both within academia and community. Her research interests include sexual health & violence, GBV, black masculinities, juvenile criminality, and mental health. Zama has completed her MA (Research Psychology) from the University of Witwatersrand.