Who We Are
Edith Kriel: Executive Director
Edith Kriel is a social worker who has specialized in working with traumatised children for the last 24 years. She developed the Teddy Bear Clinic into a multi-level service, initiated the Child Witness Project in the Western Cape and developed the Healing Project for children that have been sexually abused and co-authored the book ‘Voices of Hope- Healing stories for Africa’s children’. Edith often presents multiple multi-disciplinary workshops on a range of child trauma related topics. She initiated and developed the anatomical doll project in South Africa.
Marita Rademeyer: Chairperson
Marita Rademeyer is a clinical psychologist and co-founder of the Child Trauma Clinic in Pretoria. She has helped children and their caregivers deal with the effects of child abuse and neglect, rape, violence and crime, HIV/AIDS, cancer, youth awaiting trial and clients with physical and mental disabilities. Her special interest is play therapy with traumatized children.
Vatiswa is a trained lay counsellor and has a special interest and training in play therapy. Vatiswa coordinates our prevention programme and she is the go to lay counsellor in the Dunoon community. She provides counselling to children and families affected by trauma and abuse, as well as providing psychoeducational programmes to pre-school children. Vatiswa is highly respected among the child protection professionals that work in Dunoon and she is often in the front line of managing child protection concerns. Vatiswa speaks multiple African languages and she has high ambitions this year to reach even more children who need therapeutic services in the greater Dunoon area. She also intends to pursue her studies and gain a certificate in working with pre-school children. Vatiswa is a warm and sincere person who goes over and beyond what is expected of her.
Alida is passionate about children and their wellbeing. Her gentle manner enables her to connect with children effectively using play and creative activities to build her relationships with children, facilitating their recovery from trauma. She is a much valued member of our Jelly Beanz team.
Yvette is the well-oiled machine behind the scenes of Jelly Beanz that keeps the office running. Yvette was Edith’s right hand lady long before Jelly Beanz was the fully established organisation it is today. Yvette manages all of Jelly Beanz finances and the office. Yvette was also part of the management team for the anatomical doll project. She is well equipped to manage people and she always ensure a quality service is delivered. Yvette is not only highly efficient at her administrative position but she has a wonderful sense of humour that warmly lightens the serious nature of the work we do at Jelly Beanz. Yvette is always willing to assist and has very good insight into the needs of others.
Zimkhitha is a passionate social worker who provides therapy to families and children who are affected by trauma and abuse. She has specialised skills in working with caregivers, facilitating parenting skills to empower and promote a heath parent-child relationship, and providing therapy for older adolescents.
Mieke graduated from Stellenbosch University and was eager to start her social work career in the child protection field. Throughout her 6 years in thát field, she realised that, apart from protecting children, therapy was thé aspect which could truly touch children’s lives. Currently Mieke renders therapeutic services at Jelly Beanz while she also acts as a social worker in private capacity. What Mieke values the most of being a therapist, is being able to journey with a child toward their healing. Being able to help a child heal from past trauma, giving them hope again, and learning them to love themselves, is what keeps her passion alive.
We are delighted to introduce Toffee, the newest member of the Jelly Beanz family and our precious fur therapist in training. Toffee is a charming and loving golden retriever with a heart of gold and a naturally caring nature. She’s here to carry on the legacy of our beloved Danni, the first Newfoundland fur therapist in South Africa, who left a lasting impact on our children and our hearts.
With her soft, fluffy coat and gentle demeanor, Toffee embodies the essence of a fur therapist, providing comfort, support, and unconditional acceptance to children who have experienced trauma or adversity. Though Toffee may not have the size of Danni, she has a heart as big as South Africa and is ready to make a significant impact on the lives of our children. As she trains to become a fully-fledged fur therapist, Toffee is excited to follow in Danni’s pawprints and continue the compassionate work of helping children heal and grow.
Danni was a Newfoundland dog. This breed of dog is known as gentle giants, they are fluffy, gentle, soft natured and love children. They are used overseas in therapeutic work with children, however, Danni was the first Newfoundland in South Africa to be trained as a therapy dog (this breed of dog is rare in South Africa). She weighed approx. 65 kg’s, was chocolate coloured, loved being in water or playing with it, enjoyed tummy rubs and did not play fetch with a ball, but preferred playing soccer kicking the ball as she ran. Many of the children referred to her as our bear-dog, as she looked like a baby bear.
Often children that have experienced trauma and abuse may feel labelled or different from others, ashamed or undervalued because of their experiences. Animals create opportunities for children to connect and feel valued without anything being expected of them in return, no words are necessary, and it doesn’t matter who you are or what you have been through, a dog will accept you unconditionally. Further, children can love or play with the animal, and receive positive feedback from the animal. Dogs in particular, as they are so intuitive, can also help therapists understand children better and thus be able to tailor make a more effective therapeutic plan for the child. Children may also project some of their own feelings or thoughts on to the animal, thereby giving us clues as to how they may be feeling e.g. Danni is feeling very sad today. Danni became an integral part of the Jelly Beanz family and the work we do for our children. In December 2021 Danni passed away peacefully.
Phumzile Mncwango is the Director and Co-founder of Mmamodiselle Concepts which specialises in branding, marketing and fashion concepts. Phumzile has over 18 years of experiences in Human resources and business administration she has worked in the banking, Tourism and transport industry.
She has held positions of Chairperson at the Institute of People Management (IPM) for Durban Coastal Branch and Deputy Chairperson of the Board for Durban Youth Radio in KwazuluNatal. She assists Jelly Beanz Inc. in human resources and business administration matters.
She has qualifications in Marketing, Business Management and Labour Relations, and is currently studying towards her Bpsych. Degree at South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP).
Thea completed her accounting degree at the University of Pretoria in 2004, and her articles in 2010. She recently completed her MPhil (Development Finance) through Stellenbosch Business School. She has worked both in the United Kingdom and South Africa. She joined the Jelly Beanz Board of Trustees in 2016.
Steven is a Director of S V Wright Attorneys Inc and FiduServ. He grew up in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal and is currently based in Durbanville.
After completing his BA.LL.B. Degree at the University of Natal (Durban and Pietermaritzburg) he completed his articles with Van Onselen O’Connell attorneys. He was admitted as an Attorney of the High Court in 1995 and completed his H Dip. Tax through UNISA.
Steven has held positions with leading banking institutions and accountants where he gained experience and specialised in Fiduciary Law (estates, wills & trusts), Commercial Law and Matrimonial Law. Steven’s interests include cycling and the great outdoors.