Having founded the Sozo Foundation in February 2011, together with his wife Elana, Anton now operates as the CEO of the foundation. He is a visionary force, whose passion, out-of-the-box thinking, and enthusiasm draws you into the heartbeat of Sozo. He heads up the Sozo Team with a unique mix of vision, empowerment and a father’s heart for each individual. His passion to partner with people and organisations in the community helps Sozo see transformed lives. Read the story of how The Sozo Foundation was started.
Elana co-founded The Sozo Foundation with her husband, Anton Cuyler, in 2011. After working as a Youth Worker for a number of years, Elana joined Sozo on a full-time basis and serves as the Human Resource Manager. Elana is passionate about the youth of Vrygrond, and longs to see a generation of young people transformed, empowered and equipped to break cycles of poverty in their families and community.
Sophie is a fun, outgoing and extremely positive person. It’s no wonder she’s our Resource Manager! She has a talent for making people feel special and she is really organised and unafraid of a new challenge which is why she’s managing the building of our new Educentre in Vrygrond. Sophie fits in with the Sozo Tribe perfectly!
With a wealth of experience in the corporate world, Sherena decided to use her knowledge for social good and joined the Sozo Tribe in 2015. Sherena oversees our two-storey Sozo Centre, ensuring the home of the Foundation runs smoothly. When she’s not coordinating with her team, you’re bound to catch Sherena singing, filling our offices with beautiful music
Kelly joined the Sozo Tribe in early 2015 after working in the IT start-up and impact investment sectors. As a digital native, she serves as Sozo’s Marketing and Communications Manager. When she’s not crafting Sozo’s latest newsletter or social media update, Kelly’s likely drinking coffee, passing out snacks or watching puppy videos on YouTube.
Jolene joined the Sozo tribe in 2015. Initially, Jolene assisted our Catering Manager and ensured the Sozo Centre was kept nice and clean. She has since grown into a new position as the Sozo Centre receptionist, and is the friendly face you will meet upon entering the building.
The handiest handy man around and always ready and willing to help, Neville provides essential maintenance to the Sozo Centre. In addition to being Sozo’s jack of all trades, Neville serves as a Youth Cafe intern, providing hands-on support for Youth Cafe Manager, Steve.
Menes joined the Sozo Tribe in 2015. By far the friendliest face you’ll meet at Sozo (next to Menes’s wife, Sola), Menes is the gate keeper at the Sozo Centre and ensures our staff and premises are kept safe.
Mamie Kita Yala
Our chief cleaner, Mamie prides herself in ensuring that the Sozo Centre is kept in top-notch condition. She loves to have fun, and when she’s not cleaning, she’s likely making other Tribe members laugh with her playful personality.
Sola joined the Tribe as a part-time cleaner in 2016 and assists Mamie in ensuring the Sozo Centre is kept in top condition.
Arlene not only oversees the strategies, effective running and managing of the Educentre and its staff, but she provides emotional and psychological support to learners in the community. She has a passion for education and loves working with young people; to see them grow into their full potential, and to start to realize their dreams.
Nomthandazo, otherwise known as Thandi, is the “glue” that keeps the Educentre in order, on time and running smoothly. Her friendly, vibrant attitude brings a smile to everyone’s face. She also has an aptitude for networking and is passionate about the young people, determined to see them reach their full potential.
Nelisiwe Nomadwayi, or ‘Lolla’, is one of the friendliest faces you’ll meet at Sozo. Lolla initially joined the Sozo tribe as an Educentre Grade Mentor in 2014, and then Receptionist in 2015. She now assists Educentre Project Manager, Arlene, with administrative support alongside Nomthandazo.
Amanda is a qualified Social Worker that is passionate about seeing the lives of individuals and families healed and restored. At Sozo, Amanda primarily provides psychosocial support to our Educentre learners. She also assist with child protection and equipping staff and volunteers to address issues related to child protection.
Ronel joined the Sozo Foundation in 2015. As the Catering Manager for Sozo, Ronel ensures our Educentre learners have good, wholesome meals to eat when they arrive for after-school tutoring.
A new member of the Sozo Tribe, Zoe joined the team in 2016 in a dual role. She provides Catering Manager, Ronel, with assistance in the kitchen, preparing food for Educentre learners, and interns alongside Neville in our new project, Youth Cafe.
Kate has been an integral part of Sozo since its inception in 2011. She oversees the Eden project, which trains the community to become organic vegetable gardeners. Just as their gardens are transformed from waste places to beautiful vegetable patches, Kate has the ability to see the potential and beauty in hopeless situations. She loves making people feel welcome, whether in group settings or one-on-one, and her warm passion for hospitality makes people feel uplifted.
Francisca has had personal exposure to the effects of alcohol addiction, gangsterism and crime in the Vrygrond area. Since Sozo offered her a hand up from the crippling effects of this lifestyle, she has become a pillar in the community. Francisca trains people to become Home Gardeners and manages Paradise, the garden at our new Sozo Centre. She has a heart of kindness and hospitality, a passion for developing others and to see the community “greened” one home at a time.
Kim De Jongh
Sozo’s very own plant whisperer, Kim is the hands and heart behind the Eden Garden Centre. From the community itself, Kim was first introduced to Sozo through the Home Gardening course. She later became a volunteer, and now a full-time staff member. Kim manages the Eden Garden at the Vrygrond Community Centre.
Sasha-lee loves using her creative skills to ensure the message of Sozo is communicated well. Her creative flair and high standards of excellence ensures the message of the brand is shown in everything they do and in who they are. She takes her passion for excellence into her events coordinating, and uses this passion to create successful fundraising events. She has a vision for hosting appealing, exciting events that people want to attend, with the added bonus of raising funds for a good cause.
After completing a year-long Design Learnership at Sozo in 2014, Keenan joined the team as a Graphic Designer and Trainer. Surrounded by creative family members as a boy, Keenan‘s passion for the arts began at a young age. By the time he was eight year’s old, Keenan knew he wanted to be a graphic designer when he grew up and moved to Cape Town after finishing high school to pursue his dream. Keenan assist Sasha-lee with all things design, and is the trainer for the Sozo Design Course.
Steve is a long-term volunteer and youth worker from the UK, alongside his wife Diana. Steve is the brains and implementer behind our new exciting project, Youth Cafe. When he’s not testing out the latest coffee roast or building pallet furniture for our Youth Cafe, Steve can be found dreaming up plans to tackle youth unemployment in Vrygrond.
Diana is a long-term volunteer and youth worker from the UK. Diana runs lifeskills courses at Educentre and is passionate about equipping young women with empowering knowledge and skills. She also brings a creative flair to Sozo. Look out for her stunning wall mural and unique decor in the Youth Cafe when you’re next at the Sozo Centre.