Learn to Earn Staff & Boards
Learn to Earn's staff are based at our 3 sites. Our training staff are situated at our Khayelitsha and Hermanus training centres. Our admin staff are based at our head office in Claremont and at the Khayelitsha centre.
Learn to Earn's various boards meet 4 times per year and are made up of LtE Staff representatives (including our Director, General Manager, Khayelitsha and Hermanus Branch Managers and Project managers) as well as private individuals with a heart for seeing change in our communities.
Learn to Earn training, project and admin staff at the 2014 staff retreat
Significant dates in the Life of Learn to Earn
If you are looking for a walk down memory lane then you are in the right place.
April 1989 - LtE starts
August 1995 - Roché van Wyk appointed Director of LtE
March 1998 - 1st carpentry course started
March 1999 - at the request of the RDP Forum, LtE opens a branch in Hermanus to serve the community of Zwelihle. The Zwelihle community has up to 70% unemployment rate
January 2000 - 30 Jan opening of new complex in Khayelitsha, celebrated 10 years of ministry to the unemployed in the Khayelitsha community, what is remarkable is that we managed the building project ourselves and were able to complete the complex at 50% less than the budgeted costs
June 2000 - opened coffee shop at Khayelitsha
July 2001- "start-up programme' renamed Zakhele, 1st Business Achievers course graduates
Mid August 2001 - 1st sewing school at LtE Durbanville graduates under the instruction of Loretta Pietersen
September 2001 - 21 Sep - graduation of the first Desktop publishing course at LtE Khayelitsha
October 2001 - Staff retreat 'Experiencing the City'
Early 2002 - Housekeeping course introduced to skills courses offered at Hermanus
2002 - The LtE Business Resource Centre was formalised and registered
2002 - Staff retreat at Flora Bay, Hout Bay - 'Servant Leadership'
2003 - late 2003 The Encounter Course is developed
March 2004 - LtE celebrates its 15th birthday
March 2004 - 25th March - 1st LtE Golf Day held at De Zalze
2004 - Staff Retreat 'Site C – Khayelitsha'
2005 - LtE accredited with SETA and the Department of Labour
2005 - LtE closes the Durbanville Branch
October 2005 - Staff retreat 'Life Stories' - Noordhoek
March 2006 - 3 March - 1st Hermanus Golf Day
2006 - LtE received an award of excellence from Impumelelo Innovations
2007 - LtE Association is launched
January 2007 - LtE Head Office in Rondebosch is opened
February 2007 - LtE receives a gold award from Impumelelo Innovations
August 2007 - staff retreat 'Time to Receive' Carmel, Victoria Bay, George
February 2008 - 1st Graphic Design Course and Office Administration Course start at LtE Khayelitsha
April 2008 - 10 April - the first sod was turned for the building of the new LtE Hermanus branch
September 2008 - staff retreat 'Time to Build' - Habitat for Humanity house build
November 2008 - commencement of the new building at LtE Khayelitsha
March 2009 - LtE celebrates 20 years
March 2009 - Hemanus staff move into their new state-of-the-art purpose-built building and celebrate 10 years in Hermanus
May 2009 - The 'tfg' store opens
September 2009 - Staff retreat 'Integrity' - Wortlegat, Stanford
December 2009 - LtE Head office moves to 79 Belvedere Road, Claremont
January 2010 - Khayelitsha staff move in to their new building
May 2010 - The tfg Store celebrates its 1st birthday
August 2010 - Khanya bag range wins Best Product Award at the South Africa Hand Made Collection, Decorex, Johannesburg
August 2010 - LtE Hermanus Opera Evening
September 2010 - Staff retreat 'Building Blocks' - Goedgedacht Farm, Riebeek Kasteel
September - November 2010 - 'I give a duck' Campaign
November 2010 - Awareness and fundraising Quiz Evening, Powerscourt Golf Estate, Ireland
March 2011 - Awareness and fundraising Quiz Evening, South Africa House, London, UK
June 2011 - Opening of the Hermanus Coffee Shop
July 2011 - 16 – took part in the Nelson Mandela Foundation's Legacy Canvas cocktail party
29 – LtE Quiz and dinner, Mutual Park, Pinelands
September 2011 - Staff retreat 'Ingredients for Life' – Bridges Centre, Franschhoek
March 2012 - 15th – the 9th LtE Golf Day takes place
May 2012 - Alpha Course run for the 1st time at LtE
June 2012 - Commencement of training partnership with the City of Cape Town
July 2012 - 27th - LtE Awareness dinner dance at Suikerbossie
August 2012 - 25th – the 15th LtE AGM
September 2012 - Staff retreat - Volmoed, Hermanus
October 2012 - 1st Association Workshop takes place
December 2012 - Graphic Design showcase held at Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch
March 2013 - 1st time a group rides for LtE in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay cycle race
April 2013 - 10th Golf Day takes place
May 2013 - 2nd feel good Project store opens at the Harare Square tfgP Offices, Harare Khayelitsha
August 2013 - LtE awareness dinner dance at Suikerbossie – The Epic Adventure
September 2013 - Staff retreat 'Integration & Purpose' – Bridges Centre, Franchhoek
September 2013 - 2nd Association Workshop
October 2013 - Point of Sale Course starts at LtE Hermanus
October 2013 - Call Centre Course starts at LtE Khayelitsha
November 2013 - Graphic Design Showcase held at TFG design Centre
December 2013 - Gilbert Muchanyara graduates from the E³ programme
March 2014 - LtE Celebrates 25 years of impacting the unemployed
March 2014 - 2nd time a group rides for LtE in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay cycle race
April 2014 - Technical Skills Course started at LtE Hermanus
May 2014 - LtE Quiz Evening at Jubilee Community Church
July 2014 - Sewing Production Line Course starts at LtE Khayelitsha
July/August 2014 - Staff retreat 'The Lord's Prayer', Carmel, George
August 2014 - 17th Annual General Meeting
September 2014 - LtE Dinner at Suikerbossie Restaurant celebrating 25 years of impacting unemployed
December 2014 - Zukisa Fono graduates from the E³ programme
February 2015 – Ground UP Cape Town starts training
March 2015 – Team of riders represents Learn to Earn in the Cape Town Cycle Tour
June 2015 – Ground UP Johannesburg starts training
July 2015 – Staff retreat takes place at Almond Bridge Guest House, Malmesbury
August 2015 – 18th LtE AGM
November 2015 – Graphic Design Exhibition at the iZiko National Gallery annexe
LtE has trained over 11 500 unemployed people since 1989. The annual average of 79% of our graduates become economically active, 13% of which are self-employed.
Joan Mackee - Feb 1999 -Sep 2000
Laura Allais - October 2000 - April 2003
Rina Maree - April 2003 - September 2009
LesleyAnne James - August 2010 - January 2012
Edwin Brooks - June 2012 - August 2014
Martin Isaacs - November 2014 - present
Melt van der Spry
Paul Sturrock - 1999 - 2004
Susan Wishart - November 2004 - January 2009
Rod Hopley - Feb 2009 - December 2010
Martin Isaacs - March 2011 - October 2014
Desiree Ulster - August 2015 - present
Chairmen of the Executive Board
Ian MacDonald - 1996-2001
Neville Goodwin - 2001-2002
Neil Macdonald - 2002-2010
Jerry van Niekerk - 2010-2012
Neil Macdonald - 2013 - present
The first ten years: 1989-1999
The name "Khayelitsha" kept coming into Doug Fisher's mind as he drove through the night to Cape Town, where he and his wife Yvonne were relocating from Durban. Feeling sure that God was leading them to make this move – yet uncertain as to what the future might hold. In Cape Town, Doug discovered that Khayelitsha was a fast growing Township about 30km from the city. He met up with an old school friend, who had come to faith in a Baptist church, and had contacts in Khayelitsha.
Doug, was given two rooms in the municipal offices in Khayelitsha, free of charge for a year. He envisaged running literacy lasses as he had been involved with a church-based NGO in Durban teaching literacy. He organised for a literacy teacher from Durban to teach Nomvula (Patience) Zali, a Khayelitsha resident, how to run literacy classes. Unfortunately there was very little interest from the community, with just one man graduating.
Not one to give up easily, Doug decided rather to offer sewing, knitting and crocheting classes, which were taught by Patience. Yvonne drew up a detailed basic sewing course and later an advanced course which Bukelwa (Vivian) Mfundisi taught when she joined the project. The project was called the 'Baptist Training Project' because the Fishers came to faith in the Baptist Church, Hillcrest Natal. The Project letterhead had the heading: "A Hand up – Not a Hand Out". The slogan "Learn to Earn" was to give donors and the community the correct perspective on the project. All clothing and bedding made had the label "Good News Gear" Khayelitsha on them.
When the project moved to a small portable classroom in Site C, after the 1st year , theft was a big problem along with the political violence. Whenever he was able to, Doug visited past students in their homes, and was encouraged to see how many of the women were empowered by being able to sew.
The response from the community towards the project was mixed. However, in the six years that Doug ran the Baptist Training Project he aimed to make the project a haven of peace and tranquillity amidst the political violence. He has said that he never once regretted going to start the work in Khayelitsha, and seldom felt fearful during the political violence, always seeking God's protection. He believed firmly that God called LtE into existence, and when he decided his time at the project was coming to an end he prayed for a younger person with enthusiasm and energy, as well as being a pastor with practical skills, to take over the leadership of the project. Doug's prayers were answered in the form of Roché van Wyk who started as Director of LtE in August 1995. Roché has a background in the engineering field has been a pastor and had just returned from completing a degree in Urban Missions and Intercultural Studies in the USA.
Doug's vision of the project being a resource centre to help start other training centres elsewhere never realised during his time, but has since been, with the opening of the Hermanus Branch of Learn to Earn in February 1999.
Roché van Wyk formalised the project in 1995, the name was change to the Learn to Earn Training Project and a board was established locally and an advisory and representative board established in the USA.
Learn to Earn Vacancies
Established in 1989, with its motto of ‘a hand up – not a hand out,’ Learn to Earn is a skills development organisation, which develops unemployed people, socially, economically, emotionally and spiritually, irrespective of colour, creed, ethnicity and religion.
Our vision is ‘to eradicate unemployment and other legacies of injustice in South Africa and Africa’. Our basis for human-scale development is based on restorative justice. Through providing a programme that recognizes human dignity and the human right to live a meaningful life, we aim to assist individuals to regain their self-respect. We do this by empowering them to provide for themselves and for their families.
Our Social Enterprises – Ground UP Business, Zakhele Manufacturing & Design and Fashion for Change operate as divisions of Learn to Earn Development Enterprise (Pty) Ltd.
Training interventions provided by Learn to Earn are circumstantial, practical and market related. What is innovative about Learn to Earn is the methodology and ethos behind its training interventions. The ethos of the organization is about rebuilding the self-esteem, dignity, self-respect and ambition of our trainees. Our vision and mission are applied through offering skills training and job creation activities to the unemployed.
The following vacancies are currently available at Learn to Earn:
Ground UP Business: Business Manager (closing date for applications 30 September 2020)
Ground UP Barista Academy: Barista Trainer at LtE Hermanus (closing date for applications 30 September 2020)
Ground UP Technical Academy: Coffee Machine Service Technical Trainer (closing date for applications 30 September 2020)
Learn to Earn Training: Bake for Profit Course Trainer (closing date for applications 30 September 2020)
Should you meet the requirements and have the necessary experience and understand the job requirements and wish to apply, please do so in writing with:
- Covering letter: In your covering letter please indicate your current and required salary, your mobility to travel between branches and notice period with your current employer, if any. It should also include your faith journey.
- CV (no more than 5 pages) with 3 contactable references – please don’t send certificates
- Letter from your church pastor or small group leader regarding your church membership and activity.
Should you not have received a response within 4 weeks after application, please consider your application to be unsuccessful. We reserve the right to enter into correspondence in this regard. This advertisement has the minimum requirements listed. Management reserves the right to use additional, relevant information as criteria for short-listing.
This a team ministry and the following will also be required in addition to those specified in the vacancy advert:
- Participate, contribute and engage in weekly staff devotions and prayer meetings.
- To participate in the employer’s Annual Staff Retreat (We go away together for staff development and spiritual growth seminars).
- To participate in the employer’s Annual Report Back Meetings and other organisational functions (awareness and fundraisers) which may be after hours during the week or weekends.
- To be co-responsible for the continued development of the employer.
- To promote the employer and obtain financial support thereof.
- Outside of the employee’s above responsibilities, the employee will be expected to do things that fall outside of the ambit of their job description, such as sweeping, cleaning, covering for and helping other staff. This is a team ministry.
- To endorse and promote the employer's Statement of Faith, Mission Statement and Statement of Principles.
- The current normal work hours are 08h00 to 16h30 on Monday to Thursday and 08h00 to 15h30 on a Friday
- Teatime will be from 10H30 to 11H00. Lunchtime will be taken from 13H00 to 13H30.
- These hours are subject to change at the Director's discretion.
- Occasionally you may be required to attend activities outside of the above hours. This would not be considered overtime.
Pray for Learn to Earn
Name, email address and phone number
Learn to Earn has representatives in the USA, UK and Ireland.
If you are based in the USA, your donation to Learn to Earn South Africa is also tax deductible as LtE is a registered section 501(c) 3 organisation. Please send your donations to:
Learn to Earn South Africa
Contact person: Bruce Otto
1519 North Mohawk Street, #200, Chicago, Il, 60610
Tel: +1 (312) 642 7515
Learn to Earn uses Stewardship Services to process our donations in the UK. When donating please indicate clearly that your gift is for Learn to Earn – ref no 2003 6471. All gifts of £30 or more are tax recoverable under the Gift Aid Scheme. You will need to register with Stewardship before using this giving method for the first time.
Alternatively you can make a direct deposit into our bank account:
Account Name: Learn To Earn
Account number: 12129035
Sort Code: 402612
Contact person: Susan Sochart
Tel: +44 (0) 7958 749296
If you live in Ireland and would like to donate to LtE please you can donate via Stewardship Services, our HSBC bank account, alternatively you can contact Don & Janet Casey.
Contact person: Don & Janet Casey
Tel: (353 1) 282 2765