Marleen (pronounced ‘Marlane’ – sensitive subject) started her career as a broadcasting journalist in the Netherlands, but was drawn to African adventure and moved to Zambia ten years ago. For several years, she developed and managed community and conservation volunteer projects in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, before moving into communications and marketing. During the last five years, she worked in the NGO world, managing fundraising and communications for Greenpop, an environmental social enterprise, where she is still a Director. Marleen is co-founder and Managing Director of Penda Photo Tours. She is a keen photographer and passionate about the potential it has to inspire and drive positive change.
Originally from the UK, Greg fell in love with Africa during a family holiday and never left. He worked as a guide on overland trips, a wildlife researcher, and a bush guide before co-founding African Impact in 1996. African Impact, now Africa’s leading voluntourims organisation, runs community and conservation volunteer projects across the continent. Greg is also a co-founder and trustee of the Happy Africa Foundation, a charity that runs community and conservation projects throughout Africa. Greg has seen first-hand how travel has the potential to not only provide amazing experiences, but to also be a force of good. He recently won the IHIF Young Leader Award, which recognised his contributions to the travel industry.
The Ibali program is a creation of and will be facilitated by Dave Fisher, a Cape Town based photographer and educator. Dave’s experiences working in education and youth development in South Africa has led him to identify a huge gap in society where young men and women are not being challenged and equipped to make significant decisions that will direct the course of their lives. As a result, he has become particularly passionate about empowering young people to make positive decisions that set them up for future success. Dave is also very passionate about photography and has run a number of photography workshops over the past few years teaching basic photographic skills to senior high school students. He is particularly interested in encouraging students to use their photography skills to explore the world around them and communicate important stories from their communities.
Marlene is in her last year of studying International Communications and has decided to combine her love for travel and culture with the research for her Master thesis. Working remotely from the Netherlands due to Covid-19, Marlene focuses her research on communicating impact-based travel and creating strategic communication tools for Penda. With a background in Journalism, she is always on the lookout for new experiences and can’t wait to explore the breathtaking views of South African nature first-hand – when the situation allows it!
Manon van Troost
Manon is our Dutch Research Genius. She is from a small town in the Netherlands called 'Terneuzen'. Manon is obsessed with animals and nature. Always riding her horse in the fields whenever it's possible! For her master study cultural management in Antwerpen, she is going to design a scientific research for Penda Trust. Her research will focus on the power of photography for non-profit organisations and the potential for Penda Trust. In 2017, Manon fell in love with South-Africa and knew she would return someday.
Content Writing Intern
Jordan is our content writing intern from Canada! Currently on a gap year, she is passionate about travel, non-profit work, and having new adventures. A keen writer, Jordan is eager to use her writing to make a positive impact, and is thrilled to be joining Penda during her gap year! When not writing, you can find her exploring the Rocky Mountains, spending time with her family or, dreaming about future travels.