Lara Kruiskamp
Chief Executive Officer

Lara is a young, enthusiastic, dynamic South African who is motivated by her passion and purpose to see South Africa restored and transformed. She left her successful corporate career in 2012 to become a Social Entrepreneur.

RESTORE SA was birthed with the vision of having every South African involved in making their unique contribution to our beautiful country. Leading by example, Lara embarked on the challenge of running 7 Marathons on 7 Continents in 1 year to inspire others to live their passions and to raise funds to buy land in Grahamstown to build a LIV Village for widows and orphans ( She achieved this goal in March 2014 as she completed “The Last Marathon” in Antarctica and in August 2014, 80 acres of land was secured for the LIV Village.

Lara Kruiskamp went to school at DSG in Grahamstown in the 1990s and received both her Bronze Award (1993) and her Silver Award (1995) whilst at school.   She wholeheartedly believes that the Award is a key element to drive positive change in South Africa through our Youth. Lara received her MBA from Pretoria University’s GIBS Business School in 2010 completing the electives of Social Entrepreneurship and Moral Leadership.  She has a B.Comm in Accounting and Information Systems, as well as a B.Comm Honours in Information Systems from Rhodes University in 2000 and 2001, respectively.

“It is an honour to serve as CEO to The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment. I am thrilled to be a part of a dynamic team to drive continued, sustainable youth development in South Africa”.

Should you wish to have a word with Lara please feel free to reach her by email on

Nkagare Makhudu
Head of Programme

Nkagare joined the organisation in January 2013. He has worked extensively in youth development arenas, most recently for LoveLife as their National Youth Director. He imbues energy, commitment and passion for youth development and he is set to take the Gauteng region to another level, building on the solid foundation of past programme managers in the region. “I feel honoured to be part of 30 years of excellence in the Award in South Africa and believe that my impeccable track record in youth leadership development will be valuable in empowering more young people”.  As John C. Maxwell said: “You cannot go wrong by helping others to live a better life or to reach their potential.”  Nkagare can be contacted on

Janine Hansen
Head of Operations

Janine joined The President’s Award as Operations Director in January 2004. A seasoned and dedicated social worker within the Child Care sector for many years, Janine’s passion for youth empowerment is seen in the depth, attention to detail, and focus with which she drives the delivery of the Award Programme in schools, prisons, and youth care centres throughout the country.  “The Award is a “plot and plan” your own development programme applicable to all young people with enough incentive, recognition and reward for those who take up the challenge. It’s purposeful, progressive and powerful in transforming the lives of all youth … and those who work with them (including myself)”.  Janine is a member of the Africa Regional Training Panel which focuses on training and development issues in Africa. As the Operations Director “all in a day’s work” for Janine should read “all in 7 days work” as she is often around Monday to Sunday, ensuring that we deliver on our mandate.  So if you need to, you can reach her on

Mandy May
National Programme Administrator

Mandy joined the Award Team in January 2003 and plays a key role in the task of coordinating the administration of the Award Programme in schools, prisons and youth care centre.  “Whether you are a TPA staff member, Award Leader or participant, the Award programme has given each the opportunity to grow and recognise one’s true potential”.  Her attention to detail and institutional knowledge has meant that Mandy is also responsible for the equally challenging task for all matters administrative at an organisational level and has been responsible for developing systems and processes which facilitate the delivery of the Award Programme to young people throughout the country.  She is enormously committed to the Award Programme and steps in whenever there is a need for help.  So should you need any information from Mandy please drop her a line on and she will get back to you pronto!

Shani Stevens
Assistant Programme Administrator

Shani joined the Award family in March 2007 and she provides important support to the National Programme Administrator. Shani ensures that all Award programme information on participants, Award Leaders and agencies from all three of TPA’s focus areas are captured accurately on the database. Having completed a secretarial course and worked for a local estate agent, Shani contributes positively to our administrative needs within the organisation. “It is a great experience being part of a team of good people, who are doing good work, to make sure that our youth are equipped to meet the challenges facing them.”  Shani can be reached on


Phakama Nyakaza
Programme Manager for Eastern Cape





Emma Heistein
Programme Manager, Phakama


Jaco Maree
Programme Manager, Learning for Life


Gail Brecht
Programme Manager


Mandy Smith
Programme Administrator

Mandy joined the Award in June 2012 in order to assist the Western Cape Office with administrative and event management responsibilities. She has a background in events management and has clearly slotted into the energy rich environment of the Western Cape Office. “To be part of a team that inspires our youth to become better human beings makes me a better person too.”  She can be contacted on



Palesa Matuludi
Programme Manager: Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and Gauteng

Palesa joined the organisation in February 2011. She was actively involved in youth development through the Olive Leaf Foundation for a number of years. She focuses on the development of the Award in 4 provinces  namely Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West in schools, correctional centres, community youth groups and residential youth facilities.  “It is such an honour to be working for such a dynamic organization that empowers the youth from all walks of life where one’s economic or social background has no substance. I am blown away by so many vibrant young people whose focus is to serve their communities and uplift other young people in their towns!”. Palesa can be contacted on

Dineo Matsheka
Programme Manager: Pretoria, Limpopo and Mpumalanga


Mona Lipschitz
Programme Administrator

Mona joined the Award in January 2013. She has years of extensive experience in the world of administration including assisting organisations such as Gift of the Givers, with administrative tasks. “Being an administrator at The President’s Award can be compared to a healthy heart ticking at the right time with the correct amount of beats – it is vital to the functionality of the other parts of the body. My role is critical to the smooth running of the Gauteng Office and being the organized person that I am, it makes every task so much easier. I have a simple set of values I live by to get me through most of my days . My values are deeply-held beliefs about the right way of doing things, being accountable, and to treat everyone I encounter with the utmost respect”.  If you need to get hold of Mona, please do so on