Board Members

Patrick Makokoro – Founder

Patrick founded Nhaka Foundation in 2007 in response to the call of God on his life; he has committed himself to ensuring the lives of vulnerable children are meaningfully transformed and that communities in which they live are strengthened in response to their growing needs. Patrick has over twelve years’ experience in community-based development and relief project planning working with local and international Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in Zimbabwe.  Patrick holds a Bachelors of Social and Human Studies from the University of South Africa, a Post Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Development with the University of Victoria and currently studying for a MSc in Development Studies.

Dr. Gerald Tsoka, M.D. – Chairman

Dr Tsoka brings in a wealth of experience on local health care issues and he is the Managing Director of Prime Medical Group where he provides organizational leadership and participates actively with the clinical team to deliver outstanding patient care. Leveraging his dentistry skills, Gerald also provides support to the vulnerable children in rural Zimbabwe. As the Board Chair, he steers the organization, ensuring Nhaka’s mission and vision are at the heart of all programs. As well, he assists in developing health programs targeting the most vulnerable children. Gerald holds a Bachelors of Dental Surgery from the University of Zimbabwe and a Post Graduate Certificate in Implantology and Advanced General Dentistry from the University of Pretoria.

Leslie Falconer – Member

Leslie Falconer brings wide ranging experience in education, early childhood development and resource mobilization. She holds a B.A. in Literature and International Studies and an M.S in Early Childhood Education from Erikson Institute. Fluent in three languages and dedicated to empowering parents, educators and children to strengthen family systems, she serves as President and CEO of the Experience Early Learning Co., publisher of early childhood books, music and early learning curriculum. She serves on the board of the World Forum Foundation for Early Care and Education, International Child Resource Institute (ICRI), the Nhaka Foundation and is chair of the Nexus Education Lab.

Simbarashe (Simba) Gwamba – Treasurer

Simba Gwamba provides accounting oversight to Nhaka Foundation. He is a Registered Public Accountant with over eight years of industry experience Simba brings a wealth of knowledge to bear on the organizations financial and accounting systems; he works with the Nhaka team to ensure a high level of accountability and transparency with donors and the communities it serves. Simba also works with the Board to develop policies, procedures and systems to ensure its viability and sustainability. Simba holds a BCompt Honours in Accounting from the University of South Africa.

Lea Ann Christenson PhD – Member

Dr. Christenson is passionate about early childhood development and brings her experience to the Board. She is an Assistant Professor of the Early Childhood Department at Towson University in Maryland.  Before holding positions in higher education Dr. Christenson worked for 18 years in the California public school system as a Kindergarten-second grade teacher, ESOL teacher and Assistant Principal. Prior to her appointment at Towson University Dr. Christenson worked at the Maryland State Department of Education as a Race to the Top Reading Specialist.  She has developed and conducted professional development for in-service teachers in a variety of contexts including El Salvador. Her research interests include emergent literacy acquisition, Pre-K and K STEM and teacher preparation and professional development.

Ndabenhle (Ndaba) Nkala – Secretary

Ndaba Nkala brings to the board wide ranging experience on ICT in education and development. He is an Information Communication Technology (ICT) specialist with nine years of industry experience specializing in IP-based technologies; currently, he is the Business Development Manager at Telco. Ndaba is passionate about working with less privileged children and giving them an opportunity to grow and develop into responsible citizens; he is using his ICT experience and knowledge to develop a program that will bring computers and technology to bear on Early Childhood Development.

Kate Hannon Thomas – Member 

Kate Thomas brings in wide ranging experience in education and development. She currently serves as an Education Advisor at Cambridge Education. With more than 10 years of international education and management experience, she has a Master’s of Art in Teaching young children and a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis.  Before joining Cambridge, Kate managed international projects for the National Association for the Education of Young Children in Washington, D.C., served as Country Director for A Partner in Education in Kigali, and was an Assistant Professor for Early Childhood Education at Kigali Institute of Education in Rwanda.

IEG Musimbe – Member

IEG Musimbe brings in legal knowledge and advice to the Board. He is the Chairman and Senior Partner of IEG Musimbe and Partners, a private practice law firm he founded in 1996 following several years of practice with local Zimbabwe firms. IEG has a vast wealth of experience in Commercial and Civil litigation; he has worked with many large corporations to include Delta Corporation, Art Corporation and AIG and RM insurance companies. As a Board member, IEG acts as a legal advisor aiding the organization in all legal matters. IEG holds a Bachelors of Laws Honours from the University of Zimbabwe where he has continued as a tutor and lecturer in the Department of Private Law. Currently, he is also a member of the Harare Polytechnic Advisory Council.

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