Carole Bloch

Executive Director

Carole is both Executive Director of PRAESA and Associate Professor: Language Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of the Western Cape. Before joining PRAESA as Early Literacy Specialist in 1992, she was a teacher – first of teenagers with literacy-learning difficulties and then of preschool-aged children. Over her years at PRAESA, Carole has shaped and led the organisation’s holistic multilingual approach to early literacy learning and development. She has a PhD from Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg and is widely recognised as an international early literacy expert. Carole was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame in 2017.

Nolubabalo Mbotshwa

Lead Early Literacy Mentor

Nolubabalo joined PRAESA in 2016 as a Story Play Mentor, training and mentoring teachers in the Storyplay approach and helping to prepare Storyplay materials. She has a Counselling and Communication Diploma (South African College of Applied Psychology) and an ECD Practitioner Certificate (College of Cape Town). Before joining PRAESA, Nolubabalo worked as a counsellor for the Salesian Institute’s Learn to Live programme, a volunteer at Shine Literacy and a Grade 1 teachers’ assistant at a primary school. She has particular expertise in working with teachers and children to facilitate early literacy learning.

Sive Mbolekwa

Lead Early Literacy Mentor

Sive is a literacy activist and storyteller who has worked and trained young people and teachers in early literacy strategies through storytelling. In 2017, he joined PRAESA as a Storyplay Mentor, training and mentoring teachers in the Storyplay approach. Before this, he worked at Axium Education in a Foundation Phase early literacy programme and curated a literacy festival for the Zithulele area in the Eastern Cape. He has also worked at the Stars of Tomorrow Literacy Club in Khayelitsha. Sive has a deep interest in sharing a culture of thinking critically about our social conditions with children.

Lungiswa Dyosiba

Early Literacy Mentor

 Lungiswa worked in the healthcare sector and then in an ECD centre before joining PRAESA as a volunteer in 2018. She has studied Home Based Care (Robin Trust Nursing College) and Early Childhood Development (False Bay College). At PRAESA, Lungi has deepened her understanding of how children learn. She particularly values the role that observation and getting to know children’s interests play in supporting early learning.

Thandazani Asange Futshane

Early Literacy Mentor

Thandazani is passionate about working with children and was a preschool teacher assistant for five years, an after-school co-ordinator at Township Roots, a volunteer at KwaFaku Vulindlela Reading Club and a Sunday School teacher, before joining PRAESA as Early Literacy Intern at the beginning of 2020. She holds both an Office Management Certificate (K Commercial College) and an Early Childhood Development Certificate (College of Cape Town).

Nadia Lubowski

Early Literacy Coordinator

Before joining PRAESA as Early Childhood Special Projects Co-ordinator in 2015, Nadia started an NPO, established and was a teacher and principal of a bilingual ECD centre in Philippi, trained ECD centre staff and assisted ECD centres with registration, infrastructure and learning programme development. She holds an M.Ed (University of Cape Town) and has been involved in PRAESA’s Storyplay approach from its inception – in its design, development and implementation, as well as in the research and documentation of its impact. Nadia has a deep interest in children and holds particular expertise in the understanding of children and their play.

Arabella Koopman

Programmes’ Director

Arabella has teaching experience as well as over 25 years management experience ranging from ECD centre management to senior management in the NGO and publishing sectors. She is also a freelance writer and publishing professional, and holds an M.Ed (University of Cape Town). Arabella joined PRAESA in 2012 as Multilingual Materials Development Specialist, responsible for conceptualising, developing and managing the multilingual reading and literacy-support materials of the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign, including its bilingual newspaper supplement, training materials and radio stories. She holds particular expertise in multilingual content development and publishing, children’s literature and, project set-up and management.


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