Annalisa Contrafatto


Born and bred in Italy, Annalisa gained there extensive experience in the non-profit sector and in social cooperation. After relocating to Cape Town, she began to serve as board member and volunteer for various South African non-profit organisations, and works as translator, researcher, and subject matter expert in the financial & risk sector. She loves travelling, reading, and meditating, and is committed to the project of a Reggio Emilia inspired centre in Samora Machel because it promotes creative, critical thinking which is the foundation of active citizenship.

Catherine Collingwood

Deputy Chairperson

Born and raised in South Africa, Catherine is a Social Worker by profession, focused on working with creative and therapeutic processes with children. She became familiar with the Reggio Emilia approach a few years ago, embracing its view of children as protagonists of their own learning. From 2015 she worked daily in this approach, both in the UK and in Johannesburg at Small World School. She is very happy to be part of Friends of Thandolwethu, willing to share her knowledge and experience…and ready to learn more!

Andrea Couvert

Member of the Management Committee

Andrea is a web and graphic designer from Turin (Italy). Currently based in Cape Town, he divides his time almost equally between designing, managing co-design and participatory design projects. He enjoys embracing challenges and seeing how good design can improve people’s lives. While in Italy he worked in the non-profit sector for over 15 years, gaining substantial experience in delivering communication products such as documentaries, magazines and multimedia exhibitions. In South Africa, after a stint as project manager for an international NGO assisting refugees and migrants, he founded the communication agency Slowdesign and is also now involved in community-driven civic participation.

Andrea Martini

Member of the Management Commitee

Andrea is an Italian dude who has always been interested in mingling with people from different cultures. The orgin of the world “culture” comes from latin and indicates “cultivate”. This is why he joined Friends of Thandolwethu, as he strongly believes it represents a precious seed to grow with perseverance and enthusiasm which will bring its fruits to the local community. Are you ready for harvesting with us?

Marina Araki

Member of the Management Commitee

Marina is an Italian-Japanese Communication Designer and Art Director from Milan, based in Cape Town. She loves to conceptualize ideas into visuals, and design communication products that are simple, creative and efficient; she has over 10 years experience in international agencies and as a freelancer. She aspires to become an Art Therapist for Early Development: she previously worked as an Art Facilitator at the Epic Art Inclusive Education Center in Cambodia, in 2014, and would love to further her experience in Art Facilitation at Friends of Thandolwethu. When she is not designing, Marina loves to travel and explore new cultures and perspectives, practice yoga and meditation, and play guitar.

Agnese Roda

Member of the Management Commitee

Agnese Roda (Italy, South Africa) Social anthropology student, full time worker in the immigration field and mother of a baby girl. She is passionate about music, languages (she speaks 4) and books. She lived and traveled to numerous countries before settling in the best one, Cape Town, South Africa. She is currently working on a project on kindness in actions of assistance, during Covid-19 pandemic in Cape Town.