Patience Ndlovu Leads Bantwana into a New Chapter
Join us in congratulating Patience Ndlovu, a well-respected longtime staff member, who is now Vice President/Executive Director of WEI-Bantwana. Patience has strategic, technical, research, and communication skills, and a deep understanding of development. Her networks and extensive management and leadership experience position her perfectly to take over for Gill Garb, the founding director of Bantwana and a long-time World Education VP who retired in December.
Known to many in the World Ed/JSI family, Patience has held multiple senior technical and leadership roles since joining Bantwana in 2008. She has also served on various national and international advisory and expert panels, including the UNICEF Global AGYW Technical Working Group. She is poised to lead Bantwana on a path that brings the initiative back to its original principles and founding vision—being locally-led and managed by those who are closest to and most directly affected by the challenges to be overcome.
This deliberate commitment and transition to localization began a few years ago and, with the support of over 150 colleagues in programs across East and Southern Africa, Patience is well-placed to achieve this goal.
Most recently, Patience was WEI-Bantwana’s country director in Malawi and chief of party for the USAID/PEPFAR-supported Ana Patsogolo Activity (2020–2022). Prior to that, she was country director in Zimbabwe and chief of party for the USAID/PEPFAR-supported Vana Bantwana Program. In that capacity, she coordinated the national orphans and vulnerable children response through system strengthening and child protection programming, and led the development and scale up of the National Case Management System under the UNICEF Child Protection Fund. This model was rolled out to all 65 districts in Zimbabwe and has been replicated in other African countries. Patience is familiar with Bantwana’s programs across southern Africa, as she has concurrently been a regional advisor providing technical backstopping and supporting new business and strategic growth. As Patience builds Bantwana’s presence in Africa, she will continue to have support from the Boston team, coordinated by Deputy Director Armin Sethna.
While implementing programs at quality and scale in 2023, Patience will lead her colleagues in three transformational actions that World Education’s CEO Margaret Crotty outlined in her recent article in Devex: enabling local entities to set the agenda; leveraging local leadership and expertise to support sustainable capacity; and prioritizing equity.