Talitha van der Waerden
Talitha has a hugely varied CV; she’s worked as a tour leader in the Middle East, as a communications consultant, and a project manager developing change management campaigns for big multinationals. In 2012, Talitha took a break from her career in the Netherlands to travel, explore new places and use her skills for a good cause during a work placement with a nonprofit in Cape Town. Three months turned into six, and eventually into a job coordinating events and experiences. Talitha is now excited to manage Roots, and enable others to have fulfilling volunteer work placements in Africa. Having been in your shoes, she knows how important it is to find the right match between individuals and organisations, and she goes out of her way to create the most rewarding experience for all involved.
Co-Founder & Director
Marleen (pronounced ‘Marlane’ – sensitive subject) started her career as a broadcasting journalist in the Netherlands, but was drawn to African adventure and moved to Zambia a decade-and-a-half ago. For several years, she developed and managed community and conservation volunteer projects on the ground in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, before moving into communications and strategic development in the nonprofit sector in Cape Town. She is also a freelance writer, and a co-founder of Penda Photo Tours, a photography travel company and aligned charity, Penda Trust.
Marketing & Communications Intern
Coming from America, Benjamin has spent most of his professional career working in broadcast management and is in his final year of study in the field of business communication. He is driven by a passion for giving back and a thirst for new challenges as he feels these lead to the most rewarding experiences. Benjamin is excited to expand his skill set and face new challenges while promoting sustainable and ethical practices as a member of the Roots team.
Content Writing Intern
Moira is an international adoptee from South Korea, but currently lives near Boston, Massachusetts. She is studying English, Creative Writing, and Communications at Northeastern University. While her passion is writing, Moira has a keen interest in sustainability and travel. She attended an environmental conference hosted by Jane Goodall in Costa Rica, and recently visited Greece for her study abroad experience. When the world returns to normal, she hopes she can whip out her suitcase once again!
Marketing & Communications Intern
Hank is a second-year student at Northeastern University, majoring in Economics and Business Administration. He has a passion for studying macroeconomics, product marketing, and international business. Back in high school, Hank started an E-commerce business with a friend selling posture correctors and was recently on a study abroad program based in Berlin. Outside of his professional interests, he enjoys playing basketball, walking his dog, and hiking. As a part of the Roots team, Hank looks to expand his data analytic and writing skills while also pursuing his dream of becoming a future CEO.
Misha has a strong passion for driving change and a gung-ho attitude to match it. In 2010, he decided to take a break from documentary making to plant a thousand trees in underprivileged communities of Cape Town to compensate for his carbon footprint – and he hasn’t stopped since. That was the start of Greenpop, now an environmental organisation with an impressive list of accomplishments and a unique ability to get people from different levels of society active for climate change. Through Roots, Misha sees an opportunity to drive further change while providing people with powerful learning experiences.
With a passion for people, Lauren spends her days inspiring individuals from all walks of life to be active citizens and contribute to a healthier planet. Lauren is not only a co-founder of Roots, but also the Managing Director of Greenpop, where she is continually looking for ways to run an organisation differently, more organically and yet also professionally. As she has a background in and passion for education, Lauren is excited about being able to provide both meaningful and educational work experiences to people from around the world.