Khuluma Education has a strong and committed team with significant experience in Special Needs Education and Mainstream Education, Corporate Finance and IT Solutions...
The Khuluma Education Team
Naomi Botha (Operations Director - Special Needs Education)
Naomi is from the UK, with a background in psychology and over 12 years’ experience as an education professional in mainstream and special needs education. Naomi gained a BSc (Honours) Degree in Psychology (Royal Holloway University of London, 1998), a Post-Graduate Certificate in Primary Education (Exeter, 2000) and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Asperger syndrome (Sheffield Hallam, 2009). She has gained extensive training and experience with special educational strategies and autism support strategies and language acquisition tools (e.g. ABA, TEACCH, PECS, Social Stories, Social Skills).
Naomi has an interest in research and had a journal article published in the Good Autism Practice (GAP) Journal in 2009 - a study of effectively using Social Stories to meet the needs of learners with ASD. She is currently doing a Research Masters in Technology for Language Learning at Stellenbosch University.
From 2006, Naomi worked as an Advisory Teacher in the UK, for a local authority autism support team and then as Teacher in Charge, managing a specialist provision for learners on the autism spectrum. In 2012, Naomi moved to Cape Town and taught at Oakley House, remedial school for 18 months, before joining the Khuluma Education Team. Naomi continues to work supporting parents and their children on the autism spectrum, with language and communication needs.
Naomi is passionate about giving individuals a voice to express themselves and in supporting them to understand themselves and the world around them and helping them to reach their true potential. She has seen that using the GemIIni program is one highly effective way to help achieve this.
Xoliswa Motsohi (Sales Director - Mainstream Education)
Xoliswa is a social scientist and education professional. She has more than 15 years of professional consulting experience and is passionate about the development of people.
Xoliswa holds a BA Education Degree, an Honours Degree in Development Studies and Advanced Project Management certificate with UNISA SBL. Xoliswa has worked for various organisations including the Provincial and National Departments of Water Affairs, Randwater Board, Mvula Trust and District and Local.
Before joining the development consulting sector, Xoliswa was a senior phase economic sciences educator for a period of four years and she is currently involved with the Kagiso Trust, Beyers Naude Schools Development Programme as a facilitator.
Julian Moore (Managing Director)
Julian is a corporate finance and private equity professional, with over 10 years’ as a chartered accountant with KPMG in Dublin having graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Business Science (Honours in International Finance).
Julian was introduced to Laura Kasbar (founder of GemIIni) in 2009, in London. Having seen the remarkable impact the program was making on children’s learning, spent several months working with Laura on the development of a business plan to help GemIIni raise its initial venture capital investment.
Julian recognised the significant potential GemIIni had for improving language education in South Africa and in late 2012 was able to secure an exclusive license with GemIIni, for the South African market.
Justin Moore (Joint Managing Director)
Justin is an Investment Banking principal with over 35 years experience in the banking and finance industry. He was educated at Natal University and University of Cape Town (MBA).
Justin established the structured finance division at Rand Merchant Bank before moving on to lead Societe Generale’s structured finance team which was ranked first in South Africa.
Justin has extensive working experience in both the private sector and the public sectors. Justin’s involvement in the financial sector has generated an extensive national and international network of financial, legal, banking and corporate professionals.
Steve Briggs (Non-Executive Director and IT Solutions Advisor)
Steve graduated from the University of Port Elizabeth in 1998 with a B.Com (Economics). After working in Sweden on an internship for three months, Steve joined Standard Bank in Johannesburg on a management trainee program and held various positions until he left Standard Bank in mid 2005, as the senior manager responsible for special projects in Africa. While at Standard Bank, Steve completed his B.Com Honours (Economics) at the University of South Africa (2001) and his Masters of Business Administration (with distinction) at the University of the Witwatersrand (2005).
In June 2005, Steve co-founded BizCall, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Engineering Firm. BizCall was acquired by Datapro group (now Vox Telecom) in March 2006. Steve remained at BizCall as Managing Director until April 2008 when he joined iBurst as the Head of Integration. In August 2008, Steve was appointed as Executive Head: Commercial, overseeing the commercial elements of iBurst’s business.
In April 2010, ARC Telecoms was co-founded by Steve in response to a growing need for a dedicated IP Telecommunications Service Provider for the Small and Medium sized business segment. ARC was listed as one of the Top Ten ICT Start-ups to watch in 2010, by MyBroadband. The Jasco Group (a listed South African ICT business) acquired ARC in April 2012. Steve currently holds the position of Divisional Managing Director of Jasco Enterprise, one of Jasco Group’s wholly owned entities.
Steve also received his Masters degree in Theology from the University of Stellenbosch in December 2013.
Laura Kasbar, (Founder and Chairman of GemIIni Systems)
Laura created the GemIIni approach while running a small private clinic in her home for her two autistic twins. She had formerly run a Washington-based general contracting company where she bought, sold, and remodelled approximately 100 houses annually. She was educated at the American University in Paris, France.
About GemIIni Systems
The GemIIni Program was developed over the last 15 years by Laura Kasbar, a mother of three children on the autism spectrum. Her most severely affected son was a 3 year-old, non-verbal, severely autistic child when she first developed her video modeling sessions. Laura found her son was not responding to any of the usual therapeutic interventions and noticed how he engaged with the TV screen. She says, ‘I knew I just had to get what I wanted him to learn onto that screen’. And so the GemIIni video modeling program was born! It is a method that worked remarkably for her son, who is now a High School linguistics student, ‘who reads, writes and speaks at a university level, as a result of using GemIIni, coupled with-home therapy’ (GemIIni, 2013).
Consequently, GemIIni has had many similar successes with a number of other children on the autistic spectrum and as well as those with other special educational needs and language delay. With added input from many professionals in the autism field, Laura and her team have created the current online platform (www.gemiini.org), and launched GemIIni Education Systems Inc. in the USA.