About Us - Board and Volunteers
Board of Directors(all volunteer, unpaid positions)
President: Janissa Balcomb
Janissa was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho from 1977-80. She is co-founder of Laptops to Lesotho. Janissa oversees project development, fundraising, and assists with training. She is Sarah Gardner's aunt and Vicki Panhuise's cousin.
Secretary/Treasurer: Vicki Panhuise
Vicki retired in 2017 after 35 years working in the aerospace and defense industry. She is now an adjunct professor at Arizona State University. Vicki and her husband have established a Family Foundation that is focused on education, with a particular interest in STEM education for girls.
Director: Sarah Gardner
Sarah graduated from the University of Evansville with a BS in elementary education. She teaches kindergarten in Bloomington, Indiana. Sarah served as L2L Secretary for a number of years, and she has been to Kokobe to assist with training.
Director: Sherrie Howey
Sherrie got involved with L2L through her work for FIPE (The Foundation for International Professional Exchange), where she is currently president. FIPE provides scholarships to top students participating in the L2L program so they can continue on to secondary school. Sherrie participated in the January 2013 L2L trip to Lesotho.
Director: Kathy Plath
Kathy is a retired I.T. teacher and librarian. She is familiar with Lesotho, having lived there in the early 1980s. She is in charge of fundraising and assists with lesson development and training. She traveled to Lesotho in January 2013 and March 2014 to help with training at Nohana Primary and Kokobe Primary Schools.
Director: Fortunate Gunzo
Fortunate recently finished her PhD in ICTDE at Rhodes University in South Africa. She has assisted with travel logistics and teacher training. She is currently involved in making interactive, offline lessons available to students in Lesotho.
Director: Henk Boshoff
Henk ran an engineering company in South Africa before recently emigrating to The Netherlands. He has assisted L2L with technical issues and is currently designing the solar-powered electrical system to be installed at Kokobe Primary School in 2020.
Project Coordinator: Florence Tieho Monoto
Based in the capital Maseru, Florence coordinates all aspects of the project in Lesotho. She handles communications, logistics, information gathering, progress reports, translation, and she assists with training.
Alice Ranthimo, Principal
Alice is the principal at Kokobe Primary School in Ketane. She has worked as both teacher and principal for several decades at a school with few resources and only three classrooms for 200 students. She is the project's lead for all local community contacts and organization at Kokobe Primary School.
Matlabe is the principal at Nohana Primary School in Ketane. He has been a teacher for almost 4 decades and principal for three decades. He is the project's lead for all local community contacts and organization at Nohana Primary School.
Former Project Volunteers
Craig is Janissa Balcomb's brother and father to Sarah Gardner. He has an MA in Education. Craig assisted with the initial laptop delivery to Ketane in November 2010. In 2010 and 2013 Craig has helped to train the Nohana Primary School teachers and students how to use XO laptops.
Tony is a retired programmer who has extensive experience with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) projects in Nepal and Rwanda. He worked tirelessly during our January 2013 training setting up servers, customizing and debugging the learning system, designing lessons, and teaching a few classes.
Mary is a retired primary school teacher who served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Ketane. During our January 2013 training, she hiked to Nohana almost every day, in all kinds of weather, just to help us. Among other things, she charged and prepped laptops and assisted with lessons.
Mamatsepe "Vee" Sejanamane
Mamatsepe is from Maseru and got involved with L2L after a chance meeting with Janissa there in 2011. She started out assisting with XO laptop lessons at the January 2013 training and progressed to teaching on her own. She speaks fluent English and Sesotho and provided translations for L2L.
Mama Lolo Mabitsela
Mama Lolo is a retired teacher who now runs a B&B in Soweto. She came to Lesotho to learn about our project so she could start a similar project in her home town in South Africa. Besides attending XO laptop training with the teachers, she contributed during L2L discussions and served as a translator.
For several years, Jennifer has organized pen pal letter exchanges between U.S. and Nohana Primary students. Her two daughters raised money to pay for a Nohana student to continue her education beyond 7th grade. Jennifer traveled with Sherrie Howey, her mother, on the January 2013 L2L trip.
Mochochoko teaches grade 7 at Nohana Primary School. He taught himself how to use the XO laptop and is adept at using computers. He helps other teachers at Nohana and Kokobe use the XO laptops.
Phyl is Director Sarah Gardner's husband. He assisted with training at Kokobe Primary.