Uhambo USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Established in 2011, Uhambo USA was created to complement the work of Shonaquip, the Uhambo Foundation, and our partners through providing community engagement, interlinked programs, accessible resources, and quality information. We seek to further the impact of Uhambo's successful holistic model, mobilize resources and cultivate business partnerships to support Uhambo's expansion in Africa and eventually other developing countries.
Uhambo USA is a proud member of the Posner Center, an organization focused on the collaboration of development-oriented businesses and organizations to grow lasting solutions to global poverty.
Uhambo has been awarded a global grant from Rotary International to work with the Huis Talje Children's Home in Warmbaths, South Africa. Uhambo will be partnering with the Warmbaths Rotary Club, the Fort Collins Rotary Club, Kiewit Fonds (a Belgian NGO) and Shonaquip.
The US Team
Uhambo USA’s team is dedicated to providing opportunities for people with disabilities in Africa. If you want to join our team to make a difference for people with disabilities in less-developed regions of Africa, contact us.
Jenelle Van Eynde | President
Jenelle is an Independent Consultant working in the development sector. She is currently working in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector (WASH). As a consultant she provides research support and project management expertise to her clients. Prior to relocating from Seattle to Maui with her husband, Jenelle worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and also spent a brief time living and working in Ghana. Both experiences grew her passion and commitment to development work.
Jenelle is a Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset, and this year (2015-2016) she holds the position of President-Elect for her club. She began working with Uhambo USA as a Grant Advisor, and is excited to now join the Board.
Robin Steele | Vice President
With over 20 years of engineering, business, and leadership experience, Robin Steele, has led global research and development operations, as well as started and run both software and service companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 business units to emerging small companies.
Robin has enjoyed significant accomplishments in: aligning innovation and product development around new market opportunities, transforming engineering concepts into customer-needs-focused products, delivering innovative products to hit tight market windows, collaborative leadership development, and helping incubate and fund technology start-ups.
At Bells, NCR Microelectronics, Motorola, Colorado Memory Systems, HP, Agilent, and several small, privately-held businesses, Robin led R&D, product development, marketing, sales, manufacturing, HR, and finance teams. Upon retiring from corporate leadership, Robin began applying her engineering and leadership experience and knowledge in academia. She is currently teaching Engineering Design courses at Colorado School of Mines and Business Management courses at Colorado State University.
Robin holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Utah State University, a master’s degree in computer science and computer engineering from the University of Minnesota, and an Executive MBA from the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management..
Vanessa Haarhoff | Secretary Treasurer
Vanessa spent the better part of 27 years in Zimbabwe where she grew up, as well as South Africa and Zambia where she studied and worked as a journalist. Vanessa was involved in the mediums of print, radio broadcast and online in the field of business technology development and politics in Africa for over five years. After relocating to the UK, Vanessa completed an MSc in International Development and now works as a researcher and policy influencer for an NGO called Action on Disability and Development which facilitates disabled people’s organisations in Asia and Africa to engender positive change. Here she initiates and develops projects that mitigate gender-based violence towards people with disabilities.
She is also interested in generating research and solutions for People with Disabilities (PWD) that prevent circumstances of poverty, or assist this minority out of poverty as a result of their disability. Vanessa has first hand experience of living with a high level disability in a region where there is minimal healthcare facilities, social protection and opportunity for PWD after sustaining a spinal injury in South Africa. As a result of this she is heavily involved in supporting initiatives that benefit PWD; she is involved as a mentor for a charity called the Back Up Trust that facilitates people with a spinal injury regain ‘normality’ after their injuries so they can assimilate back into a mainstream environment. She is also in the early stages of developing a social enterprise project where PWD in South Africa and Zimbabwe market their artistic talent for profit.
Staff & Volunteers
Lucinda Kerschensteiner, MBA | Founding Director
Lucinda’s graduate work in 2008 took her to Southern Africa to research the mobility aid sector and provide business support services to a small scale wheelchair manufacturer in Zambia. This experience sparked her interest in social entrepreneurship. Upon meeting Shona McDonald and seeing her commitment to people with disabilities in developing countries, Lucinda was compelled to join the effort. In 2010 Lucinda launched the U.S. nonprofit, Uhambo, to support the activities and programs in Southern Africa.
As a catalyst for programs with significant social impact, Lucinda has over fifteen years experience in entrepreneurial support services, small business development, workforce development and corporate coaching/training. Lucinda is active in the global social entrepreneurial community and her own back yard of Northern Colorado, she has launched and supported the development of numerous unique ventures, projects and programs including an arts business incubator, earned revenue strategy for a government agency, a mentoring program for women in transition, self employment training programs and innovative special events for job seekers. She has provided strategic planning to nonprofits and social innovators through JVA Consulting of Denver. Earlier in her career, Lucinda was a prominent professional coach and a contributor to the coaching profession including starting the regional chapter for professional coaches.
In addition, Lucinda holds various leadership roles including administrator of charitable activities for a small family trust, champion and activator for the GSSE Alumni Network and advisor / board member for Integrative Change, Inc., a network of holistic practitioners in southern Florida.
Lucinda graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a BA in German Studies and completed her MBA at Colorado State University’s innovative Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise (2008) program which focuses on using business as a means for solving social challenges in developing countries.
Contact Lucinda at
Hannah Powers | Intern
Hannah is currently a junior at Colorado State University, where she is studying International Studies and Psychology with minors in Spanish and Political Science. She has been all over the world, traveling to Spain, Morocco, Poland, Japan and many other countries to immerse herself in other peoples and places and increase her cultural understanding. After getting her degree, she hopes to enter into government work, where she would like to work on sustainable development in third-world countries.
Kara English | Fundraising Assistant
Kara is a recent graduate of Colorado State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minors in International Development and Peace and Reconciliation. With the collaboration between Uhambo USA and Uhambo South Africa, Kara was able to travel to Cape Town to gain on-the-ground experience by assisting the Uhambo Foundation’s managing director and the Shonaquip’s founder. After contributing to the development of the Parent Champion program and witnessing the impact Uhambo makes throughout southern Africa, she was newly inspired to work toward her goal of improving the quality of life of individuals and communities who face social justice, health, and human rights disparities. Today, she assists Uhambo USA with awareness campaign development, grant research, and fundraising.
Shona McDonald | Founding Advisor
Shona is the Founder of Shonaquip and Uhambo Foundation and currently acts as Director of Shonaquip CC and Uhambo Foundation.
Shona’s early career interests had been in sculpture and community work but when her second daughter was born with cerebral palsy, doctors advised Shona to put her in a home. Shocked at this advice, Shona was determined to start building a positive future for her. She soon developed the first battery-powered buggy in South Africa which provided the foundation of Shonaquip and then started a non-profit organization for children who could not speak.
Parents and therapists encouraged her into designing and manufacturing special devices for them and Shona continued to design different products to meet the needs of the children. Shonaquip has since developed into a reputable social enterprise with a comprehensive holistic model of designing, manufacturing and distributing mobility aids and providing clinical assessments and services. From the early days Shona instilled social values into Shonaquip to create a business that is committed to high ethical standards, poverty alleviation goals and policy transformation for people with disabilities.
For her dedication and passion, Shona has been recognized with numerous awards.
Terry Bruner | Legal Advisor
Terry C. Bruner is the Principal and Founder of the Terry Bruner Law Office, a Texas-based law firm that specializes in nonprofit, social innovation, and charter school law. His legal expertise stems from his time spent practicing at the firm of Stanley & Cook, PLLC, and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. He counsels clientsconcerning the drafting, negotiation and interpretation of numerous agreements and other legal documents. Terry’s practice represents early-stage and mid-stage entrepreneurial enterprises in business counsel, organizational structure, board governance, and strategic engagement. He frequently advises cause-related businesses on various aspects of their operations.In addition to his legal work, Terry has served as Executive Director of Teach For America-Houston. Terry’s background also includes work in Washington, DC at both the U.S.Department of State and a youth-focused non-profit.
Terry holds the M.Phil degree in International Relations from Cambridge University, where he was a member of the Cambridge Union Society and authored a thesis on the impact of globalization in the developing world. He earned his law degree with honors from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University.A veteran of the U.S. military, he received the Army Humanitarian Service Medal. Terry is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the American Bar Association. In addition to Uhambo USA, he also sits on the Board of Directors of The Woods Project. Terry has also served on numerous advisory boards and committees, including the Rice University Urban Studies Connecting Communities Advisory Committee. He was recognized by 100 Black Men Houston for his commitment to civic service and by EBONY Magazine as a leader under 40 to watch. In his spare time, he enjoys taking long walks, traveling, and speaking to groups around the world on issues of poverty and volunteerism.