OUR TEAM

Desiree-English

Desireé English: Operations Officer

Desireé has spent most of her 25-year career creating and holding spaces for learning and development for individuals and groups including local government, corporates and NGOs. As an Integrative Trauma Healing practitioner and independent learning and development consultant, Desireé is strongly grounded in her purpose of facilitating healing and empowerment within communities, especially working with women and youth. She holds an Advanced Diploma for Educators of Adults from University of the Western Cape and is currently completing a BA Degree (Health Science and Social Services) with specialisation in Psychological Counselling at UNISA. She is highly skilled and has solid expertise in Human Resources (HR) and applies this experience to project management, programme development and implementation and strategic planning.

Judy-Bekker

Judy Bekker: Senior Trainer

Judy Bekker is Director of Training for Gender Reconciliation International (GRI) in South Africa. She founded Renaissance Business Associates in Cape Town, and has served as professional facilitator for more than 30 years in corporations, non-profit organisations, and educational institutions. Judy has specialised in personal and leadership development, diversity, communication skills, relationship building, and solo wilderness experiences. Judy is widely regarded by her peers as one of the most talented professional facilitators and facilitation trainers in South Africa. As training director, Judy leads the implementation of intensive immersion and facilitation training programmes in Gender Reconciliation, and provides mentoring and support for trainee facilitators.

Laurie Gaum: Project Coordinator

Laurie Gaum is Project Coordinator for GenderWorks. He is an ordained minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa. He is passionate about and advocates for sexual diversity, gender identity and expression freedoms in churches. Laurie also designs and facilitates interdisciplinary dialogues and programmes related to spirituality, masculinities, gender and sexuality. His book, Praat Verby Grense, co-authored with his father, a retired Dutch Reformed minister, chronicles their conversations about relationship and sexual orientation. Laurie was the first openly gay Dutch Reformed minister in South Africa after having  successfully appealed a decision of that church to defrock him for having been in a same-sex relationship. He has been on the forefront of winning a historic court case against his church which helped establish it as an open and affirming denomination. He holds a BTh, MTh and MA from the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town and has recently completed an International Peacemaking Fellowship at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, USA.