The CLaSH Archives

Back to CLaSH Trust

Imke Weitzel - Imke's youngest daughter was born with a progressive hearing loss. 36 years ago that implied regular trips to South Africa to receive quality advice on early education for hearing impaired children. She met Heide Beinhauer when she later travelled to Germany for further guidance in her daughter Gesa's mother tongue. Imke designed most of the organisation's earlier leaflets and books and served as Treasurer for a long time.

Barbara von Koenen - When Barbara and Jorrit von Koenen searched for a specialist teacher to help their son, who had become deaf at the age of 3, Imke told them about Heide. Ultimately Benedikt was the direct reason for Heide's arrival in Namibia. A long-standing active member and treasured friend of the organisation, Barbara now resides in Germany with her family and Benedikt is a qualified aeroplane mechanic working for Lufthansa.

Linda Franklin-Thorn - As a speech/language therapist and audiologist, Linda was very aware of the limited resources available for language, speech and hearing impaired children in Namibia and felt a need for a parent support group and "watchdog organisation" to fight for the rights of children with communication disorders and their families. As past Chairperson of CLaSH, Linda remains an active member of the organisation and takes great delight in all of CLaSH's achievements.

Johnnie van Tonder - One of the few ENT specialists in Namibia, Johnnie has never stopped his support and encouragement. He continuously and generously assisted CLaSH in the provision of professional service and expert care. Since 2003 he actively supported Operation Omakutsi, a series of middle ear operations in the Northern regions of Namibia where ENT services were usually not available.

Heide Beinhauer - A specialist teacher for hearing and speech impaired children, Heide arrived in Namibia in 1989. The plight of the country's hearing impaired children and the countless opportunities to start meaningful projects became her calling! More than twenty years on, Heide co-founded CLaSH, became its Education/Training Officer and later Director of the organisation.


Wolfgang Keding, Chairman - Due to his nephew, who has language and learning difficulties Wolfgang became involved with CLaSH. He has a BCom and MBA degree and felt that through his personal and professional experience he could contribute towards keeping CLaSH a vibrant organisation.

Webster Gonzo, Vice-Chairman - Webster was passionate about people in general. A psychologist by profession he worked as Human Capital Manager. He saw his role on the Board of CLaSH as one of facilitator and enabler for those that had to deal with the organization on a day-to-day basis.

Johann Robberts, Treasurer - "I became engaged with CLaSH at the beginning of 2014 when my employer was requested to provide accounting and financial management services for a then ongoing 3-year project that was co-funded by the EU. Having spent many hours at CLaSH, a relationship had formed and upon completion of the project, I eagerly accepted the honour to serve as Board Member and Treasurer." Johann was managing an Accounting Department at Namibia’s second largest Accounting Firm.

Marc Biederlack -At the age of 2, Marc discovered that both his ear canals were closed and until the age of 9 he had to undergo several operations. Marc was a successful financial wealth consultant. "Serving on the CLaSH Board was a great opportunity to help those less fortunate than myself with their hearing," said Marc.

Sigoopeni Klemens -"I have always admired how CLaSH did so much with the little it had. Regardless of it being a ´small´ NGO, CLaSH managed to make a marked impact in the lives of the children it represented and served. As a Speech-Language Therapist working in the public sector, I was very familiar with the population CLaSH served. Being a Board member allowed me to support and make a meaningful contribution to an organisation that I held in high esteem and whose cause I fully supported."

Antoinette Kooper - Antoinette had a deaf nephew, who used to attend the CLaSH pre-school unit before moving on to the Deaf school. She worked for the Ministry of Mines and Energy and had a Diploma in Office Management and Technology. On the CLaSH Board she specifically served as parent representative.

Sem Shikongo - A good friend of Imke’s, Sem watched her daughter find her way in life and grew to understand the challenges involved. He was Director of Tourism at the Ministry of Environment & Tourism and later joined the UN.

Ndafu Amadhila-Heita - "I think a quote that summarises why I joined CLaSH would be 'Do what you can, where you are, with what you have'. I was asked by a colleague who had served on the board for a long time if I would be interested in joining when she left. Upon making further enquiries, I came to realise that it is an organization in which I could make some kind of impact. I always believed that it is important to be involved in helping to make one's community better, in whichever way one can. To use one's unique talents and skills in making positive changes."