Our Team

Talitha - team Roots Interns

Talitha van der Waerden

General Manager

Talitha has a hugely varied CV; she’s worked as a tour leader in the Middle East, as a communications consultant, and a project manager developing change management campaigns for big multinationals. In 2012, Talitha took a break from her career in the Netherlands to travel, explore new places and use her skills for a good cause during a work placement with a nonprofit in Cape Town. Three months turned into six, and eventually into a job coordinating events and experiences. Talitha is now excited to manage Roots, and enable others to have fulfilling volunteer work placements in Africa. Having been in your shoes, she knows how important it is to find the right match between individuals and organisations, and she goes out of her way to create the most rewarding experience for all involved.

Nakeshia Tobias

nakeshia tobias

Experience Coordinator

Nakeshia started her career in the world of theatre; she studied at Cape Town’s Theatre School and worked at the Rainbow Academy as a performer, hostess, and production administrator. After a few years, she shifted gears and worked in retail, in the nonprofit sector, and in tourism. She’s now an essential part of ensuring our interns have a smooth and enjoyable internship experience, from start to finish. Nakeshia is passionate about the impact our internship programs make, both on our interns, and on our nonprofit partners across Africa.

Roots Interns team

marleen lammers


Marleen (pronounced ‘Marlane’ – sensitive subject) started her career as a broadcasting journalist in the Netherlands, but was drawn to African adventure and moved to Zambia a decade-and-a-half ago. For several years, she developed and managed community and conservation volunteer projects on the ground in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, before moving into communications and strategic development in the nonprofit sector in Cape Town. She is also a freelance writer, and a co-founder of Penda Photo Tours, a photography travel company and aligned charity, Penda Trust.


Amanda Drobek

Recruitment Manager

Amanda is one of Roots very own interns coming full circle to be a part of the team. After graduating from Indiana University with degrees in Marketing, International Business, Digital & Social Media and Spanish, she headed to Malawi to complete a Sustainable Tourism Marketing Internship at Butterfly Space. This developed into a longer term position and now a year later Amanda is joining Roots to help facilitate experiences just like the one she had. Knowing first hand what it’s like to be a Roots intern, Amanda is ready to combine her personal and academic experiences with her passion for purpose driven work to share opportunities with interns around the world.


Tom Rusbridge

SEO Content Writing Intern

Tom, a recent graduate in English and Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London, is in the early stages of his career as a content writer. With a growing portfolio as a freelance writer, he is keen to develop his knowledge of digital marketing as part of a team and joined Roots as an SEO Content Writing Intern. Before university, Tom spent some time traveling, and volunteered with a number of NGOs as he went. As such, he is passionate about Roots internships not just for the value they provide to non-profit organizations, but for the valuable experience they provide for their interns too.