CERI Names National Director for South Africa Memory Box Project

CERI Names National Director for South Africa Memory Box Project

Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI), the overseas division of BCFS, has tapped Natasha Parkins Maliko to serve as National Director responsible for overseeing the organization’s Memory Box Project and other initiatives in South Africa.

“Natasha’s professional experiences and passion for South African culture makes her the perfect candidate to manage CERI’s ongoing projects that serve families affected by the AIDS crisis and suffering from abject poverty in Africa,” said Dr. Dearing Garner, CERI Executive Director.

Maliko joins CERI with extensive experience in non-profit project management, administration, budgeting and new business planning. Most recently, Maliko served at the Deputy Director of Operations for Engender Health Inc, coordinating day to day supervision of the operations team, ensuring compliance with donor requirements, monitoring grant funding and budgets, and overseeing development and timely submission of financial reports. Previously, Maliko served as the Operations Manager for Family Health International, Program Officer for Wits Palliative Care, and was the Senior Manager of Human Rights for the Association of Persons with Disabilities and the Deaf.

Maliko is currently studying for her MBA at the Management College of South Africa and for an advanced diploma in South African Sign Language from the University of the North West. She currently has a MA in Psycholinguistics from the University of the Free State and a degree in South African Sign Language from the University of South Africa. She is proficient in English, Afrikaans, and South African Sign Language.

Among other initiatives, she will oversee the operations of CERI’s Memory Box Project, which works with dying parents in South Africa and their children to preserve memories—both intangibly, in the form of oral history and family stories, and tangibly, in the form of objects, written stories, photographs and letters —that can be placed inside a “Memory Box” before it’s too late. CERI counselors work with orphans in South Africa who have lost parents or caregivers to AIDS in efforts to build resilience and nurture a sense of identity.

The Memory Box Project is accomplished in partnership with the Sinomlando Centre for Oral History and Memory Work, an organization based in South Africa that specializes in training caregivers to provide the psychosocial support needed to support the children living in the wake of the AIDS crisis.