The Team

Who We Are

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Jurg Olsen

Founder & Sanctuary Manager 

Jurg Olsen is experienced in designing, constructing and managing wildlife facilities (15 years) as well as managing and owning other business entities. He grew up in the Limpopo Province and had his first encounter with a wild predator, leopard, as a young boy of 6 years old. This incident had a lasting impact on him and was key to his choice of profession in later years. 
Before joining the private sector, he spent 12 years in the SA Police Service and resigned from the SAPS with the rank of Captain, as Station Commander of Thembalethu SAPS in the Southern Cape. He served in different specialised units in the SAPS (Gauteng Robbery Reaction Unit, Flying Squad, Gauteng High Way Patrol and is a decorated patrol and explosives dog handler). Jurg is a skilled operative in various specialised fields of security and protection services.
In 2005 Jurg and Karen Olsen founded the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary in the George area, in the Southern Cape Province of SA. The facility initially focussed mainly on managing large predators in captivity. However, it developed into a sanctuary for different wildlife species (zebra, springbok, raccoons, reptiles etc) and today this sanctuary is providing life time care to 60+ large and smaller wildlife predatory species, herbivores and ungulates. 
With the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary projects he designed and constructed 3 x sanctuary developments, in George, Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay. Jurg is highly skilled and experienced in managing large predators in captivity and has developed various systems for the safe keeping of these animals. As a result, he assisted Cape Nature Conservation with developing minimum standards for the keeping of large predators and other wildlife species in captivity in the Western Cape Province. In 2016 Jurg and Karen decided to exit the Jukani projects due to lease and land restraints. 
In addition, Jurg also managed a captive elephant operation as well as a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre in the Western Cape. 
He was also instrumental in planning, setting up and managing a rhino rehabilitation and relocation project in Limpopo Province 2016 - 2017.

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Karen Olsen 

Animal Welfare 

Karen is a qualified Oral Hygienst and with 21 years experience in private practice and as University lecturer. Always being passionate about animals, she's been saving feral cats since 1995, but her dream was always to save and free wild animals in captivaty, especially our big cats.
In 2005, she co-founded the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, specialising in animal welfare, diets, health and husbandry projects. She also helped with marketing in the early years of Jukani. In 2017 she managed a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation hospital, and is experienced in the treatment and rehabilitation of injured, diseased and traumatised wildlife species.
Karen has also been involved in the Ubuntu volunteer programs and local community outreach programmes. Karen's experience, passion and dedication makes her a most valuable part of the Ubuntu family and management team.

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Bianca Olsen

Director & Media 

Bianca Olsen started her career in caring for wildlife at the young age of only 11 years. She grew up caring for lions, tigers, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals and her favourite species, pumas. She has an amazing ability to connect with a wild animal at a level few people understand. Adding to this a work ethic and eye for detail that is rarely experienced by employers.
Bianca progressed from guide to animal care taker and front of house manager at the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary. Since then Bianca has been serving with excellence in senior management positions as Branch Manager and National Large Coach Specialist for Ilios Travel a national travel and tourism company in SA.
Her commitment and dedication to conservation and the rescue and care of big cats has seen Bianca be appointed as Director of the Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary NPC.

Daniel Kolodynski

UK Manager 

Daniel has been living in the UK, London, for the past 30 years. He studied Sports & Business Management receiving a Bachelors Degree with Honours at Buckinghamshire University where he proceeded to work in a fast paced high growth area in technology. He has held positions spanning a number of years with companies such as Oracle and most recently where he currently works, Salesforce.
Daniel has played sports at professional level where he was first introduced to charity work, raising money for Soweto aid funds. Closer to home he raised money through cycling events as well as volunteering 7 days a year of his time to provide assistance to organisations such as Tackle Africa and helping raise money for charity for animal sanctuaries in London.
Daniel joined the Ubuntu team as the UK Manager, managing the portfolios of International Fundraising and Wildlife Awareness to ensure successful rescues of the many of Africa's animals in dire need of rescue, rehabilitation and release.
Daniel’s experience in raising funds with international donors and sponsors is invaluable to the Ubuntu team and his positive energy and passion for South Africa, its people and wildlife is contagious and drives the Ubuntu team to achieve its goals and objectives.

Daniel Kolodynski

UK Manager 

Daniel has been living in the UK, London, for the past 30 years. He studied Sports & Business Management receiving a Bachelors Degree with Honours at Buckinghamshire University where he proceeded to work in a fast paced high growth area in technology. He has held positions spanning a number of years with companies such as Oracle and most recently where he currently works, Salesforce.
Daniel has played sports at professional level where he was first introduced to charity work, raising money for Soweto aid funds. Closer to home he raised money through cycling events as well as volunteering 7 days a year of his time to provide assistance to organisations such as Tackle Africa and helping raise money for charity for animal sanctuaries in London.
Daniel joined the Ubuntu team as the UK Manager, managing the portfolios of International Fundraising and Wildlife Awareness to ensure successful rescues of the many of Africa's animals in dire need of rescue, rehabilitation and release.
Daniel’s experience in raising funds with international donors and sponsors is invaluable to the Ubuntu team and his positive energy and passion for South Africa, its people and wildlife is contagious and drives the Ubuntu team to achieve its goals and objectives.

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Lukas Swart

Director & Finance 

Lukas was born in south Africa (late 67 model). This is also where he grew up and did all his schooling. School is also where he relationship started with Jurg and they did all of their secondary education in the same school. After leaving school he did his military training for two years at the National Defence Force Equestrian Centre, being so close to the horses will always be a fond memory for him.
He studied and qualified in Cost and Management Accounting in 1996 and was in the financial sector ever since. During 2001 he got the opportunity to work in Ireland and his family and he relocated where they stayed until November 2017. Living in Ireland he had some fantastic opportunities to work in England, Poland, Turkey and Balkans. Since 2015 he took on projects in Africa and worked in various countries on the continent. They moved back permanently to South Africa in November 2017 when he met up with Jurg and Karen again and he was immediately sold on the Idea of Ubuntu and consider himself very fortunate to be involved.
“We did not inherit the earth from our forefathers, we are borrowing it from our children.”

Natasja De Winter

Argentina Representative  

All through her life, Natasja de Winter has felt the need to protect animal's rights working voluntarily for animal organizations, either setting up projects or raising funds (as is the case for the Black Jaguar Foundation, amongst other local organizations).  However, it wasn't until she worked with Animal Communicator Ana Breytenbach in 2014 (Wilderness Trail in 2014 in Zululand) meeting Jurg and Karen Olsen afterwards and their leopard "Spirit", when she truly realized the incredible intelligence and consciousness animals have ....not less than humans, only communicated differently.  Being aware even more of animal suffering and the harm that was done on wildlife and with Argentina heading for a crisis and zoos closing down throughout the country, she started intermediating between Argentinas and South Africa as well as other countries in an effort to find a better life for imprisoned animals. At current, she is involved in rescue operations of numerous species such as lions, tigers, cheetahs, hippopotamus, chimpanzees, lemures, etc.  Together with local partners, Natasja is currently studying the possibility of opening a Sanctuary in Argentina.

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Georgina Patching 

Volunteer Coordinator   

Having been fascinated by animals and the environment from a young age, Georgina has always been a big fan of wildlife volunteering projects. Due to her passion for wildlife, Georgina studied farming and animal husbandry at college in the UK and so she is always more than willing to share her expertise and experience on her volunteering trips.

 

In 2019 she volunteered at the Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, and immediately connected with the Ubuntu team and animals. 

Georgina quickly realised she wanted to be more involved and the Ubuntu team welcomed her with open arms. Her enthusiasm and dedication to the improvement of conditions for captive wildlife, conservation efforts of free roaming species and general love of life, makes her an ideal Ubuntu management member. Adding to this are her people skills and ability to inspire aspiring volunteers by sharing her personal experiences at Ubuntu and her international volunteering experiences.

 

Georgina manages the Salesforce Volunteer Programme, from the initial moment volunteers show interest in volunteering, assisting volunteers with the  sign up process, sharing real life stories of her experiences at Ubuntu and advising on programs and projects. Georgina has quite a sense of humor and has become "infamous" after an accident with a tree, earning her the name Scargina. She ensures volunteers are all fully prepared for the hands on work when at the Ubuntu Sanctuary, guide them through the application process, booking of flights, Visa requirements etc. 

Georgina also manages and do Ubuntu presentations at Salesforce offices and is instrumental in creating social media groups for volunteers prior and post volunteering at Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Sabine Wyss

Volunteer Coordinator

I travelled to Ubuntu in September 2019 and instantly fell in love with the animals, especially the young cheeky lion, Zamba who has become my savior and changed my life. Rarely a day goes by that I don't think of Zamba and the incredible experience that Ubuntu has brought me. I am one of the Salesforce volunteer coordinators helping with promoting Ubuntu within Salesforce, based in Switzerland. 

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Raymond Ischer

IT Development

Raymond Ischer is an IT Businessman from Switzerland and supports Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary significantly in the planning and implementation of the required IT, especially the social media channels. He thus helps to reliably reach the target audience.

In addition to IT support, Raymond uses his education and organizational experience to assist Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary in rescue projects, especially rescues from the European region.

Besides his heart for wildlife, Raymond is also passionate about sports, especially water sports (diving, kiteboarding, kayaking etc). His favorite way to combine this is with travel.

Raymond is available for IT and organizational questions at raymond@ubuntuwild.com.

 Michele Beaumont 

Strategical Planning  

Having studied Human Resources, Management and completed a Masters in Business Administration, Michele is a founder member of Vodacom, having worked in corporate telecommunications for over 20 years, mostly as senior manager for Customer Care, Outsourcing, Systems Development, Operations and Digital.  

Currently involved in the Mining and Refining industry in general management.  

Has been involved with game farm activities for over 10 years in the Limpopo Province, a keen and staunch environmentalist and supporter of the sustainability of wildlife. 

As a neighbour to the Ubunthu Wildlife facility in the Western Cape, it is an opportunity to expand on efforts to support my passion.

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 Andre De Goede

Director   

Andre has been in practice for 31 years as a Tax Practitioner and Chairman of the Board at De Goede Universe which consists of De Goede Life Insurance, Short Term insurance, Business consultants, Labour Brokerage, Real Estate, Construction, Training Centre, Networking (IT Division).

He has been involved with the Child Welfare, Nelspruit and the Fairyland Day Centre (NPO Creche) of which he is Chairman for the past 15 years. De Goede Finance has been a sponsor for the De Goede Top 10 Chess Players, school tournament in the Mpumalanga area.

Andre has a passion to invest in people and to see them grow as well as develop people’s  talents to greater heights. It was the following of the rescue of Adam the Lion in 2018 that left an imprint on him and awakened another passion in him to help Wildlife.

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