ABOUT US

Empowering Communities, Inspiring Change: Together, We Build a Thriving Future

Meet the Team

Jeremy Maarman

Jeremy Maarman

Executive Director

With over 18 years of experience in community development. As the founding Director of the Initiative for Community Advancement in Piketberg, Western Cape, South Africa, he’s grown the organization from a national youth network into a vibrant community foundation. Jeremy has been instrumental in securing licenses for innovative international development models, such as YouthBank and the MyMachine program. He’s also a contributing author to the book “What Is Your Dream Machine? How Children Change Education Worldwide.” Beyond his impactful career, Jeremy is an avid golfer, finding solace and joy on the golf course. He’s also a loving husband and father, cherishing his family alongside his commitment to community empowerment and innovative development approaches.

Lauren Philander

Lauren Philander

Community Impact Coordinator

A versatile professional with a diverse skill set. She pursued her education at the University of Stellenbosch, where she soon realized her calling in the field of community development. With eight years of dedicated experience in this sector, she currently holds the position of Community Impact Coordinator at the Initiative for Community Advancement. In this role, Lauren tirelessly dedicates herself to enriching the communities in the Bergrivier region with knowledge, resources, and support, all aimed at fostering positive change and sustaining ongoing development efforts.

Behance Julies

Behance Julies

Administration Officer

Behance Julies is a dedicated and positive person. She acts as the administrator for the Initiative for Community Advancement (ICA). She has been with the organization (ICA) that previously operated as a network and over the years evolved into a community foundation, for 7 years. Her passion for creating positive change in communities really aligns with the organization’s values and is indeed an important factors for her in a fulfilling career. She is truly honored for being associated with such an amazing organization and are very excited about the future here at ICA. One of the things a few people are aware of, is that Behance enjoys creating diy crafts for family and friends.

Rayvern-Lee Kayster

Rayvern-Lee Kayster

Intern - Administration Services

A graduate intern from West Coast College. Rayvern-Lee is an energetic young individual who is obsessed with leveling the playing field. He has a passion for helping people and does so to the best of his ability. He is willing to work and always gives his all.

History of ICA

The ICA evolved from the South African Youth Leaders Network (SAYLN) into a community foundation operating in the West Coast district of the Western Cape. The SALYN, established in June 2015, was a membership-based network of youth-focused NGOs in the country. Since its reconfiguration into a Community Foundation in early 2018, ICA has been instrumental in the development of a number of sustainable development programmes in the district. ICA has an intergenerational approach to development in a rural context, having shifted focus from exclusively young people. 

It has established local community development funds, is engaged in local fundraising initiatives and was successful in securing funding for humanitarian responses during the COVID-19 lockdown. The organisation channelled both community and local government funding for this purpose. ICA has been driving local entrepreneurship, convening several events for entrepreneurs, and referring small businesses for funding to local development agencies like the National Youth Development Agency. The organisation has been engaged with and received acknowledgement from two local municipalities (Bergrivier and Cederberg Municipalities) in the district. These initiatives are geared towards community-led development where communities unlock local assets, use indigenous knowledge, exercise their leadership and demand power, and engage in processes to improve the quality of life at the local level. ICA Programmes ICA currently has two main programmes: Citizenship Engagement Programme and Community Affiliated fund programme.

We believe the generosity of people can transform communities

Mission

ICA mobilises and channels resources, facilitates community participation, and strengthens organisational capacity. 

Vision

Communities, through their collective agency and generosity, are thriving and resilient.