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Find out more about VWIs core operational team

Matt Stokes
VWI Founder

maggie1After moving to South Africa from the UK back in 2010 from a successful corporate background in Business Development, Matt has since spent several years working on development projects both in the conservation and communities sectors within the country.

Passionate about wildlife and conservation and an active contributor to several animal welfare causes, as a regular former volunteer to South Africa prior to his final move here, Matt now knows the country like the back of his hand and is a wealth of knowledge on all things S.A!  A great understanding gained through experience of volunteering and the hands on development of various programs combined with the genuine belief that volunteering can be a positive force for change fuels a huge passion for ensuring that every volunteer visiting South Africa with VWI has the most amazing time imaginable – both on and off their chosen projects!

Through (approximately!) a decade and a half of experience, sustainability and the development of meaningful, long lasting relationships have become key ethics for our founder and these values are translated into the foundations of VWIs operations and exactly ‘why’ VWI came into existence.

Always available to assist wherever possible, our founder is committed to ensuring that volunteers choosing VWI have the opportunity to take part in the same amazing experiences within this magical country as he did in his various volunteering visits to South Africa!



Bonnie Stokes
VWI Co Founder/Marketing

IMG_0102Bonnie has been lucky enough to spend nearly all her life living and working in one of the worlds most beautiful cities – Cape Town in South Africas stunning Western Cape.

A genuine animal lover with a passion for photography, Bonnies years of living and travelling within South Africa also give her an unrivalled knowledge of the country – theres barely a square inch of South Africa Bonnie hasnt travelled and she is always keen to pass on this knowledge and expertise to anyone who will listen!

With a hugely respected background as a Sales and Marketing Manager in Cape Town, Bonnie, like Matt (her husband), holds a demonstrably strong belief in ethical values and the sustainability achieved through the development of long term relationships – enhancing the values that VWI commit to in all dealings with the programs with whom we work and volunteers alike.


Jolly Sistilha
Western Cape Tour Guide

IMG_0860Jolly is originally Dutch by origin and speaking several languages, is a real benefit to VWI volunteers – particularly as she is a fully qualified Tour Guide and licensed tour operator.

Having lived in Cape Town now for many moons, Jolly is fortunate to know South Africa and the Western Cape in particular intimately thus providing an encyclopaedic knowledge of local attractions and things to do to all of the volunteers and clients booking excursions with her.  Having particular involvement with our Montagu based (nr Cape Town) Community Development Initiative, volunteers lucky enough to visit here will undoubtedly meet Jolly at some point during their stays and get the chance to pick her brains about the region or even book a trip out with her to see the whales in Hermanus or cage driving with the Great Whites in Gansbaai to name but a few!

Jolly is of huge benefit to VWI and we are justifiably proud to have her on board!

Fiona Sargeant
Dance Teacher and Montagu Program Coordinator

SAM_1116Fiona is a truly wonderful person to be around, full of boundless energy, enthusiasm and the coordinator for volunteers visiting our Community Development Initiative in Montagu.

After moving to South Africa from the UK many years ago, Fiona is a professional ballet teacher and has done amazing work in the local communities as part of a rural dance outreach program.  Fiona has earned the respect of and is well known and loved by the people of the communities  in which she works after donating many, many hours of her own personal time to promoting and fundraising for the children she works so tirelessly towards helping – often in the face of seemingly unsurmountable challenges.

Volunteers to the Montagu Initiative will find themselves carried away by Fionas passion and limitless and infectious enthusiasm  for the work she does.  A hugely valuable asset to both the local communities with which she works and VWI enabling this program to provide maximum benefit exactly where it is needed, we are proud and humbled to have Fiona on board!