2 Timothy 2:2

“You have heard me teach things that have been
 confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to
other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others”


IseeU founders, Karen Nelson and Hayley Philander, strongly believe in the impact of mentoring as they have personally seen the benefits of this model in their own lives.

They met nearly 20 years ago as university graduates. Both studied Law at the University of Cape Town. Their legal training required a high level of proficiency in the following disciplines and directly informed IseeU’s focus areas which include: Communication Skills; Critical Thinking Skills; Interpersonal Skills and Grit.

Their goal is to see IseeU’s Vision take root in the communities they serve.


Hayley Philander is a law graduate who finds herself most comfortable in creative environments.  Having worked both in advertising and film, she is energised by the creative process and the people who contribute to the creative product.  Her belief in lifelong learning and the development of people, made her time in Human Resources and Training very rewarding.

Hayley is married to Alistair.  With two teenagers in the house, they are currently navigating the rewarding, sometimes challenging, teen phase.  Having Alistair’s support and encouragement she has had the courage to embark on the IseeU journey and serve the Cape Flats School community.

With first-hand experience of some of the challenges women from marginalised communities face, Hayley realised that a mentoring programme aimed at addressing these issues would have to be focussed yet flexible.  In addition it would have to include the necessary soft skills often lacking in members of these communities. She focusses mainly on ensuring that the curriculum remains responsive to the relevant challenges of the communities they work in.


Karen Nelson is an attorney with a masters degree in Commercial Law. Many years ago she worked as a lobbyist to improve the tax environment for non-profit organisations (NPOs).  Her efforts, together with that of more senior and experienced members of the legal fraternity, resulted in the re-drafting of the Income Tax Act as it relates to NPOs.

Together with her husband and best friend Hugo, Karen parents four gloriously different children. An aspiring academic, her current research project is studying their individual personalities closely so that she can mother and mentor them appropriately.

Having grown up on the Cape Flats, Karen appreciates the transformative power of a healthy social network for a woman and her community.  In keeping with this conviction, she focuses her professional energy on expanding IseeU’s network. Her responsibilities include drafting the quarterly newsletter and monthly prayer letter, keeping IseeU’s website copy and blog stories current, and maintaining stakeholder relationships through events and other strategic engagements. Because she loves meeting people and writing, this does not feel like work.

Through her work at IseeU, Karen can give full expression to her passion for connecting people with potential opportunities and building bridges between communities.