Practitioner – Karen Taylor-Vermaak

Karen Taylor-Vermaak – Practitioners

My motivation to join SaferSpaces:

As fundraiser and development professional I spent 5 years working at the Catholic Institute of Education developing projects and writing grant proposals. CIE's Caring Schools programme and Building Peaceful Catholic Schools focused on whole school support for learners, where safety in rural and under-resourced schools and communities are prioritised and addressed using progressive methods of engagement. Schools and their communities as a safe spaces for learners to learn and live, is a vision that RDSP and I personally share and work towards on a daily basis.  The Rural Development Support Programme established in 1992 has 3 focus areas where we deliver training to rural CBOs: Organisational Development & Capacity Building, Counteracting GBV and Substance Abuse, and Youth & Youth Worker Leadership Development.

We are one of the few NGOs working in these fields in rural Northern Cape and Rural Eastern Cape. Thus, we want to engage government departments, grassroots nonprofits, researchers and innovative social problem-solvers across the spectrum to strengthen the support to these rural communities. 

I'm working in these sectors:
Consultancy / Service provider, Faith-based organisation, NGOs/CBOs
I'm specialising in these topics:
General / Other, Alcohol & substance abuse, Family / Parenting, Gender-based violence, Rural safety, Sexual violence, Youth and violence

My expertise in the area lies in research, proposal writing, raising funds for and development of community-based initiatives, developing programs and implementation plans, engaging stakeholders and resource allocation for these programs. 

I work closely with our facilitator trainers Brenda Snyders, Alet Ackermann and Nosakhele Mpushe who together have 45 years experience in the field of GBV and family violence, as well as substance abuse and organisational development. 


I have not received specific training on the subject of GBV and the knowledge I have is through research and personal interaction with experts in the field, and victims thereof. 

I am however a qualified and admitted Attorney and have a B.Proc degree in Law. I also hold an Honours Degree in Strategic Brand Communication, a Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Marketing and am a Certified Project Management Professional through the PMI. 

These qualifications and skills I apply on a daily basis in my position as Fundraising and Finance director. I have also attended RDSP's workshops on GBV and keep updated on research and developments in the area of community safety and GBV.