About us

Uzwelo Youth Development is a registered non-profit organization (NPO) founded to address the lack of youth leadership training and empowerment in local community contexts. Uzwelo is the Zulu translation of the word compassion. It is this compassion that motivates us to use whatever resources, gifts and talents we have to empower youth, their families and their leaders to be the best they can be. Uzwelo Youth Development (UYD) was birthed from a desire to share theological training obtained through seminary with local children and youth ministry workers who are in practice but did not have the opportunity to obtain such training. UYD aims at engaging with young people in various communities by facilitating sustainable growth through empowerment.


Our vision is seeing “Empowered children and youth who are transforming their homes, communities and churches.” We have aimed to do this by (mission):

  • Offering training to young leaders who do not otherwise have access to formal education.
  • Furthering mentorship development training to those already educated and active within their contexts.
  • Bridging the generational gaps that exist between parents and children through workshops, mediation and relationship.
  • Enabling youth to explore their passion, gifting and talents, personalities and purpose in life within safe and open contexts.
About us

Meet our team

Board Chairperson

Shantelle Weber

Shantelle is an accomplished academic with a PHD in Practical Theology. She is a devoted wife to Brandon and mother to two wonderful girls, Shannon and Ashley. She is a valued faculty member at Stellenbosch University and, as the founder of Uzwelo Youth Development, she has consistently demonstrated her dedication to uplifting young minds and making a lasting impact on the lives of youth.

Managing Director

Shaun Marais

Shaun is married to Nicole, and together they have four lovely children, Oliver, Micah, Joshua and Emily. Shaun grew up in Pietermaritzburg. Shaun has served in youth and children’s ministry for the passed 12 years and holds a MTH in Practical Theology focused on children and youth work. Shaun has a great desire to see children and youth come to know Christ and to have a positive impact in their homes, communities, and churches. Shaun enjoys sport, camping and outdoor adventures.



Taryn Chetty

Taryn Chetty is a youth ministry worker originally from Pietermaritzburg. She is married to Kyle Chetty, the youth pastor at Southpoint Church in Pinelands. Together, they lead InsideOut Youth, a ministry for young people in the community. Taryn is passionate about youth ministry and seeing young people discover their purpose and grow in their relationship with Christ.

Find out more on how to support Uzwelo!