02 Jan 2015 2014 Year-End Newsletter
The Power of Hope Annual Gala
At the end of March, we held our first ever “The Power of Hope” Annual Gala. It featured a South African Braai and superb live auction, in addition to guest of honor, Mr. Ebrahim Rasool, the South African Ambassador to the United States, who shared his inspiring recollections of Nelson Mandela. The gala was successful beyond our expectations and we were able to raise over $100,000, thanks to the generosity of both donors and sponsors. The proceeds went directly to funding several drilling projects at schools in Limpopo, South Africa, which we oversaw on our trip to South Africa from July to September.
Visiting South Africa
Our trip was, as always, amazing and motivating. The staff and children at the schools in these poorest regions of South Africa never cease to inspire us with their devotion and tireless efforts to improve the lives of the children in their care.
We successfully drilled wells at AMASS Disabled Center, Tsakelani Creche, Burlington Creche, Xitenga Creche, Yellow Elephant School, Mahashe Secondary School, White Lions School of Hope, , Sigagule Food Station, and Maranatha Creche -which also had the distinction of being our 25th partner school.
In addition, we visited several of our partner schools to monitor their progress and inspect the wells and equipment on the chance that maintenance and repairs were needed.
We attended our first permaculture class with Leanette and her team, Moses, Dephney, and Eddy, at Beretta Primary. In attendance were staff from several of our new partner schools – Tsakelani Creche, Mahashe Secondary, Maahalamela High School, White Lion School of Hope, and Leoma High School. The permaculture classes are a vital part of our program, as they teach the schools how to manage their precious water, grow more prolific gardens, and conserve resources.
While in South Africa we met many people who will play an integral part in our future plans for A Spring of Hope. We will be hiring an Executive Director to oversee our projects in South Africa, whose duties will include fundraising in Johannesburg and Cape Town. We hope to initiate our first golf tournament next year to benefit the schools. A Spring of Hope is also hiring a new liaison to take over duties from Sarah Dawn Berg. Sarah has done a wonderful job with ASoH but her many obligations with her own charity leaves her little time. We will continue to work with Sarah and the Nourish Center as well as receive information from Sarah on schools in need of our help. We are also forging a new partnership with Buffelshoek Trust. We are honored to be working with this great organization.
Maranatha Creche – Our 25th Partner School
Maranatha Creche, located in a rural area outside Acornhoek, in Mpumalanga, contacted A Spring of Hope for assistance in 2013. The creche, which currently looks after approximately 75 children on a daily basis, is a one-room classroom with no kitchen and rudimentary sanitation. With improved infrastructure and access to fresh water, the school can continue to have a positive impact on children’s lives. Maranatha is an extension project of our flagship school, Beretta Primary, which has been involved with A Spring of Hope for many years and is a model for its commitment to education and sustainable nutrition through permaculture.
Through fund-raising efforts and donations received from our First Annual Gala, A Spring of Hope went to Africa in July/August 2014 to oversee the drilling of the well at Maranatha Creche. In late August, when we hit water at 150 meters, they became our 25th partner school. The teachers at the Maranatha Creche were thrilled to be able to finally start their permaculture gardens. The little crèche still needs much support but hopefully the addition of gardens and the future selling of surplus vegetables will bring a financial gain to the school. We are of course enthusiastic to see the flourishing gardens next year!
Blue Canyon Conservancy, South Africa
In 2014, we also forged a partnership with private lodge, Thulani, located in the Blue Canyon Conservancy. Thulani is available for vacation rentals and all proceeds go to funding A Spring of Hope projects. Visitors enjoy the luxurious appointments of the residence and can partake in all the excitement and beauty a trip to South Africa has to offer – from views of the gorgeous landscape and glorious sunrises and sunsets to incredible game drives featuring the magnificent wildlife native to the region. In addition, visitors can also tour several of our partner schools and get a real sense of what life in South Africa is like, something that is available only through our partnership with Thulani.
For more information, visit the Thulani website: www.Thulani-SouthAfrica.com
Looking Ahead to 2015
While we are proud of making our 25th school milestone, we also are mindful of the environment. We recognize the scarcity of ground water in this rural region, so we will be exploring new ways to conserve water. A Spring of Hope is also looking forward to working with new partner, Enviroloo to improve sanitation at our 25 partner schools, a sanitation system which uses no water. 2015 is also going to be the year we kick off our Permaculture Center Building Campaign. We will be sending out details in the spring.
2015 “The Power of Hope” Annual Gala
We are so happy to announce that funds from our upcoming second annual gala will be used to bring clean water to two schools in Qunu, South Africa, the village where Nelson Mandela grew up. Not only will donations from this annual event be used to drill two boreholes, they will also be used to provide gardening training and improve sanitation methods.
In addition, we are extremely honored to partner with Dr. Makai Mandela, Mandela’s oldest daughter, who has chosen to support A Spring of Hope in bringing clean water solutions to the children of rural South African communities. Dr. Mandela will also be our distinguished guest at this year’s “The Power of Hope” Gala.
A Spring of Hope follows the philosophy of Ubuntu. The word ‘Ubuntu’ originates from one of the Bantu dialects of Africa, and is pronounced as uu-Boon-too. It is a traditional African philosophy that offers us an understanding of ourselves in relation with the world. According to Ubuntu, there exists a common bond between us all and it is through this bond, through our interaction with our fellow human beings, that we discover our own human qualities. Or as the Zulus would say, “Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu”, which means that a person is a person through other persons. We affirm our humanity when we acknowledge that of others.
One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.