2017 Progress Report

A Busy Year!

Here in South Africa, we are in our summer months and the bush is alive and buzzing with activity. All of the winter hibernators have come out to stretch and show themselves.

We too are ready to stretch ourselves in the coming year through our plans to build A Spring of Hope Permaculture Center in Acornhoek. This will be the headquarters for our work, and all of our education classes for schools and community members.

We received the 99-year land use title from the chief. The 3 hectare plot (over 7 acres) has been demarcated and we are putting up a fence this week to designate the plot as “ours”. Our driller has come and we are thrilled to report we hit water at 100 meters and will be soon pumping 2000 liters per hour. The builder and architect are preparing the plans so you will see more about our vision very soon.

It has been a very busy year and we have accomplished a great deal with our work in South Africa. Our recent impact assessment showed that we have touched the lives of 61,235 individuals directly through our work in the WASH+ areas-WAter, Sanitation, Hygiene + Permaculture Education. Here are some of the highlights of what we are doing in each area.

WA (Water)

Nine Rural Clinics

Imagine being a nurse in a rural clinic and birthing babies with no water; taking care of trauma patients with no water; caring for very sick individuals with no water; thousands of patients coming through each month with no water. A Spring of Hope, in partnership with Rand Water Foundation, drilled boreholes and put in water systems at 9 rural clinics this year.

We were on site when they turned the water on for the first time at one of the clinics. The sound of the water filling the jojo tank was such a delight. One of the sisters held her hands up and said, “Oh we have water at long last. We will not suffer again”.

One New School and One New Community Project

Yedvwa Primary School has 704 learners and is on a very rutted and remote rural road in Nelspruit. We drilled a borehole and installed Enviroloo toilets at the school. Now that they have water they are working very hard to develop a garden program and the school is soaring! They even made the 2-hour trip to Acornhoek to attend our permaculture workshops. We look forward to seeing great things from Yedvwa!

Brian Kajengo Community Nursery

Brian Kajengo is a committed community leader who has started a nursery specializing in medicinal and indigenous plants. A Spring of Hope drilled a borehole at his site so he would have water to irrigate the plants and his community garden. There is no electricity at his place so we had to install a solar pump and panels. When the young boys in his village started to vandalize his nursery, Brian decided to teach and employ them. Now his nursery is cared for by the young men and the vandalism has stopped. Brian also supports several women’s microenterprises, making soaps, paper mache animal sculptures, and jams. We look forward to supporting Brian through our purchase of vegetables and herbs for our partner lodge, Thulani.


Lucky13 Rural Schools (and One Community Project)

This year A Spring of Hope and Rand Water Foundation combined resources to install waterless, environmentally friendly Enviroloo toilets at 13 schools and 1 community project. The toilets are designed to separate the liquid and solid waste and dehydrate the solid waste for removal, through a combination of solar and wind power. The toilets are critically important given what is going on with climate change and water scarcity.  If properly maintained, they will last for 15-20 years. Mike Beukes and his team from Rammteck built the structures and they are beautiful. The schools are so excited and happy with their new toilets. Having a sanitary toilet to use provides dignity and privacy for the learners.

Sanitation Summit

In September, 70 people attended the first ever A Spring of Hope Sanitation Summit for all 14 sites where we installed Enviroloo toilets. Enviroloo sponsored the meeting and CEO Mark Latrobe participated as one of the facilitators.

The Summit was unique in that principals, educators, parents (SGB members), cleaners and general workers, and learners, all came together to work together to address challenges around sanitation and to share solutions and ideas. We look forward to holding an annual summit at our new centre!

We were quite impressed by the Summit. It was so great, wonderful, marvelous, unique... Actually we are running short of words to express our gratitude towards the summit. Thanks to your BIG team - Rand Water Foundation; A Spring of Hope and Enviroloo.We are hereby committing ourselves to a long-life sustainability of our sanitation facilities.

Mmatjatji Primary School


Handwashing Basins

One of the frontline ways of addressing hygiene is having handwashing basins at all toilet facilities. We installed basins this year at all of our Enviroloo toilet facilities and pumped in water for hand washing. There is much more to do around hygiene as it is a critical issue for health so the learners are well enough to attend school.

+ Permaculture Education

Workshops & Consultations

In the past 4 months, A Spring of Hope held 4 permaculture workshops for all of our 39 schools. More than 70 people were in attendance at each session. Our two permaculture experts, Leanette Sithole and Trygive Nxumalo did a brilliant job teaching the core permaculture concepts in a very practically focused and fun way. There were garden beds created, group “scavenger hunts” and lots of singing and dancing. We plan to do a workshop every season, focusing on what is important for our school gardeners to know for that season. Viva permaculture!

A Spring of Hope hired Trygive Nxumalo as a full-time permaculture educator in August. Try is a one of a kind person, with great enthusiasm, joy that is felt everywhere he goes, and a huge heart and caring for the community. He has been through extensive permaculture training and is an expert teacher. In addition to teaching the quarterly workshops with Leanette, Trygive travels to the schools, providing individual garden consultation and support. We are so happy to have him join our team!

New Year Giving

Help us continue to help those in need.

We hope you will consider donating to support our work in South Africa. The need for water, toilets, and garden support is far greater than we can meet. 12 of our gardens need fencing to keep the cows and goats out, 15 schools are on the waiting list for Enviroloo toilets, 9 schools have requested boreholes and are on the waiting list, and we want to install rain water catchment tanks at as many schools as possible due to the water crisis in South Africa. Your donation literally saves lives and brings hope to very poor rural schools. And you get a break on your taxes! A true win-win. Thank you for your generosity.