With your help, we reached our goal.
Thanks to all our generous supporters for their donations! We raised enough for the construction of the centre and broke ground on July 2018. Since then, we have made significant progress. The sanitation buildings are complete and the outdoor classroom is also finished, with the first permaculture classes held in the fall of 2019. The construction of the main centre is underway and security cottage will be starting soon. The netting is finished for our permaculture gardens and we have been harvesting vegetables for our partner lodge, Thulani.
Ten years ago, A Spring of Hope (ASoH) was created to help provide clean water to schools in rural South Africa. ASoH is currently working with 42 schools in the greater Acornhoek area of rural South Africa, and has expanded its activities to include assistance in sustainable agriculture, water management, sanitation, and job development.
Over the past ten years we have witnessed what happens when clean water, the most basic of human needs, becomes available—children have clean water to drink which improves their health, gardens thrive and fresh food is grown, schools have water to use for preparing lunches for the learners and washing dishes, and many orphans receive food to take home for an evening meal. At this time, more than 14,200 students in one of the poorest parts of South Africa are eating at least one nutritious meal every day. With better nutrition, hope grows, and depressed, barren schools become alive and inspired to offer a quality education to their learners.
Increasingly, ASoH is getting requests from community members for permaculture workshops, for access to organic produce, and for economic opportunities for a sustainable livelihood. When ASoH introduced permaculture gardening education into the schools, we saw a huge shift in the way people think and view the world—gardens designed using permaculture principles are flourishing! We see very clearly that our next step in supporting the people living in this area is to establish an “A Spring of Hope Permaculture Centre” that will broaden the impact of our work at the community level. The Centre will enhance our capacity to Inspire, inform and equip community leaders to go back to their villages and begin to change the landscape, one home at a time.
The ASoH Centre will give the organization a tangible presence in the Acornhoek community. We have obtained 3 hectares (about 7 acres) of land from the tribal authorities. This site is easily accessible to community, and will accommodate a structure with two classrooms, a resource center, a kitchen, offices, a caretaker’s cottage, a large community vegetable garden, and several orchards, including moringa trees. (More about these incredible trees later!)
The structure will preserve the African style of design while incorporating sustainable building methodologies. It will be constructed using rammed earth technology, which uses local materials and has a small environmental footprint. It will be equipped with solar panels and lit by LEDs to minimize electricity usage. It will be designed to capture rainwater for later use. It will be equipped with Enviro-Loo waterless composting toilets. Michael Beukes, of Rammteck Buildings, will build the Centre. Michael has built other rammed earth buildings in the area, and has been building the Enviro-loo toilet buildings at our schools for several years. Rammteck uses and trains local people to work on the buildings, which contributes to job creation and skills development, which is badly needed in this community. Below is an architect’s rendering of the ASoH Centre. We are hoping to begin construction in the Spring of 2018.
From the outset, A Spring of Hope (ASoH) was created out of passion—the passion and deep caring of a mother and her daughter—that grew into a vital, high impact non-profit organization. A Spring of Hope Centre will be a highly visible expression of our passion. It will elevate our impact and change lives in rural South African communities by enabling people to learn sustainable gardening methods, gain confidence in themselves, and have new knowledge that translates immediately into more resources for their lives. We hope you will invest in this critical next step for our organization. If you have further questions, please contact Joanne Young at 954.775.4997 or . Thank you for your interest and your support.