MEET OUR STAFF

Leanette Sithole

Permaculture Manager

Leanette first came to Limpopo in 1975 and worked at Beretta Primary School since its inception in 1985, leaving in 2016 to become Permaculture Manager for A Spring of Hope. Intensely dedicated to the school, the children,  the surrounding community, and South Africa as a whole, Leanette took the water from the borehole drilled by A Spring of Hope in 2006 and transformed the school grounds into a model of permaculture principles. As a result of her tireless efforts, the school went on to become an example of academic achievement, offering exceptional career guidance to its many students, and can now boast alumni who have succeeded in careers as doctors, nurses, and educators – some even returning to Beretta to teach. It’s evident, when talking with Leanette, to see how passionately she is committed to the permaculture method as a way to improve the country and the health its people. For her, though, it’s not just a method of gardening, but principles for life, for sharing knowledge, and for loving people. Ubuntu!

Trygive Nxumalo

Permaculture Manager

Trygive Nxumalo passed matric (graduated high school) in 1995. After graduation he worked for a security firm for 10 years. He was working night shift and every morning would get off work and work in his garden, which was his passion. As a child his father always taught him about gardening so it was “in his blood”. In 2008 he was hired as a General Worker at Senianya Primary School. In 2011 he started taking Permaculture Classes and established a permaculture garden at the school. In 2013 he was chosen for the first class of the Acornhoek Leadership Forum. While part of the Leadership Forum he decided to start a community garden. There was a lot of interest in the community in permaculture, so he started working with people in his village to start home gardens. At that time very few people had home gardens because of the scarcity of water. He continued his education in permaculture and taught others in his community as he was learning. One by one the home gardens started to spring up and today there are 267 home gardens in his village, due to his efforts. In 2016 he started a Work-Based Agriculture Program with AWARD (Association for Water and Rural Development). Trygive is a one of a kind person–always happy, enthusiastic, passionate and generous. The children are always excited when they see him coming through their school gate. We are thrilled to have him on our team!

Andrew Ndlovu

Water Systems Manager

Born in Welverdiend Village outside of Acornhoek, Andrew is the “Mr. Fix It” of his community. After completing high school in 2008, Andrew enrolled at the South African Wildlife College and received his field ranger certificate. His first job was at the Thorny Bush Waterside Game Lodge. Later, he began an assistantship that dramatically expanded his knowledge of water delivery systems and community improvement. Andrew left the Lodge to work in his village on maintenance of water systems as well as domestic wiring and plumbing. He is also an active member of the Welverdiend Development Forum, a network of active citizens dedicated to the improvement of Welverdiend Village, one of the poorest in Limpopo. He is delighted to dedicate some of his time working for A Spring of Hope. By overseeing borehole drilling and installing water pumps, Andrew is able to put his expert knowledge to use and help his community as well as others.

Nombuso Mazibuko

School Liaison

After completing school, Nombuso Mazibuko became a Chairperson of the School Governing Board for Buhlebamangwe Primary School in KZN Nquthu. In 2010 she got her first job from The David Rattary Foundation to build rammearth classrooms. The first school she built was in her community. In 2014 she joined Rammteck as a Site Manager. She constructed and led rammearth builds throughout South Africa. During her 11 years in construction, she built rammearth sanitation facilities in different provinces for Rand Water and A Spring of Hope. Nombuso holds certificates in carpentry, masonry, glazing, project planning, quality assessment, basic surveying, entrepreneurship, managing construction resources and a few more.

Nombuso is a great asset to A Spring of Hope’s Team as School Liaison. She has strong relationships with the schools throughout the Mpumalanga and Limpopo region and she supports A Spring of Hope’s partner schools by completing project assessments, introducing new ASOH programs to the schools, and assisting schools in management of their borehole and sanitation facilities to promote ownership and sustainability.

Emily Cupo

Executive Director

Emily Cupo graduated Temple University with a BA in Cultural Anthropology December 2017. Emily has been working with A Spring of Hope since 2013 and has been a team member since 2018. During her time with A Spring of Hope, Emily has created A Spring of Hope’s Drop In the Bucket program that educates US students on the World Water Crisis, A Spring of Hope’s Food Security Lecture series that educates US students on permaculture and food security in Acornhoek SA, and their Girl Empowerment program that supports girls at A Spring of Hope’s Partner Schools through a Girls’ Club and a Menstrual Hygiene Cup program. As A Spring of Hope’s Executive Director, Emily is leading A Spring of Hope to further their impact with their partner schools and create new programs at A Spring of Hope’s Centre that will help to build community and provide valuable resources and services to communities throughout Mpumalanga, South Africa. In addition to her work with A Spring of Hope, Emily is also a proud board member and President Elect of Portland New Generations Rotary Club in Portland Oregon.

Carolynne Smith

Website & Graphic Design

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Carolynne  manages A Spring of Hope’s website and social media accounts and designs additional graphics used for print and web. After spending 10 years working in the horse industry, Carolynne decided, in 2000, to pursue an education in graphic design. As a freelance designer, she first began to develop a relationship with A Spring of Hope in 2009. Always a great admirer of the passion and dedication of Joanne and Brittany’s activism and philanthropy, she welcomed the chance to become more deeply involved in the organization. Carolynne lives in Northern California and her business, PixelGraphix, provides graphic design solutions to a wide variety of clients.