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!
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.
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!
Emily first started working with A Spring of Hope in 2013, as a student volunteer. While in school, Emily created A Spring of Hope’s ‘Drop In The Bucket’ program that educates students in the US about the World Water Crisis while connecting them with students in South Africa. Emily graduated from Temple University in 2017 with a BA in Cultural Anthropology. After graduation she took a position with A Spring of Hope as Grant & Special Projects Director and is now their Program Director, working with their team in South Africa to expand their WASH+ projects and develop and implement new programs that address the needs of learners and community members in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, South Africa. Emily is passionate about water and sustainability issues, gender equality, and human rights advocacy.
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, Equiluxe Marketing, provides graphic design solutions to a wide variety of clients.