ACORNHOEK LEADERSHIP FORUM 2014 COHORT
Merriam Ruzen Ndlovu joined the Acornhoek Leadership Forum this year. She works are a lay counsellor at Hlokomela Clinic, is qualified as an auxilliary nurse and has volunteered as a carer in her community. Merriam loves working with people and is committed to her community: she is starting a project in Green Valley to to empower youth and adults to reach their goals. In addition, she aims to create a drop-in and information center for vulnerable members of her community. Merriam is so well equipped to lead – now, with the support of a community of like-minded leaders, she can really expand her reach. We love having you on board Merriam! Thank you for your service and commitment!
Harry Ubisi joined the ALF in April 2014. In Hluvukani community, Harry is doing wonderful work with the children which profoundly impacts the natural environment. With his brother Smilling, Harry organises soccer tournaments encouraging young boys to seek an environment of support and guidance from respected community members rather than being drawn towards the emerging gang culture. These tournaments are a platform for education on HIV/Aids, conservation issues in the area, issues affecting orphans, vulnerable children and the grandmothers who care for them. They also have a huge community garden in progress. Harry is an amazing human being with a huge smile and a soft heart – his wisdom and friendly nature draw in much support and his project, Kunavelela Community Project, promises to go a long way. Welcome on board Harry!
Prudence Mathibela hails from Burlington Village and joined the ALF in 2014. Prudence is trained in computers, hospitality and tourism and currently has a position with Kruger 2 Canyon Biosphere as an Environmental Monitor, and is deeply committed to working with youth and the communities, raising environmental awareness and getting people involved in their life’s potential. Prudence’s family’s roots are deep in the Andover region of Bushbuckridge, and she has been inspired and empowered by what she has learned at the ALF to boost their efforts at a land claim resolution. Prudence is a natural born teacher and loves to see the transformation that comes about through education. Welcome Prudence – its an honour to have you with us!
Richard Chiloane is already a leader with a wide reach in not only Acornhoek, but Bushbuckridge. With great enthusiasm to learn something new, he joined the Acornhoek Leadership Forum this year and will be passing on the knowledge he learned to many networks, including his colleagues at Powerline School where he has just been elected Principal; the Vuyiselo Victim Empowerment Project and the Acornhoek SAPS. Witness to the relentless poverty in his community, Richard is nurturing a great project which would enable community members to buy affordable coffins. Richard – we admire your work enormously and are thrilled to have you on board. All power to you!
Thulisile Sithole was recommended for the ALF by her colleagues at Beretta School, where she is employed as a General Worker and does excellent work in their model permaculture garden. Thuli has a beautiful garden at home which supplies not only her pot, but also those of her community. Thuli is a teacher of abundance in this way – she grows and gives away, and more comes her way! Thuli has studied Human Resources at Ehlazeni FET, and has a great desire to see the families that she is helping with vegetables improve their lot in life. The other beautiful quality Thuli brings to her work and teaching is a deep and abiding respect for her parents, who she believes taught her how to make the right decisions. What an incredible foundation to live from – Thuli – thank you for your work and what you teach us all. We love working with you and having you as part of the ALF!
Riri Freddy Mathabela lives in Dwarsloop in Bushbuckridge and joined the Acornhoek Leadership Forum this year. A man of multiple talents, Freddy is responsible for the formation of the Community Brass Band, who also perform traditional dance. For years Freddy has driven around Acornhoek to collect youth for practice days, to teach them to play an array of instruments and to rehearse their performances. The Band was started to get youth off the streets, and away from substance use and criminal activities. The Band is for hire in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and are currently on a drive to locate musical instruments as theirs are so heavily used and they need more. Freddy is also involved in the Plough Back to Communities project, which addresses livelihood possibilities for people living in remote areas. Freddy, thank you for bringing your creativity and talent to the world, and from all of us, thank you for the music!
ALF 2013 COHORT
Happiness Lubisi has voluntarily used her skills as an Auxiliary Social Worker and Counsellor to help countless families and children obtain their identity documents. Happiness is a natural born leader, a member of the Community Development Forum and has her finger on the community’s pulse. She is currently leading a team of TreePreneurs in RDP and Tintswalo Village, honing her management skills whilst she uplifts her community.
Victoria Wisdom Khosa is a fiercely dedicated woman and founder of the Izizwe Zonke Co-Op – a large organic community garden on the Orpen Road, en route to the Kruger National Park, which is being worked by a group of volunteers with whom Victoria shares her teach-backs. Their first bumper crop of chillies has been sold to local supermarkets – a huge victory for their sustainability. Well done Victoria and team – you have worked so hard for this!