Focus on iThemba: Celebrating 20 Years of Hope
Investing in the growth of hearts and minds.
2023 marks an exceptional and joyous milestone for the team at Focus on iThemba. Together with the team, Hloba Clothing – as a sponsor of two bright young minds of the iThemba Scholars Program – celebrated the 20th Founding Anniversary—a journey that fills our hearts with gratitude as we reflect on how far the organisation has come.
Here follows a summary of the milestones celebrated and day's events.
Growing Hearts and Minds: Danie and Judy van den Heever's dream come true
In 2003 a dream came to fruition for Danie and Judy van den Heever when their aspiration to facilitate significant change for the youth in the Valley of 1000 Hills was realised through the establishment of Focus on iThemba. Moved by the words of Arthur Ashe, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can,” Danie and Judy transformed their iThemba Campus into a haven of hope for orphaned and vulnerable children from the Valley. Over the years, and as the children grew older, this vision to make a significant difference broadened into impacting not just the hearts of children but their minds also. This led to the birth of their education based Programmes, the iThemba Educare and iThemba Scholars Programmes. The reach of these programmes now extends to over 2000 children, teachers and parents; and sixteen iThemba Scholars currently attending Waterfall Schools from Grades 0000 – 9.
The van den Heevers' vision reached even greater heights. Through tireless planning, boundless dreaming, and determined action, our once modest iThemba Campus, nestled among gum trees, has blossomed into a vibrant indigenous ecosystem, teeming with wildlife. It has transformed into a hub of learning and exploration for nearly 800 children attending Waterfall Schools.
Celebrating with a Stroll
Steadfast friends and partners like Hloba Clothing were invited to celebrate the 20-year anniversary together with the iThemba Team in June 2023. The day commenced with a guided tour of the iThemba Campus. Witnessing the unbelievable changes that have unfolded over the years filled us with wonder and gratitude. We then engaged in moments of reflection, shared testimonies, and deepened our connections. A stroll through our indigenous garden allowed us to mark the significant milestones achieved during the past two decades.
We hold deep appreciation for the privileged position we occupy as co-labourers with the iThemba team in our shared vision of a better future for young South Africans. We're excited to continue in our support and prayers for the next twenty years to come.