Wednesday the 9th of November will forever be etched in our hearts and minds as a day of great significance. We had the privilege of honouring our founders Danie and Judy van den Heever and the legacy they have built over the years by officially unveiling the Legacy Standing Stone on the iThemba Campus. This feature is symbolic of the humble beginnings of Focus on iThemba and Danie and Judy’s unshakable foundation of faith, hope and courage.
With Focus on iThemba being on the precipice of 20 years, this occasion evoked a deep sense of reflection and appreciation for all that has been achieved over this time, recognising that this journey has been filled with many meaningful moments, and friends, donors and partners who have walked with us along the way.
In 2003 a dream came to fruition for Danie and Judy 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 our 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 to impacting not just the hearts of children but their minds also. This led to the birth of our education based Programmes, the iThemba Educare and iThemba Scholars Programmes. Today we are incredibly blessed to be making a difference to the hearts and minds of so many children.
A sentiment across all the messages shared on the day was how greatly Danie and Judy’s vision has impacted the lives of so many, both on and off Campus. Their sizable steps of faith, courage and forward-thinking creativity has successfully steered us through every season, while also reminding us of the significance of humble beginnings.
As we look ahead to the future and imagine the many more opportunities that our amazing Organisation will take to make a difference, we give thanks to our founders for the firm foundation which they have laid.
“To be a positive influence on all those who we come into contact with.” – Danie van den Heever.
Heads from across Campus: Brad Cooper (Waterfall Preparatory), Bryony Green (Waterfall College), Judy and Danie van den Heever (Focus on iThemba Founders), Tayla-Anne Goss (Focus on iThemba Team Leader) and Paula Mason (Waterfall Pre-Primary)