An Indigenous Haven
Our beautiful iThemba Campus is situated in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, with a breath-taking view of the Valley of 1000 Hills. Since the inception of Focus on iThemba in 2003, founders Danie and Judy van den Heever have poured love and intention into stewarding this ‘Place of hope’ and creating a Campus filled with indigenous flora and fauna that is cherished and respected by all those who enjoy the Campus.
41 acres in size, this piece of land boasts a richness in biodiversity and pays attention to the unique beauty of the KwaZulu-Natal landscape. It hosts a profusion of endemic plants, a protected wetland area, indigenous grasslands and an abundance of birds, insects and reptiles. Raptors, colourful butterflies, bees and blooming African irises can be spotted almost every day by those who stop to look. As we appreciate the beauty around us, we honour our founders, Danie and Judy van den Heever, who inspired a deep love for our land, and whose very own hands were part of the planting, sowing, toiling and transforming of the Campus grounds.
Our Symbiotic Relationship
Our Campus has seen extraordinary growth over the last few years, thanks to the support and partnership of several key donors. 2016 marked the start of our symbiotic relationship with Waterfall Schools through the official opening of Waterfall Pre-Primary on Campus. Shortly afterwards in January 2017, Waterfall Preparatory School was established and welcomed learners from Grade R to Grade 3 and in 2018, their facilities expanded to accommodate learners from Grades 4 to 7. Today, the iThemba Campus offers the benefit of an educational pathway, right from 12 months at Waterfall Pre-Primary to Grade 12 at Waterfall College and most recently, the addition of a Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Centre.
Waterfall Schools is part of the greater sustainability programme for the longevity of Focus on iThemba as the occupation of these classroom buildings results in funding being raised for our NPO.
Conservation on Campus
Recognising that we have a responsibility to conserve and protect the unique and diverse ecosystem around us, our landscaping philosophy seeks to cultivate a sense of ‘Biodiversity Stewardship’ both on and off Campus, and foster an attitude of respect and responsibility towards leaving this land as a legacy for those who follow. Conservation efforts have been seen across Campus through the addition of solar panels on Waterfall Pre-Primary’s roof in 2019 and most recently, installation of four hydration stations, located at the Campus Cafe, Waterfall Pre-Primary kitchen and the Jacob House office. A fourth will soon follow for Waterfall Preparatory staff to enjoy. These stations offer delicious tasting filtered borehole water for staff, children, parents and visitors to drink and is a positive move towards eliminating the need for plastic water bottles on Campus, also reducing the transport of these components to and from Campus.
These conservation efforts form part of a Campus wide initiative to create a sustainable future in which we are all aware of our interdependency and relationship with nature.