My husband Ian and I are members of the Rotary Club of Morningside in Johannesburg South Africa. Joanne was introduced to us by our daughter who lives in Miami. We met with Joanne and Brittany in 2013 and in September 2014 we visited Joanne at her Bush Lodge in Hoedspruit, Limpopo in the very North of our country. The work that a Spring of Hope is doing in the area is amazing and we took the opportunity of visiting one of the sites. As South Africans we are very aware of the needs of our rural population - clean and convenient water being the most important and basic. As Rotarians we shall be behind Joanne in all her endeavors she is doing an incredible job.
Ian and Denise Cruickshank
I have been involved with "A Spring of Hope" for over 2 years now. I am based out of Singapore and met Brittany Young at a Social Innovation conference at Boston. Since then, I have also gotten to know Joanne quite well and have spent some time in S.Africa interacting with the Principals, staff and children of the schools that the organization works with.
The team's passion to bring a sustainable change, belief in innovation / entrepreneurship and giving the power to the local communities; while not making any unwarranted compromises in the process, make them stand out in a pool of "me-too" charitable groups. The organization's ecosystem has grown in significant leaps and bounds; and is at an important stage of strategic expansion to create the kind of impact that is needed in this part of the world.
I am looking forward to being a contributing factor to the rest of ASoH's beautiful journey.
- Sunil Rajan
A Spring of Hope is an organization built on an idea that was born from Brittany and Joanne's personal experiences in South Africa. They focus on long-term solutions which would make the schools and the local communities self-sustainable. In this increasingly complicated world, where Water has become a "commodity", this team stands for what Water represents to these schools - Hope, energy, education and sustenance.
The mission of A Spring of Hope, Inc. is to bring water to impoverished villages of South Africa and the difference that has made in the lives of the villagers is incredible. I was able to travel to South Africa and see the work being done there, actually visiting the Beretta School near where one of the wells is located. I spoke to the Principal of the school who told me before they had access to this water it was difficult for the villagers to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. She said the children of the village were often ill, with sores on their bodies, the village was dying. With the assistance of A Spring of Hope, Inc. and the access to potable water they planted an organic garden at the school. When I visited the garden was flourishing and filled with an array of beautiful fruits and vegetables. The school children looked happy and healthy and the village was thriving. An excellent example of the difference you have the power to make in the lives of others. We were very fortunate to have been able to book a stay at Joanne's amazing home available for rent near the school and Kruger National Park . The home is fabulous with a watering hole frequented by wildlife right outside our windows! I highly recommend this charity, and if you have the good fortune to be able to see what they do in person it will be an experience of a lifetime.
Joanne and her team do critical work in bringing the most fundamental of resources – water - to those in impoverished areas who are in dire need. I have had the pleasure of witnessing first-hand how this organisation can transform the lives of those they assist. I do voluntary work with a small school in the Oaks village in Limpopo, South Africa. Before A Spring of Hope assisted with a borehole, the school had no running water and the principal would have to collect plastic containers of water by vehicle from a communal source several kilometers away from the school each morning. The school grounds have been dusty dry for years with no hope of a garden or trees for cooling in one of the hottest regions in South Africa. With their new borehole now actively providing water (since July/August 2014), this little school is planning for its new organic food garden, with Joanne’s team’s assistance and guidance. Being one of several schools in the region that have benefited from the organisation’s generosity, they have been able to share ideas and lessons with other schools who by now have mature organic permaculture food gardens. The project is, therefore, not only bringing much needed clean running water but also the possibility of a feeding scheme for young learners in an area that remains highly food-insecure. This organisation is authentic in its intentions and honorable in its delivery. I’m truly grateful our paths have crossed.
I first met Joanne when she accompanied Martin Brody from the Ft. Lauderdale, Rotary Club at a speaking engagement that I had booked Martin for at our First Presbyterian, Ft. Lauderdale Study and Renewal Center. Martin introduced Joanne as part of his program, and had her present the video on "A Spring of Hope". Joanne and I clicked immediately as I too had been to the region where" A Spring of Hope" was drilling wells, Acornhoeck, for the last 3 years and most recently just 3 months prior on a well project with our church. It was too much of a coincidence, we knew we were meant to meet and work together. Joanne and I got together after that presentation and decided to co-chair a first annual gala for A Spring of Hope, and proceeded to put it together a great committee of dedicated volunteers. " The Power of Hope" gala was launched at the Seagate Country club in Delray Beach, FL March 21, 2014. We had the South African Ambassador, Mr. Ebrahim Rasool as our Guest of Honor and Brittany, the founder, inspired the attendees with her story. It was a big success and will be an annual signature fundraising event for " A Spring of Hope".
The power of "A Spring of Hope" is it was started by Brittany, Joanne's daughter, when she was in high school. When Brittany on her initial trip to South Africa saw the conditions in the primary schools in Acornhoeck, lack of water, she decided to do something about it. Brittany came back and raised $10,000 for the first well at Baretta Primary School. The rest is history as they have continued to drill wells and empower school children and teachers to put in fruit and vegetable gardens to not only feed themselves but to also sell the excess in the marketplace for school supplies. This is clearly an inspirational, empowerment program of love and compassion that touches hearts and has been extremely successful. Brittany and Joanne are tireless workers, astute business women, and inspire others to do more. "The Spring of Hope" non profit is truly an amazing story of the power of one. In fact our Study and Renewal Center has invited both Joanne and Brittany back to be our January 2015 speakers for our "The Power of One" series highlighting ordinary people doing exraordinary things.
So mark your calendars because we hope to see you at our 2nd annual "The Power of Hope" gala, March 21, 2015. Check "The Spring of Hope" website: wwwaspringofhope.org for coming events and details as well as to make donations. This is a nonprofit you will want to support.
After meeting Joanne and Brittany it was clear they were dedicated to helping the villagers in South Africa, not by giving them stuff but by helping them become self-sufficient. The way things are structured as a donor, I have received feedback from Joanne and the women who I've helped. It is very satisfying to watch their progress.
I had the honor of meeting Joanne and Brittany on their first trip to South Africa. Their dedication is absolute and inspiring. They have achieved and continue to work toward fabulous goals of helping so many people with their founding and development of A Spring of Hope. I am proud to support this fabulous organization.
I have been providing volunteer technical support to A Spring of Hope(ASoH) for the past two years. Professionally I am a water resources and sustainable development expert and have worked with non-profit organizations around the world that are supported by USAID and other large donors. When I met the Executive Director, Joanne and her daughter Brittany and learned of the great work they were doing in South African schools I was moved to help them as a volunteer. Without the benefit of any government or large organization funding they had already changed the lives of thousands of children and their families by giving them the gift of clean water for drinking and the ability to irrigate gardens for food. The assistance they provide is targeted to schools which is a ready made institutional infrastructure for providing not only water but training to their student on hygiene, sanitation, environmental protection, and improved irrigation methods. My goal has been to help them grow their organization and fundraising approach and to provide them technical advise on sustainable water programs so that a A Spring of Hope is itself a sustainable NGO. The wonderful work they have done so far is a drop in the bucket to the need that is there. I encourage others to help support ASoH so that they in turn can use their proven approach to help so many more!
I was looking for a non-profit to help out and Catchafire matched up my favorite causes of educating girls in developing countries and water with a wonderful little non-profit. It was love at first "site". They drill wells, at schools, that bring water, which helps girls/children and the community be healthy with clean water and growing healthy food and also their economy and, and, and! The good just keeps growing like the food the school grows for the kids. They are different in their organization in that they have not only donated the well, they "co-own" it and have a real relationship with the school and the community. They make sure the well keeps going and the people learn how to take care of it. They use their funds and efforts very well. The executive director Joanne is very generous with her time and her kindness. It's a well run non-profit.
I have been connected with A Spring of Hope for the past six years. My son was the president of the Spring of Hope Club at his high school and the following year my daughter took over. It is amazing to me that with the dedication that both Brittany and Joanne have shown for their foundation has helped so many in so many different ways! They have educated many people on the needs of the young children in Africa and making us aware has also made us want to help. I am in awe of the time and energy they have put towards this nonprofit organization. The amount of schools, wells and gardens speak for them. They are true heros.