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In just one year of work, our foundation achieved the following.

  • Contact hours with sports outreach participants: 959 160
  • Education beneficiaries trained:  2 370
  • Lives benefited from Grootbos Foundation's work: 10 481
  • Trees planted: 148 
  • Land cleared of alien vegetation: 2 759 ha
  • Organic honey farmed: 1 116 kgs
  • Free range eggs laid: 43 436 (up from 4 606 last year)
  • Organic fruit & veg grown: 5 tonnes (up from 2 tonnes)


Please note: These statistics are just a few key examples of what we do!


Anchelle – Food For Sport / Growing the Future / Football Foundation 

Anchelle Damon grew up and still resides in Stanford in the Western Cape. After attending primary school in Stanford, she completed her secondary schooling in Hawston. 

In 2012, Anchelle got involved with Growing the Future, her first experience with a Grootbos Foundation initiative, where she learned about food production and other life skills. She found permaculture to be a very exciting subject, as well as beekeeping and animal husbandry. Anchelle was one of three students selected in her year to travel to England to take part in the Eden Project. For her, this experience was phenomenal, as it showed her how much more she could learn about indigenous South African plants and permaculture. This trip really got her interested in field guiding, which she then pursued when she returned to the Western Cape. Anchelle described guiding as a way to give people the time of their lives by explaining to them how all living things work together to comprise the beautiful scenery around us. 

Anchelle is also the head netball coach for the FFSA. She has played netball since the age of 6, so she really enjoys helping the players and seeing their dedication as they prepare for competitions. Combining this early love of sport with the skills that she honed at Growing the Future, Anchelle became the lead facilitator of the new Food for Sport initiative. She really enjoyed the first iteration of the programme and looks forward to the next programme that will begin in September 2014, which plans to incorporate more sport and hands-on demonstrations.

Anchelle believes that the Grootbos Foundation succeeds in empowering women and demonstrating that they can do whatever they put their minds to. Having been inspired by women in the Foundation like Lan Terblanche and Natasha Bredekamp, she enjoys working with the young women in the community and empowering them to go out and believe in themselves. Overall, she is very thankful for the opportunities that she has been afforded through the Foundation.


Tamara – Growing the Future

Tamara was born in the Eastern Cape and also spent her adolescent years there. Growing up, she planted vegetables and made compost. In 2010, she moved to the Western Cape. She first moved to Cape Town and then made her way to Gansbaai. Once in Gansbaai, she continued to foster her love of growing vegetables by planting a small garden in front of her home.

One day in town she met a student of the Growing the Future programme. She talked about learning to properly plant a garden, work with animals, and other useful skills. Tamara was thrilled. With the experiences that she had in the Eastern Cape in the garden, the curriculum really interested her and she soon applied to join. She was accepted and became a student in January 2012. She most enjoyed learning more about the proper techniques that should be used to plant vegetables. In addition feeding pigs, collecting eggs, making compost and beekeeping as some of her other favorite tasks. 

Growing the Future also brought out Tamara’s love of cooking. She learned about baking scones, crafting the perfect pizza, making different types of salad, and using the vegetables that she loved to grow to create scrumptious dishes and desserts. 

After graduating in 2012, she became a chef at the Forest Lodge at the Grootbos Nature Reserve, a job she thoroughly and truly enjoys because it allows her to use vegetables in really creative and unique ways. She hopes to work as a chef for many years to come.


Siya - Qualified Gardener and Green Team Leader

Siya was born in Port St. Johns, a city located in the Eastern Cape. In 2002, he moved to attend high school in Gansbaai. During his senior year of high school, he heard about Green Futures from a friend who was currently a student in the programme. His friend told him about the various skills that students learn when going through the programme, and he was immediately interested. 

In 2006, Siya filled out the application and was accepted into the programme. He enrolled as a student later that year and enjoyed learning about how to effectively landscape a garden and plant various species that thrive in the unique Western Cape climate and soil. After completing the programme, Siya was hired as a gardener for Grootbos. Seven years after his graduation from the programme, he is still a gardener but has recently taken on a very important new role. Joan Cabone, the Green Futures Director, recently appointed Siya as the Co-Leader of the Grootbos Green Team. When Joan is away, he looks after the team and makes sure that they are on track to complete their various objectives. 

Overall, Siya is very thankful for the Green Futures programme and Grootbos for the opportunities and successes that they have brought him. 


Wandile - Football star in the making

Wandile was born in Lady Frere, a small town in the Central Cape near Queenstown, bust soon thereafter moved to Gansbaai with his parents. Over the next few years, his parents worked hard to provide Wandile and his three brothers with an enjoyable life. Ever since he was a young child, Wandile dreamt of playing football professionally and aspired to be like those football heroes he watched on TV throughout his childhood. 

When he reached the age of 13, the Gansbaai Communal Sports Centre was built in Gansbaai, which includes a full-sized football pitch. Wandile saw this as the perfect opportunity to pursue his dream and become a better football player. It has now been six years since he joined the Football Foundation and he sites this as one of the most influential things he has done in his life. Not only has he been able to improve his skills with the help of the FFSA coaches and volunteers, but he has also been able to travel around South Africa and meet many new friends. 

When asked about his favorite moment in the Football Foundation, Wandile highlights his trip to Johannesburg to watch a live World Cup game in the newly built FNB stadium. This stadium is home to his favorite local team, the Kaizer Chiefs, and is also the site of many landmark events in the sporting and political history of South Africa. 

Since joining the Foundation, Wandile said that he has learned about the importance of education. Currently in his last year of school, his goal is to finish Matric and be able to study next year. With help of his parents savings, Wandile also hopes that his grades will be good enough to receive a scholarship to complete a degree in engineering, yet another dream of his.  In the future, he still hopes to play football and stay committed to his love of the game.


Promise - Passionate about his environment

Promise was born in Lady Frere in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. After spending much of his childhood there, Promise moved to Gansbaai in 2007. When he arrived, he saw the Green Futures uniform worn by several young people in the area. These uniforms piqued his interest and he asked the man giving his tour what sorts of things these students were involved in. When the man told him about the indigenous plants, gardening and landscaping that these students studied, Promise knew this was something in which he wanted to be involved. 

What interested him most about the Western Cape was the diversity in plant species that were all around him. Though some were similar to those he encountered in the Eastern Cape, there were many that he had never seen before. He was interested in learning their names and how to work with plants in this new environment, and he knew that Green Futures could give him this opportunity. 

After applying for the programme in 2008, he became a student in 2009. During the course, his favorite topics were landscaping and learning about different types of gardens – especially the genus, species and botanical names of plants. In June, when students complete their practical, Promise was one of three students selected to go to Cornwall, England, to participate in the Eden Project. This was his first time being out of the country and traveling on a plane, so it was a very exciting experience! 

Promise is now working with Grootbos as a Green Team member. He is involved in helping Grootbos guests plant trees and providing them with the coordinates needed to see their tree growing wherever they are. He is also involved in landscaping. Promise is very happy that he got a job at Grootbos and would love to work here for a long time since this is his area of passion, and he looks forward to gaining even more gardening knowledge.


Lucas - An artist with flowers

Lucas was born in Port St. John, a city located in the Eastern Cape. After completing his primary and secondary education he knew that he would have difficulty affording any continuing studies. Without anyone in his family working at the time, Lucas and his mother decided that it would be best to move to the Western Cape in search of work. After moving to Gansbaai, Lucas found a job in a flower shop where he arranged flowers and made bouquets for customers. 

With this love of plants instilled within him, Lucas got a job with Grootbos in 2008. Soon, after speaking to many of the students who were working at Grootbos at the time, he became interested in the Green Futures programme. He was very interested in gardening, but didn’t have much experience in the practices needed to be very successful. He saw Green Futures as an opportunity to learn much more about the subject that he loved. 

Lucas applied and was accepted into the Green Futures programme in 2009. He loved learning about the different plants and how to properly grow them in the Western Cape environment. He was selected to participate in the Eden Project, in Cornwall, England, for his practical in June. Here, Lucas learned about how others take care of their plants and also met many new people. This was his first time traveling outside of South Africa.

After Green Futures, Lucas was employed by Grootbos as a member of the landscaping team, which is a post that he still holds today. Utilizing the skills he learned in the flower shop years ago, he is now responsible for arranging the flowers for the Grootbos Lodges and has done so for the past five years. 

In the future, Lucas hopes to gain more knowledge about landscaping, and using the skills learned through Green Futures, Lucas dreams of one day starting his own landscaping company.