Susan Lochner - Head of Green Futures
Born in Namibia and raised in South Africa, Susan has been with the Grootbos Foundation for over 11 years. Touting a long list of educational experience, she earned her Teacher’s Diploma for Junior Primary in 1982, her Nature Conservation Certificate in 2003, a Higher Certificate in Adult Basic Education and Training in 2009, and her FGASA Level-1 Nature Guide certification in 2011. Before becoming the Head of Green Futures at the Grootbos Foundation, a position she has held since May of 2003, Susan was a teacher at the primary schools in Humansdorp and Gansbaai, and worked as a Horse Guide at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve for three years.
Sharlene de Villiers - Nursery & Horticulture Manager
Sharlene de Villiers studied Horticulture at the Cape Town Technicon. She worked for Stodels Nurseries for 7 years and moved to Gansbaai in 2000 with her husband. Sharlene started working for Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in September 2000 as a receptionist, and in 2004 took up the position of Nursery Manager at Green Futures. She teaches the students about plant identification, sowing seeds, caring for seedlings, watering, fertilizers, soil types, pruning, pests and diseases and many more. According to Sharlene, the best part of her job is witnessing the development of her students as they transform from uninformed citizens to skilled professionals.
Sharlene has a daughter, Marissa, and loves to read, go to the beach and camp in her spare time.
Cilena Danisa - Nursery Supervisor
Nompikiso Celina Danisa grew up in the Eastern Cape where she matriculated. She completed her one-year learnership at the Foundation’s Green Futures Horticulture and Life Skills College. Before Celina came to Green Futures she was working as a sales lady at the spaza shop in the Eastern Cape. Prior to Green Futures, Cilena worked in a spaza shop and as a cleaner in a restaurant. In August 2006 Celina was employed by Green Futures as a nursery assistant and in 2008 she became a nursery supervisor. Her role at the foundation is to manage the nursery, staff and to mentor the students during practicals. Celina feels that the Foundation has provided her with so many invaluable benefits, such as education, job opportunities and especially the chance to travel to England for the Eden Project. Celina likes being independent and going to church.
Sicelo Fundakubi - Nursery Assistant
Sicelo was born and raised in the Eastern Cape and began working for a cleaning company in Johannesburg. In January of 2007, he moved to the Western Cape and joined the Green Futures programme as student. After graduation he was employed by Green Futures, and today Sicelo is responsible for planting, transplanting and watering various trees and plants. He is very thankful for his job at the Grootbos Foundation because it allows him to provide for his family and is extremely proud of the work that he does here.
Viola Siyotywa - Green Futures Facilitator
Viola was born in the Eastern Cape, where she attended school and matriculated. She came to Gansbaai in search for a job and worked for a Shark Diving company as a waitress, working closely with guests. But Viola has always wanted to further her career and joined Green Futures as a horticulture student. She was a shining example of determination and focus as she continued to study after completing her one year Horticulture training, intent to become a facilitator to help others. In 2012, she earned her Higher Diploma in Adult Basic Education and Training in the University of South Africa. Now Viola works for the Grootbos Foundation as a Life Skills Trainer, a position she has held since 2008. The Foundation is special to Viola because it has given her the skills needs to succeed in the future and has prepared her to face the challenges that she meets. Thanks to Grootbos, “I now know who I am”. She likes sharing ideas, reading and being honest with herself.