A Spring of Hope
Hoedspruit, South Africa
During a trip to South Africa's Limpopo province, known by visitors as the home of Kruger National Park, mother and daughter Joanne and Brittany found themselves at a local school. It was located in an impoverished former "homeland" reserved for black South Africans during apartheid and, like many other such schools in South Africa, it struggled to meet the basic needs of its students. More than 1,200 children attended Beretta Primary School, but there was no running water. Unsanitary pit latrines behind the classrooms bred disease. The closest government tap was miles away.
The trip rattled teenage Brittany's worldview, so when she and her mother returned home, they raised money for Beretta to drill a borehole. Months later, with running water, the school harvested their first batch of fruits and vegetables from an abundant garden and inspired an on-the-ground local team to build out the community development model in other rural schools. Today, A Spring of Hope invests in South Africa's next generation of leadership through clean water access at 37 partner schools.
In 2016, A Spring of Hope, in partnership with South African Airways, invited students around the world to follow Brittany's lead and raise money to build a borehole at Mothaileng Primary School. I accompanied Elona Hoffeld, the winner of the Student Philanthropy Challenge, to document her experience.