Focus on iThemba – Growing Hearts and Minds
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela
Alleviating poverty within a nation relies on key socio-economic partnerships between government, the private sector and society. Danie van den Heever, Executive Chairman of Dancor Properties, has been instrumental in creating paths to action this in KwaZulu-Natal.
Through faith, a strong calling to make a difference, and the support of key donors, Danie and his wife Judy established the accredited public benefit (18A), non-profit organisation Focus on iThemba in 2003. iThemba means ‘hope’ in isiZulu and through incredible teamwork, passion and the kindness of the human spirit, this ‘place of hope’ has benefited many.
The main pillars where the team aims to make a difference are: iThemba Community, iThemba Scholars, iThemba Homes, iThemba Campus, and iThemba Friends & Donors. Over the years, through observing the need in the community, the direction of the NPO has shifted to the more crucial focus of education. Today, the vision is to ‘Grow Hearts and Minds’ by investing in children through quality education, resulting in life-altering, positive change.
The team has facilitated deep meaningful impact by providing; foster care to over 20 children, quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) to over 500 children through our partnership with nearby preschools, eight iThemba Scholarships for boys and girls to attend Waterfall Schools, the co-educational independent schools based on the campus (with a further two being awarded annually), and preserving and growing the abundant diversity of indigenous plant species on the large campus.
All Focus on iThemba’s finances are externally audited, and in 2017 the NPO received an unqualified audit from Baker Tilly Morrison Murray. Donations received are tax deductible and the NPO is B-BBEE compliant with up-to-date B-BBEE certificates available to donors. Our friends from the USA are able to donate through our accredited 501(c)(3) educational foundation company, Friends of iThemba, which provides an opportunity to receive tax deductions.