THE AMAZING TEAM BEHIND ALL THE SMILES
Leoné grew up in a civic-minded family and was exposed to charities and their needs from an early age through the involvement of her parents and their support of civil society. Leoné became inspired with the ‘power’ of camp when in 2002 she was introduced to the camping model of the then Association of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps after Paul Newman’s safari visit to Botswana, a meeting with Wilderness Safaris and Paul’s vision of a unique camp experience for children with health challenges in Africa. ‘Camp Footprints’ was founded in 2008 and Leoné’s vision is to create opportunities for children who have been denied the joy of ‘normal’ childhood play to reach beyond their illness and challenging life circumstances and discover confidence and a new world of possibilities. As Chairperson of Just Footprints, Leoné oversees the overall operations of the organisation, liaising with donors, initiating fundraising projects, ‘connecting’ the various existing and potential stakeholders and nurturing these relationships.
Motivated by her vision to create opportunities for children with special needs to achieve their full potential, Leoné was instrumental in establishing the Hope Ithemba Trust in 1999. As Administrator of the Trust, Leoné is responsible for all aspects of running the Trust which focuses on children with special needs and financially supports intervention programs for children with disabilities.
Leoné is also on the Board of ‘Children in the Wilderness,’ the community outreach programme of Africa’s widely acclaimed ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris, whose ethos is to develop and influence young environmental leaders to care for their natural heritage. The Children in the Wilderness programme is an environmental and life skills educational programme for children which aims to facilitate sustainable conservation focusing on the next generation of decision-makers, inspiring them to become the future custodians of Africa’s wildlife heritage.
In these 3 roles Leoné is able to live out her vision of fostering independence and personal growth in children; empowering them to reach beyond their limits and discover above all – hope.
DR. ED JOOSTE
Ed Jooste or ‘Doc’ as he is fondly known in local and SeriousFun’s world of camping is a retired cardiac anaesthesiologist. He has been the Camp Doctor at Camp Footprints since its founding in 2008. Doc heads up the Medical Team and has been an active participant in the growth of Camp Footprints and all aspects of the medical care at camp.
Ed’s long career in the medical field has given him an in depth insight into the challenges faced by medical professionals across the country. He is a great example of a Camp Doc who brings humor and laughter to camp medical operations.
Executive Director Operations
Officially joining Just Footprints Foundation in 2010, Lindy has assisted in Just Footprints Foundation’s developmental process since inception and collaborated with the various role players in the establishment of the brand. Lindy came on board to develop the fundraising portfolio working alongside the Chairperson. She then took over the portfolio of Camp Director of Camp Footprints and led this process through the teething stages of the first camps to the successful completion of 79 camps hosting 3843 children by end 2017.
Lindy believes in working together with other Non-Profit Organisations and striving for the greater good of each child and organisation. She also believes that collaboration and support goes a long way in the non-profit arena in which she works. A strong work ethic ensures that each child has the opportunity to have an amazing camp experience and learn life and sports skills as well as environmental awareness through participation in the Camp Footprints programme.
Lindy’s experience started out at Cotlands. In August of 1998 she was appointed as the marketing secretary to the fundraising manager and throughout her 12 years at the organisation she took on many different positions within Cotlands such as Public Relations and Marketing Manager; Cause Related Marketing and Promotional Product Manager and Business Venture Manager. She believes that through this experience she was able to learn and take this knowledge and passion for children through to Just Footprints Foundation and Camp Footprints.
In her personal time Lindy volunteers for a number of organisations which include The Leopard Conservation Project, Children in the Wilderness and Wildcon Safaris and Events.
LIZE VAN VUUREN
Business Development Manager
I have always been drawn towards charitable and mission work which resulted in me working on projects in Tete, Mozambique and Namibia. In 2002 I turned my attention to the shocking plight of abused and abandoned children living in the Nomzamo and Lwandle Townships, just outside Somerset West. I began working with various leaders in the Township and so it was that I co-founded the Nceduluntu Sanctuary Trust. I was responsible for the development and building of the Ikhayalethemba Village – a permanent home for approx. 60 children aged between infancy and 10 years of age.
I seem always to be drawn to children with challenges and now as the Business Development Manager for the Just Footprints Foundation, it is my pleasure to explore various avenues to raise funds to give children whose young lives have been interrupted by serious health and life challenges or disabilities, the opportunity to experience the fun of a Camp Footprints camp and to kick back and just be carefree kids again!
I am also partly involved as a volunteer with a working group called Robohand, which makes and supplies prosthetic hands to underprivileged people who have been born without a hand or have lost a hand. In 2004, I was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary International for my work with disadvantaged children. In September, 2015 I was invited by Stellenbosch University to become an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. These were highlights in my life and a great honour.