I lived in South Africa for 15 years between 2002-2017 where I was involved in the set up and running of the Waterberg Welfare Society (2002-2017) a grassroots community led NGO based in the Waterberg region of South Africa. It was there I met Sophie Grimaldi (nee Meeson) when she came to the Waterberg as a volunteer teacher at Refihlile Primary School.
We have both walked a long road since then and watched many of our beneficiaries grow from children to adults. We have seen first hand the difference that access to education, financial support and shelter, provided by The Clabile Trust, has made in the lives of many children. We are proud to still be involved in many of their lives and watched them grow into fine young men and women. Many have become family to us.
I have been a Trustee of Clabile for some years and was honoured to take over from Sophie as Chairperson in 2019. I hope to bring my years of living and working in the Waterberg Community and fundraising experience to help raise further funds to provide a sustainable platform for the youth in the Waterberg community.
I return to the Waterberg every year and continue to monitor our projects and meet with our beneficiaries and extended family.
"I had been aware of the charity for some time and have attended many of the fundraising events over the years. So when Sophie asked if I would like to get involved I jumped at the chance. I have worked in events for the last ten years so I feel I can make a real contribution, helping to put on fundraising activities, along with general day to day running of the charity. I feel very proud to be part of the charity and already I am seeing the impact and benefit it is having on children's lives".
Paul volunteered as an English teacher in South Africa for a number of years working with children at the Waterberg Welfare Society (a non-profit organisation) and in several local primary schools. He has been supporting children in a London primary school since his return to the UK with a particular focus on developing their literacy skills.
It was during the filming of the South African film White Wedding that Jodie had an experience of Africa that stuck in her heart.
"When I arrived in South Africa I fell in love with this beautiful country but was also exposed to the great poverty and struggle of its people who have very basic living conditions and little or no access to education. Having found out about The Clabile Trust, it felt important to get involved. I see how hard they work fundraising and am reassured by the fact that, as a team of volunteers, they have minimal overheads - the donations are getting ot the people who need them.
The Clabile Trust is a passion project for the small group of people who keep it running and they are making such a huge difference to the lives of the children they support. I have found just what I was looking for in a charity and am proud to be its patron".