I have had a once in a lifetime opportunity to form part of the formation years of the Foundation, and hopefully have helped to leave a trail. Since 2006 I have seen the Foundation grow and reach more workers and their families. Amongst others I have witnessed Sabina (La Colline) grow in confidence; was inspired to meet Bettie Hendricks (Naudeshof) who could for the first time read and write; felt so profoundly fortunate to have known someone like Maria Malan (Stellar, and Foundation Beneficiary Director) who was a true reflection of what the Foundation sets out to achieve; and have been so proud of what the bursary students have achieved.

Witnessing Siyabonga, Likhaya and Mzomhle make their speeches at the AGM was nothing short of life changing!

Marco Rooi wrote in his report: “The biggest highlight for me was attending the Internal Audit Forum hosted by Ernst & Young. It was a good and valuable experience to meet some internal auditors in the profession and just to ask them how it is in the practice and some other general questions.”

I was so touched by Siyabonga’s farewell message to me:

“Thank you so much for the love, care and support you showed us when we were given the opportunity to be part of the Waitrose Foundation bursary students. I can imagine the sleepless nights of working under pressure, travelling up and down and being away from your family just to attend meetings with us and get feedback on how we are progressing with our studies. I couldn’t find a better word to explain the marvellous things you did to us, except that you were the best and I hope you will find your new job so amusing and I hope that God will polish your path that everything goes your way. I’d be completing my studies soon and whenever I sleep at night I ask myself where would I be if you never believed in me that I can make it today.”

Over the last 6 years I have had the wholehearted personal support of Mary Vizoso (Waitrose Director) and Rory Antrobus (first Chairman of the Foundation), a passionate Board of Directors and a very committed team. I would like to thank them all.

My journey with the Foundation has been ever enriching and has made a great impact in my life. To all who have crossed my path during this journey, thank you for allowing me to work with you.

May the Foundation carry on with the good work and continue to provide a dream of a better future to farm workers and their families.

~ Faith Brown, CEO Waitrose Foundation ~