WE ARE KINDLING
We believe that when you give, you receive far greater in return.
Meet our CEO and all-round kick ass human, Jen. Jen is the little spark that was the catalyst for massive change in the lives of Maria and the kids. She’s the driving force behind the projects and initiatives that create sustainable change in the lives of others.
“Meeting Maria and the kids for the first time changed the course of my life, as it has done for so many other people who have shared in this experience over the years. They’re part of my family now and I feel incredibly responsible for taking care of them. What started with small donations from friends has turned into something really special and the impact it’s had on the community of Windmill Park is incredible.”
Introducing the manager of the piggy bank, Erin. Erin manages the funds and makes sure 100% of your donations go straight into projects that change lives. We’re set up so that our administrative tasks are completed by people (or partners) who willingly and lovingly donate their time, money and brains to support our cause. Erin also assists Maria and her team using her life coaching skills, particularly Maria's daughter, Rebecca, who runs the HIV support and prevention center.
“Maria and the kids first changed my life in 2011. I was flying for Virgin Atlantic and would visit them during my Johannesburg overnights. I had never been in the presence of so much unconditional love in my life. My first visit changed me forever. I was bowled over by the children, who loved me, without reason. They taught me so much, through their simple acts of kindness, love, acceptance, and generosity. It's easy to look at them and think that they do not have much. But what I know, is that they have more love than any other children I have ever met. I am so grateful to support Maria and the children. We think it's us doing the giving, but really, we are the ones receiving.”
Meet the brains behind the operation and the guy that gets stuff done, Grant. Grant's role is to keep everything ticking over to ensure we follow the rules of a registered association and regularly exceed the expectations of our supporters - he's the business guy! He also works closely with Jen on ideas, partnerships and programs that further the crucial work of the Kindling Foundation.
"Once you meet the kids and feel their energy and see how your contribution can mean so much, it changes the way you see your own life and your place in the world. I feel like I have received way more from Maria and the kids than what they have from me. I just have to keep giving, it’s as simple as that."
Introducing the lovely Julia. Julia joined our 2016 Africa trip as a volunteer and is a trained and experienced life coach with a heart full of love. Julia joins our team as the Angel of Hope Counselling Centre Support Manager and will work closely with the councillors in Africa to provide support, guidance and resources from Australia.
"Meeting Maria and these beautiful kids shifted something deep inside me. My life simply wasn’t the same when I returned home. My heart was cracked open by the pure love of this community. Maria and the kids had a huge impact on fundamentally how I see the world and my place in it. I just knew I wanted to contribute in a much bigger way and become part of the Kindling team. I am dedicated to helping empower this community, and hopefully many more."
Meet our new Community Wellness Manager - the ever smiling Wade. Wade volunteered on our recent trip to Africa, he's a qualified nurse, health coach and all-round awesome human. Wade put his hand up to help drive programs within the community to help the kids to stay active and healthy.
"The moment I arrived at the crèche I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy and love. To see and feel a community greet a group of complete strangers with such openness changed something in me. After spending time in this community with the kids, teachers and Maria I knew I could do more for my new family."
Aaron has so generously donated his time and skills to help us keep our images and campaigns looking fresh with his epic graphic design skills. We so appreciate this guy for always willingly helping out with our requests, both big and small. Thanks Aaron.
"I used to sponsor a child in Malawi and loved seeing the impact that I could have on one child's life, so when a mutual friend of Jen and mine tagged me in a Facebook post about the work that she was doing with the Kindling team and the impact they were having on an entire community, I was more than happy to offer any assistance that I could."