Viola was born in the Eastern Cape and came to Gansbaai in 2003 looking for employment and better opportunities. In 2006, Viola saw an advertisement for the training program at the Green Futures Horticultural and Life Skills College based on the FTTSA-certified Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. This innovative and highly successful training program has been run by the non-profit Grootbos Foundation since 2003. Viola was accepted as one of twelve students.
The Green Futures College provides an annual training programme in horticulture, indigenous gardening and life skills development. All theory is backed up by a range of practical work in developing and maintaining gardens, both on Grootbos and for private clients. After successfully completing her training and impressing the staff and management of the program, Viola was asked to join the training team as a trainee facilitator. She jumped at the opportunity and also registered for a facilitator’s and assessor’s course and passed with flying colours.
At Green Futures, under the mentorship of the project manager Susan Lochner, Viola’s teaching responsibility gradually grew. In 2011 Viola was offered the post of life-skills trainer at the Growing the Future College on a permanent basis. In May 2011 Viola completed her Higher Diploma in Adult Basic Education and Training, achieving her dream.
In Viola’s words: ‘I want to pass what I have learnt to the other people. If there are more opportunities for me to study further, I will. There are lots of things we can learn. We learn until we die!’ The Grootbos Foundation is incredibly proud of Viola and all of her achievements!