The creation of the filter facilities builds upon a strong relationship between the University of Virginia (UVA), the University of Venda (UNIVEN), Rotary International, Mukondeni Cooperative, Khulisa Social Solutions, Cocokind, PureMadi, and three rural communities in Limpopo Province, S. Africa.
Founded in 1982, UNIVEN is a rural-based comprehensive University and a Historically Disadvantaged University in a former South African Homeland during the colonial and apartheid eras. UNIVEN serves a population of students who are usually the first members of their families to attend college. The students have special connections to the communities around their university and reflect UNIVEN’s commitment to rural development.
UNIVEN’s vision is to be at the center of tertiary education for rural and regional development in Southern Africa. The University is established as an engine that drives economic development in the Limpopo Province and the southern African region. It offers degrees and diplomas in Agriculture, Education, Environmental Sciences, Health Sciences, Human and Social Sciences, Law, Management Sciences, and Mathematical and Natural Sciences. Total student enrollment is approximately 12,000.
Researchers from UNIVEN have made substantial and positive contributions in the fields of rural development and poverty alleviation through the multi-disciplinary Center for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation (CRDPA). The Center’s mission is to strive to provide effective leadership in people-centered action research, and teaching and learning in response to the multiple and complex poverty-related challenges of rural communities in Southern Africa. This Center has won international recognition and hosts post-doctoral fellows from South Africa and the Southern African Development Community. UNIVEN is also a leader in the field of community engagement. The Directorate of Community Engagement supervises all students visiting from UVA who are involved in community-based projects. The Director, Dr. Vhonani Netshandama, spent a postdoctoral year at the School of Nursing at UVA and has worked closely with the Institutional Review Board at UVA to harmonize ethical review practices at the two universities and with the communities who participate in our research. UNIVEN is also distinguished by faculty in Microbiology. Professors Bessong and Samie of this Department are both internationally recognized for HIV research and effects of waterborne pathogens on human health. Both faculty have spent sabbatical years at UVA.
Our other partner is the Rotary Club, which was formed in 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney from Chicago. Rotary is compromised of three major components: the Rotary Club, the Rotary International, and the Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Club consists of diverse individuals who exchange ideas, build relationships, and take action. The Rotary International supports Rotary Club worldwide through global programs, campaigns, and initiatives. Lastly, the Rotary Foundation is a nonprofit that provides generous donations to fund projects. The 1.2 million members in the Rotary system tackle some of the world's biggest challenges locally as well as internationally.
Another key partner is Cocokind, an organic skincare line based off of virgin coconut oil. Their products use only the most pure ingredients, and they are dedicated to providing long lasting moisture that is free from chemicals. As a socially conscious company, they donate proceeds to give clean water, meals, and books to children in need all over the world. Cocokind has selected PureMadi as the charity they will support to bring clean water to those in need.
Our newest partner Khulisa Social Solutions is an international nonprofit organization established in 1997 that operates in 26 offices around South Africa. They work with a variety of role-players including governments, foundations, NGOs and businesses to maximize initiatives and processes that transform fragile and vulnerable communities.
During their last financial year, they reached in excess of 300,000 people through 250+ national capacity-building projects, which range from, violence reduction in schools to restorative justice programs for ex-offenders who were previously on death row. Zain Halle has been invaluable in helping establish community ties in Dertig. He oversaw the construction of the second filter facility in Dertig and has provided support to the student teams who have traveled to South Africa.
PureMadi would like to acknowledge the following key partners:
Dr. Vhonani Netshandama, Director of Community Engagement, University of Venda
Mr. Cornelius Hagenmeier, Director of International Programs, University of Venda
Dr. Amidou Samie, Professor of Microbiology, University of Venda
Dr. John Mudau, Center for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation, University of Venda
Ms. Certinah Khashane, Manager, Mukondeni Pottery Cooeprative and Filter Factory
Mr. Boas Thangoane, Liaison, Mukondeni Pottery Cooeprative and Filter Factory
Mr. Godfrey Went, Treasuer and Past President, Louis Trichardt (South Africa) Rotary Club
Mr. Ian Bannatyne, Past President, Louis Trichardt (South Africa) Rotary Club
Mr. Leon Barnard, President, Louis Trichardt (South Africa) Rotary Club
Mr. Thomas Rea, Foundation Chair, Rockingham County (Virginia) Rotary Club
Ms. Anita Schwartz, Rockingham County (Virginia) Rotary Club
Khulisa Social Solutions
Oakwood Outfitters (oakwoodoutfitters.org)