SA’s Heroes Recognised

SA’s Heroes Recognised


Jordan van der Walt of St John’s Preparatory School in Johannesburg has been chosen as the Gauteng regional finalist for the Hero of the Year awards.

Lead SA has announced the regional “The Hero of the Year” winners, who will walk away with a share of R250 000 for a charity of their choice.

Over the past year, Lead SA has been asking the public to nominate groups and individuals who are making a difference in their communities.

Heroes have been chosen in three provinces:

  • Gauteng,
  • The Western Cape  and
  • KwaZulu-Natal.

Dr Julia Ambler from KwaZulu-Natal and Ashra Norton from the Western Cape are the other two Hero of the Year finalists who, with Jordan, will attend the Lead SA 3rd Anniversary celebrations in Cape Town on 21 August, where one of them will be crowned National Hero of the Year.

The winner will receive R150 000 for a charity of their choice, the two runners-up will each receive R50 000 for their chosen initiatives.

The finalists

Dr Ambler is a paediatric palliative care specialist. Through her organisation, Umduduzi, Dr Ambler cares for terminally ill children, ensuring they spend their last days pain-free and surrounded by family.

The organisation also counsels families to prepare them for death.

Gauteng’s Jordan van der Walt single-handedly demonstrated that even the very young can make a huge difference in the lives of others. Jordan started the “Just One Bag” campaign, where he asked his schoolmates to bring one bag of maize meal to school. The campaign has collected over 100 tons of maize meal, feeding over one million children.

Ashra Norton is considered a superwoman in the gangster-ridden community of Manenberg, Cape Town. In 2010, Ashra opened a free independent educational institution for underprivileged learners called “The Leadership College”.

The school accommodates learners between grades 8 and 12 and currently has 220 learners.

Learners at the institution receive everything free – school uniforms, stationery, school bags, tracksuits and meals. The school is funded in part by a state subsidy and the rest by donations and contributions from private businesses and individuals.

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