The LEAP Foundation

Love + Energy + Alignment = Power

Healing the world’s ecosystems and supporting their inhabitants.

A LEAP Foundation Update from Martha’s Partner, Karen Gerdes:

In June 2013, I had the chance to visit with the CEO of the Good Work Foundation (GWF), Kate Groch, along with Mo Groch and Linky Nkuna, the GWF program coordinators.

I only had time for a brief visit with Kate before she was off to Scotland for a TED Talk to share the success of the GWF model in rural South Africa. One of the major points of Kate’s talk was that digital education in Africa “no longer has to follow – it can leapfrog” and be a model to help revolutionize education around the world. I believe this is absolutely true and that is why the LEAP Foundation has been such a big supporter of GWF.

For Karen 14While in South Africa, Mo and I taught a “supportive listening” and empathy workshop to the Teen Alcohol and Drug Prevention peer counselors at Madlala High School in Justicia. The village of Justicia lies just outside the boundary of the Sabi Sands where several private game reserves are located, including Londolozi. Madlala High School is a GWF satellite program run by the on-site coordinator Linky Nkuna. Linky – whom you may remember from Chapter 7 of “Finding Your Way in a Wild New World –  was born and raised in the area, graduated from Madlala and worked at Londolozi before joining the Good Work Foundation team. Madlala is a typical rural South African school with very few resources and little support from the central government. GWF has provided the school with a computer lab and ongoing classes and programs designed to meet the needs of the students in the school.

For Karen 11Approximately 30% of the children in the school are orphans to AIDS. Other problems the students confront daily include devastating poverty, teen pregnancy, alcohol and drug-related issues, sex trafficking of young girls and domestic violence. However, the students in the school are not defined by these problems, but rather by their resiliency in the face of these distressing social problems. You can see by the smiles on their faces that hope still resides within them. GWF has provided them with resources and programs to help them one-day escape from poverty. They are learning how to create productive and meaningful lives. I left Madlala feeling excited and it renewed my commitment to help these kids in any way that I can.

For Karen  5Our next stop was GWFs Digital Learning Center in Hazyview, which is the largest town near the Sabi Sands area. The Learning Center has state of the art computers and learning technologies.  It employs an amazing staff and offers programs for people of all ages. Mo and I interviewed the students participating in the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) program. ICDL is the most successful computer skills certification program in the world. Mo and I were assessing their English skills, academic needs and social support. They have all faced adversity and come out on the other side as thriving and striving human beings. One of the students was horribly disfigured in a fire when she was a young girl. She grew up in an orphanage in Johannesburg but the light in her eyes could provide power to an entire town! Another student, who is only 19, is the head of his household. His mother died in childbirth and he has cared for his sibling ever since. Their stories are all similar; they have overcome huge odds and driven by a passionate desire to learn they found their way to the Digital Learning Center in Hazyview.

IMG_7708The center has also become a second home for many primary students who participate in after school programs at the center. In fact, the center was providing services to AIDS orphans in one local primary school and the principal of the school approached Kate about the progress of his students. He told her he wanted all of his students to participate because the test scores of the students who were already involved in the program were so much higher than the other students in their classes.

IMG_0007I went to South Africa hoping I could make a small contribution while I was there. Instead, I was inspired by the students I interacted with they taught me so much about resiliency and hope. Martha and I want to thank everyone who has generously contributed to the LEAP Foundation. Your dollars have been well spent by the Good Work Foundation.  GWF is changing the face of education in South Africa and now they are being used as a model in other parts of the world. I hope you will continue to support the LEAP so that we can continue to help educate the women and children of rural South Africa!

Much Love,


About The LEAP Foundation

There’s a completely unhidden agenda behind the Self-Transformation Adventure Retreats  (STARs) we’re conducting in Africa. The STARs are intended to change your life, and as a byproduct help you change the world.  The STARs take you into wild environments (with luxury accommodations) to let nature work its magic on you.  The proceeds go to “Restoring Eden,” a project that heals damaged ecosystems, from the rivers and land to the plants, animals, and humans.  It creates a sustainable micro-economy in which indigenous populations can thrive economically as guardians of the wilderness.

Our African STAR takes place on what was once an overgrazed, “useless” tract of farmland in northern South Africa. When two teenaged brothers, David and John Varty, inherited the land after their father’s sudden death, they decided to “restore Eden” on their property. They named the place Londolozi (Zulu for “protector of all living things”), restored native vegetation and animals, and began running photo safaris that provide income to sustain their conservation efforts and employ many of the local Shangaan people.

Love + Energy + Alignment = Power (and a LEAP in Consciousness)

Londolozi, where the African STAR takes place, offers a model of healing we hope will be replicated all over the world. In Africa, the healer’s animal totem is the leopard. Because a group of leopards is called a “leap,” we use that word to describe anyone who feels a call to help heal the earth. We like to imagine these people creating a leap in consciousness by combining Love, Energy, and Alignment, which add up to a benevolent healing Power.

This project starts by bringing people like you to experience the magically healing power of nature. During a week of intensive coaching and wildlife experience (with five-star accommodations), STAR participants feel a healing force that causes a leap forward in their own lives, then emanates to all other beings and the Earth itself.

The profits from the STARs go partly to sustain and reclaim more wilderness, and partly to fund education for local Africans through the Good Work Foundation, an educational initiative begun at Londolozi, and the LEAP Foundation. Specifically, STAR profits and your donations support the restoration of the historic migratory routes of vast herds of antelope, the removal of fences throughout the entire continent that have killed countless animals, adult literacy programs for villagers, and much, much more.

You don’t need to go on a STAR to help with this totally not-secret plot to help heal the world. Donate directly by clicking below. The LEAP Foundation has exactly zero overhead and zero red tape—your money will go directly to support the above projects.

Much Love,

Your donation is tax deductible in the USA.

For more information about LEAP, please email

 Are you interested in supporting the LEAP Foundation? Here are some creative ideas to inspire you…

  • Fundraise online! Dedicate your wedding, birthday, or any other celebration to the LEAP Foundation! Ask your guests to donate to LEAP in lieu of gifts.
  • Organize a LEAP Event! Host a LEAP dinner or party and ask everyone who comes to donate to LEAP.
  • Coaches, Share the Wealth! Have a “Pay What You Can” Coaching day dedicated to fundraising for the LEAP Foundation – share your proceeds with LEAP.
  • LEAP for your loved ones! Make a donation to the LEAP foundation as a holiday (or other occasion) gift for a friend or family member.  The perfect present for the person who has everything.
  • Leave Your Legacy to LEAP!  If you’re planning your estate, you can specify LEAP foundation as a recipient in you wills and estate plans. Of course, we hope you are around a long time to come and appreciate you thinking of us.

Generous Donor Alert!
Michelle Gillette  is a Stella & Dot representative. She did a fundraising drive for Mother’s Day where she donated all of her profits from her Stella & Dot sales during that period to LEAP. Thanks for taking the LEAP, Michelle!