“Facts are facts, however
Stories are who we are,

how we learn and

what it all means”

Seeds of Hope Stories

Stories can shape people; they can inspire them to think and act differently.
Over the coming months, we will release some stories of our own. 
We would like to introduce you to our Vanderful Volunteers, who are the Seeds of Hope ODV team.

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”

Francesco Gigli (Frankie)

In which year did you join Seeds of Hope & what’s your country of origin?
Together with Vikki, we initiated the concept / idea of Seeds of Hope in 2018, whilst teaching in Namibia and the organisation was registered at the beginning of 2019.  In 2020, we joined  the Board of Directors. I was born in Canada but I grew up in Italy. 
What is your role at Seeds of Hope ODV?
I recently was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors, but my role would probably fall under the ‘Co-Founding Director’. I am in charge of the office administration in Italy and I take part in the decision making of the ongoing projects, especially concerning the Surf-Craftsmanship aspect.

seeds of hope since 2019

6

Countries

99

Trees

17

Volunteers

What do you like most about your role?
Managing this organisation is a dream-come-true! It gives me the opportunity to help the development of children and rural communities through one of my biggest passions, surfing. I believe that developed countries have the moral obligation to deploy time and resources into helping the countries that have not been so lucky due to historical or geographical reasons. Sometimes the bureaucracy can be quite boring, but it all makes sense when you see the smiles on the children’s faces.
What inspired you to volunteer?
Whilst working as teachers in Namibia we noticed that the school system was lacking resources especially regarding alternative methods of education, sports and creativity. We felt the urgency of bridging the gap by using our skills and passions in a continent where there is so much need for quality education.
What is your greatest strength? How does it help you at Seeds of Hope?
I see myself as a visionary, I am a dreamer and by dreaming I try to ‘push’ in the most promising direction. I also think that I am a strong communicator with ‘salesman skills’. This can be helpful when you are trying to convince someone.
What are some of your best memories at Seeds of Hope?
The first time I saw Jorge in Mozambique standing up on the Alaia surfboard he made, it was magical! The same happened in Angola where Miguel took off on a very long wave on his coconut wooden board. Moreover, I felt very proud when Manuel sold his first wooden board to a tourist in Tofo and finally when we returned to the workshop in Angola and I saw Graciano, a local carpenter teaching the children of the community how to build boards, passing the knowledge that I had once imparted.
How do you stay motivated on the not-so-sunny days?
In all honesty, I don’t… Sadly I tend to get very discouraged, but usually it’s when I ‘reach the bottom’ that I suddenly get motivated again but if I have the opportunity to surf, I go for a surf… 
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a volunteer?
If you have the time, do it, you won’t regret it and it might lead you towards a very happy place!

Icebreaker Questions

If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you choose to be?
Surely I would love to fly and the Albatross is my bird of choice… Alternatively probably a whale.
Would you rather live in the ocean or on the moon? 
Ocean 100%! There are no waves on the moon.
What is your best idea for a new invention?
I think a universal language that everyone can understand and speak. Alternatively, a surfboard that is 100% natural and surfs better than any other board.
Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight, or nighttime? Why?
Sunrise! There is a moment, just before the sun is up, when everything seems possible, the air is full of hope!
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