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"Can I Sing You a Song"
The founder of God's Golden Acre, Heather Reynolds, is a well-known humanitarian, who was presented with the SANLAM Bridge-builder's award in 1996 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She has been working in the rural valleys between Durban and Pietermaritzburg for over 20 years. Through her compassion, hard work, and iron-willed determination Heather has brought hope and salvation to hundreds of children and families in KwaZulu-Natal, who were stricken by poverty and HIV-AIDS. Heather has been the instigator and force behind countless projects in the community, which saved lives and created opportunities for young people to develop themselves and the area in which they live.
The establishment of God’s Golden Acre was sparked by Heather’s commitment to God, love of children, and detestation of poverty. It all started during a trip to Uganda in 1993, where she was moved with compassion by an encounter with abandoned and dying children. In response, she founded God's Golden Acre. Today, Heather’s mission continues to be fuelled by her vivacious spirit, abiding humanity, and resolute faith. Heather’s enthusiasm and belief in what can be achieved if we work together is contagious, and her ability to connect with different cultures and communities is a gift. Heather’s personal identity and recognition by the Zulu nation as a white Zulu enables her and God’s Golden Acre to access and support the most vulnerable and marginalised in the community.
God’s Golden Acre is a non-governmental organisation and charity based and working in the Valley of a Thousand Hills in KwaZulu-Natal. Originally established in 1994 as a Cluster Foster Care Home for local children orphaned or abandoned as a result of HIV or violence, it is now a community beacon, and has been a source of community support and development. God’s Golden Acre’s strength derives from its acceptance by, and integration with, the local community, coupled with international financial support through child sponsorships and donations.
The region in which God’s Golden Acre operates is the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS pandemic; there is massive loss of life among the adult generation on a daily basis, and consequently ever-increasing numbers of child-headed households. No children are capable of providing for themselves in respect of food and safety; however, thousands of children in the region are compelled to attempt this impossible task. The work of this organisation is crucial to providing homes for, and acting as a voice for, the children who are destitute and without help. Archbishop Desmond Tutu described God’s Golden Acre as a “beacon of hope”, creating a brighter future for the children and communities of KwaZulu-Natal.
Heather still spends a lot of her time developing programmes within the rural community.
She created and continues to train a performing group called ”The GGA Young Zulu Warriors", who have toured Europe and the UK several times. She is a motivational and inspirational speaker, and fundraises internationally. She has helped set up several charities in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the US, to support the work at God’s Golden Acre. In recognition for the work she has done she was a “woman of the year” nominee in 1996. 2002, 2006, 2009 Since then she has received numerous other awards and nominations .In 2006 she won the prestigious Unsung Heroes Award, in 2007 the International Charity Award by The Centre for Social Justice, in 2008 the Beacon Fellowship Prize for Community Building, and she was made a Fellow of the Beacon Fellowship.
Her biography, titled ‘God’s Golden Acre’ and written by Dale le Vack, was published in 2005.