History

Our prime sponsor is Amapondo Backpacker Lodge, where we are based and operate from. The Amapondo Children’s Project was founded by the previous owners of the Amapondo Backpackers Lodge: Annie Oakley and Tim Whitakker. As Port St Johns is located in a very rural area, they noticed the needs of the local community, where most of their staff members are from and took it upon their selves to set up initiatives to support the community. They registrated the Amapondo Children’s Project as a non-profit organization in 2006. Up until 2010 they were actively involved in the Amapondo Children’s Project but when they relocated to Thailand, they left their business in the capable hands of their manager. This resulted in the Amapondo Children’s Project to become less active, as the founders and strongest supporting figures were no longer available. The community projects however continued to exist with less or even without the support of the Amapondo Children’s Project.

When Annie Oakley and Tim Whitakker sold the Amapondo Backpackers Lodge in December 2011, the new owners, Neil Clayton (current Director of the Amapondo Children’s Project) and his wife, Amanda Weerdenburg (current treasurer of the Amapondo Children’s Project), took an interest in the Amapondo Children’s Project and they re-activated the Project early 2012 by employing a Project Manager. There have been numerous Project Managers since 2012 and under their leadership and commitment and the continuous support of The Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, the Amapondo Children’s Project was guided to what it is today: a sustainable, well known project that is involved in two main Projects in Port St Johns and supports the local community in any way it can.

What to expect?

What makes this partnership so succesfull? Amapondo's famous recipe: take a stunning hilltop location nestled in tropical rainforest, spoon in panoramic views, add a perfect beach just two shakes of a shark’s tail away, season with a lively bar, African-themed rooms and classy cottages and serve with love and care.

Amapondo Backpackers offers a wide variety of accommodation, from camping to private rooms and self-catering cottages. They have sociable bar and delicious restaurant on the premises, where guests can wine and dine. For those who like to prepare something yummy themselves, there is a fully equipped communal kitchen.

Volunteers are accommodated in the Volunteer Dorm (short stay) of the Amapondo Backpackers Lodge or at the three bedroom Volunteer Cottage that has its own a kitchen, bathroom and living room, as well as a large deck with spectacular ocean views (long term stay). 

For more information, check out www.amapondo.co.za and check out our photo-album in the Gallery!