91 Stories of hope

03. Bulungula Incubator

Discover the inspiring journey of Réjane Woodroffe and Bulungula Incubator, a transformative project empowering South African communities through holistic development, education, and sustainable livelihoods.

01 Feb 2024

1 minutes

Bulungula Incubator

In this third Ninety One Stories of Hope, we explore the incredible story of Réjane Woodroffe, the visionary co-founder of Bulungula Incubator, and her commitment to making a meaningful impact.

Bulungula Incubator is shaping a narrative of hope and resilience in South Africa and has transformed communities through holistic development, education, and sustainable livelihoods.

“It's essential to understand that the well-being of an individual is intrinsically linked to the well-being of their community. When we invest in one person, we're essentially investing in the entire community.”

In 2004, Réjane discovered the beauty of the Nqileni village, located in one of the most rural parts of the Mbhashe municipality, when her husband, Dave, initiated the development of Bulungula Lodge. Touched by the warmth of the people and deeply moved by the heartbreaking statistics - 53% of households had lost at least one child to diarrhoea, while one in nine has lost three children or more due to a lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation; Réjane and Dave established Bulungula Incubator in 2007. Built on principles of community ownership - Réjane's commitment has been pivotal in fostering collaboration with locals to implement sustainable solutions.

Transitioning from a high-profile corporate role to a non-profit endeavour was challenging, but it stemmed from a profound desire to make a meaningful difference. The shift reflected a growing responsibility to give back to the community, realising that skills, experience, and resources could make a significant impact, as illustrated by the 10,000 lives Bulungula Incubator touches annually through initiatives in early childhood development, education, healthcare, job opportunities, and more.

Réjane Woodroffe

Through the work of Bulungula Incubator, Réjane has learned the essence of community and unity, highlighting the strength found in collaboration and the appreciation for life's simpler joys. Bulungula Incubator is a testament to the transformative power of shared meals, the beauty of nature, and a supportive community, redefining the true priorities in life.

In the spirit of Ubuntu, Bulungula Incubator embodies the belief that everyone can contribute and make a difference. Réjane's story inspires us to actively pursue positive change, hand in hand with the community, radiating hope throughout South Africa.

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