Nominate your most inspirational local woman

Christiana Leonard from Franschhoek Hospice said the nomination allowed her to do even more community work.

Many women in the Cape Winelands make remarkable contributions to their communities, such as running soup kitchens, providing social services or initiating community development.

Each year, Valcare, a non-profit organisation operating throughout this region, honours 15 inspirational women who conquer challenges to make a difference in the lives of others.

Through their Proteas of the Valley initiative, they want to give people hope and showcase the positive work being done by everyday women.

“We want to give women in the valley a platform to share their stories, bring hope to others and inspire us with their strength. That is why, 10 years later, we are still running the Proteas of the Valley initiative,” says Jolanda van der Lingen, Valcare’s relationship manager.

The Proteas, as they are referred to, are nominated by the public. The 15 women selected are then honoured throughout Women’s Month in August. Here, the women have the opportunity to share their stories on Valcare’s social media and in the media.

Christiana Leonard, a social auxiliary worker at Franschhoek Hospice, says Proteas of the Valley allowed her to do more good in her community.

“Being selected as a Protea was wonderful. I still cherish the whole experience. It elevated my standing in the community, opening doors for me to impact even more lives.”

The chosen Proteas all have one thing in common—they have faced and overcome tremendous hardships in life. This has shaped them into strong women who are giving and courageous.

Albernita Francis, an aftercare facilitator and life skills development champion in Paarl, says becoming a Protea was an eye-opening experience.

“Telling my story was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. Although I had to revisit dark places in my past, sharing my story was cathartic. Hopefully, it inspired others to look past their hardships to help others.”

If you know of an incredible woman in the Cape Winelands doing amazing things in her community, nominate them by Monday July 4, visit to complete the online nomination forms.

One of the former Protea of the Valley winners, Albernita Francis.