Staff Spotlight: St John Calitz

Surf Instructor & Sports Coordinator
St John is friendly, hardworking and passionate about his career. He loves working with children, developing skills and coaching. He wants to see you reach your maximum potential while having fun and is always there to guide you on the right path.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I haven't had the opportunity to leave the country or even travel that much at all. I'd have to say my favorite memories of traveling would be driving up the coasts with my girlfriend to go camping and go on surf missions. I've traveled to Jeffery's Bay and I've also been to Johannesburg twice in my lifetime.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Since joining the company, my life has changed for the better, not only physically, but also mentally. My life has taken shape and I am doing what I love, sports and coaching. I get to work with children who are the future of our country, within this, I get to see them grow as individuals and also guide them in the right direction. I meet volunteers from all over the world and form friendships and bonds that I will never forget.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

At SAVE Foundation, we often have returning volunteers, some of them come back to volunteer again and some come back as interns.

One of my favorite volunteers who came back as a skate intern. Due to us working together, we spent a lot of time together and he shared many stories with me, but my favorite story was one of him going back home to France. In the South of France, he went surfing and having learned how to surf with me here in South Africa I knew his capabilities. He told me about the waves he tried to catch and the massive wipeouts he experienced, nothing but good laughs were shared.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I know SAVE Foundation offers quite a few packages, but being the person I am who loves the ocean and sports, I'd have to say I'd join the Sports & Adventure Program. My reasons are simple, the location is based in the heart of Cape Town, right next to the beautiful ocean and Table Mountain.

There are so many activities to do and sites to see in this city and we have so many different cultures all combined into one place. Then there's the project itself: not only do you get the opportunity to tutor and teach children at the school, but you also get to coach them outside of school hours; it's the best of both worlds.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I guess what makes us unique is our location, passion and, of course, our schools.

There are very few volunteering programs that can offer you views of the ocean, city and one of the 7 wonders of the world. The passion we have, our team never stop caring, we work beyond the hours required, we care about every aspect of the company and especially our children. Then there are our schools, we have some incredible teachers that we work with and not only them, but the children are amazing, so loving, so happy and always willing to listen and learn.

I'd say my proudest moment of our team would be during the Christmas period, we all work very hard to fundraise money to purchase all our children Christmas presents and then we personally deliver each and every gift, with one of us dressed as Santa Claus.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I think the biggest factor towards leading a successful company is the staff; if you don't have a team of hardworking, driven and happy staff members, your company simply won't make it. We are the legs and foundation of this company, and if you inject negative or demotivated energy into the veins, you'll end up with a recipe for disaster.