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Meet our panelists – Karin Viviers

Born in Pretoria in 1965, Karin grew up in an Afrikaans family and community in Johannesburg.  She attained a BA degree in Social Work at the University of Stellenbosch in 1987 and worked at different NGO’s like Nicro, Safeline and Child Welfare.

“Because I was raised in the Apartheid’s era, I was aware of  people that were kept away from each other through fear, through group area laws, through religions, through different cultures and through economical status. My vision has always been to build relationships across cultural, language and colour barriers”.

Karin married Jan Viviers, a corporate lawyer, in 1987 and had 3 children. Karin and her husband continued to be involved in various social initiatives, especially in Kayamandi, a township outside Stellenbosch.

One day, the following challenge from an acquaintance changed their lives:

“It’s easy for you to come and talk to us about how much you care for us. But when you are finished here, you’ll get in your car and drive to your safe suburb where you’ll forget about me. You don’t know what it is like to live in a township where poverty and crime surround you day and night.”

A great deal happened between that day and now, when Jan, his wife Karin, and their three young children bought a house in Kayamandi and called it home…

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