Our Founders

Summerhill’s story starts with the unlikely friendship of 2 women, Paula and Esther.

Despite more than 20 years age difference between them, and different
backgrounds and life experiences, growing up in an apartheid South Africa. They connected and came together through their shared love of children, and a need to make a difference in their country.

As a teenager, Paula was greatly affected by seeing the ravages of the HIV/ Aids pandemic in South Africa. She saw too the great divide between the haves and have-nots and felt a huge call to justice. Although married to Darin and having 3 children of her own, Paula has always felt she was born to be a “mother to many”.

Esther has always been a pillar in her community, serving it well. She is the matriarch of her family, raising her 3 children and fostering more than 10 children all on her own, after the death of her husband.
Though Summerhill was birthed in their hearts, it now physically stands as testament to the good we can all achieve, when we work together, hand in hand, young and old, united.

Founders Paula Owen and Esther Lynn 'Gogo'