The American Friends of the Phelophepa train is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to provide an American fundraising platform. We appeal to individuals, corporations, foundations and other to contribute to the Phelophepa cause in South Africa. The AFPT actively recruits new board members who are familiar with and committed to improving the wellbeing of rural South Africa.

The AFPT seeks to engage donors on all levels through traditional and web-based media and gala events. In addition, we pursue grants from American philanthropic foundations, as well as seek partnerships with relevant institutions that could aid the work and service delivery of the cause in South Africa.

“Seeking partnerships with relevant institutions that could aid the work and service delivery of the cause in South Africa”



Archbishop Desmond and Leah Tutu, as the longtime patrons of the Phelophepa Train, have been instrumental in bringing attention and support to the project. His Eminence and his wonderful wife, Leah, have worked long and hard to bring to life their fundamental belief that everyone deserves the blessing of what the word “Phelophepa” means — good, clean health!

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Cathe Kruger

Board Member
Executive Vice President
American Friends of the Phelophepa Train

Colin Cowie

Board member
Chairman Colin Cowie Lifestyle

Alistair T. Rock

Board Chairman
President and CEO, EBDS

Jay Gavigan

Board Member
Partner, Clifford Chance LLP, New York

Patrice Tanaka

Board Treasurer & Secretary
Founder & Chief Joy Officer
Joyful Planet LLC

Isaac Harris

Board member
Director of Product Management, Consumer Health at UPMC

Mike Johnson

Board Member

James K. Mueller

Board member
Managing Director
North America for Q5 inc


The American Friends of the Phelophepa Train, a 501(c) (3) organization, was formed 13 years ago to enhance funding and awareness for our preventive health organization targeting rural residents of South Africa. We value our American donors for their unwavering support and commitment to a vital cause in this culturally diverse developing country.

The Phelophepa Train brings a range of healing – physical, emotional and social – to what was once a racially torn nation. As the country’s “Miracle Train,” our staff provides basic health care to hard-to-reach residents of South Africa where the ratio of medical care is one doctor to every 5,000 citizens.

We feel strongly that our optimal resources are preventative care, basic health education and an efficient infrastructure to sustain them. More than ever, we need continued collective support to reach our goals.

One of the biggest causes for celebration in 2012 is the long awaited launch of our second train. On March 12, the Phelophepa II embarked on its first journey to Mount Ruth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The new train will double the capacity of the program and service new territories.

Since our U.S. launch in 2002, the American Friends of the Phelophepa Train has organized annual fundraiser galas and other events where we honor American business and social leaders who share our goals in bringing superior health services to the masses. Thanks to their support, and the contributions of new U.S. ambassadors and donors, we hope to continue to deliver the highest standard of care and improve the quality of life for rural South Africans.

Thanks to our American friends, our train has traveled thousands of more miles and succeeding in reaching approximately 16.5 million South Africans.

We have also garnered global recognition. In 2008, Phelophepa I became the first sustainable South African initiative to receive the prestigious United Nations Public Service Award for its excellence in public service delivery. Among other accolades, in 2011 Phelopheba I was honored by Texas’ Honor Society of Nursing with the Sigma Theta Tau International award, for making a visible difference in the lives of citizens in rural areas.

We have built a solid foundation and treated many South Africans in need of medical care. Looking to the future, we hope to enhance our work in the communities we serve through the following new initiatives:

Further develop and improve the trains’ infrastructure to strengthen and expand our reach. Introduce truck service to enrich our work in villages and schools and ultimately build permanent clinics. Modernize rail track maintenance to insure safe and continuous delivery of services. As to bolstering our long-term goals, we have high expectations for a “Leadership & Development Project” to boost training for healthcare professionals on the Phelophepa Trains. Our focus centers on advanced diagnostic skills training, improved research and data capturing techniques, more technically advanced administration and management systems, and analysis of good governance practices.

Your generosity has helped us accomplish many feats. Our grand goal is to help rebuild South Africa’s public health and health education systems and guarantee health care access to all. With your continued commitment to Phelophepa, we know we can make this happen.

We owe it to the people we serve in South Africa, and hope that you will choose to be with us every step of the way.

Cathe Kruger
Executive Vice President (AFPT)