Dr Viola Fransman
Dr Viola Fransman

Dr Viola Fransman

(Dr) Viola Fransman celebrates 21 years at Petra Institute and a doctorate

“When you get involved with Petra Institute or deal with its people, you first feel it. You can only give words for it later.”

Love for children led Viola Fransman (48) to Petra Institute in 1997, where she completed the three-month training at Petra Institute in White River, Mpumalanga. Although she did not initially look forward to leaving the Western Cape for a short time, she describes her training months as ‘life-changing’.

Her first visit to Petra Institute also reminds Viola of their huge loss when Johan du Preez, founder of the institute, died in a car accident. The death of Du Preez took place during her course and led to her having to go through the grieving process with the staff, which forged strong relationship ties.

Looking back on 21 years of involvement with Petra Institute, Viola describes it as a family.

“The current network of people in my life came about because of Petra Institute, it is not just a place where you work, it is a place where you become human. It becomes like a family.”

Viola’s involvement in children’s ministry comes from her growing up in Wellington, in the Western Cape, where she realised the importance of mentoring children. This motivated her to study youth work in 1991, after matric. From there, she obtained her honours and then later her master’s degree in theology. This year she is also the proud recipient of her doctorate at the North-West University and her name is now Dr VJ Fransman.

This title does not bother her much, it is what she learned during her doctorate which she now uses to serve her community in De Doorns, especially the children.

** Maroela Media recently conducted a profile interview with Viola. To read more about her life journey and work in De Doorns, please follow the following link:

How can Petra Institute take hands with you, your church or organisation?

Petra Institute can assist your organisation or church to understand God’s heart for children. We listen to your unique needs and then we work out a strategy that fits your vision. A key element in the strategy is to train a core group of leaders to do relational children’s ministry in their own context and from this group of leaders, a group is identified that are trained to train trainers.

Over the years, Petra Institute has developed active partnerships in 29 countries, with equipped trainers in 40 countries and trained children’s workers in more than 60 countries.

For more information about our Courses, Advocacy Workshops, Consulting Services, Partnerships and Training:





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