Tag Archives: The EXPEDITION Project

agulhas

Africa’s Southern-most Goings-on

Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative, Breadasdorp
Close to Africa’s southern tip of Cape Agulhas, we visited the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) offices and were intrigued to learn about the similarities between some of the objectives of both ABI and The EXPEDITION Project. Like The EXPEDITION Project and among its many objectives, ABI aims to facilitate and improve networking and coordination between like-minded groups, with a particular focus on conservation in the Overberg. Specifically, its objectives are known as their “5 C’s”: Convene interested and affected parties; Collate information and data; Communication facilitation; Conceptualisation of projects; and Cash raising.
ABI crop
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives, © 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

For more information about the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative, visit http://www.flowervalley.org.za/what_we_do/agulhas_biodiversity_initiative.

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The Joshua Tree, Bredasdorp
Within the Agulhas Biosphere area, we found a brilliant example of a job creation initiative taking roots under the name of The Joshua Tree.
joshua single
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

This skills development non-profit organisation is part of Lishtol Community Projects. Local people are trained in woodworking skills, which they then improve and refine by working together to share what they have learned. The craftsmen we met on site were very proud to show us the beautiful products they make – all of which are crafted from salvaged wood. Oak barrels are given a new life  as furniture and cheese boards, while other recycled wooden material is transformed into stunning rustic picture frames. As the crafters are from the local community, they also serve as a valuable link for the charitable focus of the NPO. The Joshua Tree is a for-profit business with a social conscience as driving force. And with an irresistibly beautiful product line!
Joshua crop
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives, © 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

For more information about The Joshua Tree, visit http://thejoshuatree.bradly.co.za.

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Meals on Wheels, Struisbaai
Meals on Wheels provides daily hot, nutritionally balanced meals to a huge number of children in the local community, most of whom wouldn’t be able to access them if they weren’t brought to their neighbourhoods. They also provide meals to the elderly on a smaller scale. It’s a full time job and appreciated by so many. When they realised that this wasn’t enough, however, the Meals on Wheels team embarked on bigger talks… A project managed under Meals on Wheels is to provide a safe haven for children who have to be removed from their homes for various reasons, all of which relate to abuse. Building up their confidence and sense of worth is coupled with the objective of eventually reuniting children with their rehabilitated families in a stable home environment. Their role in the community is understated, but overwhelmingly positive in impact.
Meals on wheels crop
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

This photo blog was prepared in support of The EXPEDITION Project 2013.

Garden route

Behind the “Glitz” of the Garden Route

Plettenberg Bay is known for its stunning beaches and glitzy holiday homes, but we found a gem of a different kind in Kranshoek on Plett’s Robberg Peninsula. This was a return visit for The EXPEDITION Project and Phillip navigated the team to the ongoing projects of Kranshoek, filling us in on all the updates over the past year.
hearts Philip 1
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

We were met with a warm welcome at the children’s library, which was filled with books for all ages and in a variety of languages. The librarian mentioned that the outside of the building is sometimes vandalised with graffiti so we brainstormed an idea we picked up from the Valleys and Mountains Development Foundation in Bonnievale where colourful murals have been painted on large wall spaces throughout the town. Maybe this is something that the TEP team could help with on a re-visit. Watch this space!
hearts Philip library
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

We walked to the Kranshoek Community Development Centre where they are busy with a number of initiatives, including a vegetable garden and nursery, a youth band which is also linked to life skills learning, and an upholstery workshop for local entrepreneurs. And on the other side of Kranshoek, we popped in to visit with the team at the House of Hope – a local soup kitchen.
kranshoek
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

hearts Philip house hope
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

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Our plans to join the Masithandane team in their mosaic activities were derailed by the fact that we arrived immediately before the Knysna Oyster Festival, which presents a huge opportunity for the crafters to sell their wares. As such, they were busy getting as much product ready for the market as possible. Our time, however, was not wasted; Lettie and Lisa helped out with some of the tasks that Masithandane said they never seem to get to, like colour coordinating Masithandane‘s stacks of tiles!
Hearts masi mosaic crop
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives, © 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

For more information about Masithandane, visit http://www.masithandane.org/.

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Our last stop along the Garden Route was to Thanda Jesu where we learned of the huge strides made by this project since it started in October 2012. Inspired by the need to support the impoverished children and families in the local area, Thanda Jesu has grown tremendously such that it now provides a number of community support services, including a unique initiative whereby food parcels are exchanged for time spent packing them. For example, packing 100 food parcels provides an individual with five packages to take home, which is enough to feed a family of six for the week! TEP looks forward to following this project and helping them to network with similar initiatives around the country.
Hearts thanda jesu crop
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives, © 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

For more information about Thanda Jesu, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thanda-JESU-Wilderness-Heights/246796315465249.

This photo blog was prepared in support of The EXPEDITION Project 2013.

Isipho

Fun and Games at Isipho near Addo Elephant National Park

Playing sports with 100+ children? Really? Some of us definitely felt a bit intimidated by this project visit prospect. Thankfully, as Roger stepped up to bat on the make-shift cricket pitch, Lettie and Lisa were tasked with much less strenuous activities – colouring and reading stories!
Isipho cricket

 Isipho colour
© 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

Wednesday is ‘sports day’ at Isipho Multipurpose Centre; on other weekdays the kids get stuck in with various other educational and recreational after school activities. About 75 children are at Ishipho’s crèche from 8 ’til 4 every day of the week, and we managed to catch one of the two classes mid-nap. We distracted the other class – and gave the teacher a bit of a break – by showing the children photos of themselves.
Isipho creche
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

The week before our visit, permaculture training had taken place at Isipho’s gardens, so they were busy doing a bit of an overhaul when we were there. Food grown in the garden is supplemented by fresh eggs from the chickens in the adjacent coop, and both provide a hearty meal to the kids who attend the crèche.
Isipho garden
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

As we were about to climb in the Landy, we realised that the kids and staff at Isipho were assembling to say good-bye. Spirited singing and dancing erupted and kept us entertained for at least another ½ hour – our best farewell yet. Thank you to everyone at the Isipho Multipurpose Centre!
Isipho dance
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

This photo blog was prepared in support of The EXPEDITION Project 2013.

breede sign

“Skills for Life” at the Breede Centre

True to its slogan, “Skills for Life”, The Breede Centre strives to empower unemployed people in the local area with entrepreneurial skills.
breede tools
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

Current training includes woodwork, computer skills and needle work, while plans are in place to add gardening, cooking, hairdressing, and other practical courses to the subject list.
Breede shelves
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

Skills taught ensure that students are able to produce high-quality, unique goods so that they can be sold in markets where returns are sufficient to enable funding for ongoing training as well as an income for the entrepreneurs themselves.
Breede wooden animals
© 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

Pieter Halloway started The Breede Centre after teaching in the local schools for a number of years. This experience made him very familiar with the pressures facing youth in the area. High levels of unemployment lead some youth to drug and alcohol abuse, so Pieter is striving to alleviate this by passing on his skills in maths, woodwork, accounting, and building (among others). Fundamental to his approach is ensuring that people are supported to believe in themselves.
Breede Pieter
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

For more information about The Breede Centre, visit www.facebook.com/TheBreedeCentre.

This photo blog was prepared in support of The Expedition Project 2013.

Bonnie People

Bonnie People in Bonnievale

We didn’t drive very far – in fact, only from one part of the small town of Bonnievale to another – but were surprised to discover yet a whole new team of passionate local people working to improve the future for youth at Bonnie People.
Expedition bonnievale guy
© 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

We arrived to a veritable hive of activity – loo blocks being installed, children playing on the swings, classes taking place, a football being kicked around, a car being washed, and another team of visitors staring back wondering who we were too.
Expedition Bonnievale-113
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

Much like the Valleys and Mountains project we had just visited, Bonnie People also runs a creche and a variety of activities and training programmes for youth who struggle with the conventional school system.
Expedition bonnievale a
© 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

There is a huge vegetable garden running along the edge of the property that, in future, could supply food for learners or an income stream through the sale of surplus vegetables.
Expedition Bonnievale-107
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

For more information about The Bonnie People project visit www.bonniepeople.co.za.

This photo blog was prepared in support of The EXPEDITION Project 2013.

mvdt outside wall

“Learn today, lead tomorrow”

When we walked into the Valleys and Mountains Development Foundation, the first thing that we  was the degree of focus of the +/- 20 youth busy with their paper-maché creations. They were all incredibly immersed in their work – a buzz of teens sculpting out of recycled drink containers, cardboard boxes, and anything else they can get their hands on!

© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

The goal of the Valleys and Mountains Development Foundation is to provide opportunities for youth who might otherwise find themselves tempted by drugs and alcohol, crime and / or getting involved with gangs.

© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

After school activities offered by the Foundation include the visual arts, dance classes, boxing, and drama, while daytime learning opportunities are available to those youth who are no longer attending school. Starting at the beginning – with the little children – is fundamental to Foundation’s success, which is why they also offer a crèche right next door.
mvdt painted wall

© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

Positive feedback, encouragement, helping them to realise that they can choose, they can speak up for themselves, they do have a voice is summarised by the project’s slogan: “Learn today, lead tomorrow”.

© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

One of many success factors that was mentioned by the project team was that assignments, which have certain guidelines provided are still open to interpretation in terms of how the learners want to complete them and it is this freedom that makes possible their growing confidence levels.

© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

As pointed out by the project team, the objective is to bring out the confidence that each individual has within themselves, but hasn’t yet discovered…

For more information about The Valleys and Mountains Development Foundation visit www.valleysmountainskids.co.za.

This photo blog was prepared by, and in support of, The EXPEDITION Project 2013.

TEP_Pebbles Blog-02

The Pebbles Project – getting a head start in the Cape Winelands

What better place to start an EXPEDITION than in one of South Africa’s top tourist destinations? We skipped the wine tasting rooms though and went straight to The Pebbles Project in the heart of the Cape Winelands.

© 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

The Pebbles Project works through 28 schools and crèches in the area to support the specialised educational needs of disadvantaged children and youth. Many of these promising young learners grow up in particularly challenging environments, which sometimes include the prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome, domestic violence, and poor diet.

© 2013 Lisa Scriven ι levelle perspectives

The facilities they have created are bright, colourful, and create a stimulating environment for all of the eager learners, ranging from toddlers to teenagers.

© 2013 Lisa Scriven ι levelle perspectives

We, the TEP team were intrigued to hear how the Pebbles Project strategically implements its educational activities with the support of four other key areas: health, nutrition, environment, and protection.

© 2013 Lisa Scriven ι levelle perspectives

The Pebbles Project has not only had a positive impact on the children and youth of the area, but also amongst the broader community. Just as we were about to leave one of the farm labourers dropped off a bag of delicious freshly picked oranges!

© 2013 Lisa Scriven ι levelle perspectives

We came away from the Pebbles Project with a really positive feeling: passionate people, happy children and a perfect launch to The EXPEDITION Project!

© 2013 Lisa Scriven ι levelle perspectives

For more information about the work being done by the Pebbles Project team, visit www.pebblesproject.co.za.

This photo blog was prepared in support of The EXPEDITION Project 2013.