As with any organisation, it is important to look back and assess ones progress, analyse results and determine ones future paths based on ones findings and the current needs in society.
It has been ten years now since the Trust took in its first group of learners, and what started out as a brave project by a few individuals to nurture vulnerable kids in the area, has evolved into a Community Project that is supported by a broad spectrum of role players, from ordinary young adults in the rural areas, to multiple church bodies, other NGO’s, the local municipality, government departments and privileged schools in the wider community.
The Trust has grown alongside its benefactors, in order to provide ongoing mentorship to them in the form of skills training, additional help with academic studies, and leadership development that will assist them in their quest to gain employment or further their studies after school.
As our task is so aptly summed up by Peter Block…
“The essential challenge is to transform the isolation and difficulties within our communities into connectedness and caring for the whole. We need to shift our attention from the problems of community to the possibility of community”.
So our Vision has changed over the years:
To promote healthy communities within our area of influence, namely Richmond, and the surrounding areas.
To grow knowledge, capacity and leadership amongst the youth, enabling them to access healthy environments, empower others with their skills, and become change agents in their communities.
This in turn will result in an increase in the economic potential of the area.
Taking into account the dire state of both our economic climate as well as our deepening environmental crises, we have restructured our programmes to include elements that will emphasise food security, give further understanding of our Ecosytems, and provide training in sustainable living.
Building self-esteem,- establishing ones’ worth and purpose on earth, and connectedness to our environment, counselling, dealing with the past.
Healthy living- including, hygiene and the importance of a litter free environment, healthy habits, healthy eating, taking care of oneself emotionally. Self defence
Introducing the concept that “Our choices determine our future” – Goal setting
Identifying individual’s problem areas and establishing relevant networks of support.
Environmental Education – continuing the theme of interconnectedness. Establishing an awareness and understanding of Eco systems by exposing them to a variety of them through nature studies in water, grasslands and wetlands.
Fostering a love of nature and a desire to conserve it- Visits to a game reserve, zoo and Predatory Bird Centre, Including workshops on snakes, birds and insects. A Camp out.
Introduce permaculture – exposing learners to existing farming techniques at The Roselands Outdoor Centre, including organic farming, free range chickens, bee farming. Practical lessons in worm farming, composting, recycling of waste, planting in tyres, and natural methods to prevent pests. Planting of own vegetable seedlings to take home.
Pollution – Workshop on effects of pollution, ways to dispose of waste including recycling, river clean up exercise.
Water Audit – Catchement area concept, Workshop on water usage, awareness of global warming and its effects, introducing ideas on water saving exercise.
Leadership & team building
Developing leadership abilities through decision making activities; group exercises – drama, creative art, collaboration with children from other schools. Brainstorming solutions to community problems in a group, Preparing a presentation for their respective class or school on return.
Personal growth through challenging activities e.g abseiling, solitaire in the wilderness