A MESSAGE FROM JULIE
I am proud and confident that Lindsay Hanekom will ably step into the role of Head of Operations, Phil Murray will fulfil the role of Head of Fundraising, PR & Communications, and Martienet Fourie, our internal auditor, will assume the Head of Finance role.
I am not going far, and will always remain a part of the Grootbos family. Our adventure together continues.
HELP GET CHILDREN BACK TO SCHOOL IN 2021
How can we all help children make a fresh start in the 2021 school year to make sure that children get the best from their education? Grootbos Foundation plans to give vulnerable children and schools a jumpstart in 2021 by distributing back-to-school packs to support 5’000 marginalised children at 15 under-resourced schools in the Overberg. Through this project, we will ease the burden on parents who have been severely impacted through job losses and reduction in income as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Please help us raise R100’000 to make individual stationery packs that include pens, pencils, a glue stick, eraser, flip files, exam pads and other basics, as well as and whole school packs to help with extra printing costs at schools that support home learning.
Education is a key that we give to children to open a world of possibilities ahead of them. We can all help children feel that there is a bright future ahead worth working towards.
ECD GRADUATION AND OPEN DAY
On Saturday 14 November, Masakhane’s Early Childhood Development Centres joined forces to host their first ever Open Day event at Masakhane Pre-school. Takalane ECD, Good Hope ECD, Masakhane Pre-School, parents, and members of the greater community have not been able to stop talking about the event aimed at raising awareness of the importance of the ECD sector.
Development in the early childhood years relies on not only nutrition but on the development of fine and gross motor skills, the development of logic, curiosity, language and learning, and the emotional confidence that is nurtured in a safe place of learning by well-trained teachers. This sets children on a pathway to future success. Early Childhood Development centres give parents peace of mind that their children are well cared for while they pursue their own careers. Thank you to Secret Santa and Overstrand Municipality for your support as we congratulate this group of eager young learners who are now ready for Grade R in 2021.
We look forward to welcoming new children to the ECDs in 2021.
LIGHTHOUSE 2 LIGHTHOUSE PRACTICE WALK
Grootbos Foundation, The Fynbos Trail and Flower Valley Conservation Trust partnered with the Lighthouse 2 Lighthouse Ladies to host the second formal practice walk for the Lighthouse 2 Lighthouse 2020 charity walk. The practice walk took place on 15 November in the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy and followed a gruelling yet beautiful route of about 21 km through blooming fynbos, down valleys, up kloofs and overlooking the most amazing vistas of Walker Bay! What an epic hike, all for a good cause.
COVID RELIEF UPDATE
Our Covid 19 Relief programme has enabled us to continue to support our communities and respond to their changing needs. Many children who were reliant on school feeding schemes for their primary nutrition have been able to receive a daily hot meal from the Masakhane soup kitchen along with adults who have also found themselves uncertain where to get their next meal.
Overstrand Disaster Management began a gradual withdrawal from involvement in the soup kitchen in September, and since then, the sourcing of ingredients, preparation, cooking and distribution of meals have become the responsibility of Grootbos Foundation. The majority of our beneficiaries live in Masakhane but we have been able to share the love and provide support to other feeding schemes in neighbouring towns to ensure that Covid 19 regulations do not leave vulnerable people hungry.
Thank you to Kat Myburgh, Municipal Manager of Gansbaai, for his tireless efforts to support all communities within the Overstrand.
FOOTBALL FOUNDATION RETURNS TO SPACES4SPORT
Football Foundation afternoon sports have resumed at the community Spaces4Sports field in Gansbaai every afternoon. Covid 19 protocols are carefully followed to keep everyone safe. All children are welcome at this fun and safe place where they can play a variety of sports in the care of trained coaches. Please feel free to come to the sports field just beyond the Gansbaai Municipality between 14:30 – 16:30 from Monday – Friday, request an indemnity form and join in. Sports present healthy and positive opportunities to all ages!
Grootbos Foundation Coach Mzi Matiwane, young female soccer player, Lelethu Mlimisi and Phil Murray were invited to speak to the UEFA Foundation for Children during their recent Board of Trustees meeting. The topic was the importance and role of development sports in the lives of young people, and how Covid 19 regulations showed even more clearly how much we need sports of all kinds. Digital platforms have enabled us to participate for the first time in discussions never before possible because of the sheer distance between people – what amazing opportunities for conversations have emerged making the world feel a little smaller and a little safer in unfamiliar times.
GREEN FUTURES COLLEGE
The Green Futures College is in its 17th year of operation and has filled a much-needed gap within the Overstrand community, providing training opportunities to unemployed, marginalized youth. In 2020 we provided a shortened version of Indigenous Horticulture Training to fit into a shortened year, offering a bouquet of certificates to enable students to enter into the field of fynbos and indigenous landscaping. In 2021, we hope to provide green internship opportunities to some of these students so that they can gain further experience and continue their individual studies.
Thank you to Rotary International which funded the complete Eco-Tourism Hospitality Training in 2020. This year’s students received training in Food and Beverage Service and First Aid Level 1 with their practical hospitality learning component taking place in the Grootbos Lodge. This generous Rotary Global Grant has also allowed us to support the education of the children of our Green Futures College students by paying school fees to ensure that children are safe and secure while their parents attend college.
Green Futures students were delighted by a field trip to Cape Town and Table Mountain – this was the very first time that any of these young students had the opportunity to go up the Mother City’s famous seventh wonder of nature! What joy and excitement!
Our Eco-Tourism Hospitality class also relished their visit to Creation Wines which expanded their understanding of hospitality and service in the area.
GREEN FUTURES GRADUATION
Grootbos Foundation is exceptionally proud of the Class of 2020. Congratulations to our Eco-Tourism and Indigenous Horticulture students on their graduation from their respective courses! May your future be bright and your hard work pay off as we rebuild in 2021.
GREEN FUTURES CONSERVATION
Our Conservation and Research Unit have been hard at work to ensure that that we maintain and conserve our amazing biodiversity.
The Conservation team conducted a controlled burn of 150 hectares. Ideally, fynbos should burn every 10 to 15 years as many species respond to the nutrients from ash – a trigger for germination. We look forward to the profusion of bulbs in our next flowering season!
Thank you to our partners in the Overstrand Municipality and Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association for their assistance.
NEW SPECIES TO SCIENCE DISCOVERED!
During lockdown, we had time to explore the various corners of the reserve. Our research botanist, Rebecca Dames, came across a new species of Indigofera! The species is yet to be named and described but we are incredibly excited by the prospect of officially confirming this seventh new species to science.
PROTECTED ENVIRONMENT PROGRESS
The Conservation and Research Unit has been working with key landowners within the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy to establish a statutorily recognised Protected Environment. This will consist of 16 landowners, conserving over 12’000 hectares of high-value conservation land including a number of critically endangered vegetation types.
Thank you to each of our partners for their ongoing commitment to this exciting initiative which will secure a lasting legacy of conservation in the region.
VISITING RESEARCH GROUP FROM UCT
The University of Cape Town’s Conservation Biology students attended a week-long immersion at the Grootbos Environmental Centre.
The University of Cape Town Conservation Biology students are conducting various scientific research projects including human-wildlife conflict (baboons/ snares), the effects of urban and agricultural development on Hymenopteran communities (wasps, ants, bees and sawflies), mining impacts on bird communities, carbon sequestration, and many more.
SIYAKHULA SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS DURING COVID
Our Siyakhula Entrepreneurship programme has provided vital support to previous entrepreneurs by providing Covid 19 Relief packs to enable businesses to resume their activities and to follow safety protocols.
Grootbos Foundation provided entrepreneurship training to people affected by income loss as a result of Covid 19. Twelve promising micro-businesses were identified to receive seed funding and we are proud to report that nine of these have already begun to operate successfully as small, local sustainable businesses, playing a vital role in generating income and recovery in our local communities.