Grootbos Foundation | Newsletter | April 2022
A new year brings with it fresh, promising opportunities at Grootbos Foundation. 2022 has got off to an action-packed start with two Earth Ranger camps for children, a new biodiversity stewardship programme designed to train people in habitat restoration and rehabilitation, recruitment of our Eco-tourism and Horticulture Classes for 2022, the launch of the 2022 Entrepreneurship community workshops and, finally, a full-throttled sports programme.
Thank you for supporting Grootbos Foundation and following our stories and adventures in 2022.
Campaign Update – Back to School
Thank you to everyone who helped us reach our target! With your help, we have been able to provide 500 Back2School stationery kits to the children of the Grootbos Foundation community. These kits have given children a fresh start for their school year and taken the financial pressure off their parents from providing these learning items. Thank you for giving young children the joy of learning, writing, reading and art in 2022.
Sponsor the Masakhane Hub Team from Grootbos Foundation as they walk along the beautiful Walker Bay coastline to the Masakhane Hub this Sunday. The goal is to raise funds for the Masakhane Hub in the middle of Masakhane.
Show your support and sponsor these walkers with a donation as they stride for the community, and stride for change. Follow the #beachstriders live on our Facebook and Instagram Stories on Sunday, 20 March.
You can go for a walk too! You can walk in your own neighbourhood and help us raise funds by sharing a photograph with the hashtag #beachstrider on 20 March.
Current Fundraising Campaign – FundaStudent
The Green Futures College has provided vocational training to young adults since 2003, and fills an important gap to ensure that local youths who do not have the means to attend a college or university are offered the opportunity to learn practical work skills for a green economy and to improve their lives.
If you would like to make a donation towards ensuring that these young students’ lives and those of their families are changed, while contributing positively to the fynbos environment, please visit our FundaStudent campaign on our website. Every donation makes a difference.
Green Futures College – Introducing the Class of 2022
Back row from left: Nozi Phakamile, Zubenathi Nyakaza and Sibahle Twala
|The Green Futures Nursery at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is open to the public. Our friendly nursery staff have been trained at Green Futures College and look forward to assisting you with your indigenous garden needs.|
|Open: Monday to Friday, 08:30 to 16:00
Closed: Weekends and Public Holidays
Telephone: 028 384 8043Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Siyakhula – Careers and Employability
After the success of our Entrepreneurship programme in 2021 that provided seed funding to 38 small businesses during the pandemic, we hope to gather even more momentum for this exciting programme in 2022 to activate further dynamic and creative micro-enterprises in our region. A three-day intensive Entrepreneurship Workshop has already been held in Gansbaai and the Hermanus version will take place before the end of March. Interest in these workshops has been incredible.
We hope to provide seed funding to at least 20 local businesses in 2022. If you would like to learn more about this programme or to find out how to sponsor an entrepreneur, please contact email@example.com
Economic recovery is still a long way off, especially in the tourism sector which has been hardest hit by the lockdown and various Covid 19 Levels. We, however, remain hopeful that we can provide much needed support to our community.
Meet a Farming Entrepreneur – Mlungisi Mtete
Mlungisi is an energetic, green-fingered, charismatic food farmer who grows vegetables near the foot of the Gansbaai mountain. Mlungisi started his farming journey in 2020 when he became interested in co-operative farming. Growing food gave him a lifeline and a purpose during the lockdown of 2020.
In 2021, he attended the Grootbos Foundation Entrepreneurship programme and was awarded seed funding for his farming aspirations after he courageously pitched his promising farm business. His passion and commitment make him a brave entrepreneur who constantly seeks to grow new vegetables and grow his business in innovative. Mlungisi sells his produce at the Gansbaai Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.
Football Foundation coaches kicked off the 2022 school year with summer athletics training and prepared youths for their school athletics days, as well as inter-school and regional competitions. Children, youths, coaches, teachers and parents were thrilled by the positive sporting start to the year.
Maxene and Vuyo join the Laureus YES programme
Congratulations to our Junior Coaches, Maxene Valentine and Sinovuyo Nazo, on both being selected to join the Laureus Youth Empowerment through the Sports Programme. This programme actively invests in youth by empowering them to go into their communities and become ambassadors of sport and active change-makers. We are so proud of Maxene and Vuyo and are sure this opportunity will catapult them to even brighter futures.
Water Safety @ Butterfly Centre
Grootbos Foundation coaches, Natasha and Danver, provide a water safety and swimming programme to children and youths from the Butterfly Centre in Stanford, so important in our coastal region. These children with a variety of different needs thrive in this environment and learn to be safe in water as well as how to master many new skills. A swimming pool makes a wonderful and empowering learning environment.
Vegetable Gardening @ Butterfly Centre
|Grootbos Foundation’s Food Security team under the guidance of Pontsho Chiloane has been working hard to establish and maintain a productive vegetable garden at the Butterfly Centre. The children adore their food garden and take great pride in being able to harvest fresh produce. A garden also makes a great learning environment.|
Earth Rangers Go Camping
The Earth Rangers programme kicked off the year with a camp in January with children and youths from various schools in the Elim Community. Grootbos Foundation has a long established relationship with the community of Elim who are custodians of large patches of endangered Elim ferricrete fynbos.
The group participated in a beach clean-up, visited the Growing the Future Farm, and spent two days at the Grootbos Environmental Centre where they hiked with the Conservation team and designed plans for a greener future. They learnt about the 4C model of Grootbos which measures impact across four areas: Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce. They applied this model to their future plans.
The second Earth Rangers camp in January was hosted for a combined group of children from Okkie Smuts Primary School and Gansbaai Primary School. The integrated campers visited Growing the Future Farm, participated in a treasure hunt, hiked to a waterfall and absorbed all they could from spending time with the Green Futures Conservation team.
Immersive Earth Rangers camps give children the opportunity to see the world they live in from a different perspective and to get excited about nature.
Green Futures Conservation
Landowners sign their Commitment to the Walker Bay Protected Environment
Over the past two years, Grootbos Foundation has worked with the landowners of the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy towards the formation of the Walker Bay Protected Environment. This Protected Environment will offer long term conservation security to the properties committed to the process. We are working with Cape Nature to put a Protected Areas Management Agreement in place. We plan to submit the documentation to the Provincial MEC for endorsement which will include two rounds of public participation. Watch this space for updates!
Thank you to the Whitley Fund for Nature and a grant awarded to our Conservation Director, Sean Privett, a dynamic Biodiversity Stewardship programme has been launched to provide training and practical conservation skills to 20 individuals over the next 18 – 24 months. The aim of the programme is to provide the skills necessary for permanent employment within a green economy beyond basic alien vegetation management. We recognize the invaluable contribution that biodiversity stewards make to our rehabilitation and restoration efforts within the fragile fynbos ecosystem.
Thank you to the Whitley Fund for Nature for providing the funding to protect our precious biodiversity and for us to help to create sustainable work within the natural landscape.
Masakhane Hub – Covid Update
The Masakhane Hub has become a vibrant part of Masakhane community life. This hub is the central food security site from which daily nutritious meals are distributed to children and youths through feeding schemes, and to the elderly and vulnerable through a soup kitchen. It is home to a beautiful, organic food garden, a Homebiogas Biodigestor, and a container classroom where children can come every afternoon to find a space to access the internet, to seek tutor support, to play chess or board games, or to apply for tertiary studies. This hub is a happening place where children and adults feel they are safe.