Working visit nov 2018

After months of preparation the foundation went to South-Africa from the 3th to the 10th of November 2018 for a working visit. We had meetings in the Western Cape area to see the projects we already support for years, and to meet up with new relations and potential new projects.

 
For the extended/original description please switch to dutch
 
In the months before our visit we contacted our existing network and new relations by mail and phone, and were able to create an interesting schedule for our available time. This lead to a full, but challenging week. This summary reflects our week. 
 
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In the beginning of the week we had an appointment with Toto Konco of Mfsane, the Xhosa word for compassion. Mfsane is an non-profit organisation based in Crossroads near Cape Town, already exists for 43 years and focuses on promoting the self-reliance of the community and reducing poverty. They do this by looking for cooperation with other organizations that are willing and able to provide training, both professionally and about life skills. We have made agreements about a further exploration of cooperation in which the Foundation focuses on offering / facilitating training  (https://www.mfesane.org.za).  
 
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We had a conversation that followed a previous contact with the project Zenele Womens Development (ZWD), a project that focuses on the training and rehabilitation of women who, out of poverty and responsibility for their children, committed (shop) theft to provide in their living costs. ZWD shows that discussion groups and training courses (such as computer skills and administration skills) can ensure that women are (more) economically independent and are better prepared for eligible jobs. The board has decided to support this project in 2019 (https://www.facebook.com/zwd123/).
 
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Of course we also visited Prochorus in the township Kayamandi near Stellenbosch. A project that we have known and supported already for many years. At the time of our visit, three students from Avans did an internship and researched ways that Not for Profit Organizations, such as Prochorus, could facilitate (more) employment and develop income-generating activities, making them less dependent on donations.
In addition to an interview with the managing director and discussing the progress with the students, in the afternoon we gave a previously planned training to about 20 women, who all run an Early Childhood Development (ECD). Individually, they are responsible for accommodating 40 to 100 children! A huge task that they face every working day. The training was also dedicated to appreciating all the challenges they face every day.
 
 
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A visit to the Y2K College could not be missed. Here, too, two students from Avans are doing an internship, focusing on the feasibility of developing a boarding school and examining and describing a business model for the bakery, that was donated to the school by the Foundation a number of years ago.
 
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In order to ensure that we, as a board, keep a good and up-to-date picture of the local developments, we also had some discussions with managers and managers of the City of Cape Town. We have been updated on economic developments, investments and long-term plans to make not only black communities but also the so-called colored townships more vital. In particular, by working 'together from within' the community with role models, focusing mainly on education and creating extra access roads, people are expected to promote self-sufficiency in disadvantaged areas and to reduce crime.
 
 
In addition, we also heard another sound; some communities have been promised agreements by local opposition politicians in the past that are not being fulfilled. This make people furious, which means they have taken matters into their own hands. For example, a community center has recently been set on fire and some municipal councilors are being chased or threatened.
 
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By the end of the week we had a meeting with the Deputy Director General of the Western Cape Government, the provincial government of the Western Cape. Because this relationship has been going back in time for more than 10 years, it was good to catch up again. The conversation then focused on the Social Investments that we could contribute as a Foundation in the Cape Town region. Concrete agreements have also been made about this, such as the joint provision of training courses and workshops aimed at entrepreneurship, employment etc. The Foundation would like to be invited to participate in a number of symposia in 2019 as an example for public private partnerships.
 
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Finally, we visited and held a conversation at the School of Hope, which is supported by the Thembalitsha Foundation. For more information please see: https://www.hope.org.za.
The School of Hope can support up to 250 pupils that can receive education. However, the school focuses on around 150 pupils aged 12 to 18 who have a criminal past. This requires extra care and attention. The results of the school are well above average. Due to the limited size one is able to deliver more customization. Much attention is paid to self-reliance, entrepreneurship and life skills. We will further explore the cooperation with this school and we made agreements for 2019.
 
 
On behalf of the board, 
Toine Dam