The first project of the Hout Bay Partnership is the Hout Bay Partnership Microgrants Program, which awarded a total of 10 grants of R10,000 each, to support collective action to improve the quality of life and social cohesion within Hout Bay. These intentionally small grants are designed to stimulate local community initiative and involvement in integrated social and economic development in Hout Bay.

The Hout Bay Partnership will support the grant winners with publicity, networking and partner identification, and mentoring and skills training where required.

The winners of the Microgrant Program

Amoyo Performing Arts Foundation

Amoyo is all-round performing arts NGO in Hout Bay for children from five to 18 years old. Over 100 youngsters attend regularly, most coming four days a week without fail to engage their bodies and minds in dance, music and speech and drama. While these sessions provide a time of escape from their often dysfunctional home lives, many of the teens in particular have come to view the Amoyo environment as a safe space for them to open up, and ask questions relating to dealing with the various life challenges they face. As a result, the Amoyo team has identified a need for life skills training among this age group and plan to run weekend workshops to address relevant issues.

“Things like what constitutes a healthy and age-appropriate girlfriend/boyfriend relationship; HIV testing protocol; birth control and contraceptives; one’s rights as a teenager and woman in society; drugs and peer pressure…these are all topics that the girls have asked for information about specifically,” says Project Manager Kim Worrall. “The overall objective is to show and teach our girls what self-worth is and why it’s important to invest in respecting themselves. We want to help them reach their goals in life, whatever their dreams are. We want them to know they have choices and give them the knowledge they so desperately need.”

Amoyo will use their micro-grant towards funding these Saturday morning workshops, which will also include fun dance classes and musical theatre interspersed with the social awareness input. They already have guests lined up offering ballet, hip-hop, musical theatre, tap and contemporary fusion dancing entertainment, as well as local and international counsellors who are keen to assist.

Contact Details:
Kim Worrall
0829587187
amoyo@eyeshine.co.za

City of Refuge Sports Development

Against the backdrop of drugs, alcohol, abuse and gangsterism, City of Refuge is confident that it has a solution for the social ills of Hangberg. A solution which transcends age, class, race and gender divides; a diverse language that has the power to transform communities. Inspired by the belief that “a child in sport is a child out of court”, the team aims to provide organised sports programmes to give young people a healthy alternative to their current context; and in so doing raise a few professional athletes along the way.

“Our biggest challenge in the area is the school drop-out rate, as a direct result of the temptations that teens face on a daily basis. By getting them off the streets, we can harness their energy towards positive play, teach them new skills and give them a platform whereby they can showcase their talents,” says Project Manager Nash Booysen, a professional sports coach with extensive drug counselling experience.

Booysen has set his hopes high and believes that beyond mere recreational benefits, the programmes will create pathways towards academic and sports scholarships for emerging superstars, who will in turn go on to play in provincial and national teams. “It will change lives and communities and, as new champions are discovered, the whole country will benefit.”

City of Refuge’s micro-grant will go towards sports equipment such as whistles, bibs and  cones, sports clinics, coaching, transport and advertising. They plan to join hands with community-based organisations, schools, churches and youth groups to recruit participants, and will also engage with business and government to garner further support.

Contact details:
Nash Booysen
0843978260
jamreformed@gmail.com

Bright Start Community Workshops Programme

Bright Start has for the last seven years been providing access to quality education to children from the age of three upwards in the historically disadvantaged communities of Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg. A fact which they couldn’t ignore was that 71% of the adults in the area have not completed secondary school – meaning that the parents of these children often lack the basic foundation of knowledge and skills necessary to create a home environment that encourages learning. As a result they launched their Community Workshop Programme and to date have delivered training and information to more than 600 parents in the area.

The workshops – ten over the course of a year – focus on providing requisite knowledge that would otherwise be inaccessible to programme attendees. The main focus is training in parenting skills, along with health and wellness, personal development and life skills, all presented in an informal environment in order to encourage interaction, participation and knowledge exchange.

“We firmly believe that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and that these workshops, supported by all our partners, play a vital role in this change,” says Bright Start Executive Director Caro Stelling. “It is the emphasis we place on parental involvement that will ensure the success of our children in their educational pursuits. As parents become better equipped to support their children’s learning and development, as they grow in confidence and become more responsive to their children’s social, emotional and intellectual needs, so too will we see learners who are better prepared for their tests and exams, who have higher self-esteem, are more self-disciplined and who show higher aspirations and motivation toward school.”

Bright Start’s micro-grant will go towards funding these workshops, which were previously sponsored by a corporate donor.

Contact Details:
Sharon Freeman
021 790 0458
sharon@brightstart.org.za
www.brightstart.org.za

Mas-Ree Community Catering

Evelyn Masemola runs a small catering business from her home and has been working in Hangberg for many years through churches, schools, organisations and families, providing catering and party planning services to community members who might otherwise not be able to afford to create such memorable experiences. She believes strongly that special events should be marked with the recognition they deserve and that a high quality of food goes a long way towards making these occasions successful.

Her vision, however, goes far beyond events planning, and her hope is that by extending her enterprise she’ll be able to partner with other local businesses and service providers for mutual benefit, and create a platform for people who have skills to contribute on a wider level. “For example, there is a lady who can bake really well, and every time I need a cake for an event I involve her,” says Masemola.

Furthermore, Mas-Ree Community Catering would like to facilitate learnerships so that high school students have opportunities to learn skills, and ultimately better their future through self-employment. “We’d like to make a positive impact by sharing our skills with the next generation, keeping our youngsters busy and away from harmful influences, and showing them the positive impact that they can have on the community. Our dream is to show that through small steps we can create a world where everyone is able to put food on the table, cover their utilities at home and maintain lifetime job security.”

Mas-Ree will use their micro-grant to invest in much-needed catering equipment, which they currently have to hire for bigger events. It will also go towards setting up their learnership programme.

Contact Details:
Evelyn Masemola & Veronica Reed
0736801325
eeemasemola@gmail.com

Workspace: T.E.N. Program

Workspace is a fully-equipped DIY workshop offering a selection of machinery, tools, training and services to enable craftsmen to set themselves up in business at a very low cost. It is a home for micro-enterprises and also seeks to connect individuals who need work done with those who can do it. Reaching out to the less-skilled in the community, Workspace has been running the TEN project on an informal basis for the past two years; a short course that teaches participants the basics of ten skills, while at the same time educating them on principles around being and staying employed.

“The overall project goal is to train people to be self-starting and employable,” says Project Manager Craig Dunlop. “Skills training available for the Hout Bay community is often too long and doesn’t allow an effective exit strategy for the trainee. Furthermore, emotional training is what is required in tandem with physical skills.”

The course is structured by focusing on various principles, which are linked to practical skills. For instance, the principle of trust is demonstrated by learning how to weld – controlling hundreds of potentially lethal volts while someone else holds the metal is a great lesson in trust. The skill of building wooden vegetable boxes is linked to respect, for without nature and trees, one would not have materials to work with in the first place. Another skill, gardening, highlights service, as by learning to grow one’s own fruit and vegetables one is able to serve the community with food.

With their micro-grant, Workspace will run a more formal pilot of the course. In the future they’ll look to develop a range of ten products which can be manufactured by participants and marketed to retailers, and they hope to formally collaborate with a large retailer to produce local products.

Contact details:
Craig Dunlop & Fidel Meter
021 790 7533
craig@justdiy.co.za
http://www.justdiy.co.za/

Sistahood Girls Club

Started by 17-year-old Nandipha Breakfast in 2010, this young community activist from Imizamo Yethu felt the need to reach out to other teens, with the vision of inspiring and motivating them to rise above their circumstances in order to realise their dreams. Sistahood Girls’ Club was registered as an NPO in 2013 and annually engages with 20 girls between 12 and 18 years old through various activities, meeting up three times a week as well as on weekends and providing mentorship, homework assistance, life skills workshops and recreational outings.

The Sistahood clubhouse has come to be a safe and nurturing environment for the girls, where they can be themselves, have a voice and showcase their talent. “They have fun and are free to enjoy being young without the negative influences of drugs, crime and abuse,” says Breakfast. “Our main objective is to develop emotionally independent young girls, to help them to become financially self-sufficient agents of change in their immediate surroundings, to improve their school performance and to give them life skills.” They achieve this through an extensive network of partnerships: international students volunteer to assist with homework; nurses from the Imizamo Yethu clinic teach about wellness; Operation Hope runs a financial literacy course; career guidance counsellors advise about career choices and motivational speakers share stories to inspire. “Sistahood Girls’ Club alumni are invited back to train as mentors, and hearing what previous members have achieved proves to be a real source of hope for the girls, and they get positive role models to look up to.”

Sistahood Girls’ Club will invest their micro-grant in facilitators’ training, in order to take the NPO to a new level. Their target annual intake is 150 girls, should they have enough funding to support them.

Contact Details:
Nandipha Breakfast & Phiweka Buka
0784942525
nandiphabreakfast@gmail.com

Harvest Youth Project

Targeting young people in Hout Bay, particularly from the Hangberg area, the Harvest Youth Development Centre plans to offer a creative environment for training in a variety of skills and genres, culminating in live audience performances. This includes all aspects of theatre, performance, dance and visual arts. The facility will include a community workshop, recording studio, darkroom, lounge and martial arts training studio.

“The biggest need we see in the community is for mentorship and nurturing of young creative talent, especially where youth are neglected and vulnerable with no means to good extra-mural tutorship, role models and personal development opportunities,” says CEO of the Hout Bay Harvest Centre Helena Fagan who is heading up the project. “Our main goal is to change lives by helping young people discover and develop their own potential, creating opportunities for some to develop a career within the creative arts sector, and for others to simply develop confidence, self-discipline and a more healthy body and mind.”

Fagan’s team all have significant industry experience and successful personal track records. They also have extensive networks which will help in raising the profile of the project from launch phase. “Several NGOs are already approaching us to be involved, Reddam School are keen to work with a group of children as part of their outreach programme and we also have lots of professional contacts in the creative world who are interested in investing towards development projects,” says Fagan. “We also intend to make it very attractive for sponsors by profiling our young ‘stars’ so that they can choose to whom or what their money is going – plus extras like branding rights, names on programmes, VIP show tickets etc.”

The Hout Bay Partnership micro-grant will successfully get phase one of the project – infrastructure and fit-out – up and running.

Contact Details:
Helena Fagan
0827845054
helena@fagan.co.za

The Underdog Project

When at-risk teenagers and children from the Hout Bay area are brought into contact with shelter dogs, and help in training them, both parties benefit. The Underdog project is a unique initiative that has taken its lead from similar successful organisations overseas, and facilitates animal-assisted therapy sessions between DARG rescue dogs and disadvantaged youngsters – to great effect. After spending time completing the dog training programme, the teens display increased self-confidence, a gain in empathy and understanding of humane issues, and overall personal growth. The dogs in turn become more socialised which improves their chances of adoption.

“It’s about taking two issues and providing a safe, fun and supportive learning environment whereby social and emotional difficulties can be overcome,” says Founder Jenna Da Silva Pinto. “These children have often been identified by their schools and institutions as ‘last chancers’ – other intervention has failed and this is really their last hope. Everyone is amazed to see the changes as they become more compassionate, productive members of society and this spreads throughout their communities. The dogs show reduced kennel stress and have a better chance at finding permanent homes.”

Graduates from the programme are also connected to other opportunities to extend their development, such as literacy classes. They are also encouraged to return to the Underdog Project and become peer leaders, working alongside the team which includes an occupational therapist and animal behaviourist and dog trainer.

The Underdog Project would like to appoint a full-time social worker and as such intend to raise funds through a series of revenue-generating activities such as workshops, school shows, restaurant support and a market stall selling Underdog-related merchandise. Their micro-grant will go towards funding these efforts.

Contact details:
Jenna de Silva Pinto
0824122772
mail@underdogproject.org
http://www.underdogproject.org/

Proudly Hout Bay Women’s Forum

Crime is something which affects everyone in Hout Bay, and that is why the Proudly Hout Bay Women’s Forum aims to rally women, parents and grandparents across communities to work together to take the area back and affect positive change. In addition to day and night neighbourhood watches, the project proposes I ACT HIV/AIDS support groups and regular community meetings, to offer additional support to those who need it.
In just three months, a total of 189 members from Hangberg signed up, showing that there is a great hunger and desire to work together to rid the area of negative influences and related social problems. Often it is the family members of those taking part in crime who are the most affected; and through the PHBWF these individuals will no longer have to stand alone. The goal is to see at least 200 members from the Valley join, and another 200 from Imizamo Yethu. This will really represent a join community effort which will yield great power in tackling crime.

Liezl Mathews, who is spearheading the initiative, serves as the Hangberg Project Manager on the Community Police Forum, liaising between the community and the police. “In addition to nightly weekend community walks, we’d like to have eight community meetings throughout the year and also see our parent support group established,” she says. “We are partnering with many other community organisations and aim to include as much of Hout Bay as possible.”
Because the project is community-fuelled, there are minimal costs involved given the number of people and the impact the PHBWF will have, but the Hout Bay Partnership micro-grant will go a long way towards covering the costs of the workshops, kitting community members out with flashlights for their night walks, providing T-shirts and allowing for facilitator stipends.

Contact details:
Liezl Mathews
0783234750
mathewsliezel@gmail.com

Thrive: Food Garden Kits for Schools

In line with their overall goal of ensuring that all schools in the area as well as surrounding areas boast productive food gardens, looked after by eco heroes and with good support from the school’s staff, Thrive is looking to offer the most needy and interested schools extra support in the form of food garden kits as well as guidance and mentoring to ensure a sustainable harvest of fresh produce.
Thrive Co-ordinator and Founding Director Bronwen Lankers-Byre understands that many children suffer from malnutrition and don’t often eat Vitamin-rich foods. “At the same time, schools, government and landowners are not utilising available land to grow local food, which will improve the health of our community, save money and provide hundreds of healthy green jobs,” she says. “With more support in the form of knowledge, land to use and water, local schools can have productive food gardens and these learners can then benefit from the land.”

Stepping in to fill the gap, Thrive will supply the most deserving schools (Hout Bay High, Sentinel, Silikamv and Ikhaya le Themba) with a set of garden equipment, seedlings to plant and compost to assist their growing plants, in order that the fresh produce might be used in the school kitchen, sold to parents and teachers or sold to local restaurants. The hope is that all local schools install, maintain and use the produce from a sustainable and productive food garden by December 2016.

Speaking of their micro-grant, Lankers-Byre says: “We believe that if schools can see how the investment of R10 000 complements their food garden, it will inspire them to use more of their wasted land, which will in turn inspire the school community and ultimately the whole community to grow local.”

Contact Details:
Bronwen Lankers-Byrne
021 790 7226
bronwen@thrive.org.za
http://www.thrive.org.za/

To find out more about the projects of the Hout Bay Partnership, please contact Ashley Newell, the project coordinator of the Hout Bay Partnership at info@houtbaypartnership.co.za.