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Luke

Page history last edited by PBworks 11 years, 3 months ago

Luke Boshier

 

 

 

P.O. Box 64, Port St John's 5120

lukeboshier(at)gmail(dot)com

Telephone: 0722117294

NPO: 048-276-NPO

 

I Have witnessed, in some of the poorest countries of the world, many NGO's that waste valuable time,money and ultimately hope in the name of aid.

I have witnessed mans' insatiable desire to fix symptomatically and ignore the root cause of everyday problems. Distributing condoms will not heal aids, the deep understanding of a civilization in crisis will start to give insight into the social scourges that are destroying us.

i believe transition in this country was too quick and we are on the brink of collapse. The level of basic skills is abysmal as we have lost one of the most important commodities in our community; its intellectual capital. Skilled people continue to leave in droves; and those staying are not equipped to carry out the tasks required.

Having been involved in many development programs including housing and feeding, i believe i have the necessary experience to boldly state that it is simply not working.

Until we can address the mere intention of our actions, we truly cannot bring about meaningful and positive change.

We have grown up in a system that exists through control, very few control the masses, and money is the effective tool implemented. I believe that we live and act from a place of fear, as apposed to love, more importantly love for the self.

Until we can reconnect and develop a relationship with the earth we are just consumers, aliens. Our one dimensional solution solving process has separated us from ourselves; and the understanding of the principles of nature- balance.

Last year one third of the learners in public schools failed their exams, and the figure is growing. The government is citing the lack of schools as the major problem. I put forward the very content that we are imposing on our children is where the problem begins.

A child can be taught under a tree as long as he is being engaged and working on content that will inspire.

Five million people live below a dollar a day in our democracy, of that a lot have alcoholic dependency, how much is left for the nourishment of our children.

i have worked in areas that have been difficult to access by four wheel drive vehicles yet somehow a SABreweries vehicle and a Sasco Sam Bread truck gets there.

We are in crisis because we live on a diet of sugar and starch.

Picket lines are formed outside chicken farms, objecting to what is being fed to fowls yet we should look a little closer at what people are eating in the rural areas. If we can start by providing one nutritious meal a day the healing process can begin.

This continent has been imposed upon since the 14th century, when the first European stepped on its shores. No body can be imposed or oppressed unless they allow it to happen, some of the wealthiest slave traders in Liberia were the Liberians themselves, we need to take responsibility, become present and make new decisions as we realize that we can use our most important gift to realize our selves, the gift of choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

THE AMAPONDO PROJECT

CART CENTRE

PORT ST JOHNS

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Initiated in 2007, this South African project is arguably one of the most important for the evolution and development of mankind. Encouraging the development of basic life skills, the project supports the stepping back of people to an essential understanding of the primary needs for everyday survival and an understanding of the symbiotic relationship between man and the earth.

 

Life has become extreme and confusing and belief systems are challenged as never before. Survival and prosperity today tends to be measured by material wealth while the fundamentals to everyday sustainability are forgotten in a system that programs individuals to rely on a central power base. It is our intention to have a positive impact on the entire community from within.

 

Normal family and community life is seriously challenged by an externally programed desire to live above ones needs, resulting in social and ecological crisis. The consumer mentality drains our planet of the resources so perfectly balanced to ensure its survival.

 

 

MISSION

To begin at the grass roots! Transformation in this country was very fast and the level of basic skills is abysmal to non existent. It is our intention to help in the process of empowering rural communities to take ownership of the dire situation through development of basic life skills.

An empowered individual can make responsible decisions and a shift in consciousness can be realised. Read (http://sustain-ability.blogspot.com/ ) for more details.

With the above aims in mind the Amapondo Project is developing key initiatives:

  • CART a rural Life University (http://www.sicambeni.co.za ) based in a small community on the Wild Coast of South Africa, using a system of closed cycle living.
  • A school (http://www.sisonkeschool.co.za ) with a unique and innovative curriculum based on an understanding of the local culture.
  • A backpackers lodge (http://www.amapondo.co.za ), in which community women have been trained by us to manage one of the countries most popular hostelries.
  • A fledgling co-operative coffee company (Transkei Coffee Co.) intended to support the local community economy

 

 

1. The CART Centre (Centre for Appropriated Rural Technology).

 

The objective of this centre is to provide an active working/learning closed cycle system which is designed to strengthen the level of basic life skills, at the same time removing the dependency and requirement of governmental infrastructure.

People here already have skills necessary for this way of life, but they need empowering to develop and take these skills forward.

Our university holistically educates rural communities in all spheres of sustainability.

l Promoting permaculture gardening and nutrition awareness

l Renewable energy

l Water management

l Low environmental impact building (under a system developed through years of hands on experience)

 

The center will provide a balanced nutrition program for volunteers and workers on site and will serve as a working model for the broader community. There is also a skills development center from which we workshop the various appropriate technologies. Since the establishment of the centre, community members have begun rebuilding their homes, developing composting heaps and permaculture gardens of their own.

 

The CART holistic model is designed for easy replication throughout African rural communities. It promotes whole life living and loving (of the self, each other and the environment). Empowerment is discovered by being enabled to provide the basic necessities of life for ones self.

 

The CART model is designed to promote basic survival sustainability only and not an income generating initiative. That will get done in separate projects (see Transkei Coffee Co).

 

 

 

Detail on the CART Centre components

 

and the resource requirements required to set it up.

 

a) Water System

Along with the Sun; the 90 000 litre dam forms the primary life components of the centre. The diagram in Addendum A above illustrates the closed cycle.

The dam is the recipient of run off and underground seepage water catchment, as well as being assisted by a larger communal feeder dam and a bore hole.

The bore hole is dug using a hand auger and percussion drilling, both systems being cost effective yet labour intensive. The water is then pumped by two methods.

As a Solar pump is reliant on favourable weather conditions a manual pedal pump is also required. Beneficiaries physically pump their daily ration of water thus creating consciousness around the precious commodity.

 

Water is pre strained and post storage sand filtered; to remove any vestiges of contamination.

Water is held in 2 x 5000 tanks. The tanks are elevated 3meters above ground level. This will give a head of 6 meters, not ideal for many modern expensive water heating systems. Several appropriate rural systems are to be implemented.

The water has three main recipients, the nutrition kitchen, the ablution facilities and the animal husbandry.

 

Various animals chosen with specific functionality are housed at the CART centre. These animals are given water and have there diet supplemented with highly nutritious food stuffs developed at the centre, all other grazing is done on land around the village. They will provide food for the kitchen and feed raw waste to the compost and filtration process.

 

The nutrition kitchen processes food from the garden for people living at the centre, and provides nutrition education for the community. The kitchen also turns fresh water into grey water (domestic waste water) which goes through a grease trap and gravity filter. The residue once filtered is broken down as compost and the water recycled for the garden. Kitchen solid waste is separated and returned as compost and bio digestible matter. The primary energy utilized in the kitchen is methane gas generated by the filtration and bio digestion process.

 

The kitchen provides food for human consumption. This is then along with grey water excreted as solids and liquids (black water). The ablution facilities introduce several revolutionary systems that receive waste and allow optimum nutrient utilization at CART through the digestion and filtration process. These systems are exhibited in easy to understand organic examples while actively and positively processing the waste generated at the centre.

Ultimately a large portion of the water ends up back in the dam.

 

b) Energy System

To ensure that the centre is totally self sufficient, we will use the bio-digester to create energy along with solar panels and wind generators and other relevant systems applicable to rural sustainability. Most of these systems have been developed or modified on site to ensure rural compatibility. CART will also act as a medium for other institutions wanting to test their systems in this environment.

 

c) Food Production

The intention of the food produced on the site is to feed all 24 people who work at the centre. Requirements here are:

  • To supply Tunnels for Food production (initially we need 2 food tents for the site), the tents speed up food production while using a fraction of the water normally used in vegetable gardens.
  • Clean, non-GM seeds (preferably from Australia) to create a non GM seed bank in the nursery to ensure the local community have access to non modified high nutrition foods as well as the ability to harvest and replant the vegetables once they have been allowed to go to seed. The spin-off's here are improvement in nutrition and on going food supply.
  • Animal husbandry which provides an integral part of the centre, as they provide food as well as assisting in the processing of other food stuffs e.g. pigs are famous for turning and composting vegetable gardens. Their waste is extremely helpful in creating methane gas and its bi-products. We will need fencing to manage the animals.

 

 

d) Building Infrastructure

 

To ensure that the centre is able to continue its work in this and other communities we need to take the process to the next level by building several strategic structures.

 

The Building requirements are for:

l Accommodation (we have paying volunteers booked well into 2009)

l Learning centre to be completed

l Water system

l Ablution facilities (encl. showers and toilets)

l Nutrition kitchen

l Barn and workshop

 

There are volunteers on site building, working and teaching the community right now.

 

 

Sisonke school

 

Through the development of an after-school tutoring program, our volunteers became familiar with the educational facilities available in the region around Port St John's, and concluded that many improvements could be made. As a result, our project sponsored five local men and women to be trained as primary school teachers, and on January 16th of this year our school opened its doors to 70 eager young minds.

 

Currently the school operates on the grounds of a former Catholic school, but the location is not ideal, as the space is very limited. The students have been divided into three classes, but we only have two classrooms, so one class is held in a nearby garage. More important than that though, the location lacks an outdoor play area, a crucial factor in a child's development. Due to complicating factors such as land claims, property acquisition in Port St John's is a lengthy process. While we continue negotiations for our ideal location, we plan to temporarily move to a large empty lot which has been offered to us to rent, using temporary container units as classrooms. By the end of this year, we aim to finalize acquisition of the permanent location, and with the help of a volunteer building team, construct a unique and innovative school building that does justice to the educational program is houses.

 

Educational philosophy: 'Sisonke' is the Xhosa word for 'together', and the mutual exchange of talents, resources and ideas is the cornerstone of everything we do. Thus, the whole community is involved in our school and the parents are awakened in their hearts to play an active role in their child’s education. We are teaching traditional crafts, cultural stories are told by elders, and music and rhythm imbue everyday. A deep understanding of nature and the world fills every subject; from measurement to money, science to art, our curriculum is alive. We hope to serve as inspiration and encouragement to other local schools.

 

The students: The goal was twenty students, the maximum was fifty, but the end result is seventy students registered, with absolutely no advertising on our part. Word of mouth about our educational philosophy spread through the community like wild fire, and our registration list for next year is already growing. Almost all of our students come from Pondo families, with a few non-conformist white families also on board. They range in age from 4 to 12 years. Our school fees are decided on a per individual basis, which ensures that no-one can be excluded from a monetary aspect. Parents discuss with the teachers what they can afford to pay each month, and their monthly school fee is agreed upon together. Parents who have a low income are able to pay substantially less and contribute in other ways to the school. Teaching a craft, running the tuck shop or after-school care, fund raising or cleaning, are many of the ways for them to get involved to contribute.

 

 

 

 

Transkei Coffee Co.

 

The Wild Coast is one of only three regions in South Africa suited to the successful growing of Arabica coffee, the second most traded commodity in the world. We are launching our own brand of coffee Transkei Gold by the end of June 2008.

 

The vision is to educate and assist communities to co-operatively grow this cash crop bio-dynamically. We also assist in the implementation of effective water systems to ensure a successful harvest being achieved. The coffee is then centrally roasted and nationally and internationally distributed.

 

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