Project Lulutho is enhancing its cooperation with other civil society organisations this July to give rural teachers, students and youth-at-risk the tools to better their lives.
Project Lulutho is a campus for practical education and rural upliftment in the heart of the Eastern Cape.
There are many challenges in the Eastern Cape; a 40% unemployment rate, a depleted landscape, and a lack skills and infrastructure, leading to increasing numbers of alcohol and drug abusers.
Expanding outreach to rural schools
To address these problems, Project Lulutho was set up in 2010 by the Kay Mason Foundation and the community of Mthwaku. Lulutho, an educational hub and resource centre in the centre of the Xhosa heartland, gives rural communities in the Eastern Cape the chance to acquire practical and business skills, improve livelihoods through responsible agriculture, and interact with a network of government, business and civil society leaders, creating better lives for all. Now, Lulutho is expanding its outreach to rural schools and youth-at-risk.
This July, Project Lulutho is enhancing its collaboration with organizations also working towards the promotion of healthy livelihoods, environmental education and youth empowerment in the Eastern Cape. Lulutho is teaming up again with School’s Environmental Education and Development (SEED) to host a second Permaculture workshop at Project Lulutho from the 9th-13th of July 2012 for teachers from surrounding schools.
Realistic, an NGO based in Gugulethu, Cape Town, working to reintegrate young offenders and youth-at-risk back into society, will be hosting a 21-day youth camp at Lulutho from the 16th July – 5th August. The camp is for youth-at-risk identified from Cape Town, Steynsberg, East London and the local Mthwaku communities.
SEED Permaculture workshop
From the 9th-13th July, primary and secondary school teachers in the Eastern Cape are attending an interactive Permaculture workshop at Lulutho. The 5-day workshop will include the ethics and principles of Permaculture, how to plot and design a flourishing garden, conserve and reuse water, make compost, build up soil, conserve nitrogen using an earthworm farm and plant their seeds effectively. SEED Facilitator, Mees Van Jaarsveld says, “The workshop will build on what we started with Lulutho teachers last year, with practical and theoretical training relating to permaculture, environmental education and food security, all with ties to the national curriculum in schools.”
Lulutho’s Head Gardener, Zibonele Manyathelo, identified as a keen gardener and entrepreneur at a Lulutho farming workshop in 2010, will be co-facilitating the SEED workshop. Zibonele has been attending Permaculture courses, sponsored by Lulutho’s partners, to build his capacity and enable him to become a leader in agriculture and farming in the Eastern Cape. Zibonele has also used his skills to build a flourishing vegetable garden of his own and is now selling vegetables to his neighbours.
a realistic camp for youth-at-risk
After discussions between the Kay Mason Foundation and Realistic in Cape Town to explore creating opportunities for youth-at-risk in education, the teams realized they could bring tangible benefit to young people from the Western and Eastern Cape at an interactive community-focused rehabilitation camp at Lulutho. The 21-day camp will focus on identifying and addressing personal issues, learning-through-doing, and working together to bring value to local communities. This camp will improve participants’ self-worth, enhance their skills, and boost their social and environmental awareness by presenting them with opportunities to be productive in their own communities and society as a whole.
a commitment to helping the youth
SEED, Realistic and Lulutho are committed to the upliftment and transformation of rural communities, working closely with local bodies to enhance existing structures and create opportunities for rural youth and adults. Realistic founder, Solomon Madikane states, “To attempt to solve the huge problems of mass migration and over-populated urban areas, we must work together with rural communities to create greater opportunities in the Eastern Cape, and address issues of low self-esteem and lack of motivation.
SEED Founder, Leigh Brown added, “Working together allows us to spread the message of healthy living and environmental care further, and allows us to impact South African youth and rural communities holistically, adding value to society as a whole.”
Natasha Dyer, Head of Development for Lulutho said, “Our current focus is to equip people with the necessary skills to change their lives for the better, restore the neglected environment into a productive and flourishing eco-system and motivate and empower youth-at-risk. Long-term, we, along with our partners, are looking to boost sustainable agriculture and small businesses in the Eastern Cape, enhance educational opportunities for rural communities and create a replicable model for rural development.”
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