‘I had no idea there were such beautiful views from the top of Papegaaiberg,’ said Pastor Meki’s wife.
Ester Meki was one of more than 70 members of the Apostolic Faith Mission Church congregation who were invited by Vuya Endaweni to enjoy a family day in and around Papegaaiberg, Stellenbosch.
Vuya Endaweni Community Conservation Group is part of A Rocha South Africa, a worldwide conservation group that focuses on protecting biodiversity through community upliftment.
Their vision is to restore the beauty of God’s creation so that all Stellenbosch communities can enjoy access to a safe and decent quality of life, through opportunities for work, housing, education, healthy living and enjoying nature.
Actively engaging communities
Vuya Endaweni (which means ‘be happy at the place’ in English) is actively engaging communities living around Papegaaiberg to appreciate the natural beauty of the area with hiking, family picnics and fun and games.
Working in collaboration with SCAS (Sport for Christ Action Stellenbosch), fun and games were organised during the family picnic, and while the fires were lighted for a braai, church members and the children were entertained during a beautiful day in the park. Afterwards a group of about 70 of young and old visitors hiked to the top of the mountain – for many a first time ever, even though they live next to the mountain. For many children it was a first ever to climb Papegaaiberg and learn more about the environment that is adjacent to their neighbourhood. They all enjoyed the outdoors tremendously and were happy to spend a day in nature.
Vuya Endaweni strive to achieve their vision by:
- Educating themselves and their children about the beauty and wonder of nature
- Communicating their visionary ideas to people of different backgrounds
- Taking action now to realize their vision
- Making practical proposals for improving people’s living conditions while respecting the ecology
- Mobilizing support for the achievement of their proposals
This will be done by upholding the following values:
- Care for each other and the well-being of all their communities
- Respect for the right of each individual to be heard
- Honouring their natural environment
- Honesty and transparency in their dealings with each other and other communities
These are their objectives:
- Enabling safe places for children to play outdoors
- Facilitating the creation of peace parks
- Encouraging life skills and hobbies for children
- Keeping their environment free of litter
- Facilitating creative work opportunities for people in need
- Mobilising for basic services where needed
- Protecting animal and plant life
- Teaching values of social responsibility and care for the environment, to children
- Making access for elderly and disabled people to the natural environment
The Stellenbosch community is invited to join them for the following events on the Vuya Endaweni calendar:
- 2 October, 14:00 – 15:00 at the Scout Hall: A talk by Charlie Boucher, well-know botanist and environmental consultant, on the biodiversity of Papegaaiberg.
- 16 October, 14:00 – 15:00 at Middelvlei Farm Community Hall: A talk by Prof. Ernst Conradie of the University of the Western Cape, on 19 scriptural reasons for protecting the environment.
- 6 November, 08:00 – 12:00 DOG WALKon Papegaaiberg with Animal Welfare Society. Meet at the Scout Hall.
By Lydia Willems