On this trip I was introduced to the "behind-the-scenes" work that this organization does.
It is a charitable trust that was started in 2002 by the owners of Kwandwe Private Game Reserve.
They were concerned about the lack of services
and the development potential for the rural Eastern Cape communities.
The object of the organization was to enable people
and communities living close to or inside conservation areas.
This is the centre that I visited.
It contains a variety of classrooms, a playground
as well as a workshop for a doll making project
The director is Lucy O'Keeffe.
She recently married the GM of Kwandwe, Graeme Mann
Congratulations to you both.
I could not have said it better myself.
We are who we are because of our mentors.
The foundation offers the following:
a] Community leadership program
b] Self help groups
c] Positive health
d] Early childhood development
e] Economic development and empowerment.
This little fellow was keen to have a look at my camera.
But he got cold feet and decided to stay where he was.
There is a small library that offers books in English
as well as the vernacular language of the area, Xhosa.
The Siyakhula Doll Co-op was started in 2008.
This self help program started out with four members
and there are currently six, previously unemployed women, who support themselves and there families
The male and female dolls are hand made and are machine washable.
They can be bought off the The Angus Gillis Foundation website.
The day I visited was International Rural Womens Day.
Gifts were being presented to the local community champions
One of the ladies that attended.
Lucy did the introductions...
She is very "hands-on" as a director.
And justifiably proud of the work that she and the foundation are doing.
I hope that they go from strength to strength.
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