Projects & Donations

Background to Development Needs

Projects and Development | Khomani San
As with the San all over southern Africa, our community faced persecution, severe racism and neglect, and many of our elders lived lives of misery and extreme hardship. Whilst we have now received land in compensation for our claim to 400 000 hectares in the Kalagadi Transfrontier Park, the challenge remains to turn the situation around and address the many socio-economic problems that our community faces. These problems include extreme poverty and malnutrition, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and TB, low literacy levels and poor education, limited government support to the community and a lack of service provision. Although the situation has improved in the last few years, and we are in the process of establishing livelihood and economic opportunities for the community and its members, we are still in need of assistance and technical and financial support in a number of respects. These are outlined below. Should you be willing or able to assist in any respect, we would most appreciate hearing from you or receiving a donation towards a project of your choice.

Community Centre

A community centre has been built on the ‡Khomani owned farm of Andriesvale. The community envision that in the future this venue will serve as a focal pointfor the various activities and interventions that have been identified by the community as being critical to facilitate community empowerment and development. These include, but are not limited to:

The core components envisaged for the community centre include:

  • Youth Development and Recreation Programmes
  • Media Centre (internet, computer training, film, photography, art)
  • Library
  • Administrative space, including offices
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Food Gardens

The centre caould also be used for additional cultural, educational, recreational, and administrative activities.

For more information contact the Bushman Council Office and speak with Luce Steenkamp on +27 (0) 766139095 or email bushmancouncil@khomanisan.com

San School

Children at Andriesvale | Khomani San
At present, learners need to travel over 15 kilometres to the nearest primary school and over 100 kilometres to the nearest secondary school. Thus there is a desperate need for a local San school (primary at first, secondary to follow) that ensures that the children of our community are able to receive a quality education that is tailor-made to suit our world-view and educational needs. An appropriately designed curriculum and educational method that do not work to erase our traditional cultural understanding and way of thinking, but rather to support it, is needed if important elements of our time honored traditions and culture are to survive.

There is also a bursary programme in operation where learners with commitment and potential that are unable to afford the school and boarding house fees for their secondary education can be directly sponsored. This has been running for the last few years with positive results as the sponsor is also requested to act as a mentor to the learner and to remain in contact, providing the encouragement and support that is often missing in the home environment.

For more information contact the Bushman Council Office and speak with Luce Steenkamp on +27 (0) 766139095 or email bushmancouncil@khomanisan.com

Health and Welfare

Whilst the issue of physical, mental and spiritual health is overlooked, little real progress can be made in changing the status quo. An under-resourced clinic, 15 kilometres away, attempts to promote the physical wellbeing of this community where the incidence of malnutrition, HIV/AIDS and TB is extremely high. Furthermore, there is concern amongst the entire community about the high level of violence against women and the abuse of children, teenage pregnancies and substance abuse, which is a bitter legacy wrought by the last century. Both men and women in the community feel disempowered in their efforts to control these social problems. Without a programme to comprehensively address these issues, there cannot be a functional ‡Khomani San community and there will be no indigenous knowledge and culture left to conserve.

The key objectives of the programme are:

  • The understanding of the incidence, prevention and management of HIV/AIDS
  • A general improvement in physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health
  • A decrease in the incidence of violence, especially that involving women and children
  • An acknowledgement of substance abuse and the availability of information and an understanding of the negative effects on personal and community health. This includes the facilitation of appropriate forms of rehabilitation, leading to a decrease in abuse
  • That indigenous knowledge and traditional healing are promoted, practised and cherished – having a complementary and positive effect on biodiversity conservation, as this will be coupled with sustainable harvesting and medicinal plant rehabilitation programmes on the farms
  • That life skills (and leadership) are enhanced, leading to a reduction in conflict with an improved outlook for the future, impacting on livelihoods and other spheres of life

A number of principles need to be considered when embarking on any interventions that seek to address issues of health from a mind-body perspective. The approach taken in designing and piloting this programme has been one linked to the integrated method of Behavioural Medicine (i.e. mind-body medicine) that addresses a number of critical challenges and considers the wellness and development of the individual on all levels. These levels include physical, emotional, mental, cultural and spiritual. An understanding of the relationship between psycho-social factors, behaviour, immunity and health has been central to the programme.

For more information contact the Bushman Council Office and speak with Luce Steenkamp on +27 (0) 766139095 or email bushmancouncil@khomanisan.com

‡Khomani San – Living in Peace -project by Rotary International/BMZ, managed by Peace Parks Foundation

The ‡Khomani San – Living in Peace project comprises of four sub-projects:

The first one deals with the capacity building of the ‡Khomani San committees by helping them to improve problem solving and induce individual responsibility skills which includes decision making and management skills.

In the second sub-project a community farm will be developed so that the ‡Khomani San can follow a lifestyle that suits them. The traditional way of hunting will be turned into a commercial traditional hunting package to tourists, a specific niche not offered elsewhere.

The third one deals with the development of two eco-camps in the desert landscape and the training of ‡Khomani San to become guides who can pass on indigenous knowledge and their application to tourists.

The fourth sub-project comprises of the Veldschool and Imbewu programme. Veldschool is aimed at facilitating the intergenerational transfer of indigenous knowledge while reconnecting community members with ancestral land in the !Ae !Hai Heritage Park. Imbewu enables ‡Khomani San elders to have access to their ancestral land to enjoy nature and get closer to the “veld” like their ancestors of long time ago.

The picture below shows German Minister Dirk Niebel (BMZ) presenting the BMZ-award for the ‡Khomani San project to Rotarians Wernt Brewitz and Friedel Eggelmeyer in Berlin.

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