Community Conservation

Mobilising communities to care for the earth

This project involves various grassroots initiatives in the Gouritz area, mobilising over 100 community members and volunteers in community clean-up campaigns, tree planting events, promotion of sunstoves, growing own vegetables, etc.

news from the community conservation project

Centre for the Arts for Humanity launched

Centre for the Arts for Humanity launched

3/14/18
The Dreamcatcher Foundation together with the community of Melkhoutfontein launched the Centre for Arts for Humanity project on Sunday March 4th in the restored historic St. Augustine’s church situated on the newly developed ‘La Bloemen’ indigenous botanical garden developed on a former waste dumpsite. Art by the children of Melkhoutfontein will be open to the general public for viewing over the forthcoming Easter period (21st of March), September (24th) and December (16th) Holiday periods. Over the past year, Dreamcatcher’s ‘Going Places Kids’, have created amazing art work from the waste removed from the site. Their environment and rich, significant history were their inspiration. Working under the auspices of their art teacher, Diane Rossouw, the children have evolved into artists in their own right converting the waste and their inspirational creations into various art forms and crafts. The corner stone of a monument, a mosaic named ‘Rising from the Ashes’ and created from waste from this former dumpsite, was laid in the garden after the official launch. The project name Wasteland-Graced Land is there for evident and a testament of humanity, restoring damaged environment and living in harmony in it. Many botanical and other species are returning to the area. The Wasteland – Graced Land Project has recently been recognized globally as a best practice sustainable model for poverty relief and environmental management projects. According to the Dreamcatcher Foundation’s founder, Anthea Rossouw, the 'Wasteland – Graced Land' model is geared to provide solutions to local problems using local resources as far as possible to created sustainable work. This project blends tourism and environmental sustainability with helpfulness by introducing a new, meaningful tourist visitor destination with the chance for visitors to engage and get involved with the locals to innovate and create together locally.
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Kos in die Karoo growing in Vanwyksdorp

Kos in die Karoo growing in Vanwyksdorp

3/5/18
The year started with a visit to the Kos in die Karoo gardeners in Van Wyksdorp on Sunday 14th January.  We visited the church grounds where various members of the community are using the grounds to grow vegetables.  They have formed a cooperative and their expenses are combined equally and so are their profits.  The water is obtained from the reserve dams and they are filled using the waterway that feeds the town from the mountain.  There is an abundance of water.  The building of the two dams was funded by Dept of Agriculture and Landcare and built by the local community. We visited a few other gardens where the growing energy is still strong.  There is a manure and grass drop off site in the community and members continue to collect for their gardens.  This makes it easier to continue growing.  When interviewed, most gardeners are eating from their gardens and are NOT buying any vegetables at the local shop. Read the full report which can be downloaded below.
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Dreamcatchers at Melkhoutfontein

Dreamcatchers at Melkhoutfontein

3/1/18
On Sunday the 4th of March, the community of Melkhoutfontein are launching the "Arts for Humanity" project in the restored St. Augustine’s church situated on the newly developed "La Bloemen" botanical garden (a formal waste dumpsite). Here a Child art exhibition will welcome visitors. Over the last year the Dreamcatcher " Going Places Kids ", supervised by their talented teacher Diane, have created some amazing art work. They use the waste removed from the site and the regeneration of their environment, which includes the return of many bird and fynbos species as inspiration. This is all part of the Wasteland - Graced Land project, which has recently been recognised globally as a best practice model for poverty relief and environmental management projects. The development is now part of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR). You can visit this site with one of our 5 nationally accredited local site guides. Visit www.dreamcatchersouthafrica.com  for more information.
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Community food garden project in Vanwyksdorp

Community food garden project in Vanwyksdorp

11/10/17
 On the 17th October 2017 Andre Britz went to purchase a few seedlings for the gardeners in Vanwyksdorp from Kobus se Kwekery and as he was paying, he told the story of the community gardens in this little town. It is then that Kobus decided to donate 1400 seedlings to the KOS IN DIE KAROO project. Andre had a meeting with the gardeners at 5pm in order to share the seedlings and plan for the next month. There were 15 gardeners at the meeting. There is a need to put some structure into place as the movement is gaining momentum. Two leaders were chosen to coordinate the project: Melvin Oosthuizen and he will be assisted by Rika. Seedlings were handed out. A decision was taken to hold a gathering every first Tuesday of each month. The aim of the monthly gathering is to share knowledge and to do demos.  Ideally every month there should be a new garden or two. Read more in the 
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Kos in die Karoo - one year later

Kos in die Karoo - one year later

9/23/17
This project was initiated in September 2016.  It has gone a full circle and we have some positive results - albeit slowly.  We had a very optimistic beginning and initiated nine food gardens.  The movement seemed to have lost its momentum.  It is possible that everyone was waiting for someone to take control.  The aim of this project is to encourage community sustainability and cooperation.  On September 7th we visited some of the gardens which had been prepared for the meeting.  All the gardens that had been prepared had used the NO DIG method.  Most of the gardens planted last September were still doing well, despite the drought. One of the houses had a large heap of dried grass and manure.  This house had organically become a site where materials can be picked up.  This was donated by a local farmer; this is the beginnings of sustainable mechanisms. We met at the Church grounds where some of the gardeners planted their vegetables. There was clear evidence of the difference it makes to put the cardboard at the bottom.  The weeds grew madly around the treated areas. These gardeners will use the opportunity to sell vegetables to the community.  People can buy vegetables and choose which ones they would like. 
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Kos in die Karoo in Vanwyksdorp

Kos in die Karoo in Vanwyksdorp

11/1/16
Kos in die Karoo is a sister project of KOS EN FYNBOS which runs in the George area. Kos En Fynbos is a ground swell movement initiated by members of the George community in 2014. It aims at creating a community that is independent, self- sustained, creative, loving and sharing, a community that desires to improve themselves and their environment by taking the first steps in creating that change. Food, water and waste are the key elements totally interwoven in changing the environment people live in. The launch of the KOS IN DIE KAROO took place on Friday 23rd September in a gathering of community members in Van Wyksdorp, interested in food gardens. During the presentation the core values and “spirit” of the project were explained. Four coordinators of KOS EN FYNBOS from George were able to give personal accounts of their involvement with the project and the importance of food gardens. They inspired the community to become self-sustained and to look after their environment. There was a very good turnout considering the size of the town. Download the full report below.
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