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Dom has spent over a month at Amava Oluntu, immersing himself into the many things going on, engaging in deep conversations and assisting in producing a video and implementing a workshop. In the following, he shares how this time has made an impact on him:

Amava Oluntu is a community of people creating an ever growing network for people within the community and surroundings to benefit from. The networks that are being created are asset based networks, meaning that each person or organisation that is part of Amava carries an asset that can be used by the community, and in turn, these assets grow with the rest of the body of Amava, generating more value as time goes on. What makes this organisation so special is that the assets generated by the community are there to be used, and added to by anyone who wishes to. The organisation operates in the most organic way, remaining open to new ideas and adapting to their environment. This mode of working is showing to work well, as our world is constantly changing, and new ideas are needed.

Dom learning more about Amava Oluntu

Dom busy editing a video for Amava Oluntu.

My time with Amava has spanned just under a month and I have learnt so much about the benefits of community, the assets that we are to each other and the impact of collective effort. I guess one could say all of these things I have learnt stem from the notion of community, and that is exactly what Amava is; community. Based in a village that is focused on creativity, Muizenberg is the perfect setting for this generous and innovative group of individuals. Positioned perfectly at the entrance of Muizenberg, coming from St James, the Amava house has a vibration that attracts many like minded folk.

I have come into the space as a volunteer, and at the beginning of my time here I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into. I had just completed an art degree, and was searching for an organisation that is proactive in their creativity, and compassionate about their service. I found Amava Oluntu through an artist friend, Dylan Mcgary, and thought it would be a great place to offer my service. Upon my first visit to the space, I was warmly welcomed by Theresa Wigley and Teresa Boulle, two power houses behind the driving force of Amava. After a lovely chat, I gained so much insight into what this organisation is doing, what they want to achieve and how they wish to do it.

I’m going to try to paint a mental picture of how I see Amava. I see Amava as this giant octopus with many many tentacles. The body of the Octopus is the space where Amava operates, and the tentacles are all of the features that make up Amava. From the various dream teams making the community garden happen, forming a new school, researching – to the Muiz Kitchen, an addition to Amava, which is a community driven kitchen, feeding the community at a very low cost, and an even lower cost for people who need it.

These few tentacles of Amava are what I have experienced so far during my time at Amava. There are countless things happening in and around Amava that anyone can join, add on, or even start something new. The team is always open to new ideas and activities that will further broaden the horizons for everyone.

Dom volunteering at the Muiz Kitchen

Dom volunteering at the Muiz Kitchen, chopping and cooking.

What I have also come to realise through my time here is that offering one’s service can be so beneficial to organisations such as Amava. There is so much value we all have in our individual capacity, and often we might not think it valuable, but others definitely do. So to approach someone, or an organisation that you feel resonates with you can provide progression for both you and the organisation. Providing service, or should I say, the asset you hold, helps Amava in growing their network and capability of providing a stronger and more resilient future for the people they work with.

I think the thing that stuck with me the most, is the selfless service I see in the team and the friends and family who are giving their time to something like this. It is never for an exchange of money, but for a free life for more people.

In this video, Dom is sharing more about his experience of volunteering at Amava Oluntu.

Amava's Community Writers

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