After a strong focus on responding to the impact of Covid-19 in the previous year, 2021-22 gave us more time and energy to strategize and implement projects that focus on skills development and community connection.
How can we give access to more diverse learning spaces that contribute to social and environmental transformation? We started with ourselves and spent much time and energy figuring out how we relate in our small team. Theresa Wigley shares: “Working together across vast differences in lived experience, economic realities, history, culture, and perspectives is no easy task, and requires huge amounts of bravery, constant self-reflection, and deep levels of care.” Weekly team check-ins and reflections in nature helped us develop these caring environments and deepened the connection with ourselves and each other.
New local collaborations and partnerships emerged that helped us build strong alliances with individuals and organisations that aim at community resilience in Muizenberg and Vrygrond. Through interviews and surveys, we investigated what people appreciate and need from Amava Oluntu. Among others, it became evident that the physical space at 148 Main Road has been a pivotal place for people to feel safe, home, and appreciated. We established a system that keeps this space up and running so that youth can continuously have access to this safe learning space and media equipment.
The year 2022 started with great enthusiasm to build a skill sharing platform in order to give access to more diverse learning pathways. A new workshop framework was established that invites anyone from the community to share their skills and/or attend the workshops offered by peers. Monthly networking events contributed to the sharing of skills and knowledge beyond our local network. Since February, we have been organising these public events every first Friday of the month to share local wisdom and inspire change.
We are proud of our governing body that went through a transition of changes. Our new board members and an advisory collective ensure that Amava Oluntu’s governance is led according to its values, mission, and legal requirements.