The Vermaaklikheid Sports Field Initiative

Phase Three: Providing for and ensuring the ongoing maintenance and management of the playing field and equipment

Purpose and Intention

The Vermaaklikheid community faces challenges that confront most rural communities in the Southern Cape: poverty, inadequate school facilities and limited employment opportunities.

To compound these problems Vermaaklikheid is isolated and many children do not complete their schooling. In addition a lack of any facilities for our under 18 year-old residents contributes to alcohol and drug abuse and the petty crime to support these habits.

There are approximately 90 children under the age of 18.

Progress to Date

The Vermaaklikheid Winkel Project is a non-profit association formed by a number of residents within Vermaaklikheid. The founders’ intention is for the Vermaaklikheid Winkel Project to serve as an association that facilitates the social development of the local community of Vermaaklikheid.  One of the first projects the concerned residents undertook was The Vermaaklikheid Sports Field Initiative.  To date, phases one and two have been completed.

Phase one: Community Engagement and an Assessment – Completed

In 2018, a number of concerned residents attempted to address some of these problems by initiating a consultative process that culminated in a survey of the community to assess the current situation. The survey focussed its inquiry around an achievable goal: the establishment of a multi-use playing field and providing sports equipment for the children of the village. The survey was returned with unanimous support for the facility from 35 households.

Phase two: Providing a useable playing field and basic equipment – Completed

  1. Secured the land needed for the field.
  2. Cleared the land of highly invasive and resilient reed and other weeds.
  3. Raised funds from local land owners (approximately R60 000) and installed an irrigation system and access to a water supply.
  4. Supported the establishment of indigenous grass.
  5. Provided half-sized football goals for children and youth. Rugby pole extensions are to be added shortly in response to the community’s needs.
  6. Provided a weed-eater to cut the grass

We now have a GivenGain fund-raiser for phase 3 of the Vermaaklikheid sports field.

Now we want to buy a lawnmower and employ a grounds person to ensure that the sports field grounds are maintained. We’re aiming for R24 200, which should cover a year’s maintenance, plus the purchase of a lawnmower.

If you can, please contribute to this initiative? Link is below. https://www.givengain.com/cause/53768/campaigns/23058/

GivenGain provides a secure, online donation and fundraising platform to charities, donors and fundraisers. All funds raised go directly to this initiative.

 

Shoes for school

Anneline Kistoor has launched a “SHOES FOR SCHOOL” initiative. Anneline is the librarian at both Brakfontein Primary as well as Vermaaklikheid.  Anneline noticed that many children come to school without proper school shoes.  She wants to buy each of the children at the Brakfontein Primary school a pair of leather school shoes.

There are 55 learners from Vermaaklikheid and the neighbouring farms currently attending the school.   

Anneline wants to raise enough to cover a pair of Student Prince leather shoes for each of the grade 1 to grade 6 learners. These shoes range in price from R170 to R220 a pair for larger sizes, but of course, any amount is welcome.

If this campaign is successful enough, Anneline would love to include another 9 Vermaaklikheid learners who attend school in Riversdale.  

Please contact Anneline on 060 721 4969 for more details. Alternatively, please deposit your contribution into her bank account, using these details:  FNB Cheque Account number 62167952764. Use SHOES and your name as a reference.

This is a great initiative for our local kids to have proper footwear.

 

Fire response: trailer!

During the devastating wild fires of October 2019, our community raised funds for equipment. Thanks go to Craig Irving for initiating this.

And now the good news is that we’ve used this fund to get Vermaaklikheid a fire trailer!

We’ve taken an existing fire pump and tank and mounted them on a trailer. The trailer will be primed and ready for use. Community members will now be able to easily move it and respond quickly to any wild fires.

Thanks to Konrad Stutterheim for overhauling and repairing the fire pump. 

The trailer is stored at the bakery – thanks to Konrad, Guy Tillim, Laurence Jones and Josie Borain for storing it. 

Please contact Konrad if you need to use it.

Thanks to Rooken Podesta for organising the trailer build and Alkem Pro Welding in Heidelberg for doing such a solid job. 

We hope that this is just good insurance and we don’t need to use it too often. 

 

Limestone fynbos booklet available again

Louisa Oberholzer’s much requested Limestone fynbos book is available again. In response to many requests for this booklet, first printed in 2010, it is now available at R180 (R150 for students).

This beautiful booklet describes the key features of the unusual Limestone flora, including a list of 171 species that have so far been identified. It is hoped that it will inspire readers to observe, photograph and continue to record examples of this fascinating flora.

Please contact Louisa Oberholzer to obtain copies of the booklet (072 9477775). Payments to be made to B J Oberholzer, Standard Bank, Hermanus Branch, Account Number 070222541.

Duiwenhoks Conservancy AGM 2021

Duiwenhoks Conservancy AGM 2021

We completed our first digital Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 24 March 21.

Many thanks to all who attended it and gave us feedback, especially during the committee election section. We really appreciate your interest. 

If you are interested in the recording, it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfMPCgnWwnA

Our AGM agenda included:

  1. Chairman’s Report + finances 
  2. Review of 2020 initiatives
  3. Hessequa Municipality property valuation 2021
  4. Wild fire: Vermaaklikheid fire fund & February 2021 fire
  5. Alien clearing: Uitvlug case study
  6. Duiwenhoks Estuary Report by Dr Lara van Niekerk & Dr Stephen Lamberth
  7. Election of Committee for 2021/2

We will share more soon! 

Duiwenhoks Estuary overview presentation (Lamberth)

Dr Stephen Lamberth has been sampling the Duiwenhoks Estuary for more than two decades. Stephen spoke about the state of the fish in our river, including some shocking data about the fish stock levels. There are about 50 breeding pairs of dusky kob in the southern Cape – it really is a critically endangered species. We need to protect it. 

His talk is available here: Lamberth Duiwenhoks Talk 24 March fish-compressed

Dr Stephen Lamberth is a fisheries ecologist at the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF). He has been involved in about 30 specialist studies focusing on freshwater flow requirements of river, estuarine and marine fish. He was the project leader in a comprehensive biological and socio-economic study of the South African beach-seine and gillnet fisheries.

Here’s a sample of his presentation showing the categories of our 45+ species:

 

 

 

Duiwenhoks Estuary overview presentation (van Niekerk)

We had our AGM today, with fantastic presentations from our 2 estuary experts. Dr Lara van Niekerk has shared her presentation with us – and here it is if you want to see it:

Van Niekerk Duiwenhoks Talk – 24March 2021-compressed

Dr Lara van Niekerk led the team of specialists who assessed the health and ecosystem condition of all of South Africa’s estuaries as part of the National Biodiversity Assessment 2018 and 2011.

Dr van Niekerk is a senior scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). She specialises in the physical dynamics of estuaries; estuarine condition assessments; environmental flow requirements; and estuary management and policy. Lara played a lead role in the development of the generic framework for estuary management plans. Lara is also part of a core team that develop environmental flow requirements technologies for South Africa.

A Practical Permaculture Workshop

The Conservancy hosted a Permaculture Design workshop over 2 days in November 2020.

On our first morning, we spent some time understanding the basics of Permaculture. There are 3 ethics involved: to care for the earth, to care for people, and to share the surplus. The rest of the time was outside, learning how to apply some Permaculture principles in planning and planting vegetable gardens.

We made good examples of a swale bed on a contour and a vegetable garden for four. These examples can be copied in terms of design and companion plantings. We created a ‘mother’ bed with the variety of plants that Alex supplied. The idea with this bed is to provide cuttings for our own vegetable gardens.

Alex shows us how to build a ‘machine’ to identify levels across any ground

Many thanks to Konrad Stutterheim and Chesslin Micheals for agreeing to maintain these plants. If you would like to visit the gardens, please liase with Konrad or Chesslin.

We have much to be thankful for, especially:

  • Alex for her brilliant facilitation; pitching her knowledge to a very diverse group, keeping things fun and light while also driving us to complete. Alex also supported our initiative financially by charging a reduced rate for the workshop.
  • Shelly Kleyn Armistead for kindly and generously funding the project and Margaux Newdigate for sourcing and securing that support and funding.
  • Guy Tillim, Konrad Stutterheim and Lawrence Jones for providing the space as our base;
  • Ruth Loewenthal for helping with access to the kitchen and crockery.
  • Pieter Takkies of Bosheuwel for the manure.
  • Chesslin Michaels, Konrad and Guy for allowing us to use their gardens.
  • Our delegates. Friday and Saturdays are working days for many and the weather was very challenging. Everyone got stuck in and did what they could to make it a fun and productive two days.

For more info, please contact Rooken at rooken@rookenpodesta.com.

 

On Saturday we spent some time laying out the mother garden for planting our seedlings into.

Conservancy AGM 2019

The AGM was held on Easter Saturday, 2019 in Vermaaklikheid.

Here is the presentation from the meeting – AGM2019 Presentation

Click here to read the minutes: Conservancy AGM minutes 2019

Funding Appeal: The pre-school in the village has run out of funding and almost 20 children are missing out on a vital part of their early childhood development.  A new school board has been established to get it up and running again and raise the necessary funding for it to continue. Click here to read the funding appeal.