The Botshabelo Community Development Trust was founded in 1990 by Marion and Con Cloete in Magaliesburg, South Africa as a place of refuge for those suffering and orphaned by HIV/AIDS and Apartheid. Directly translated, Botshabelo means, a place to run to. Today, this poverty relief village is home to more than 1000 people, most of which are children. Their philosophy is
"to help anyone who needs it, regardless of background or age. If someone comes to us for help, [they] can’t turn them away, whether they are an adult, a child or even an animal. As a result, [they] are now home to about 1,000 men, women and children, plus a few dogs, cats and snakes."
To learn more about Botshabelo, visit their website here.
BOTSHABELO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Since 2015 we’ve collaborated with Botshabelo to help them reach their goal of being a model sustainable African village.n Guided by our purpose and mission, together we’ve designed and implemented several successful projects. From solar panels and water projects to mushroom cultivation and energy education we've hosted a variety of projects. Each year we continue to build on our existing work and tackle new projects based on the community's needs.
Click below to explore our projects
Gravity Water Supply (2019)
In 2017 we provided the Botshabelo Community Development Trust with independent access to water using a 3.2 kilowatt solar panel system. Providing access was the first step, in creating an entirely independent water management system.
This year, we're tasked with creating an entirely gravity fed water distribution system that moves water more efficiently.
Exercise Therapy (2019)
This year Amanda Morin will be returning with us to Botshabelo community to continue her work.
With the help of our volunteers and the community members, she'll continue her work with Con, and Sarah. We'll check in with Annaleta's progress. Amanda will also be seeing some new community members with the continued goal of increasing mobility and improving their functional independence.
Energy Education Workshop (2017)
As part of CSW’s four branches, we believe that education is fundamental. That's why one of the major project objectives for 2017, was to enroll all of the school children through energy education programming that would compliment the work we were up to in the community.
Dance & Leadership (2021)
What we know to be true is that dance connects us, lifts our spirit, celebrates our traditions, ancestors, and raises the vibration around us.
We've partnered with Toronto dancer and choreographer, Percy Anane-Dwumfour to lead dance and leadership workshops for the entire community and village.
With the help of Danielle Stevenson, in 2018 we got the Botshabelo Mushroom Project off the ground, quite literally.
Now that the mushroom cultivation has taken off, we'll be working with the community to fine tune their growing process and explore how the project will continue to evolve into the future.
Exercise Therapy (2018)
Sustainability, refers to more than just the planet. Sustaining the humans on this planet includes the mind, body and spirit. Kinesiology and Masters of Physical Therapy graduate, Amanda Morin, joined us to help elevate the lives of several community members by increasing their mobility and improving functional independence.
Energy Reduction (2017)
In order to support Botshabelo's goals of living off the grid, we started our project with several major energy reduction strategies that would widely impact the community. From installing prepaid electrical meters, to a full overhaul of the community's lighting, we reduced the community's energy consumption by about 8%.
Mushroom Curriculum Design (2020)
Since introducing Botshabelo to mushroom cultivation in 2018, they have worked through the steep learning curve of the fungi kingdom and began mastering their own growing operation.
This project focuses on implementing mushroom education into the existing school curriculum, as well as offering skill-building workshops for the village,
Computer Club (2019)
We teamed up with Software Developer, Jean-Marc Skopek, to launch a micro computer lab and computer skills training program for the Botshabelo Community.
We live in a time where basic, and even advanced, computer skills are must when it comes to schooling and landing a job. Alongside Jean-Marc, we'll be delivering computer education and skills training for the community.
Mushroom Cultivation (2018)
This year we partnered with mushroom expert, Danielle Stevenson, to introduce mushroom cultivation to the Botshabelo community. Our introduction of fungi to the community included three major parts:
Infrastructure and construction;
Mushroom education and skills training
Providing the equipment and tools required to operate a sustainable mushroom growing operatio
Solar Panel Project: Solar Water Pump (2017)
In August 2017, we gave Botshabelo independent access to clean water, bringing them one step closer to reaching their goal of living off the grid. This project is a major part of Botshabelo's energy reduction strategy, but more importantly, it's a major part of providing the community with a stronger sense of independence.
Since we began in 2015, we're set out to crush some major project goals, but there's still lots more work to be done. Check out the list of future projects we hope to bring to life at Botshabelo. Have an idea for a project or would like to support with those listed here? Let's talk!
Biogas Collection & Heating
Rain Water Collection
Sustainable Community Garden (Permaculture Education & Training)
Community Workshop (tools & workspace)
Skills Training (electrical, plumbing, carpentry, leadership & management, automotive, cooking, sewing, crafting, yoga, etc.)
Community Tuck Shop
Community Recreation Centre
Anything you can contribute? We'd love to hear from you.