South Africa: Strategy Meeting
GEN South Africa met this spring for a strategy meeting, promoting sustainability and clear channels of communication across the region with the long-term goal of developing a path for building and sustaining national initiatives.
The historic strategic meeting of the Global Ecovillage Network-South Africa was held in Nxopho Village, Eastern Cape Province from April 30th-May 1st, 2016, welcoming participants from the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, and Mpumalanga provinces.
The aim of the meeting was to give feedback about the GEN Africa strategy meeting held in December 2015 in Sekem, Egypt, as well as to develop a critical path in building and sustaining our national initiatives.
These are the key concrete outcomes of the GEN South Africa strategic meeting.
- The meeting confirmed that Mr. Aaron Ranayeke will be the National Convener until the next GEN South Africa meeting (to be held on April 29th-30th, 2017)
- Established a national steering committee whereby provinces will nominate representatives. Nominations should be made from May to November 2016
- GEN South Africa will continue to have virtual offices at present. The national steering committee will explore where a national offices could be set up in the Eastern Cape Province
- Provinces to hold reporting meetings from May to November 2016 and establish provincial coordination committees
Finances and Fundraising:
The matter mainly dwells around ensuring that GEN South Africa is self-sustaining and sustainable. The meeting identified the following fundraising strategies:
- Self-funding: searching for and identifying socioeconomic (GEN Cooperatives) initiatives for income generation i.e. craft enterprises; moringa, etc.
- Instituting membership fees: to be concluded at the next GEN South Africa meeting (April 2017)
- Creating a GEN South Africa plan whereby regions support each other in their initiatives
- Developing a fundraising strategy that will guide both national and provincial fundraising activities
- Searching for like-minded donors, domestically and abroad
- Responding to calls for proposals that can further advance the building of GEN South Africa
- Fine tuning proposals before submitting to donors as part of the fundraising team
After a careful review of what is an appropriate means of communicating with each other, such as calling or organizing meetings, circulation of documents, and other methods, we resolved the following:
- Provincial communications will best fit to use the SMS text messaging (bulk buying of SMS data)
- National communications will be sent by e-mail, SMS text messages, Skype meetings, and tele-conferences
- Biogas digesters and compost toilets: we resolved to explore the possibility of partnering with the Environmental Monitoring Group based in Cape Town
- Agro-Ecological Training College
- River of Life: women’s mobilization and support platform
- Developing NextGEN youth initiatives