Our ‘Waste its Mine its Yours Projects’, Dreamcatcher works on minimising the Impacts of general consumer waste which includes waste generated by visitors on the local environment and health in township communities. We place special emphasis on importance of re-use and how it can impact positively on local quality of life. We pioneer projects which use waste as a valuable resource, encouraging re-use, conserving energy and water and managing the impacts of waste in the community, with the community.
We are committed to pioneering models for sustainable solutions to enable a circular economy, especially with the aim of poverty relief, by engaging and working with local township communities, in South Africa. We reach out globally to develop innovative outcomes based projects with partners, to grow the local economy sustainably and build knowledge globally. In doing so, we create jobs, social entrepreneurs, improved local economy, local environmental quality and sustainable living. we are excited and proud of our latest exciting project working in partnership with the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom: http://about.brighton.ac.uk/
See further examples of our work in the Dreamcatcher communities below:
- Waste management – Recycling brings Hope to women and their Communities in South Africa Over 50 registered Dreamcatcher Foundation entrepreneurs, community leaders and waste professionals, in what are known as township communities across South Africa, were involved in the ground breaking waste awareness project “Waste: Shamina – Shawena – Waste: It’s Mine – It’s Yours”.
The project aimed to increase awareness of waste issues within communities with a focus on the impact on public health and the environment.
Historically townships have been densely populated communities with residents living in close proximity. Waste behaviour in township communities has been closely linked to the legacy of the Apartheid system. The dumping of waste in communities was a way of expressing opposition to the Apartheid system and in addition was a protest against the lack of infrastructure caused by forced removal of citizens. Over time this behaviour manifested itself into negative perceptions towards waste, the local authorities -and lack of co-responsibility for waste in the community. Waste and litter in communities became a way of life. In large parts of South Africa there remains a poor awareness of waste issues and an inadequate collection and treatment infrastructure.
The “Waste: Shamina – Shawena – Waste: It’s Mine – It’s Yours” project involved training and skills transfer activities which were run over 3 years. The women and men (called Kamamma’s and Bhuti’s) were empowered with skills and knowledge on how to manage waste better where they live, raise awareness to mobilize their own communities and to develop an environmental ethos where they provide their micro tourism services. It is important to note that participants represented 13 diverse cultures and are involved in a host of projects in their communities to uplift those who live in poverty and harsh socio-economic circumstances. Collectively they engage with over 15, 000 people in their communities. Local Authority staff, which included bin men and waste managers, were invited and involved in the project. As a trial, youth from the Dreamcatcher Foundation Communities -and Social development programme attended some further bespoke training (see Project: Waste is Mine its Yours).
- Reducing carbon emissions and energy use – Utilising the energy of the sun, which if in abundance in South Africa and using energy saving light bulbs, has many benefits for the Dreamcatcher Kamamma’s and Bhutis:
- They are reducing their environmental impact and their carbon footprint through reduction of emissions from wood and coal burning, as well as use reducing use of energy from gas and electricity.
- Electricity -and power is very expensive in South Africa. Through saving money on utility accounts and increasing their profits, the Kamammas have more money to at their disposal to increase quality of life, that of their children and community.
- Saving money on purchase of light bulbs and have switched to using energy saving light bulb.
- Drawing on the many hours of natural sunshine, , installing Solar Geysers at the Homestays and Cook-up venues in South Africa has been our BIG dream and goal. We have applied, via Dreamcatcher Foundation Netherlands to Wilde Ganzen to help with grant funding and their contribution will be match funded by initiatives by Karin Bloemen and the Middemeer Ladies event day.
- Using rainwater to address Food poverty – Vast areas where our community engagement and socio-economic development projects are run, are situated in areas impacted by protracted drought. With water in short supply and expensive, where it is on tap, each drop is used for household use with no incentives to grow food, which once again is expensive to buy. Our current project, running in tandem with the composting project, is to conserve the rain water in conservancy tanks when it does occur, transfer skills to grow food and edible herbs in small patches in cyclical fashion using this conserved water. The first positive impacts of this initiative are starting to show great promise and interest to get back to basics: making nature work to ensure the crops.