SUURBRAAK RURAL ARTS PROJECT
The Light from Africa Foundation in collaboration with various stakeholders seeks to widen the scope of our outreach work by initiating a Rural Arts Project (RAP) in Suurbraak.
The RAP has launched two pilot programmes:
- Creative Art which is facilitated by local artist Donovan Julius
- Needlecraft which is facilitated by local seamstress Hetta November.
- The programs have been designed to teach the following Life Skills:
- Positive self-esteem
- Showing kindness
- Discovering self
- Community awareness
- Conservation of natural resources
- Respect for women
- Appreciation of their own and other cultures
Suurbraak is a rural settlement in the Overberg District at the foot of the beautiful Tradouw Pass in the Langeberg Mountains of the Western Cape, South Africa. The village was established in 1812 by the London Missionary Society as a residential mission station to serve the Attaqua Khoikhoi.
Suurbraak is situated in what could easily be termed a little piece of heaven. As it is not a commercial or industrial centre it has remained largely unchanged. Many residents cook on wood stoves and live close to the land. Traditional subsistence farming methods are used, the smaller farms still being worked with horse drawn ploughs.
Agricultural work is often done manually, with many households owning at least one cow and a few donkeys or horses. Horse-drawn carts are often seen in the streets. Mat making, hide curing and blacksmithing have vanished over time, as have candle and soap making. However, furniture is hand crafted, chairs in particular, and traditional rustic methods of furniture repair are still used. Garden furniture and crafts are also fashioned from alien trees.
While Suurbraak’s isolation is one of its charms, the absence of any industry has forced young people to leave and seek employment elsewhere, which depletes and limits capital inflow into the community.
This results in:
- a high unemployment rate
- high teenage pregnancy
- lack of skills development
- limited access to tertiary study
Both our pilot projects are extra-curricular and holiday programmes specifically developed to:
- Keep the young people constructively occupied
- Provide an opportunity to allow them to explore their creativity
- Restore a sense of pride
- Develop self-esteem
- Provide a platform for young people to engage with their peers in a constructive manner
- Provide a source of income for the facilitators and their families
- Enable the development of a young and hugely talented local artist whose career will hopefully gain momentum.
Both programmes take place at the Community Trust House.
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