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community schooling at the heart of promoting real holistic and sustainable community development in poor and marginalised communities

a alternative to mainstream education that is able to have communities involved in solving local issues and meet global challenges

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the Joe Slovo West Community Project is bases on an alterntive community centre that looks providing a community school whilst addressing identified social gaps in early childhood development (special needs) the youth (education drop-offs, drugs, high levels of illiteracy among youth and adults and the frail care for the elderly that are seen as a burden. the community centre (which is only 20% of the intervention) looks at working with the community to explore alternative design (low-tech green materials already in or accessible to the community) and in the of building the community centre the community is educated in the green agenda and how the solutions developed has daily application to their lives. the centre has the community school at its heart and from here main stream education is demystified and the community member becomes there very own researchers. community education invites all age groups, and addresses issues related to immediate and real daily life i the community through programs (which is 80% of the project). through the centre green alternatives and solutions are demonstrated such as recycling, vertical gardens, low tech energy alternatives, water use etc.  

Explain your idea

the idea is create a community centre that has a community school (alternative to main stream schooling) brought into the heart of the community in order for communities to enable idle social capacity in poorer and marginalised communities maximised. this is done by breaking away from the classical approach to university education and where students go to a university but instead the university goes into the community and the research is actually done by the very community (community researchers) this works by creating a platform where various universities, colleges, and in partnership with various institutions and organisations working with various professional consultants to work together towards the benefit of the community. social needs and the green agenda form the main syllabus of the community school and by so doing social issues are solved locally and innovatively. the community is better equipped by a syllabus locally tailored to suit their need and green alternatives explored and tested and taken further through community based organisations and small micro enterprises to generate a social economic benefits and encourage livelihoods

Who Benefits?

the community is the main benefactor, however all other involved (institutions and organisations such as the colleges, universities, professional consultants, local municipality ) also gain from being able to know how to better work be more effective at community level

How is your idea unique?

it is unique in that it invert the approach to education (now a basic need) by using an alternative approach that sees community schooling focussed on real local social issues whilst using a innovative green solutions (introducing the global agenda). its unique in that it has established a platform where the university, colleges, the municipality with support from professional consultants and experts all work together in a community space promoting a wholistic and sustainable approach to community development

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.
  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

Tell us more about you

i am a community researcher, architect and project manager working on high impact social development project which explore untapped social capacity and the green agenda. i have recently have registered a social enterprise that looks at a sustaining the work further to other communities. due to the nature of the exploration at hand (ie social, the green agenda and business development) a research and development platform is gradually emerging which facilitates the engagement of various universities, professions and experts. locally there are now two south African universities and a T-vet (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) college involved which internationally two German universities and T-vet college. there is also a South African local and German team of professional consultants that together with the local municipality and community are engaged in the work

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.


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