The Philippi Tsoga Community Project Western Cape, South Africa.

The Tsoga Centre in Samora Machel Philippi has been identified as the primary vehicle for the implementation of skills development and job creation programmes. These projects are capable of offering a wide range of services that communities can use for their own empowerment as well as assisting in the upliftment of the entire community. Green Communities believes in accountability and ownership of interventions in order to ensure its success. The aim is to see communities realise their own potential and ambitions through self-growth and exploration. Through the upliftment of a community, one can see other social ills, such as crime, abuse, and other types of violence, being mitigated or alleviated due to the fact that people are keeping themselves involved in activities and gainful employment.

The Samora Machel community have been seeking opportunities for small business development within the community fro many years. In our experiences thus far with this community, it has become apparent that the need to maximise the economic potential of talents such as arts and crafts, welding, sewing, music and dance is a shared vision. Samora Machel is a vibrant community encompassing individuals of various African nationalities. What is interesting to see is how, despite the severe issue of Xenophobia that our country has experienced in recent years, this community has embraced its different cultures and people with enthusiasm.

Green Communities aims to see the success of the Tsoga Centre being driven through community decision-making, involvement and commitment to change and development. An intensive public participation process has already been implemented through regular public meetings, feedback sessions, newsletters, and reports regarding project progress. In this way, the initiatives identified for the Tsoga Community Project have been thoroughly communicated, and brainstormed with the community.

Initiatives are to be implemented with the intention of creating a place where the Samora Machel community can realise opportunities for themselves in the form of various projects. It is the intention that the Centre be utilised as often as possible, incorporating various interventions, courses, programmes, functions, and business development opportunities.

Through these initiatives we envisage that the Tsoga Centre will become a vibrant hub of social and economic development and can be a “blue print” for all other defunct community centres throughout Cape Town and South Africa. Replicable successful models are essential to the development of our country. One should allow the success of one community to inspire another to do the same. Often, the “ripple effect” of a project or intervention allow us to see these positive changes occur. We believe sharing what we learn with others will extend our impact beyond our portfolio.

Green Communities has been part of the Arbor Week programmes since 2008 and last year we planted over 500 trees in the Athlone and Mitchells Plain areas. This year our focus will be in the Samora Machel area and we will replicate our efforts from last year. We have also been given an additional 800 trees by the Rust en Vrede wine farm which we will plant at schools and at public open spaces. We have a close relationship with City Parks and they assist us with delivery, compost and fertilizer.