In African culture, the Calabash has always been a useful item for communities – from being harvested young to eat as a vegetable, hollowed out and dried for carrying water, storing, making musical instruments and hats, to more recently being used as a helmet on motorcycles – it is adaptable enough to be used in many different ways. This is how Calabash Trust operates, in a reflective and adaptive manner, ensuring we remain relevant and useful for our community partners.
Calabash Trust, the philanthropic arm of Calabash Tours, is a non-profit and public benefit organisation in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, who has been working on various programmes in partnership with local schools and communities in the urban township areas for over 14 years.
We facilitate community schools (that are willing partners) through parent and community engagement, using Asset Based Community-led Development (ABCD), story-telling, arts and permaculture design as tools. We help people acknowledge their own assets to use for social and economic upliftment.
Vision: Empowered, confident and resilient communities taking charge of their own lives; utilising local resources; working together towards social, environmental and economic equality and justice.
Mission statement: To empower and support previously disadvantaged communities in Nelson Mandela Bay through the facilitation of “community schools”, thereby unlocking inherent potential, increasing capacity, stimulating self-reliance and leveraging existing community assets.
Objectives and activities:
• A select number of schools are transformed into “community schools” and are recognized as centers of learning and opportunity for the surrounding community.
Facilitating community schools by using a variety of appropriate tools, including ABCD, story-telling, arts and permaculture.
Facilitating access to networks and resources.
• Local schools are participating in an international network of support and learning.
Connecting schools and communities through international partnerships, volunteer placements and responsible tourism.
• Calabash is a self-sustaining, continuously adapting and reflective organization.
Ensuring annual strategic thinking and operational planning.
Conducting an external evaluation in 2018.
One of the Projects: Qhamani Garden Club at WB Tshume Primary School
The newly formed environmental group having fun at WB Tshume Primary School…they decided to call themselves Qhamani Garden Club, meaning “to have more” or “abundance”. They also decided that they want to be involved in order to make their school strong and beautiful, full of plants, trees, flowers, water, healthy soil, vegetables and fruit! They therefore want to “raise their garden” and learn more about nature, how plants grow, how to plant what and when. Qhamani garden club work and learn together on Wednesday afternoons together with the Milani group and Calabash.
As part of offering authentic opportunities to engage and interact with local communities, Calabash Tours offers volunteer placements for individual volunteers.
We have initiated community partnerships with 7 local primary schools, as well as a community care organisations, and a variety of other community based organisations, which need assistance from volunteers.
Calabash works hard to ensure that your volunteer placement is rich and rewarding for you, but that it essentially serves the local community too. We focus primarily on ways to ensure that skills are shared, and that mutual learning takes place.
As we work with vulnerable adults and children, we do require a screening process for all our volunteers. For this reason, we have developed a strong working relationship with the sending organisation ‘people and places’ who are world leaders in responsible volunteering.
Office: +27 (0)41 582 2221
Cell: +27 (0)82 541 0371