Design and implementation of sustainable development programs using permaculture as a guiding methodology

Skills & Small Enterprise Development Programme

In alignment with the mission and objectives of the Lesheba Indigenous Knowledge Centre, Afristar collaborated with the Leshiba Community Development Trust to support a community program for training and apprenticeship in traditional Venda woodcarving, as well as in the crafts of textiles and musical instruments.  The aim of this program was to support the local community in retaining their traditional cultural practices and indigenous knowledge systems, and to promote valuation of local knowledge systems as bases for community enterprise and income generation. The program encouraged the apprenticeship of high quality artisans to engage in income generation through effective marketing of their work, and worked to create linkages between rural artists and potential markets in order to support wealth creation from this traditional practice and the continuation of apprenticeship in these highly technical skills.  The program also trained participants in basic organic gardening for homestead food production. All in all, the skills development programme supported Afristar’s key aim of rejuvenating rural economies through valuing of indigenous knowledge systems and culture, as well as sustainable natural resource use.