Dreamcatcher is a program founded by pioneer and social champion Anthea Rossouw that focuses on empowering women and youth in South Africa. Anthea aims to put “an end to aid without end,” using local resources and culture to develop successful micro-enterprises that offer a permanent end to poverty. The Dreamcatcher Foundation has created and maintained results-driven, outcomes based poverty alleviation projects that provide opportunities for sustainable development in 20 townships throughout South Africa for almost three decades.
Lately, the Dreamcatcher crew has been working on a multi-faceted project called Wasteland–Graced Land that aims to both create a sustainable solution for waste management in the Melkhoutfontein area and strengthen the local economy and livelihoods of its residents through environmental and socio-economic programs. It's a project that transforms the UN Sustainable Development Goals from aspiration into practical, measurable and impactful outcomes, and the model of Wasteland-Graced Land can also be duplicable to other communities with similar needs.
Highlights of Dreamcatcher's evolving Wasteland-Graced Land project:
- Established the Dreamcatcher office on an informal waste site, also home to the historic St. Augustine’s church, and cleaned up the surrounding area while working with local community members most in need (women and youth specifically).
- Developed the Cook-Up with Kamamma and Homestay with Kamamma programs that position local women to be entrepreneurs and generate income with their skills and talents, while also drawing tourists to the community.
- Formed La Bloemen botantical garden to reintroduce native plant and wildlife species into the once-thriving area, and restored the aforementioned church.
- Promoted awareness of the region’s culture and heritage through the ongoing Paint Up Kamamma project that beautifies 350 neighborhood homes through artistic representations of the history and lifestyle of the Melkhoutfontein people.
- Delivered waste management training and education to leaders in the community, and educated residents about waste’s impact on health and environment.
- Worked with international groups to establish process for better waste management that includes recycling efforts, and an income-generating vehicle that uses byproducts from those efforts.
Currently, Dreamcatcher is ready to manufacture the artisan craftmaking factory that will use byproducts from the waste management and recycling efforts. This factory will employ and empower many of the area’s most economically deprived, particularly the women and youth. It also creates an appealing, lasting solution to the waste management problem, promotes ongoing resource and knowledge sharing between locals and universities and education facilities, and serves as a development model others can learn from in the future.
So, what now? Dreamcatchers needs your financial help.
Dreamcatchers needs more funding to take this next critical step toward a sustainable economic solution for the community. The Utopia Foundation has committed $10,000 in a philanthropic endorsement of the Wasteland-Graced Land project in the form of a match funding call. In the spirit of global citizenship and mutual resolve, we encourage donations of any amount to help Dreamcatchers reach their goal.