Thrive Hout Bay chairwoman Gwyn Banning believes it has been a “very important” transitional year for the organisation.
Speaking at Thrive’s annual general meeting at the Hout Bay library on Tuesday April 25, Ms Banning said the organisation had seen a lot of change and was looking at new fund-raising opportunities.
A new full-time executive director would be employed, as Thrive director, Bronwen Lankers-Byrne, had been spreading herself over multiple roles, and Thrive was looking for more volunteers to help with the sustainable schools project and food programme, while also establishing a database of monthly donors.
“Among our top priorities in the next year is to obtain a small bakkie to transport our staff as well as any fruits and vegetables that are produced. Furthermore, we are looking for free growing space in Hout Bay, as well as office space for our new executive director,” Ms Banning said.
Ms Lankers-Byrne said the establishment of a Thrive hub at Valley Nursery had helped the organisation roll outs its school programmes more effectively.
“Our Eco Heroes Curriculum is doing especially well. This is used to teach pupils from our 10 participating schools about each of our fives pillars, namely waste, local food, biodiversity, water and energy,” she said.
“Hout Bay High’s three school gardens have won awards. Furthermore, last year the International School of Hout Bay only managed to achieve a score of 1 out of 10 for its food garden, but in January this year it achieved 9 out of 10. This just shows the commitment of teachers to our programme is paying off.”
Extolling the virtues of the annual Enviro Quiz and Art competition, run in partnership with the Sentinel, Ms Lankers-Byrne said Thrive’s enviro audit a checklist of criteria that makes for an environmentally-friendly organisation – was taking the message of sustainability to school children.
In the past year, Thrive has employed full-time workers to clear several areas, in particular Baviaanskloof mountain, of invasive species.
Thrive committee member Zikhona Mdalase, who has been driving this operation, said the idea was to clear vegetation to allow water to flow freely, while also creating jobs.
The Hangberg Zero Waste pilot project has been another highlight for Thrive, slashing the amount of waste leaving Hout Bay, and collecting recycling.
Ms Lankers-Byrne conceded that the inaugural Farmer’s Market, run each Saturday of the summer at Valley Nursery, had not been without its challenges, but they expected it to grow.
Hout Bay High’s involvement in the market had seen them post healthy profits, to the extent that the pupils were able to enjoy a trip to the Kruger National Park recently.
Ward councillor Roberto Quintas said Thrive’s work should be commended, and he planned to reach out to various City of Cape Town officials to get them involved in future projects.