Simbhademe (Pilot IP)

As one of the solutions to rural development needs in Pondoland a highly successful pilot of the Innovations Programme has been running in the Amadiba area since 2007. The name was soon changed by the participants to Simbhademe (meaning 'we discover' in the Pondo dialect) being an anagram of the names of the 6 villages involved. It now keeps going under its own steam with or without funding indicating the potential of sustainable projects when they emerge from the people themselves.

The design is holistic in that it incorporates personal development, skills acquisition, knowledge development, understanding, relationships, networking, micro-projects and mentoring into what is essentially local economic development (LED) and work creation driven at a grassroots level with no complicated imposition of structures and paper-work which 2nd economy people should not have to cope with. It is rooted within the amaPondo cultural system, conducted in the local language, nested in African spirituality and sanctioned by the Queen of the amaPondo and the local Tribal Authority.

Simbhademe has been designed after TOTAL CONSULTATION with local people to consist of 3 Phases of workshops, experiential visists and livelihood project development that are all interlinked. The consultation came BEFORE and DURING the design, not as it is in many cases where the consultation comes AFTER decisions have been made!!

After the design stage 5 representatives were elected by their communities from each of 6 villages to participate directly in the programme. These people represent a range of stakeholder groups in each community to ensure full representation. After workshops or visits the learning gained is fed back to the greater community and questions/requests brought back to the following workshop by the representatives.