Campaign name: #Root2Fruit
An initiative to take a seed and germinate it. To grow that seed you need water, land and care. We take concepts from root to fruit.
This is a rural development Initiative: #Root2Fruit (grass-root) effort to help create sustainable opportunities while building the community. Please help us build our headquarters (Green building) where we teach skills and develop members of the community in Khayalethu. Thereby empowering the community through sustainable initiatives.
Our project (#Root2Fruit) aims to develop community tourism assets to encourage people to visit and stay longer in communities; enhance the local tourism economy, and provide positive tourism benefits to the community and surrounding area. We plan to develop the community land of Judah Square in Khayalethu, Knysna and create the needed infrastructure to entertain and host tourist. The project will be achieved in phases. Phase 1 being a container shop & office/reception with refreshments to receive tourist and an ablution facility. Phase 2 is the building of a green building with offices, coffee/juice/internet café, studio/gallery, workshop/space and 20 self-catering units. Phase 3 being the further development of the community land owned by One Love Rastafari Tourism and Projects.
Food for thought
Every square meter of roof during a downpour(rain) of 1mm = 1 litre of water per sqm.
In other words 1000 homes of 100 sqm of roof = 100 000 litres per 1mm of rain. So what if
wemanage our rainfall better by implementing water harvesting solutions? How many seeds we can grow! Even fish! How about humans? How many do you think we can grow? How much can we achieve as a collective?
About the primary founder: The little big tree ;)
Born Mercia Grootboom in 1986 in Knysna. At the age of 5 our small shack burnt to the ground in the informal settlement called Nekkies in Knysna, we lost everything in that fire, including my one and only comfort toy a big teddy. Me and my mother were lucky to get out in time after I woke up, feeling the intense heat of the door above our heads that caught fire. We had no water to put out the fire. Why do I bring this up? Because this was a turning point in my little world. And ultimately another fire (Knysna fire 7 June) brought me back to my home town.
Since moving back to Knysna, now living in Khayalethu, four homes around our house within a 100 meters (the closest being 3 meters away) have been totally destroyed by fire.
After being away for ten years and privileged enough to have studied in Stellenbosch, I am back in my home town with a fire in my soul to give back to the community that I came from and to help rebuild the Garden of Eden (no excuses for this pun ;)
My husband and I decided to follow our hearts and to embark on this life journey #Root2Fruit which culminated in establishing Grootboom Innovation Foundation Trust (G.I.F.T.) concept.
We are both passionate about nature and our natural resources. We have two young boys (a 1 and 4 year old) and ultimately everything we're doing is for the future generations. By looking out for them we look out for all the sons and daughters in especially the poor communities.
Everyone and everything
needs water, whether to fight fires with or to grow fruit and
vegetables. We believe that with the support of the community we can
help build a better greener future for this generation and the next
What are we on about?
We need to develop the communities through access to water. Due to the drought, sustainability of the communities are severely curtailed due to water restrictions, further embedding poverty. We aim to address the sustainable development of the resources in the community, for instance, implementing green economic solutions (water harvesting systems, water recycling systems, water tanks, boreholes ,etc.) The potential of access to water makes vegetable garden projects feasible, thus creating sustainable employment opportunities in the communities and could also be used in times of emergency to fight fires. Water represents life and the poor communities need to become sustainable. All our projects must have unlimited beneficiaries.
We have committed ourselves to germinate 1million exotic seeds for plants & trees (e.g Yellowood, Stinkwoods, Almonds etc.)
We want to unleash the Green Machine in you!
Our Pilot Project: #Root2Fruit
Grootboom Innovation Foundation Trust (G.I.F.T.) in collaboration with One Love/The Judah Square community
Having a permanent headquarters is the cornerstone of realizing our mission and offering year-round support and projects. This building will serve to showcase our ability to transform a community.
We will be building a Green building ( Phase 2), this will be our main offices in Judah Square in Khayalethu. ( Phase 2 being the further development of Judah Square's community land.) By backing this campaign you'll help build the first green building of it's kind in the community as well as help us offer more opportunities for community engagement in the form of workshops, internships, and community projects and events focused on developing a sustainable green conscious community.
G.I.F.T's Green Building – Headquarters
A Venue for people like YOU to externalise your journey with us.
- Office Spaces (administration, tourist info, bookings & guides)
- Internet ,coffee & juice café –Communications capability and access for the community to the global green communities and knowledge
- The first Green Self Catering Accommodation in the community catering for the wellness tourism industry.
- Studio work-space and training space
- Early childhood development fund raising
- Green laundry facility
- Zen herb garden with Khoi fish
- Germination Nursery – “The Little Big Tree Project”
The building will be a staging area for tourist wishing to experience this community first hand.
Implement green solutions: Photovoltaic solar panels, Water harvesting and treatment systems, Bio-digester, Recycle Depot and Protocols, organic herb garden
We help innovate, create and motivate the community to identify sustainable green economic opportunities in line with world tourism. Create needed jobs and spreading the word about local community projects. Promote water solutions that ties in with nature. To educate and uplift the community's consciousness to identify opportunities and protect the environ within the community for example the “River walk” in Khayalethu. Keeping the river and the natural environment clean. Education on safety protocols for fire, drought and natural disasters. Create awareness of the importance of water as a natural and national resource. Address the land usage in the informal settlements by maximising the use of land as a natural resource and assets of each community. Instilling pride in the community and giving hope and purpose at the same time creating opportunities for business.
Some of the products for the
Rewards will be made by members of the Khayalethu community in Knysna.
We are currently already giving small workshops, training people in
bead work, leather braiding, making clothing, empowering individuals
to become entrepreneurs.
Some of our awesome Rewards
Our Vision, Mission and Objectives
The Grootboom Innovation Foundation Trust ( G.I.F.T.) is a Social Enterprise that creates sustainable green economic solutions to create wealth within all South African communities, but more specifically the informal settlements. We are apolitical and will focus on green economic solutions that will have the greatest impact for all people in our country. We believe that through innovative sustainable solutions we will address the issues that is crippling the social and economic fabric of our society, and create a stronger more inclusive South African economy.
There is presently an urgent necessity for our community and country to implement innovative solutions for the challenges we face. G.I.F.T. will be the vehicle through which we can as a collective bring innovative solutions to the communities and projects we may serve in.
G.I.F.T. aims to establish a fund with the objective being the launch of pilot projects for the ecologically and economically sustainable development of the community.
G.I.F.T.'s primary focus is to have a positive social and environmental impact. The legacy being the lasting gift of sustainability. Among other things G.I.F.T. aims to promote economic inclusivity, and support initiatives where community empowerment and integration is vital.
Our Products & Services
Our primary product as a social enterprise is affordable green multi-level homes, green building solutions, perimeter systems, landscaping, bush clearing, germination nursery,rain water harvesting and treatment systems, and the development and promotion of new integrated green businesses opportunities. Bring the information age directly to the community.
Funding boreholes and water solutions within poor communities in the Eden district.
Milestone 1 – R50 000
If we reach the first milestone we can initiate our project agreement with One Love/Judah Square and draw up the architectural plans for our proposed building and community project and submit it for municipal approval. Registration of G.I.F.T.
Milestone 2 /Dream goal– R1 350 000
- Green building (Materials and construction)
- Plans & Approval Process
- Registration of projects
- Offices – Equipment & Furnishings
- Self catering Accommodation - Furnishings
- Studio Workshop – Tools, materials & furnishings
- Funding for early childhood development
- Coffee,juice & Internet shop – “The Watering Hole” - Equipment & shop fitting
- Laundromat – Equipment
- Complete green Solutions – Energy, water & recycling
- Germination Nursery – “The little Big Tree project”
Construction commence in March 2018 – Construction time: 3 months
Milestone 3 – Exceed dream goal – Initiate Phase 2
Continue to launch projects for the advancement and benefit of the community
- Re-establish the SAN-Parks initiative and agricultural project within Judah square precinct.
- Installing rain water harvesting systems in the community
- Borehole, pump, filtration and storage
- Establish Wood workshop and green building construction training
- Water waste treatment systems
- Establish indoor vertical organic vegetable & herb gardens
- Germination nursery
- Life skills training, Entrepreneur mentor programmes and support
- Pledge from G.I.F.T. To plant 1m exotic seeds (Yellow wood etc.)
- Establish community driven fire response team
- Animal welfare project
Proposed Future Projects to help communities become self-sustainable
The seed and eventual roots to the tip of the tree bearing the fruits of our labour.
Hence the G.I.F.T.'s 'TREE OF LIFE 'as our icon and motto # Root2Fruit resonates with our green economic socialenterprise as well as the social consciousness to reduce the negatives of our journey, greatly impacting positively through sustainable empowerment.
The G.I.F.T. headquarters will be an asset, first and foremost, to the community in which it functions. The partnerships we form with our community are every bit as important to the success of the #Root2Fruit project as the physical infrastructure we build. Getting public and private buy-in and participation is crucial in driving the capacity thereby creating strong and effective channels for communication, criticism, and collaboration.
YOU must be apart of the solution!
About the founders
Mercia and Raymond live in a community called Khayalethu. in Knysna. Raymond has been an entrepreneur all his life and at a time when the clothing and textile industries were thriving in South Africa, employed over 300 people directly and indirectly in his business “Yebo clothing Exporters”. Over the years he has been involved in numerous property development projects and established a wholesale jewellery manufacturing business together with his wife Mercia, called Zefzulu in 2009. Mercia is a University of Stellenbosch alumni, she has a bachelor degree in drama and a post-graduate diploma in marketing both obtained from the University of Stellenbosch.
About One Love/Judah Square community & Founders
Judah Square is a Rastafari community situated in a small valley in Khayalethu South, a suburb of Knysna, a town in South Africa.
It was an informal settlement which developed into a formal one. It’s began in 1993 when the municipality responded to a request by the local Rasta’s to allocate them their own area. As per the development plan happening in the area, the Rastas still had to apply individually for lots but they were accorded beside one another.
At first, there were only shacks and no fences. The Knysna municipality then gave title deeds and subsidized dwellings. This inspired pride in the Rastas. Over the years, rooms were built on, new dwellings erected, fences installed and gardens made. Through self-fundraising, they built a tabernacle (a church), an Educare Centre (crèche), 2 B&B homestays, a holistic healing centre, an office, a food stall and a community hall. They also formed a band called The Reggae Ambassadors.
Youth workshops are held most Sundays. These impart Rastafari teachings, arts, crafts, music, black history, permaculture and various life skills. this also provides spiritual balance in their lives. Adults also partake in skill sharing. House band, The Reggae Ambassadors assist with fund-raising efforts.
There is a boom gate for security at the entrance to Judah Square. Stall holders who sell fruit, vegetables and arts and crafts take turns manning the gate voluntarily. Consequently, Judah Square is much safer than the surrounding area having no violent crime (such as rape and murder) and very little theft. Parents take comfort in the knowledge that their children are safe while they play. It also serves as a convenience to visitors and tourists who are greeted warmly and directed where to go.
The majority of residents work in town, many with their own businesses. The vision is to grow tourism so that those businesses can operate sustainably within Judah Square itself. The goal is to rise together in One Love.
Some Rastafarian words to add to your vocabulary ;)
BAD : good, great
: one’s fellow male Rastas
BUNKS MI RES, catch my rest, take a nap.
CROSSES : problems, vexations, trials; bad luck, misfortunes.
CULTURE : reflecting or pertaining to the roots values and traditions highly respected by the Rastas
DI : the
DREADLOCKS : 1. hair that is neither combed nor cut 2. a person with dreadlocks
DREADY : a friendly term for a fellow dread
DUNS/DUNSA : money
EASE-UP : to forgive, to lighten up
EVERYTING COOK & CURRY : all is well, all is taken care of
GANSEY : t-shirt, any knit shirt
HAIL : a greeting
I-MAN : I, me, mine
I-NEY : a greeting
I-REY: 1. a greeting 2. excellent, cool, highest
I-TAL : vital, organic, natural, wholesome; refers to way of cooking and way of life in colours, red, green and gold. I : replaces “me”, “you”, “my”; replaces the first syllable of seleted words. I and I, I&I: I, me, you and me, we. Rastafari speech eliminates you, me we, they, etc., as divisive and replaces same with communal I and I. I and I embraces the congregation in unity with the Most I (high) in an endless circle of inity (unity).
IRIE : adj. powerful and pleasing
JAH KNOW : Lord knows
JAH : God; possibly derived as a shortened form of Jahweh or Jehovah Jah Ras Tafari, Haille Selassie, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, conquering Lion of Judah; rastas revere Haile Selassie as the personification of the Almighty
JAMMIN : to be having a good time, to be dancing calypso/soca
LION : a righteous Dread (1) a great soul (2)
ONE LOVE : a parting phrase, expression of unity
ROOTS : natural indigenous.
SISTER, SISTREN : a woman, a friend, woman Rastafarians.
ZION : Ethiopia, Africa, the Rastafarian holy land
Other Ways You Can Help
- Help spread the word and make some noise about our campaign! Hash tag #Root2Fruit to show your support!
you for being part of our project!