NOUPOORT COMMUNITY INSPIRED BY CHANGE
Inspired by the opportunity to make a difference and put constructive plans into place that will drive transformation, community members of the small town of Noupoort have gathered, several times this year, to share their ideas for change and upliftment in a number of facilitated community workshops.
Initiated and funded by the local wind farm’s socio-economic development programme, these meetings, aptly named #ChangeMakers, drew up to seventy locals that are community change activists or who are already working to improve the lives of their fellow residents and wanting to make a positive difference.
“Identifying and mobilizing this community is helping people to gain control over their lives. Our role is to help their vision and support the goals through our programmes that fund local upliftment and sustainable development,” explained Sandisiwe Mntonintshi, Economic Development Manager of Noupoort Wind Farm.
This united and cohesive community cohort, took the opportunity to further build relationships and prepare the process for funding of social projects.
“Participants have embraced the opportunity and structures for funding from Noupoort Wind Farm with many applications already underway. This means that our development programmes will be focused on initiatives that are wanted and needed in the community, which will ultimately increase the impact and drive change exponentially,” added Mntonintshi.
One of the workshop attendees, Lizzel Gous, had this to say: “The workshop empowered me positively because it gave me the energy to start something out of nothing, as well as helping me to realize how many useful foundations we already have to build on in Noupoort.”
Drawing on research, it has shown that citizen driven development offers an alternative to the conventional needs-based approach, founded on an understanding that sustainable development comes from within. Efforts are therefore more effective and longer-lasting when community members dedicate their time and talents to creating the changes they desire.
This facilitated workshop highlighted the strengths, potentials and capacities that this community already has, to shape and drive their development – with the belief in self-organised communities and critical success factors.