Get Connected Holdings (GCH) is a private initiative that follows an inclusive approach to find affordable and sustainable solutions to solve problems that are related to and affected by the current socio-economic realities in South Africa. GHC targets the most immediate needs of people from disadvantaged backgrounds. GCH is in partnership with universities, the business sector, communities as well as all levels of government. These partnerships result in operations within numerous developmental undertakings that are related to education, health, entrepreneurship development, agriculture, environment management and tourism. The projects of GCH are underpinned by research conducted by key stakeholders in order to create sustainable solutions to the developmental challenges of the country. These undertakings include the Villages of Hope, agri-training, waste recycling projects and a range of projects that cascade from these endeavours.
The villages of hope with its symbolic vision ‘from scars to stars’, is underpinned by the principle of ‘greening our environment’. These human settlements provide housing, security and comfort for poor vulnerable women, children and households.
Based on the concept of the successful Village that was founded in KwaZulu-Natal in 2001, the new 20 850m² Village of Hope is situated on 285 hectare land overlooking the beautiful Hartebeespoort Dam in Kosmos in the North West Province, South Africa. The Village of Hope, modelling an African village lifestyle, tells a story of how transdisciplinary teams are collaborating together to create the possibility for 500 orphans to grow up, learn and live with dignity in a supportive and homely environment.
In this project story, the African saying – ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ – is brought under the spotlight. It tells a story of collaboration between people from various disciplines, all with the same vision of creating a village of hope for vulnerable children where they are nurtured, empowered and respected as our ‘future leaders’ in their respective contexts.
Through transdisciplinary collaboration, innovative solutions to create a self-sustaining village have emerged. As a result of these innovative collaborations between many people from various disciplines to create such a village, people in the surrounding community are also benefitting. Building with recycled polystyrene, for example, offers government a much needed solution for building and construction in low cost housing projects. It also benefits the polystyrene recycling industry, including financial benefits to workless (and often homeless) people who collect recycling products to sell to recycling factories. GCH’s recycling project focuses on the elevation of ‘waste pickers’ that are working on refuse dumps to become shareholders in an entrepreneurial structure at local level. This initiative, amongst others, creates sustainable jobs for unskilled labour in historically disadvantaged communities. The project includes also the collection of polystyrene waste products from households that will be recycled into usable raw materials.
The beautifully designed, state of the art structures are built entirely from a revolutionary new building and construction methods that incorporate recycled polystyrene. With the option of good quality building material at a reduced cost, the village offers several houses, early childhood development centres, primary school building, health clinic, internet café, agricultural training centre and sport facilities, all aimed at nurturing and developing the youth. With the buildings in place, supported by solar power and water purifying systems, the village is now ready to host the children and all the ‘villagers’ who are collaborating in this passion to ‘raise a child’. Through the collaboration of the transdisciplinary team an awe-inspiring Village of Hope has been established that offers dignified live style and growth opportunities for all.