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In 1998, the Working Group for Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA) agreed that the San needed assistance in training their own people to deal with tourism and how to showcase San culture to the world.

Swiss anthropologist Irene Staehelin agreed to help the San. In 1999, guided by her vision and inspired by heritage centres in America and Canada, she bought a farm on the West Coast of South Africa for the !Khwa ttu project, namely a San Culture and Education Centre. She later set up the Ubuntu Foundation in Switzerland to help support the project.

Today the project is run by the !Khwa ttu Non-Profit Company, jointly directed by the Ubuntu Foundation Switzerland and the San, represented by WIMSA. The farm is held in perpetuity by the Meerkat Non-Profit Company for the sole use of the !Khwa ttu project, and can only be used as a San Culture and Education Centre.

Khwa ttu history

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Latest news

!Khwa ttu Heritage Centre opened on 24 September 2018

On Heritage Day, 2018, the only heritage centre in the world dedicated to the San opened at !Khwa ttu. It is a remarkable resource, with three interlinked elements – the Heritage Centre building at !Khwa ttu, community satellites, and a digital archive.
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