The !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre is a centre of San culture and heritage that provides tailor-made training for young San women and men of Southern Africa.
To become a leading, sustainable Centre celebrating San Culture – past, present & future.
To empower the San in utilising this Centre to reclaim and share their heritage, in their own way
Through the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA - the San's regional lobbying and advocacy NGO Non-Governmental Organisation) San communities throughout the region expressed the desire to learn more about their history, to practice their traditions and to promote their culture and languages. Tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in Southern Africa. San communities have expressed their intention to participate in modern development. Basically, they wish to give their children the chance to revitalise the traditional life supported by tourism revenues, and get the necessary skills to enter the modern workforce and live in dignity.
Many tourists visiting Southern Africa wish to learn more about San history and their way of life. However, most are not informed that today's San continue to suffer greatly from poverty, discrimination and marginalisation.
In fact, over the years, the San have been and still are exploited by the tourist industry and various commercial enterprises who have ruthlessly capitalised on their appearance, arts, crafts and cultural identity. Very little has been received by San communities in terms of acknowledgement and payment for our people’s work and knowledge.
Consequently, in 1998, WIMSA was assisted by the South African San Institute (SASI - a San support organisation) in setting up a tourism and training project, focusing on education and training, income generation, culture, and heritage. In 1999, Irene Staehelin, a Swiss anthropologist, joined the initiative by purchasing the farm that became !Khwa ttu. She set up UBUNTU Foundation, a Swiss organisation, that is fully dedicated to support !Khwa ttu in a joint venture with the San as presently represented by WIMSA. UBUNTU Foundation made available funds for the renovation of the entire site and has since generously supported the project. Several South African institutions and overseas donors have so far supported with various aspects.
!Khwa ttu boosts the social and economic well-being of San communities in Southern Africa through the development of successful and sustainable community and other tourism initiatives.