Food From Our Ancestors - foundational product development
Funded by: Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT)
During 2020 we received funding from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) - Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF) to link ancient hunter-gather foods to the indigenous plants in the landscape and food on our menu. The concept was that by creating new, unique and highly marketable experiences centered on San cultural heritage, we could help address some of the regional gaps on the West Coast identified in the Tourism Blueprint 2023.
The new experience and menu was launched by DEDAT on 23 September 2021.
Preservation of Threatened Indigenous San Culture
Funded by: Gerda Henkel Foundation
Project Period: 01 January 2020 to June 2021
The Gerda Henkel Foundation provides financial support for the historical humanities.
Research projects that explore current issues in a larger historical context or consciously focus on topics of relevance to the present or the future, receive support from programmes of a limited duration.
Continuing in the footsteps of the late Swiss anthropologist, Irene Staehelin, the Preservation of Threatened Indigenous San Culture project educates and trains San community curators to engage in restitution through preservation of their threatened culture.
The project builds on the work of anthropologist, Dr Chris Low and !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre to continue the restitution and preservation of San cultural heritage. In particular by reaching out to work with remote San communities on their heritage initiatives, and facilitating the evolution of a growing San community curator network.
!Khwa ttu Conserving Biological Diversity Project
Funded by: GIZ - IKI Small Grants
Project period: 1 February 2022 to 31 January 2024
!Khwa ttu is located within the buffer zone of the West Coast National Park, an area that is home to a globally unique but endangered biodiversity. To address habitat loss in the fragmented West Coast region the IKI Small grants project increased the conditions for !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre's 850 hectacre site to become legally proclaimed a protected environment.
A pilot for ecosystem restoration is being implemented at !Khwa ttu to address habitat degradation. The knowledge of our indigenous San team is integrated into restoration activities and the development of learning tools. Young San from southern Africa are enabled to become ambassadors for biodiversity in their home communities. Approaches for biodiversity conservation are also showcased for other landowners to promote expansion of the protected area in the West Coast Biodiversity Corridor.
!Khwa ttu Intern Capacity Building Project
Funded by: Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)
Project period: 25 October 2021 to 28 February 2022
Building capacity to deliver learning that is sensitive to indigenous contexts, and promotes access to further education, jobs and alternative sustainable livelihoods for young San.
This project aims to build the capacity of !Khwa ttu’s 26 San staff facilitators and mentors to deliver a 6-month residential internship to 16-20 young San women and men each year.
The internship includes theory and on-the-job practical training, with a focus on culture, life skills and sustainable, heritage-based livelihoods (e.g. cultivating food and medicinal plants). These activities help to promote growth for all, through fostering entrepreneurship, health and wellness, environmental sustainability, and gender equity.
Food From Our Ancestors - fynbos products & experiences
Funded by: Table Mountain Fund (TMF)
Project period: 1 December 2021 to 31 November 2024
The TMF Food from our Ancestors project highlights the link between naturally-occurring fynbos plants in !Khwa ttu’s landscape and ancient hunter-gatherer foods on our menus by creating new, unique, and highly marketable tourism experiences on the West Coast.
The project will provide new opportunities for visitors to learn from San knowledge of indigenous plants. Through story-telling, and San led fynbos foraging experiences, visitors can enjoy meals prepared from ingredients grown, gathered or hunted on the farm or sustainably sourced from local producers. The project will encourage conservation of biodiversity in order to ensure sustained foraging and the long-term provision of beautiful open, safe spaces for local communities to enjoy.
Through regular monitoring, the project aims to research how best to reverse habitat loss and degradation on old farmland and ensure ongoing foraging activities occur within sustainable limits. By showcasing the benefits to be derived from fynbos, the project aims to serve as an example to neighbours, thereby encouraging conservation particularly within the buffer zone of the West Coast National Park and broader West Coast Biodiversity Corridor. This project assists local government as well as conservation, tourism and landowner organisations to enhance conservation and sustain socio-economic development in the region.
Food From Our Ancestors - livelihood opportunities
Funded by: Lemonaid+ ChariTea
Project period: April 2022 - March 2023
The ancient way of life, language and culture of the San communities of Southern Africa is under grave threat from disenfranchisement, climate change impacts and a widespread lack of understanding of their ancient ways. Today most San live trapped on the edges of society unable to practice their traditional hunting and gathering, or to access the education, training and work experience which brings new livelihoods and opportunities.
Each year, !Khwa ttu offers 16 San youths from Southern Africa an opportunity to join a six–month sensitive residential livelihood intern programme developed to create a bridge for San to the world of further study, work, business and hope. San interns attending the internship can gain work experience, heritage and livelihoods training. With the funding received from the Lemonaid+ ChariTea Foundation !Khwa ttu aims to strengthen our San Heritage Centre's Food from our Ancestors agritourism initiative, sustainable livelihoods learning programme, and examples of small scale independent, self determined livelihoods.
This will be done by restoring endangered biodiversity to support sustainable San guided forage activities, by further developing our "Food From Our Ancestors" themed products linked to San hunter gatherers heritage, by exploring ways to make the sustainable livelihoods programme more accessible and resources more useful. As well as by sharing the lessons learned with landowners in the region and explore the socio-economic advantages of conservation and in doing so promote a conservation based economy for the West Coast Biodiversity Corridor.