MOT Proposal

MOT Proposal

MOT is the Norwegian word for “courage.” The organization was started in 1994 and expanded to South Africa in 2006. It is a youth development programme that focuses on skills pertaining to communication, decision-making, leadership, problem solving, and crisis management. Find out more at their website.

Why Indlovu Project?

The MOT program appeals to the parties involved in the Indlovu Project because it helps community members acquire life and social skills needed to make a better future for a developing area. The Shaster Foundation has great interest in the programme because of the aims to give youth reinforcement in self-esteem and courage. Alcohol and substance abuse is a very serious problem in Monwabisi Park. One thing that can be done to address these problems is to give youths a chance to have a better and more positive understanding of themselves. Like the MOT program, The Shaster Foundation believes focusing on basic qualities of character is one of the best head starts that can be given.

The MOT approach fits well with the Indlovu project. Rather than giving handouts to Monwabisi Park, Indlovu focuses on giving the community the tools they need to succeed through jobs, medical care and basic education. MOT’s similar approach of self-improvement, self-esteem, and the reduction of fear and confusion offers hope for a better future for both the individual students and the community as a whole.

Program Details

According to the MOT literature, the program runs over a three year period in a classroom setting, engaging the students in a curriculum that focuses on character development for personal development. Because of the unique application of this program, we would like to arrange for further meetings to ensure successful cooperation and the best impact on students.

The classroom setting of the program could be provided by the Shaster faculties in within the Monwabisi Park compound. Depending on the timing of the program, the first couple of sessions would be in the guest house, before transitioning to the community center upon its completion.    

We believe that this program will most directly benefit the Monwabisi Park community by targeting individuals between the ages of fifteen and thirty. This allows the program to impact both up-and-coming community members and older, contributing members who could derive maximum benefits.

The standard MOT class runs in nine sessions over three years. Although these timetables were developed for a reason, we respectfully suggest that the MOT faculty shorten the time of the total program for Monwabisi Park and increase the frequency of the individual sessions. We believe that this will allow the program to run efficiently while still keeping students interested and active over the class time. 

We would also be interested in ensuring that the MOTs program is a sustainable piece of Monwabisi Park. Obviously this depends on feedback and student response, but we envision the MOT program being a very active and exciting activity for the Indlovu Project.

Background of Indlovu

 The Indlovu Project is a collaboration of various organizations, but it was founded and is headed by the Shaster Foundation. The Shaster Foundation is a non-profit, humanitarian organization funded through private donors, tourist accommodation and volunteer programmes. The programmes are not politically or religiously aligned and are open to volunteers from all countries. Based in Cape Town, Shaster focuses on reducing poverty, preserving original culture and protecting the environment. The foundation is guided by the empowerment of individuals to create opportunities and possibilities for themselves with a respect for people and their inherent talents. Well-being, integrity, accountability, sustainability, and self-expression are pillars on which the programmes are built. Permaculture is the vision which shapes the Shaster Foundation and their work. Principles include conserving resources, using volunteers to import skills, eliminating waste, respecting people and the planet, sharing information, sharing any surplus freely, and using non-polluting natural energy systems wherever possible. These in turn aim to:

  • Improve the health and well-being of impoverished communities in a sustainable way
  • Enable communities to grow food and create shelter for all
  • Stimulate economic development and much needed job creation
  • Revive a sense of pride in traditional and indigenous culture
  • Encourage self-sufficiency and conservation of natural resources
  • Encourage volunteers to contribute their skills to the community
  • Protect the environment
  • Create a world that works for everyone – no one is left out

The founder of the Shaster Foundation is Di Womersley.  Before establishing a major redevelopment project in Monwabisi Park, Di spent time in different communities around Khayelitsha to establish crèches. The Indlovu Project was born in 2005 when Di and the Shaster Foundation partnered with Buyiswa Tonono, a local street committee leader. The project was expanded from just a crèche to include a clinic, soup kitchen, guest house, and community centre. The Shaster Foundation’s approach to helping the community is through assistance rather than administration. The community expresses a need, Shaster seeks to find a solution, and the residents then provide the labor necessary to make it a reality. Most of the buildings have been and are being built with community-filled sandbags and Ecobeam technology. In November 2008, most of the buildings of the Indlovu Project were burnt to the ground. Rebuilding of the crèche is already complete, with construction still underway on the community centre and guest house.

Background of Worcester Polytechnic Institute Cape Town Project

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is a college in the United States working with Shaster and other members of the Indlovu Project for the redevelopment of Monwabisi Park. In 2007, the first WPI Cape Town Project Centre team was formed and worked on Monwabisi Park. Their chief achievement was the design and construction of a laundry facility, which the community had been lacking previously. In 2008, the program was expanded into six different specialty areas: mapping, buildings, energy, water & sanitation, economy, and communications. In 2009 the program built on the previous year’s success, enabling more students and projects to be conducted. The project work done by WPI has provided the community, city, and other stakeholders with information and planning for sustainable community development in the area. The current success of the Indlovu Project is causing future plans to expand to other sections. The city has recently targeted Monwabisi Park as one of the five settlements to explore new possibilties for informal settlement upgrading. With continued support of all participating organizations, there will be a model for redevelopment that can be spread to other informal settlements across Cape Town.


We see partnering with MOT as a great way to further the redevelopment effort of Monwabisi Park. Continuing with Shaster’s vision of assistance rather than administration, MOT and its programme can provide a complement to the Indlovu Project, providing a sustainable solution to improving the lives of the youth population of Monwabisi Park.