Mission Statement and Objectives

The overall goal of this project was to research and develop methods to help the Indlovu Project become an economically sustainable, community-driven project. In order to achieve this goal, our main objective was to draft a sustainability plan for the Indlovu Project which includes our research and ideas to serve as a reference for the Shaster Foundation to use in the upcoming years. In order to develop a complete sustainability plan, we focused on meeting the following objectives:

  1. Improving existing methods of income creation
  2. Exploring new methods of job creation
  3. Analysing current project operations
  4. Considering funding, hiring and management issues

1. Improving Existing Methods of Income Generation

Volunteer accommodations

Guest House and Volunteer Program

While visiting the park we met several people who were participating in the volunteer program, and had a lot of suggestions towards improvement. We determined that more information had to be gathered about the program. Through interviews of current volunteers and surveys sent out to past volunteers, we were able to gain a stronger understanding of how the program was originally structured. Our team also stayed overnight in the volunteer lodging to learn what the volunteer experience is like first-hand to help us make suggestions and brainstorm ideas for improvement. Learn more about how we suggested improving the Indlovu Project experience.

2. Exploring New Methods of Job Creation

Sewing training at Berzacks

Sewing Centre

Our team continued with the work done by the 2008 Economy Team in working to start a sewing centre at the Indlovu Project. We determined quite early that because of space constraints and the state of the community centre that a full sewing operation was not yet possible, so our team decided to run a sewing centre prototype to test methods that could be used for a full sewing centre in the future. One industrial machine was purchased and our team worked with two co-researchers from the community to learn about training methods and test the machine for sewing sandbags. Our team also explored expansion options and worked towards making the project sustainable through making contacts with an established sewing centre nearby to hopefully form a partnership. Learn more about the sewing centre prototype and accomplishments.


Tourism is the largest income generator within Cape Town. Some informal settlements benefit from tourism through tours and selling crafts, but Monwabisi Park has yet to do so. Our sponsor, Dianne Womersley, took us on a tour of a number of tourist areas around Cape Town, both outside and within informal settlements. Our stops included the Old Biscuit Mill, Guga S’thebe, a traditional Mooti shop in Langa, and Montebello, a unique outdoor crafting place. Our team used our observations from these tourist attractions as well as our own experiences exploring Cape Town to brainstorm suggestions for ways to bring toursim into Monwabisi Park. Learn more about our tourism ideas.

Tourist area at Langa


Our team explored how simple crafts could be made and marketed within Monwabisi Park as a method of income generation. We toured craft markets, researched simple handcrafting methods, attempted to make a bowl out of recycled materials and spoke with community members who are interested in crafting techniques. Our team also brainstormed ways in which a weekly crafts market could be created within the community centre. Learn more about our research into crafting.

3. Analysing Current Project Operations

Volunteer Housing

Sustainability Plan

To connect all of our ideas surrounding the sustainability of the Indlovu Project, we drafted a sustainability plan. We gathered information about the Shaster Foundation and the operations of the Indlovu Project and used this to help see which areas within the project generate the most income so we could focus on maximizing this income. The sustainability plan was our final collection of ideas that was presented to our sponsor at the completion of our project. Learn more about our efforts in creating the sustainability plan.

4. Considering Funding, Hiring, and Management Issues

Working at the Guest House

Hiring and Management Issues

Hiring and management are critical pieces of the success of the Indlovu Project’s future. We explored these issues in connection with our sewing centre proposal and thought about ways that hiring can be done in an impartial manner. During our time in Cape Town some of these issues were addressed as new project managers were appointed. Learn more about our ideas for hiring concerns.

Funding Options

While ideally the Indlovu Project will be self-sustaining, our team also looked briefly into the different ways that fundraising could help the Indlovu Project. Our team researched a number of online donation sites, some that focus on the idea of alternative gifting, specifically to help the Gardens Team market their “Feed a Family” gardening tool kit. Learn more about the fundraising resources we found.

Tire gardens at Soil for Life

Project Evolution

Like many real-world projects, our goals shifted slightly from our original plans and goals when arriving in Cape Town.  We had planned to set up a fully functional sewing centre during our stay and make the sewing centre the focal point of our project.  It became clear that there was no available space to do so and the Indlovu Project did not want to introduce yet another service in C Section for fear of igniting jealousy in the other sections of the community. Given these hurdles, we were unsure of how the sewing centre would fit into our project, if at all.  We struggled for a while to find a new focus; early on, it seemed our goals were changing almost daily.  The challenge was to find something both useful and practical. After about three weeks, we finally started to get a handle on a reasonable approach to the project.  We decided to put all of our work into creating an economic sustainability plan for the Indlovu Project.  Many of our side projects and explorations fell under this umbrella, and focusing on the Indlovu Project gave us a direction that was plausible and would be valuable to the Shaster Foundation. Learn more about the sustainability plan we created for the Indlovu Project.