Scene 5: Getting to Know the People We are Working With


Our first encounter with the Maitland Garden Village community was very exciting and informative to us on issues concerning the community but little of the experience on our first day gave us any idea of the sort of work ethics we will be experiencing with the people we are working with. Hence on our second day in MGV we were looking to get a better picture of how our sponsors, Ronell and Sheila, interact in work related situations.

Cast of Characters: MGV team, Ronell, Sheila, CTPC Pathway team, Clive James, Crispin Barrett, Juan Nombo, Meghan Lukaas, Jackie


In order to have a better picture of our sponsors in the working environment, we decided that it would be important to take note of their input in the sponsor-advisors-students meeting and their reactions to what was being said at the meeting. We also planned to take note of their interactions with other people in the community, especially those who run the community centre. Through this we expected to begin to have a sense of how our sponsors carry about the daily work activities that we will be involved in for the next 7 weeks.

Key “Take Home” Observations:

The pathway group and their sponsors will be key players in our project as well. Through the meeting we had with them a suggestion of making Maitland Garden Village a heritage area came up and we can look into the possibilities such a suggestion can have for the community. They also gave us an idea of the various people we could contact in information gathering.  Shelia and Ronell are both very involved in the community and try hard to push their ideas forward Drug abuse is a major problem in MGV, especially with the Youth. There is a need for better communication between members of the Green Light Project

Action and Observation

On our second day in the village, we had the opportunity to be a part of a meeting that Ronell and Sheila were invited to. This meeting, which was held on the soccer field, was between the CTPC pathway team, some representatives from the City of Cape Town (Clive, Crispin, Juan and Meghan), and representatives from the Maitland Garden community (Ronell and Sheila). The meeting was to take place on the soccer field in the middle of MGV.
Our group and the pathway group met with their sponsors under a tree on the soccer field. The meeting gave us insight into some of the people we are going to be working with. It also suggested that the city was interested in helping MGV and recognized that it had not been particularly good about developing a good connection with the community. Ronell and Sheila both showcased the depth of their involvement in the community’s development, in the way they tried to make the most out of the meeting. They asked questions concerning a wide range of topics and enquired about who to go to when the questions they asked were not relevant to the departments of the City of Cape Town that were being represented by the people present. It clearly showed the zeal the two had for developing the community and how ready they were to take advantage of the opportunities they were given.
During our time in the help centre, there were discussions about time slots that could be utilized by the Green Light Project. In this discussion there was clear indication of split views on times wanted which gave the first indication of the possibility of minor internal tensions within the Green Light Project which could be better controlled.

Reflections and Learning

The meeting we had with the city representatives was really helpful to us. The array of suggestions that came in concerning heritage status of the Maitland Garden Village were really helpful in giving us some ideas we could look into in conjunction with our focus on the help centre.
Also, having listened to Ronell and Sheila talk about drug misuse on our first day in the village, it was extremely surprising to witness an occurrence of drug misuse out in the open and a few metres away from our meeting place with city officials. It opened our eyes to the extent of the drug abuse problem in the community, as community members who walked by turned a blind eye to what was going on. This gave us a vivid picture of what Ronell and Sheila were talking about and we were impressed to hear them reiterate their desire to eliminate drug misuse citing what was going on right behind our meeting as an instance for us to know what they were talking about the day before.

Moving Forward

At this stag of our project we intend to continue to broaden the knowledge we can get on the people we are working with as well as meet as many people as possible before we move into our support building phase. That being said we intend to continue to observe interactions between the people we are working with and the also observe the Maitland Garden Village community as well as its neighbouring community, Oude Molen, in order to find out if there is even more information that will be helpful to our group.



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