Scene 6: Tour Of Oude Molen


Neighboring Maitland Garden Village, Oude Molen Eco Village is a settlement that was a site for a WPI project team in 2011. Serving as a model for unique and sustainable community development initiatives, there is an opportunity for the people of Oude Molen to help with our efforts to establish a Help Centre in MGV. In particular, there are residents of Oude Molen who play a leading role in the Green Light Project. Oude Molen over the years has also provided training and recreational opportunities for MGV community members. These opportunities have the likelihood of becoming a part of various Green Light Project activities and events.  On October 25th, Ronell and Sheila led us through Oude Molen allowing us to meet some of these people and learn more about the connections between Oude Molen and MGV.

Cast of characters: Dixie, Joseph, Nathan, John Kennedy, Ronell, Shelia, MGV Team


Ronell told the group that she would give us a tour of Oude Molen so we could see some of the differences between Oude Molen and MGV. We also saw it as an opportunity to find if there were ways that Oude Molen could get more involved with the Green Light Project and in particular the development of the Help Centre.

Key “Take Home” Observations:

  • Found a web of relations between Oude Molen and Residents of MGV
  • It will be Important to understand how our project will be financed, to improve upon what has already been done in the community, and to  find motivated and passionate partners
  • There are other small clubs that are looking to grow near MGV
  • With some direction and passion, ideas can become reality (too vague)
  • It is a good example of the process of obtaining land
  • Teaching others is a great way to benefit and uplift the community
  • Our product must find ways to involve the youth as much as possible and hence restore some sense of purpose to the youth of the community.
  • There are people in the community who have recovered from drug abuse problems and hence we should find ways to make these people community leaders if we intend to solve the drug abuse problem


Actions and Observations:

Oude Molen Eco Village is a beautiful, lively community that neighbors with Maitland Garden Village. The village has many attractions, including the Eco Theatre, Indoor Play Centre, internet café, food market, pool area, and horse stable. The buildings are brightly colored and the walls lining the streets display intricate murals. Just like MGV, there are several extravagant flower and vegetable gardens around the village. Many people of all ages were out and about conversing with one another.

Shortly after entering the Eco Village, we had the pleasure of meeting Dixie, a woman who has recently been helping out eleven kids from Maitland Garden Village prepare for their singing and dancing performance for Village Day on Saturday. Dixie was a wonderful person to meet and talk to; she was very friendly and surprisingly open about her personal life. When telling us her story, she said that despite a rocky first half of her life with a sick mother and young pregnancy, one day she woke up and decided that she wasn’t happy and made a promise to herself to change the direction of her life for the better. Currently, she is an occupational therapist, teacher, musician, singer, and performer. She loves to help and care for other people, especially children. She provides music and the performing arts as an outlet for children to express themselves as an alternative to drugs and other destructive behavior. She believes that in order to make a difference in a child’s life, you must communicate that there is more to life than what they think and convey to them a vision of this better life because without a vision, they cannot achieve their goals and dreams. Before we left, Dixie performed a beautiful a cappella rendition of the first verse of the popular song “You Raise Me Up”. It was amazing how she was so comfortable with singing in front of people who were basically strangers. She was a very admirable and passionate woman who we look forward to encountering again in the future. As a leader of the music and dance committees, she could be a great person to help get more youth involved in the Green Light Project.

Walking by the pool area we were introduced to Joseph. Joseph was a very nice man from Oude Molen that worked with last year’s Oude Molen team. He gave us his insight into what makes a successful project in a small village. The first thing he talked about was the importance of finance. One of the biggest struggles that people in these small villages are faced with is lack of money and ways to finance a project. He also said it was important to improve upon what is already present in the village. Building upon what is already there will be much more successful than trying to start something completely new. Finally, Joseph believed that people need to work for their success. As a result he encouraged us to find people who are motivated and passionate to be our project partners. We found Joseph to be very inspiring.

Another person we met was Nathan, a young and humble looking gentleman from Maitland Garden Village, who now manages the horse shed in Ode Molen. We found his life story very interesting as he explained how he moved from being a drug addict to now running one of the more successful businesses in the two communities. Talking to him really opened up our minds to both the causes of the problem of drug abuse in the Maitland Garden Village community as well as hinted at possible solutions to the problem at hand. It is clear that joblessness or rather the lack of activities for the youth to partake in is a major cause of them ending up on the streets and indulging in drug abuse practices. It is our hopes as well as those of the Green Light Project that these problems would be addressed with a help centre in MGV.

As we went along our tour further with Sheila and Ronell busy making conversation in regards to the upcoming Village Day, we found ourselves in an interesting looking garden. There was a large skeleton of an old red bus, which seemed to have been there for quite some time. Moving further along, we came to a homemade brick grill and a shaggy man that seemed to have been around the village for quite some time. Initially introduced to the Pathway team, the man soon found his way over to us and took a sharp interest in the possibility of a help centre in the neighboring village. The man goes by the name Jonno, but his actual name is John Kennedy. The local resident of Eco Village began telling us of his connection with the Green Light Project and his own successes in building a small program similar to a garden club and growing it beyond its venue, forcing him to find new lands as it went forth. With determination and help from the community and those involved, Jonno went on the find a nice plot of land near his home that needed some work, but it is now used for community gardening. With Jonno being so involved and passionate, he often finds himself offering lessons on gardening, as well as creating a sort of training manual he offers for those with interest in gardening as well as the Green Light Project.

Reflection and Learning:

Our team met some wonderful and inspiring people during our walk through Oude Molen. Dixie was full of passion and hope for helping the children of the Village. We would love to work with people like her to further what has already been done with the Green Light Project. Joseph also helped us to feel at home by showing his support for the project. With talking to him as well as the others, we felt that we were welcome in Oude Molen and MGV. These people respect what we are doing, and this encourages us to push our project further. We were also very interested by the connections we found between MGV and Oude Molen We realized that many of the people involved in the Green Light Project were from Oude Molen. If we looked deeper into these connections we may find some support from Oude Molen for the help centre.



To go to the previous scene, click here!                  To go on to the next scene, click here!


Act 1 Main Page

Cast of Characters

MGV Homepage