Scene 5: Community Meeting Part I

Location: Methodist Church, Maitland Garden Village

Date: November 8, 2012

Authors: Andrea DiGioia, Edmund Eduah, Andy Lamb

Editor: Juliana Fekete


As our team progresses through our project within Maitland Garden Village, we have utilized a reflection method known as scene writing as suggested by our advisors. This method is used for the various aspects and meetings throughout the process to better understand and analyze important moments and meetings. Following our previous meeting on Thursday, our team has formed a scene to look back and extract critical points that surfaced. The following will outline the minutes of the meeting as well as the key points and a cast of characters for those involved.

Key “Take Away” Observations:

  • Each representative will report back to their organization about what was discussed tonight and find out how their organization sees the project moving forward. They will then come back for a follow up meeting to report their findings on November 15th in the Methodist church hall.
  • The WPI students will continue their research with Ronell and the city council and report their findings during the meeting on November 15th. They will look more deeply into the different venue options and model how the various organizations can be integrated into the project.
  • The WPI students will begin working with Rene and anyone else interested in getting involved on creating a photo album of the gardens in the Maitland Garden Village. This will be part of a bigger project to bring back the annual garden contests the village used to have (Anyone interested in helping with this should contact the students or Rene Hendricks – Contact information can be found in the Cast of Characters section).
  • The WPI students will look into the feasibility of getting a tablet or computer to start a youth music program. They will talk with some of the youth of the village to further this idea.
  • The WPI students will make themselves available throughout the week to talk with anyone interested in working with them during the day. Students will write a brief profile of each organization to include on their website.
  • The WPI students will introduce attendees to the Cape Town Project Centre Website by sending the website link with the minutes we email to all the attendees. This is so that attendees, as well as the organizations they represent, can become familiar with our work in Cape Town, and in Maitland Garden Village in particular.


In accordance with our support building phase objectives, we have been meeting with members of the Green Light project as well as exploring how similar Community Based organizations have managed their CBOs. One thing that is lacking however in our support building phase is to derive input from organizations inside the community besides the Green Light Project. To move this idea forward we talked to Ronell about setting up a meeting with representatives from each of the groups in the community. Once the meeting was planned and the date was set for November 8th at 7:00 pm, we began discussing an agenda for the meeting.


The meeting has two main purposes. The first is to introduce ourselves to the community and give them an understanding of who we are and the work we plan on doing in Maitland Garden Village. The second purpose is to help us get a better understanding of the direction our project should take based upon what the representatives feel are the main needs of the community; whether we continue working on the help centre or to take the project in a completely new direction.

Our advisors Scott and Bob and sponsor Ronell will be the key players in helping the community understand why we are working in the village. Scott and Bob will do so by giving an overview of the Cape Town Project Center and the role it will be playing in MGV. Ronell will further the representatives understanding of who we are by introducing the Green Light Project and explaining where we fit in. Here, she will bring up the idea of the help centre and the Green Light Projects vision for it.

The direction that the meeting takes at this point will be based upon the reaction of the community to the idea of a help centre. If they feel that it is a good idea, we will ask the questions below to get a better understanding of how they feel the help centre could benefit their particular organization. This will help guide us in writing our proposal, allowing us to find a venue which suites all the needs of the community.

  • What role do you think you can play in the help centre?
  • What role would the help centre play for you?
  • What organizational structures do we see with the help centre?

However if we feel the community doesn’t think this is a realistic or useful goal, we will ask them for their feedback on the other ways WPI can help them. At this point we may bring up our idea of getting a tablet or computer for the community to start a music program with the children. The tablet or computer would be equipped with recording and mixing software to allow the students to ideally create CDs of them performing. By bringing up this idea we hope to learn of other initiatives the community may want us to pursue during our two month stay in Cape Town.

Cast of Characters

Name Contact Organisation
Dixie Hellwig 0723484675 Green Light Project
Ronell Trout 0764741024 Green Light Project
Cecelia Fouchee 0834542518 G.U.R.A.
Letitia Michaels 0834839877 G.U.R.A.
Ralph Schyff 0827837540 Friends of Daniel Kingdom Church
Sharon Windvogel 0836795115 St. Kthawasuis
Rene Hendricks 0716020626 Methodist Church
Martin 0836375034 Green Light Project
Avrih Saunders 0734755831
Farodah DuToit 0215101291
Ingrid Cook 0838971058
Scott Jiusto 0747147999 WPI
Sadekan Langevelot 0846331956 Green Light Project
Farieda Fisher 0768230467
Anwah Esau 0836759861
Naiela Baatjies 0722750317 Green Light Project


Actions and Observations:

Last Thursday, November 1st, the students met with leaders of the Green Light Project and together decided that there was a need for other organizations to get involved in the process of setting up a help centre.   A meeting was set for November 8th with representatives from each organization in the community invited. Amongst the organizations represented were the Residence Association, the Garden Village Soccer Club, the Garden Village Methodist Church, Friends of Daniel Kingdom Church, the Roaring Sixties, Muslim representatives of the community as well as other community members.

At the start of the meeting, Ronell described the Green Light Project, the organization’s programs, and the plans for the future. She told the meeting that in the near future their main goal was to find a venue for a help centre meant to benefit the entire community. Ronell visions the help centre as a place community members can go to when they are looking for a support system or need a new sense of direction in their life. At the same time, if a venue is secured, the centre will run various Green Light Project programs, as well as others put on by the community. After explaining all this, the attendees had the opportunity to introduce themselves and explain what organization they were representing.

Once everyone had been introduced we asked if the community needed a help centre. The community group leaders raised a number of critical points. Letitia Michaels spoke of how she thought the meeting was going to be more of a show and tell on models the students had developed for a help centre which they could then comment on. Mr. Ralph Schyff, begun to ask questions including how long the WPI students would be in MGV, how many projects the CTPC are doing in Cape Town, what the students planned on doing in MGV, and what would happen to the project and in particular the Green light Project once the students left? He also expressed how he felt that the Residence Association should be spear heading the push for the help centre instead of the Green Light Project.

Anwar then spoke of the difficulty of getting funding from the city council. He said community groups legal status of a CBO.

After these views had been expressed, the representatives agreed that there was a need for a help centre in Maitland Garden Village. The students then went on to ask what role each organization could play in the help centre. The representatives felt that in order to address the question, they needed time to consult with their respective organizations. Representatives felt they needed 2 or 3 weeks to get the necessary feedback for a 2nd meeting. Ronell noted that the students were here for a short period of time and suggested the group reconvene in one week.

Ralph asked if the students were taking minutes of the meeting so that the views expressed could be noted and help inform subsequent discussion of the help centre. The students were taking minutes of the meeting and agreed to email them to each attendee.

Scott suggested that at this time the students bring up ideas they had of projects that they could start working on now in the community. He spoke of how a help centre will need both long and short term planning, and the WPI approach to this problem is to figure out what can be done now to advance the project. The students suggested the idea of developing a youth music program, which was welcomed by the audience present. The students said they would get started on this project over the next weeks. Rene Hendricks suggested there was interest in bringing back the garden village garden competition. The students agreed to work with interested community members in MGV to take pictures of the gardens of families who wanted to participate in the competition. The photographs could then be used to produce a booklet or be posted on the web.

Ronell invited the representatives to have cookies and tea and the meeting was adjourned.

Reflections and Learning:

The meeting did not go as we had imagined. We had originally planned for the meeting to give us some insight into how other organizations viewed the help centre. We had hoped to gain this information by asking them questions revolving around the role the help centre would play for them and how they could contribute back to the help centre. This did not happen because the representatives felt it was necessary for them to get input from their organizations before they spoke on behalf of the all the members. We had not originally thought of this, however after hearing what the community members had to say, it made a lot of sense.

Just because the meeting didn’t go as we had originally planned, doesn’t mean it was not successful. The meeting allowed us to begin making connections with the other organizations in the community. We were able to successfully gather various members of the community in one spot, help them determine that they wanted a help centre, and provided a starting point for them to begin reflecting on how they might play a role in the help centre. The meeting was also successful in letting the community learn more about the Green Light Project and the efforts the Green Light Project were putting into bettering the community. It also showed that the community that the Green Light Project was looking for other groups to get involved and weren’t trying to tackle the project on their own.

It was encouraging that all the organizations present agreed that the help centre was necessary for the community however there are still many unresolved questions. These include figuring out how involved each organization will be in process of obtaining the help centre, deciding who should be in control of the help centre, and finding where the help centre would be located. It also still unclear how the various organizations might share the facility once it is obtained. These are some questions the WPI students will be thinking about this coming week and hope to address in the meeting on Thursday. One thing we do know for sure is that the support for our project seems to be gradually expanding making us really excited about the prospects of our project.

Moving Forward:

Business Plan/Proposal Garden Album Music Tablet
  • Put all known information into business plan
  • Meeting Tuesday with Basil (prepare for this)
  • Take pictures of inside of driving range building (Tuesday!)
  • Ask Jennifer for an example business plan
  • Prepare business plan for meeting on Thursday
-email Rene about garden idea and moving forward-figure out ways to involve the youth and other community members-make sure batteries in camera are charged-schedule a day to take pictures

-brainstorm documents to use for advertising

-Find pictures of the original gardens if possible

-Text Mike about music tablet idea and ask if he knows other youth that might want to get involved-research tablets and potential apps-budget for what is needed (microphone, speaker, tablet, cds, etc.)-Plan for karaoke night to present to the community?

-learn how to use it so we can teach them




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Cast of Characters

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