Act 3: Creating Sustainable Improvements

Scene Summaries:


Scene 1: Pressing Forward Despite Little Progress – 11.12.12-11.13.12

Team Meeting with Nokwezi and Professors Jiusto and Hersh

Towards the middle of our project, our team was having trouble moving forward with our community initatives. We decided to meet with our advisors and the community leaders to discuss where we should move from here on out. We were only able to talk with Nokwezi, a community leader, but we were able to clear up some miscommunications and open the door for our team to offer our reblocking recommendations.  Our team drew out a materials flow diagram with Nokwezi to show where, who and how the community gets each piece of material needed to build the new dwellings. The community leaders called for a meeting with iKhayalami, the siding material provider, in order to work out some of the delays and miscommunications that had been happening between the two parties, and we drafted up an agenda with them. We were also able to come to an understanding with the community leaders about the direction of our workbook and exactly where we can help.

Scene 2: Mini-Projects for Community Development in Mtshini Wam – Gardening and Carpentry

Working with the carpentry team.

In respect to community intatives, Mtshini Wam’s community leaders recently brought up the concept of applying the WPI budget to carpentry for their improvements.  The idea here would be to recycle old shacks’ wood supplies and develop them into cabinets, doors, and furniture which the new shacks will need for a comfortable family living.  The main concerns in moving forward with this initiative are the planning, teamwork, and costs associated with a carpentry team in an informal settlement.  At this point in time we are going to support providing budget funds for tools that will also help perpetuate up the reblocking process, since the current amount of shacks per week built needs to increase in order to finish by the City contract’s deadline.


Scene 3: Big Day Implementation and Collective Learning

Steve speaking to the crowd on the Big Day.

In the weeks building up to November 29th, our group had been hard at work conveying the designs for community development that we wished to implement alongside the community leaders.  Ideas of carpentry, vertical gardening, and solar bulbs were becoming a reality with the help of third party contributions.  On Monday, November 26th, we received the good news that a big day of community presentation to the media and government officials was happening.  Working frantically to get everything in place for Thursday, it was a struggle to complete every step of this process alongside the community leaders, who were still hard at work with reblocking shacks.  Following our big day in the community, we held a heartfelt conversation to hash out all of the cross-cultural frustrations that built up in this week of preparation.  With the help of CORC and ISN’s translation and facilitation, the entire group was able to come to terms for approaching communication, agreements, and decisions for upcoming improvements in the community.


Scene 4: Profiling the Mtshini Wam Community Leaders, 12.3.12-12.7.12

Sarah, Adam and Rachel were able to sit down with all the Reblocking Team Leaders, Supervisors and the Leaders of the Carpentry and Gardening Team to profile each of them. Each interview was approved to be video-taped after each question was cleared for comfort of each individual. We asked about family, personalities, contributions to the reblokcing process and their visions for the future of Mtshini Wam, The community willingly shared their stories with us about their lives before Mtshini Wam and currently. It was a really eye opening experience, and a great way to spend some of our last days with the community.