Scene 10: Saying Goodbye to Flamingo Crescent


The students prepared a goodbye presentation for Flamingo Crescent for their final day in Flamingo Crescent. At this meeting, the students thanked and awarded community members and partners with certificates of completion of the SAL process.

Cast of Characters

WPI Project Team
WPI Professors: Scott Jiusto, Lorraine Higgins
City Employees: Reggie O’Brien, Estralta Kwalo, Anneline Plaaitjies
CORC Liaison: Sizwe Mxobo
ISN Liaisons: Melanie Manuel, Terrence Johnson
Flamingo Crescent Residents


The Flamingo Crescent informal settlement. This discussion took place in a shady area on the site of where a shack was demolished. Everyone sat in a circle of chairs, or on the playground equipment that had been built by the community.


Children from Flamingo looking over our poster

Children from Flamingo looking over our poster

As everyone gathered for the final meeting, the group shared a common melancholy. We gathered chairs slowly, taking our time to chat with the community leaders and stretch our last day to its greatest extent. The group reluctantly gathered, on various chairs and the new park equipment, beginning the meeting with a quick thanks to everyone for coming and for being a part of our journey here in Flamingo Crescent. We handed out Shared Action Learning certificates that the group had prepared for all of the partners and community members to show our appreciation of their efforts. We explained that these certificates were meant to document the skills and contributions of everyone involved.  Each certificate was personalized to the recipient, describing their efforts. Scott added that these certificates can serve as a record when applying to jobs or furthered education.


A final group picture before we bid fairwell.

Next, we handed out shirts that we had personalized for the Flamingo Crescent stakeholders. We also handed out prints of photographs we had taken throughout the past five weeks and a large print of a group photograph signed with a note by each student.  As everyone looked through their photographs, laughter rose from the group as we reminisced on the memories that were created between the groups.

The community was appreciative of the gifts to remember the team and the work we had accomplished together. Through this project, we accomplished more than our academic objective, we had created a family.

We then handed out resource binders to each partner – two binders would stay within the community, one with CORC, one with ISN, and one with the City of Cape Town. These binders were created in hopes that after the students had left, the resources would continue to be used in future reblocking efforts. The large laminated posters of our presentation and final CAD layout would also be left with the community as references.

As we handed Melanie the resource binder for ISN, she took the opportunity to thank everyone; especially the community for helping the students grow through this experience. She recalled her first experience in the community and how she hadn’t thought the community was ready to mobilise for an upgrade. She further said that the community has come together in ways they never thought possible.

A last look at Flamingo Crescent as we parted ways.

Reggie in turn also gave his thanks to the community, the project team, and all our partners.  He explained that, in his experience, communities tended to be hesitant to accept outsiders, but that the community here quickly accepted our group.

Scott and Lorraine then stood and said their final goodbyes, thanking the community and our partners.  At this time, everyone knew that our five weeks were coming to an end. Individuals started to say their personal goodbyes to each student, tears in our eyes, grateful for the friendships created in Flamingo that no one would forget. As the students boarded the van to leave the community, Elizabeth and her son waved them goodbye. Not only was Elizabeth emotional, but her son was also crying as he waved. The relationships that were created in Flamingo Crescent would never be forgotten.


This project was bigger than any of us could ever imagine. While at first we had been frustrated by the change of our project location, in the end we could have never asked for anything better. The community quickly welcomed our presence, and we learned more from one another than could ever be taught in a class room. We all made meaningful memories, and will always be grateful for the people that helped us along the way. To our partners, the community members, and our advisors, thank you for your devotion to making this project successful.