Changing the world,

a matter of

Wanting it & Doing it


Functions: Sisonke, Mawotsheni-preschool, vegetable garden, volunteer location, community centre.

Leadership: Nyameka, Nontsha, Nomthozama and Kenny

Location: Mawotsheni, just outside Coffeebay, Zuid-Afrika (rural area)

Status: running under management of Willen & Doen

Period:  January 2011 – now

Website: Mawotsheni Community Project


Together we stand strong is currently supported by Nontsha and village council, who manage the Mawotsheni project. From Mawotsheni volunteers and trainees are supervised to perform work in the crèche, the after-care activities and the permaculture vegetable gardens.


Uprise is an expert in the development of permaculture vegetable gardens. With the help of the volunteers, he has built such a garden with the project. This provides good nutrition to the preschool. Permaculture gardening will also be used in all the other projects. For this, people from the community are trained. He has transferred this knowledge to Kenny the gardener. Women from the area acquire an income for themselves by, among other things, making bags. These are sold to tourists and festivals in The Netherlands, among others.


The word associated with this project is "Sisonke" which means "Together we are strong". It is the pilot project of Foundation Willen & Doen. We apply this experience in the design of previous projects. In order to achieve sustainable change, reception has not proved sufficient. An ideal project combines four priorities:

  • Reception
  • Medical support and HIV education
  • Agriculture and self-reliance
  • Education

Our aim is to create a place where the community feels involved, and which will lead to structural improvements in the environment.We call such a project with the character of a "village center" a "Rural Sustainability Center". We also want to apply experiences from this pilot in other 'Lullies' (villages).

It is our ambition that the Mawotsheni Project can be run independently in the future.


A mobile clinic regularly examines preschool children and adults from the area. There is also an opportunity for HIV education at the community center. ‘Mentor Mammas’ is a local initiative with which we collaborate. They come to measure the physical development of the children. The results of their research show the positive effects of the school meals offered.


The preschool offers space for 25 children who are being prepared for grade 1 of primary school by teacher Nyameka and Nomthazama. Our teachers have received Montesori training and receive training via the NGO Sustainable Coffeebay. Unique at the school is that parents are asked for a small financial contribution for the education of the children. This increases the involvement with the education and with the money the meals can be paid. The school's reputation is good and the number of registrations is growing rapidly.