PAARL MUSEUM – WHERE WE LEARN THAT EVERYBODY’S HERITAGE IS IMPORTANT

Museums have the power to create unity on both a social and political level, but also on a local one. Local museums are able to provide a sense of community and place by celebrating a collective heritage, offering a great way to get to know the history of a particular area.

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HERO LEGACY PROJECT

The Hero Legacy Project started out of a passion for people. Our love for the community in the Drakenstein area often led us to community centers and schools where they would lend a helping hand. With the development of the Paarl Adventure Trail network, extending this support was a natural progression and so the Hero Legacy Project was born. The vision of the Hero Legacy Project is clear and simple. To educate, grow and support the local community in the hope of leaving a positive legacy for future generations. 


The Project has three pillars which it works from:

  1. Job creation and Skills Development
  2. Community Support
  3. Sport Development 

Job creation and skills development

South Africa has a massive percentage of people who don’t have work. This amongst other factors varies from lack of education to not having enough skills. 

We believe no matter how big or small, every person and business can make a difference.

  • Creating short to medium term work for unemployed people, allows them to earn money to feed their family while gaining the confidence and skills to achieve a long-term solution for their situation.
  • By creating short to medium term work opportunities it can benefit a business to such a degree that longer term and even permanent positions are created and thus give dedicated people a chance for a stable income and growth opportunities.

 

Through the Hero Legacy Project, we regularly employ people on a short to medium term basis to assist with Trail Development, Maintenance, Events and support in the community 

We believe that skills development is the key to ensure a lasting impact on job creation in South Africa. Exposing people to different work environments and teaching them how to do those jobs effectively not only helps a business to grow but also empowers that person with a skill or talent that they can use to find a permanent job or even better start their own little business and thus “pay it forward”  

A key part of this project is to use as many locals and unemployed people in the area as possible and then implement a program that would teach them new skills in the hope that going forward, they would be able to find jobs easier. 

We source all the workers for the project from Mbekweni, Nurest, Newton, Wellington, and local farms. 

Many of the people that started with us have moved onto other permanent jobs at various venues, parks and events. This is exciting for us as they now are implementing the skills, they learned on this project to find a permanent job and provide for their families. 

We have skilled many people who now have the experience and ability to perform a large part of the Trail Building and Maintenance Functions and when not working with us are earning extra money over weekends assisting at events and other activities.

Through events, we have managed to provide day jobs to unemployed people as Marshals, Venue Support, etc. This has also been done in conjunction with Rotary Club and various other local community projects.

We work with interns that are studying Tourism and we pass on our experience in the industry by assisting them with gaining experience in Events Management, Tourist interaction, Administration, social media, daily operations, and host of other functions.

Over 200 Unemployed People have been through the program thus far, creating over 6000 days of work and growing.

We have also through the program created over 500 days of work for over 100 people at Events and functions in and around Drakenstein during this period. This number continues to grow with every event

Added to this it has been very exciting to see the jobs that have been created in the region as a direct result of the project, even with it been in its infancy. 

Community Support

Although our initial vision was to develop the trails to add to the adventure offering and healthy lifestyle project for locals and tourists, we have always had a passion to include and support the communities in which we operate. 

Mostly a farming community at heart, the area creates a lot of casual and seasonal work opportunities as well as jobs for people with little to no higher education. Many of the kids who live on the farms and in certain areas are left alone after school as their parents’ work.

We believe that assisting in as many ways as possible with products and services that make a lasting impression on these kids. Sport is a life-changing activity and teaches everyone from kids to adults discipline, values, and the rewards of putting the work in. Since the project began, we have tried to assist as much as we can to make a difference in this community and are proud to share some of these initiatives:

  • We have assisted landowners to upgrade creches in the area with new play equipment, painting and activities.
  • We build play areas at venues that now attract kids.
  • We give away day passes to kids and parents who cannot afford to purchase day passes to experience the trails regularly.
  • Host schools on the trails, allowing learners to come out and enjoy the trails. 
  • We have worked with schools in the area to get Mountain Biking implemented in the schools as an added sport offering, through advice, planning, and implementation.
  • We work hard to ensure that we reinvest the money used to develop this project directly back into the region. We make a point to source local and therefore ensuring the funds spent remain in the city and directly benefit local businesses and jobs. 
  • A good example of the potential is that of new bike shops that have an opening in Paarl.
  • We also work with the team from the Paarl Mountain Reserve and together monitor the reserve for any potential threats and assist where we can. We are working on a program to train and educate the new group of Reserve trainees to be able to monitor the area more effectively, and also a guided program where trainees can eventually take out guided tours in the area and therefore creating more jobs

 Sport Development  

We are firm believers in the power of sport and community involvement to change lives, create opportunities and improve lifestyles. It is by no means only the less fortunate and disadvantaged that we believe this project benefits. The Paarl Adventure trail project now has all the tools necessary to be used as a foundation to address some of these issues and assist with getting people outdoors, healthy and interacting. It is also an ideal channel to get various communities interacting and enjoying activities together, building relationships and community. 

This is not possible without partnering with people and to this end, we have formed many relationships with various parties to assist them and work with them to make this vision a success 

Mrace 

Mrace is a coaching program in Paarl and Wellington, they specialize in coaching and skills for kids and adults. Petrus and his team work with most of the schools and also have programs for adults. We have formed a partnership with Mrace and work with them to get more kids and adults on bikes. The program is also a great next step for development, and we are now working towards getting kids from other programs up to Mrace where they will get more experience in the sport and hopefully start getting good results.

UCI WCCA

We have formed a partnership with the UCI WCCA and now that they have established their base in Paarl, we are working together to get a lot more international teams and professional athletes out to the area. We are also working with the WCCA on projects that include assistance with the Boy Louw BMX Track and assist in getting programs in place and more kids cycling. We have also been appointed at the official UCI Africa-supported Trails in Africa.

Local Clubs and Retail

We are in constant contact and work with all local sports shops and clubs to provide info on the network and get them out using the trails, this includes promoting their businesses and providing attractive packages for them to pass onto their clients.

Weekly Foundation Classes 

We have implemented free weekly foundation classes at Specialized – Paarl. These classes are open to anyone between the ages of 6-13 years. We provide free access to the trails, qualified coaches, and then the tools necessary to introduce kids to cycling. The classes are very informal and proving to be a great catalyst for getting kids active and cycling. The coaches make each session fun while teaching kids to ride and get more confidence on bikes. The weekly classes attract between 50 -100 kids a week and are free of charge. It is the interaction between kids from all areas, races and ages. 

As we continue to develop and grow the Legacy Project, we will be implementing new projects that we believe will improve the impact of the program in the community. We are currently in the planning phase of a program where we will be working with schools in the area with the focus on the grassroots and lower income areas where access to equipment and facilities is a challenge. Most of the kids we introduce to the Hero Legacy Project love it and want to take part more often and grow. To this end, we have decided to use this desire from the kids that want to get more involved, to find ways to motivate them in their schoolwork and get rewarded for it. 

The program involves working with the schools to monitor the kids’ marks and results.

  • Kids whose school marks improve will get more access to the trails.
  • We want to invest in more bikes that kids who don’t own bikes will have access to use. The better there marks the more they can use the bikes.
  • Kids whose marks improve will get more equipment like clothing and gear and free event entries.
  • We will also arrange transport for kids from their schools to the trails and classes. 

 

PAARL AND WELLINGTON GEARED UP FOR TOURISM MONTH

September is Tourism Month with 27 September being designated as World Tourism Day. Paarl and Wellington are celebrating the 2021 theme of ‘Tourism for inclusive growth’ by highlighting the amazing diversity of their activities and tourism attractions.

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This historic working farm at the foot of Paarl Mountain and right next to Paarl’s Main Road is becoming quite the one-stop destination! Family friendly stylish restaurants, picnics, luxury guests’ rooms set among the vineyards, and wine tasting with some of the most breath-taking views in the Boland, are just some of the comforts which Laborie offers its guests.

Read more to see what Laborie has to offer during September.

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