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5 years Earthrise Trust in Rustlers Valley: From humility to confidence and independence
16 December 2019

5 years Earthrise Trust in Rustlers Valley: From humility to confidence and independence

In November, the board of the Foundation visited the Rustlers Valley farm in South-Africa and saw how much the Naledi Village’s community has accomplished in the last 5 years.

The founders of this project were active in the fight against Apartheid. Together with the inhabitants of Naledi Village, they took the initiative for the development of a living and working community, in which collective decision-making and small-scale economic activity are the main priorities.

What is very special, is that the farm and the surrounding land (273 hectares) could be bought by a foundation 6 years ago: ‘Earthrise Trust’. As a result, the inhabitants of the community directly became owners, and could start the development of small (agricultural) businesses. People went from being dependent land-workers to regaining full control of their lives. In a short amount of time, the outcome was very positive.

Bärbel Weiligmann: ‘Taking this context into account, one could say the results of our investments are amazing. Our contribution has had a huge impact on the social and psychological development of all the people living and working here.’

Many reasons to be content!

In 5 years, we saw an evolution from shyness, humility, dependence, and egocentric acts, to communicative skills, independence and  collective responsibility.

We have seen how people have worked on progress: step by step. This has made clear to us that each person’s contribution (no matter how small) helps to achieve the unique individual and collective development of Naledi Village. The effects of this program influence the current and future generations there and in other places. They reach much further than the economic activity in this living community. We are very pleased that people work and live together in such a way. The value of it cannot be expressed in euros.

Earthrise trust projects:

  • Water supply: for effective water management
  • Food safety: the growing and selling of fruits and vegetables
  • Brickyard: the making of bricks
  • Beekeeping: fertilizing flowers and producing honey
  • Bakery: the baking and selling of bread
  • Creche: taking care of toddlers and providing education
  • Arts centre: creative development and tourism-related goals
  • Woodwork: wood processing and selling
  • Cultural development: conserving cultural values