Working for the Coast (WftC) is a national project that helps coastal communities to keep our coast healthy and clean for everyone's benefit. All along our coast, jobs have been created, the coastal environment is being improved, people are being trained and small businesses are being started. Some of the most needy coastal communities are being given a chance in a lifetime and - through an education, training and development program - they are being given a foothold to sustain their lives in the future.
They have a history of battling simply to survive and, when they join the WftC programme, most of them can't read or write. When they emerge, after two years, from the programme, they not only have the necessary skills to develop economically viable opportunities for themselves but they also have higher self-esteem - and this sense of pride often gives rise to the discovery of hidden talents. By helping to keep our coast environmentally healthy and safe, they are, in turn, self empowered by a programme that helps them.
Each employee in the WftC programme receives comprehensive training and development over a two year period. In addition to literacy and numeracy, the programme provides tailored skills development for each participant. KEAG has a long and proud tradition with CoastCare and the Working for the Coast Project in particular. In October 2000, KEAG was approached by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to start the first ever WftC project. Three weeks later we had the first team out in the field, and we have been running teams since then.
In those early days, KEAG played a vital role in the national implementation and we were even used as a funding conduit by the Poverty Relief Unit to pay teams as far away as Kosi Bay and Port Nolloth. Many international Poverty Relief donors have visited the South Peninsula team. In 2002 we won a Marine and Coastal Management Award for being the best WftC site in South Africa. Our team has also received a Clean City's Merit Award from the Fairest Cape Association.
What we are most proud of however, is being a major pioneer in taking WftC to the next level, particularly in the field of sustainability. In fact, some of our exit strategies have a great chance of being replicated nationwide. These initiatives are based on making the WftC project and workers so multifunctional that they are almost irreplaceable. Due to the low wages in a poverty relief project, an extensive amount of time is spent on training the workers. A skill audit is carried out when the workers are first employed and a training and development programme is then tailored to each individual's needs and requirements.
Please visit one of our outlets, or our studio on Imhoff Farm, Kommetjie to see the full range. The Cape Peninsula baboons have been isolated for well over a hundred years due to development on the Cape Flats that effectively. The biggest threat to the population is the fact that the remaining baboons come into contact with humans on a daily basis - this leads to conflict as the baboons enter villages searching for easy food.