“A town so magical
that it’s hard to believe that it’s real.
The prettiest town in South Africa!”
– Mike Hampton
The EXPERIENCE KNYSNA! project promotes multicultural integration through fun and education. The first step is to unite kids from all communities through field trips promoting social unity, a sense of belonging and an awareness of tourism as a mainstay industry of the region.
We seek your assistance as a participant or sponsor in this low-cost project that, more often than, is achieved by moms with cars who’ve made sandwiches and juice.
Location: The Garden Route is a natural wonder of South Africa and an inspiration to artists, from painters to photographers. It’s beauty is a helping hand towards making children connect with their home and one another. It also a wonderfully photographic area to associate your brand with.
Reflection: Apartheid has officially been long gone but Knysna remains highly segregated. Neighbourhood dissimilarity is severe i.e. there is little residential mixing of whites and non-whites. The growing economic divide during this recession threatens to entrench this further. A person living in a central suburb considers themselves a citizen of Knysna but many people living in the “townships” consider themselves more a citizen of that locality rather than Knysna itself. Indeed, the terminology that is in common usage further emphasizes this disparity i.e. people in town refer to Sparrebosch, Hunter’s Home, Brenton-On-Sea and others as individual suburbs but when mentioning White Location, Concordia, Khayalethu, Nekkies and Hornlee, they invariably define them under the blanket term of “township”. This must change.
Change: Firstly, we will henceforth refer to the different areas of Knysna as “communities”, a warmer and more sharing word. Secondly, we need to install an awareness of a bigger Knysna into economically and educationally challenged children. Thirdly, place different cultural groups into a common experience so that they can identify how alike they are rather than how different.
Field Trips: There are parents who have never been to nearby places such as Brenton-On-Lake and Karatara. This dis-involvement from Knysnian society must not be perpetuated by their children. Beauty must be shared. Pride must be installed. Thus, the first project involves monthly excursions for small groups of teenagers. This would involve visiting scenic places that Knysna is internationally renowned for as well as lessor known sites that, if further emphasized, will assist in promoting the tourism of the town and surrounds. The trips will be educational via learning the history of the area and the role that tourism performs as an economic lifeblood and future. Unity (“our Knysna”) is encouraged by the experience, especially via shared meals and physical activities such as hiking.
Ours is a tourist-based economy. It is essential that we make Knysna’s children into happy ambassadors of our town. Happy with experience and knowledge, the more they will promote Knysna as a destination to those that they meet.
The long-term plan would be to identify the most apt learners for learnerships and social programs e.g. protecting the environment, tour guides etc.
Sponsors: This project requires the support of local businesses, the municipality and Tourism with regards destinations requiring admission fees, chaperons, meals, telephone calls and transports. This is a low-cost project but the more that can be gained the more children can be a part of Knysna i.e. more sponsorship = more trips. We do have volunteers which reduces costs further.
Although we’d hope that sponsors will find satisfaction in the spirit of improving lives and our community, there are benefits in that every trip will be documented online via blog and photos that clearly state the places visited. This will be an individual advert for those businesses involved but all trips will be an advert for Knysna as the best central point for tourists wanting to explore. Field trips will be represented by a photo gallery on our website with clear thanks to our sponsors. All sponsors will be be acknowledged via blog writing.
Our primary goal for teens in 2016 is to visit 10 beaches and learn a little about each before having a picnic.
These are some other activities we can enjoy annually (options are almost limitless):
- Featherbed Nature Reserve
- Nature’s Valley
- Kranshoek Viewpoint Beach
- Goukamma Nature Reserve.
- Gericke Points Moonlight Experience.
- Various Forest and Lake Trails
Animal Encounters –
- Knysna Elephant Park
- Blue Hills Parrot Farm
- Wolf Sanctuary
- Raptor Centre
- Birds of Eden.
- Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary
- Knysna Animal Welfare
Other Activities –
- Judah Square (Rastafari community) tour.
- Eat & Smile (taking kids to restaurants)
- Historical tours.
- Music e.g. Drum Circle, band.
- Knysna Literary Festival
- Knysna Oyster Festival
- Knysna Arts Festival
Help us make trips such as these into reality. Help us improve lives. Help us make One Knysna.