Position: Natural Resource Management Administrator (re-advertised)

We’re re-advertising the post for a Natural Resource Management Administrator.

Flower Valley Conservation Trust is a not-for profit and public benefit organisation situated in the Overberg region with a key focus on improving natural resource management for the conservation of Fynbos and those livelihoods that depend on it. The Natural Resource Management Programme includes an Overberg-wide Alien Clearing Programme implemented across nine conservancy groups and a Sustainable Harvesting Programme that supports the fynbos cut flower industry. A wonderful opportunity is available for an Administrator to contribute towards conservation within the Overberg. You will be based at Flower Valley Farm near Gansbaai.

 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Implement and monitor all administrative standards and procedures;
  • Human Resource management – Participants list updated and maintained on monthly basis;
  • Monthly management of attendance/leave register updated;
  • Administration according to requirements of different funding organisations, specifically meeting government funding and policy requirements;
  • Planning of daily activities;
  • Adhere to pre-determined deadlines;
  • General office duties relating to the above activities.

 

REQUIREMENTS

  • Qualification in Administration, or diploma in a similar field;
  • Computer literacy – Working experience in Excel, Power Point and Microsoft Word;
  • Excellent organisation skills;
  • Experience in Human Resource Management;
  • Driver’s licence compulsory;
  • Report writing skills;
  • Speak at least two of South Africa’s official languages;
  • Confident to engage with stakeholders;
  • Pro-active and self-motivated individual;
  • Candidates with 3 -5 years relevant experience are preferred.

 

Salary package will be discussed based on an individual’s experience. A job competency test may be done before an individual is appointed. This a one-year contract, with potential for renewal depending on performance. Start date is as soon as possible.

Apply by submitting your CV and a motivation letter to fynbos@flowervalley.co.za by 12 September 2019.

Next steps to rid the Overberg of invasive plants

A new invasive alien clearing programme has
launched in the Overberg. 

The project is an Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) project, implemented by Flower Valley Conservation Trust.

 

Flower Valley secured just short of R12-million over the next 3 years from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

This project follows up on invasive alien clearing work undertaken in the Overberg over the past 8 years – since the launch of the ABI project. In the project this year, we’ll target:

 

  • 4,655 hectares of follow up clearing;
  • And 1,039 hectares of initial clearing.
  • It will also create 16,768 person days of work this year.

The implementation plan is based on a partnership model.

Flower Valley works with conservancies and other land user groups to roll out the project. We’re working with 9 such groups in this round.  

That means landowners must be a member of a land user group to qualify for clearing support. This allows conservancy-wide clearing plans to address invasive species challenges across the landscape, with crucial areas prioritised.

In this project, Flower Valley works closely with the Land User Group representative. But the Trust also works closely with each landowner who agrees to join the project, as well as with the elected contractors.

Over the past 8 years, the partnership has learnt a number of lessons that will be addressed in this round.

The quality of the clearing is essential.

And that requires closer monitoring – both from the landowner (or his/her elected representative), as well as by the Flower Valley team.

The DEA-funded project also requires a strong administrative support team. While DEA funds support the clearing work and transport of the contractors, they do not support the admin requirements.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO LANDOWNERS JOINING THE PROJECT?

 

  • All clearing salaries and transport costs are covered.
  • Herbicide assistance is provided.
  • The Flower Valley team ensures best practice standards are implemented, in terms of health & safety, and herbicide use.
  • Working with the Land User Groups, the Trust pulls together the Annual Plan of Operations.
  • We advise each contractor on each site that will be cleared.
  • And we monitor and assess the quality on completion.
  • The Trust’s team also supplies detailed maps and datasets on treatment-areas.
  • And the Flower Valley team serves as the communication touchpoint with DEA.

Landowners who choose to join the project pay an administrative fee, to cover these service costs.

For more, contact your Land User Group representative, or speak to Stanley Engel. Email: stanley@flowervalley.co.za; or Tel. 028 425 2218.

The project is co-funded by the Drakenstein Trust and Millennium Trust. 

A Fynbos Forum field trip on Flower Valley

Flower Valley is teaming up with the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy to get researchers and conservationists into our region’s special Fynbos during the Fynbos Forum in August.

SUSTAINABLY HARVESTED FYNBOS

Attendees at the Fynbos Forum will experience the farm as a test site for sustainably harvested Fynbos. We’ll also showcase the use of the Code of Best Practice for harvesting, and tools used to monitor harvesting practices.

FYNBOS & WINE

We’ll then stop for a Fynbos pairing and wine tasting at fellow Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy member, Lomond Wines.

FYNBOS LANDSCAPES

And the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy staff will introduce visitors to the work undertaken by the conservancy to secure these Fynbos landscapes. This includes a video of some of the amazing wildlife found within the conservancy and captured on camera by the Grootbos Foundation.

The Fynbos Forum is an annual event held in Fynbos-rich areas.

It brings conservationists, researchers, universities, government departments and non-profit organisations together to improve knowledge and through research, to better protect Fynbos.

This year the Forum takes place in the Overberg in the town of Baardskeerdersbos between 5 and 8 August.

 

Position available | Part-time ECD Administrator

Flower Valley Conservation Trust (FVCT) is a registered Public Benefit Organisation, based on Flower Valley Farm, outside Gansbaai in the Overstrand. The Trust runs an Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme in the Overstrand Municipal District, as well as a Fynbos Conservation Programme across the Cape Floral Kingdom.

The Trust is now advertising for the following part-time position:

 

ECD ADMINISTRATOR

 

Job purpose

To carry out all administrative functions in support of the ECD Programme.

 

JOB FUNCTIONS

  1. Coordinate diary management of the ECD team and relevant stakeholders
  2. Support effective financial management of the ECD Programme
  3. Manage, organise and coordinate logistics for ECD projects
  4. Human resource and professional development administration for ECD staff  and  relevant programme beneficiaries
  5. Office management and filing.

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS

  • Problem solving, creative thinking and ability to work in a team
  • Ability to think independently and self-motivated
  • Efficient, good planning and co-ordination skills
  • Good communication and people skills (minimum of English and Afrikaans, Xhosa a benefit);
  • Experience in office and financial administration
  • Detail orientated
  • MS Word computer skills including Excel
  • Driver’s licence and own transport
  • Must be based in or around Gansbaai and Stanford.

 

A market-related salary will be negotiated, dependent on working hours, qualifications and experience.

Deadline: 16 August 2019

For more information, contact Faye Graham during office hours.: 028 388 0713. Please send your CV, a cover letter, and two contactable references to Faye Graham: faye@flowervalley.co.za.  

 

The story of Good Hope (as told by Gabbi Cook)

Flower Valley Conservation Trust’s Gabbi Cook joined the Good Hope Early Learning Centre children and staff, the community and partners at the launch of the second phase of the centre on Friday, 12 July 2019.

 

HERE IS GABBI’S INTRODUCTORY TALK AT THE EVENT:

“The story of Good Hope started long before there was a Masakhane. It started when the great grandfathers and -mothers, grandfathers and -mothers and fathers and mothers of these children stood together toward equity and justice in South Africa. It is because of them and many others around the world that we can stand here now, in freedom and dignity. It is those people I firstly want to honour today.

Some facts:

• In 2017 there were 19.6 million children in South Africa with approximately 56.5 million people living in South Africa. That makes 35% children.
• 14% of these children are orphans.
• 21% do not live with their biological parents.
• 0.3% live in child only households.
• 65% live below the upper band poverty line where per capita income is below R1138,00 per month.
• 30% live in households where no adults are employed.

The story of Good Hope lives in the lives of the people who walked this road together: parents, teachers, the community, the municipality, NGOs such as Enlighten Education Trust and Flower Valley, many individuals and group organisations that made initial donations of funds and resources. 

This is a story of the heart, often when we see only with our head, things seems impossible. But when we look and see with our hearts, things become possible.  

Those of us that started Good Hope chose to see with our hearts… when I see with my heart I see: 

  • Children playing freely and safely, drinking fresh water that has found its way down through our pristine Fynbos landscapes toward the sea.
  • Neighbourhoods and towns where the only need for a fence is to keep the animals in. 
  • A world where the value of a grandmother’s song is more valuable than a basket of gold. 
  • A world where our stories speak of our interconnectivity and interbeing. 
  • A world where teachers and caregivers as masters of their “craft” and their powerful contribution is recognised. 
  • A world where the unfolding fullness of each individual is nurtured and we are all mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters to our children. 

Good Hope is a place where the heart can see a world like this starting to emerge. A place of unity, equity and care. This is our hope – our “good“ hope, active and alive in the service of these amazing women and contributors, in service to these young children.

In 2013 in the back streets of Masakhane. Lingiswa Nyandeni cared for 15 young children at her own shack based 3x 3 metre building, calling it Good Hope. It was here that Flower Valley and the Department of Social Development joined hands with Lingiswa and 6 other such centres to address the needs of young children in Masakhane. With the support of the Overstrand Municipality and extensive community consultation,  Good Hope was the only site that chose to move to a municipal building and join hands to get to where we are now. From here many individuals and organisations came together to realise the dream of a place for healthy, happy children to receive support to grow to their full potential.

A teacher of Good Hope once said to me: “These children and like my own children, I care for them as they are my own.” It is this spirit that brought us to phase two where in 2017 we joined hands with I-Med Vision, The Grootbos Foundation and in 2018 Aqunion, with continued support from the OSM. Building and growing a dream takes the combined effort of many. The challenges of our world cannot be met alone, we simple need to stand together, recognising that each and every contribution is equally valuable and important, and that ultimately we are not separate, but one people.  

This is a community-based school. It is the fruit of many people’s hard work and dedication, it is an expression of kindness and care but is also an expression of the intrinsic right of a young child to the best possible start in life.”  

Flower Valley Conservation Trust’s Gabbi Cook joined the Good Hope Early Learning Centre children and staff, the community and partners at the launch of the second phase of centre on Friday, 12 July 2019.

 

HERE IS GABBI’S INTRODUCTORY TALK AT THE EVENT:

“The story of Good Hope started long before there was a Masakhane. It started when the great grandfathers and -mothers , grandfathers and -mothers and fathers and mothers of these children stood together toward equity and justice in South Africa. It is because of them and many others around the world that we can stand here now, in freedom and dignity. It is those people I firstly want to honour today.

Some facts:

• In 2017 there where 19.6 million children in South Africa with approximately 56.5 million people living in South Africa. That makes 35% children.
• 14% of these children are orphans.
• 21% do not live with their biological parents.
• 0.3% live in child only households.
• 65% live below the upper band poverty line where per capita income is below R1138,00 per month.
• 30% live in households where no adults are employed.

The story of Good Hope lives in the lives of the people who walked this road together: parents, teachers, the community, the municipality, teachers, NGOs such as Enlighten Education Trust and Flower Valley and many individual and group organisations that made initial donations of funds and resources. 

This is a story of the heart, often when we see only with our head things seems impossible but when we look and see with our hearts , things become possible.  

Those of us that started Good Hope chose to see with our hearts… when I see with my heart I see: 

  • Children playing freely and safely, drinking fresh water that has found its way down through our pristine Fynbos landscapes toward the sea.
  • Neighbourhoods and towns where the only need for a fence is to keep the animals in. 
  • A world where the value of a grandmother’s song is more valuable than a basket of gold. 
  • A world where our stories speak of our interconnectivity and interbeing. 
  • A world where teachers and caregivers as masters of their “craft” and their powerful  contribution  is recognised. 
  • A world where the unfolding fullness of each individual is nurtured and we are all mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters to our children. 

Good Hope is a place where the heart can see a world like this starting to emerge. A place of unity equity and care. This is our hope – our “good “ hope, active and alive in the service of these amazing women and contributors,  in service to these young children.

In 2013 in the back streets of Masakhane. Lingiswa Nyandeni cared for 15 young children at her own shack based 3x 3 metre building, calling it Good Hope. It was here that Flower Valley and the Department of Social Development joined hands with Lingiswa and 6 other such centres to address the needs of young children in Masakhane. With the support of the Overstrand Municipality and extensive community consultation,  Good Hope was the only site that chose to move to a municipal building and join hands to get to where we are now. From here many individuals and organisations came together to realise the dream of a place for healthy, happy children to receive support to grow to their full potential.

A teacher of Good Hope once said to me: “These children and like my own children, I care for them as they are my own.” It is this spirit that brought us to phase two where in 2017 we joined hands with I-Med Vision, The Grootbos Foundation and in 2018 Aqunion, with continued support from the OSM. Building and growing a dream takes the combined effort of many. The challenges of our world cannot be met alone, we simple need to stand together, recognising that each and every contribution is equally valuable and important, and that ultimately we are not separate, but one people.  

This is a community-based school. It is the fruit of many people’s hard work and dedication, it is an expression of kindness and care but is also an expression of the intrinsic right of a young child to the best possible start in life.”  

Parents: How you can support your child’s early development

By Kieran Whitley

There are many different toys, props and activities that you can use to aid your child’s development. 

But the most important aspect of development is for you to work and understand YOUR child’s individual and unique needs.

Healthy development is successfully working with your child, at their own pace, allowing them to show you what they require. There is so much information available in this day and age.

But never forget that the most important source you need to listen to is your own child. And the most important thing that you can give your child is your time, your full attention and your love. 

TUMMY TIME: AN ESSENTIAL ACTIVITY FOR YOU AND YOUR BABY

Tummy time helps to strengthen your child’s head, neck and upper arm muscles. It also helps to build the strength and coordination needed for rolling over, crawling, reaching, and playing (this is vital as your child spends so much time on his or her back).

You can start with tummy time from new-born (provided there have been no complications with birth) and you can do this for 1 – 3 minutes, responding to your child’s needs and reactions. 

SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO? 

Lie with your baby on the floor, with a towel rolled under their chest and arms for support. Tummy time can also be done by sitting down in a reclined position and holding your baby over your chest/shoulder with their face close to yours. As the baby gains more strength, you can go further down into a reclining position.

As the baby gets a bit older you can also start doing tummy time by placing the child over your lap. Make sure tummy time is only done when your child is awake and under full supervision. 

Flower Valley’s role: 

Flower Valley Conservation Trust is putting emphasis on childhood development and looking at working with children from in utero (through our Early Childhood Development Home Based Programme) through to 5 years.

We are very appreciative to Regina Broenner from the Creative Skills Factory. They are running a series of workshops with the Flower Valley teachers to help observe and work with the developmental milestones and the unique needs of each child.

Flower Valley’s latest news

Flower Valley News

For the last 16 years, I’ve been part of the Flower Valley Conservation Trust team. But last week, for the first time, I addressed our Flower Valley Trustees and staff as Acting Executive Director.

Yes, I was a little nervous at the thought (and grateful for the opportunity at the same time). But then this happened, which really changed everything for me.

As I prepared for my presentation, I reflected on the workings of
Flower Valley as a non-profit organisation over the last 16 years. It was a truly inspiring moment. Here’s what I found:

  • Our total conservation footprint stretches over 80,000 hectares of natural Fynbos landscapes in the Cape Floral Kingdom. (Our indicators include cleared hectares of invasive species and verified hectares of good practices for wild fynbos harvesting.)
  • This was made possible through the participation of 480 local people working as part of independent small enterprises.
  • And in our Early Childhood Development Programme, our home-based and centre-based work offers ECD support to local communities that in total reach 922 children and 60 practitioners.

These stats really showed me something: First, we have focused programmes that are able to deliver on their objectives through a dedicated and hardworking team, who I’m fortunate to work with. Also, our partnerships are VITAL to our continued success.

And finally, now in our 20th year, we’re stronger and even more resilient. We therefore remain committed to our pursuit towards a Fynbos-filled future for life and livelihoods.

Get our latest news here.

Kind regards,

Roger Bailey
Executive Director: Flower Valley Conservation Trust

 

Bringing the Gansbaai community together for young children

The Gansbaai community is getting involved in Early Childhood Development (ECD) this Mandela Day. 

 

Various events are taking place on Thursday, 18 July, at ECD sites that are part of the Flower Valley Early Childhood Development Programme. These include: 

1. STORY-TELLING, SOUP AND FLOWERS: FLOWER VALLEY SAYS ‘THANK YOU’

Flower Valley’s team will serve soup and tell a story at an informal ECD site in Masakhane. We will also be gifting a sustainably-harvested Fynbos bouquet to acknowledge and thank 25 ECD practitioners for their wonderful work with young children.

2: NEW SHELVES AT DOLFYNTJIES: GANSBAAI TOURISM’S SUPPORT

Gansbaai Tourism are encouraging their members to support the Dolfyntjies ECD Centre in Eluxolweni, Pearly Beach. The team will put up shelves for resource storage and donate learning support resources.

3: WINDOW BLINDS FOR DOLFYNTJIES: A GRANDMOTHER GETS INVOLVED

A grandmother living in Pearly Beach, Erna Struwig, is also supporting Dolfyntjies. She has arranged for blinds to be installed at the Dolfyntjies ECD Centre.

4: PLANTING VEGGIES, PAINTING AND POTJIEKOS: A DAY AT GROOTBOS FOUNDATION COMMUNITY FARM 

The Good Hope ECD Centre will enjoy a farm outing to Grootbos Foundation Community Farm, hosted by the Grootbos Foundation. Here the young children will plant veggies, learn about plant propagation and paint outdoor equipment. They’ll end the day enjoying a Potjiekos meal beside a fire.

5: LEARNING SUPPORT RESOURCES: AQUNION’S DONATION

The Good Hope and Takalane ECD Centres will benefit through a donation of learning support materials and equipment from Aqunion. Aqunion, an abalone company in Gansbaai, are key stakeholders of the Good Hope Centre.  

The Flower Valley ECD Programme works with 27 centres across the Overstrand Municipality. The programme reaches 920 children, 60 ECD practitioners, 20 managers and a number of Management Committees. 

Flower Valley works to improve the quality of and access to ECD services, for communities in the Overstrand. We do this through partnerships with community, government and NGOs. 

Our support services include: site registration, management and governance, resource access, partnership development and ECD practitioners’ training and mentorship.

From the Flower Valley team, a huge thank you to all the partners and donors who are supporting ECD sites and centres this Mandela Day.

Picking Fynbos responsibly: A journey of improvement

Building capacity of Fynbos harvesters is at the heart of the Sustainable Harvesting Programme.

We have been revisiting some of our key members to refresh their sustainable harvesting practices and teach them some of the new methods and tools we have developed recently.

This process is to ensure that members are continuously improving and kept up to date with the latest research.

In the past two weeks, we’ve provided capacity building to 30 Fynbos harvesters working in natural Fynbos landscapes.

These harvesters pick Fynbos for Lourens Boerdery – a packshed that is a long-time member and supporter of the Sustainable Harvesting Programme.

Our focus for capacity building is on:

 

  • How to pick Fynbos responsibly (as per the Code of Best Practice);
  • And how to monitor harvesting practices (using the i-Fynbos app).

THE AIM IS TO TRAIN AND WORK WITH AROUND 100 FYNBOS HARVESTERS ACROSS THE CAPE FLORAL KINGDOM.

 

It’s part of our support to members of the Sustainable Harvesting Programme.

This year alone, Flower Valley’s footprint will stretch across 75,000 hectares of natural Fynbos landscapes through the programme.

This training is supported by the University of Newcastle and the University of Durham.

 

Give 67 minutes to protect Fynbos (while enjoying a hike)

What are you doing for your 67 minutes this Mandela Day? Here’s one idea: Join the Southern Overberg Botanical Society, as they enjoy a hike on our Flower Valley Farm – cutting down small invasive alien plants as they walk. 

 

Mandela Day is on Thursday, 18 July. The combined Flower Valley Conservation Trust and Southern Overberg BotSoc event takes place in the late morning, from 10am. It will take hikers through some of the most unique, special and pretty Fynbos landscapes. 

Here’s the programme:

  • Following a welcome and a chat about invasive species, you’ll receive a short induction on clearing alien species in field.
  • Then your 67 minutes start, clearing invasive species while walking through our Fynbos.
  • Join us for tea and coffee afterwards.
  • Or bring your own picnic and enjoy our Fynbos for the rest of the day.

THE START OF SOMETHING BIGGER

The combined Mandela Day event forms part of a bigger collaboration between Flower Valley and the Southern Overberg BotSoc. This will see Flower Valley Farm become a ‘garden’ of the branch, allowing branch members free access to the farm (non-members currently pay R50 to hike on the farm).

For more information on the Mandela Day event on Flower Valley Farm, or to join and give 67 minutes of your time to conservation, email: mitch@flowervalley.co.za by Tuesday, 16 July.