Position: Outdoor Assistant (live-in position)

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 full-time position:

Outdoor Assistant (live-in position)

JOB PURPOSE

To take responsibility for the overall garden establishment and general maintenance. Work in a team to create a pleasant and productive ‘food and discovery’ garden environment that is safe and secure for both children and visitors.

JOB FUNCTIONS

  1. Establishing and maintaining outdoor gardens.
  2. Maintenance of outdoor equipment and infrastructure.
  3. Care and maintenance of farm animals, including baboon management.
  4. Preparation of outdoor classes.
  5. Food garden harvesting processing and storage.
  6. Follow the instruction of line managers and Assistant Farm Manager as they arise.

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS

  • Someone who is willing to live on the farm in a simple worker’s cottage.
  • Ability to operate light machinery and undertake manual labour.
  • To have a love of nature and the outdoors.
  • Permaculture and gardening experience will be beneficial.
  • To be practical with good organisational and problem-solving skills.
  • Knowledge of plants and the environment.

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

Deadline: 29 November 2019

For more information, contact Rita Graham during office hours: 028 388 0713. Please send your CV and a cover letter to Rita Graham: rita@flowervalley.co.za.  

 

Flower Valley’s latest news

Latest News

Wildfires: We’re certainly no stranger to their devastation.

In 2006, the entire Flower Valley Farm burnt to the ground. It was an experience you can’t put words to. It not only destroyed 60,000 hectares of landscapes and the wildlife in it, but also affected our Fynbos livelihoods.

Today is Fire Prevention Day.

In order to help prepare ourselves for fire season in the Overberg, Sharon Brink chats to the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association’s Louise Wessels in our Flower Valley Podcast on what you can do to help prevent wildfires. And Flower Valley’s Kirsten Watson provides insight on how fires are changing in the Overberg.

On Flower Valley Farm, with the help of our wonderful supporters who have Adopted a Hectare, our firebreaks are now in place. But despite the winter rains, it’s still dry here (as it is across much of the Overberg). Today should serve as a good reminder: We should all be prepared this year.

Get our latest news here.

Kind regards,

Roger Bailey
Executive Director: Flower Valley Conservation Trust

 

Terms & Conditions for Flower Valley & Vivolicious competition:

• This prize is worth R709 • The winner will be announced on Monday, 23 October 2019. • The prize is 1 pair of Protea ¾ Capri tights from Vivolicious. • The winner will be randomly selected from Facebook and Instagram entries. • Flower Valley Conservation Trust’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. • We reserve the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions. • Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions. • We reserve the right to delete and remove any inappropriate comments on social media, and to ban individuals who may leave inappropriate comments. • Prize cannot be exchanged for money. • The winner will receive a message via the social media platform they entered on, and the winner’s name will appear on the Flower Valley and possibly Vivolicious social media platforms. • Prize delivery will be arranged by the Vivolicious administration team. • Entrants must reside within the South African borders. • We acknowledge that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Instagram.

 

Wildfire in the Overberg: So what has changed?

By Kirsten Watson

For me, this year started like no other. We were only a few days into 2019 when we heard the news: It’s burning. Franskraal, our closest town (to Flower Valley Farm), was being evacuated.

It was one of three fires burning in the Overstrand at the time. And with fire-fighting resources under strain across the district, many landowners (including Flower Valley Farm) came to help. 

We lost our cellphone reception AND electricity supply. Communicating was impossible. Fire-fighting became even more challenging.

During this time, I had the opportunity to see a ‘new’ side of fire – one that fire-fighters are seeing all too much of.

So what has changed?

1. It seems that wildfires are now burning in unusual circumstances, even after rain, and during winter months.

Why? This is because of climate change and prolonged drought.

2. Wildfires are more aggressive 

(like the Franskraal fire). We are seeing an increase in fire intensity (we hear this also from our Overberg Fire Chief, Reinard Geldenhuys). He warns this is due to the drought and the alien invasive species that create a much hotter fire and is more difficult to control than a fynbos fire.

3. You simply can’t rely ONLY on your own team and your neighbours today. 

You need to be tuned into bigger partnerships, who also have access to resources. And it’s essential to be an active member of a Fire Protection Association and participate in your local Fire Management Unit.

4. To undertake a management burn today, you need to plan. 

In fact, it requires a lot of planning – including having the right PPE (personal protective equipment), the right people, and getting the timing right. There’s no room for a mistake.

5. Today we know that the majority of fires are human-induced (according to the goFPA). 

There are also more high risk weather days that makes ignition easier. These two factors contribute to the increase in fire frequency that we are experiencing in the Overberg.

6. Be careful of sparks that can be created from slashers, “bossieslaaners” or brush cutters when they hit stones.  

Accidental fire ignition is not only from cigarette butts or fires left unattended. They can also ignite from using metal machinery.

Our region is a hot-spot for wildfire this year. So as fire season looms in the Overberg, these are some of the changes we note, and try to prepare for.

We’re extremely grateful to our neighbours, our partners in the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy, and our support in our Fire Management Unit. And of course to the Overberg and Overstrand fire-fighters and the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association for assisting us all to be as wildfire ready as we can be.

Image credit: Riaan Jacobs

A ‘new’ pre-school for Buffeljagsbaai’s children

Pre-school learners in Buffeljagsbaai have moved into a newly-renovated building which can now care for at least 20 children.

The children were originally schooled in a small space that was not registrable with the Department of Social Development in the Western Cape.

Now, with support from the community and a number of partners, including the Overstrand Municipality, I&J and Flower Valley’s Early Childhood Development Programme, the children can enjoy a large new classroom, a resource room, a newly-built kitchen, bathrooms and an office for the Centre’s Manager, Nicole Arendse. The centre, called Seesterretjies, is situated behind the Buffeljagsbaai Library.

The partners also planted a new lawn for children to play in and built a big sand pit area. The next step is to create a large shaded area.

The school is overseen and managed by Chairperson Amelda Groenewald and Manager Nicole Arendse. It currently cares for nine children from the community – with more children likely to join soon.

Partners involved in the project include the Overstrand Municipality, I&J, the Lighthouse to Lighthouse walkers, and a number of local businesses, including Gansbaai Spar and Build-It. Community members, including Amelda Groenewald, have been instrumental in ensuring a better service and greater opportunities for the residents of Buffeljagsbaai.

Aside from the donor support from the likes of I&J, the Lighthouse to Lighthouse hikers (who walk through Buffeljagsbaai on their annual hike) helped by painting the walls of the school. They also funded the grass, car port shading, and a tutoring course for a teacher.

Flower Valley’s ECD Programme continues to support the school to meet the required legal compliances. The teachers also receive support through the Milkwood Learning Programme – which provides training support to upskill these practitioners.

 

Kat Myburgh, Area Manager of the Gansbaai district says, “We will have leaders emerging from these class rooms, who will look back and say: I started by schooling here; I received my first formal education at this crèche. In my mind, there is no doubt about this. I know it.”

According to Overstrand Mayor, Dudley Coetzee, “With many hands and lots of love and enthusiasm, I&J Seesterretjies Crèche now provides an Early Childhood Development service to children under the tutelage of Amelda Groenewald, Nicole Arendse and their team.”

 

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.