AfrikaBurn Outreach or “that other thing we do in the desert” facilitated a community tour to the neighbouring farms and communities of Tankwa Town.
Partners Cart Horse Protection Association (CHPA) and Pedals for Peace visited Ompad; Scorpion’s Rock; Groot Kapel; Brakfontein and Elandslvei with the Outreach team, just two weeks after PLAY was done and dusted!
The community day in Ompad saw six donkeys receiving wound care and general health care including injections for pain and infection, by inspector Diana Truter, who also conducted a general check up of four herd horses. Farrier Ashley Deelman fixed hooves and reset ill-fitting shoes, demonstrating trimming and rasping to the equines’ owners. New harnessing, bridles and bits were distributed to three donkey owners, who were identified on the previous visit in November.
Ashley gave basic stitching training along with needles and thread, plus tips on caring for new harnesses to the cart owners. Old harnesses were handed in to CHPA, which is a condition of the donation. The carts were inspected and those in disrepair were mended with available materials. In one instance, Megan White, who heads up Development at CHPA commented: “The entire frame of the cart is loose, which means that the cart is not pulling in a straight line. This is also a contributing factor to the harness wounds.”
Once repaired, the donkeys went for a test drive in all their finery.
Meanwhile…Jimmy James of Pedals for Peace gave a demonstration of general bike repair and gifted 7 Qubeka bikes with helmets, pumps, spanner and tyre repair kits. Dog and cat food was also distributed. The day concluded with boerewors and roosterkoek; a job well done by all.
On day two, en route to Groot Kapel, home of the iconic Pink Caravan, the team stopped at Scorpion’s Rock to inspect the horses that weren’t received at the community day. Diana carried out wound care and treatment for tick infestations, whilst Ashley attended to hooves and inspected their tack. Dog and cat food was also dropped off along with puncture repair kits and spare tube.
At Groot Kapel – the Krotz family were the other beneficiaries of the new harnesses. They had recently purchased a horse, so the harnesses needed to fit the biggest donkey and the new horse – which meant for some nifty adjustments by Ashley, who then took the cart for a spin.
All four donkeys and the horse were checked over and some were treated for wounds. One donkey was lame – a badly bruised sole from the hard ground and rocks. Diana gave pain injections and advised Mr Krotz to keep the lame donkey off the cart. In addition there were five other donkeys roaming in the area that did not belong to the family. Jimmy James checked over the bikes and handed over some tyre repair kits and tubing whilst the cat and dogs scrapped over the donated food.
The final destination of the day was Brakfontein, where there was a quick stop to look over donkeys and hand over some strapping for harnesses. In total, 31 equines were seen by CHPA over the two days. Seven Qubeka bikes were also dropped at Brakfontein with 15 helmets, pumps and spanners. Outreach sited the DMV mobile solar station to the Brakfontein koshuis, which will power the hostel for resident children when it opens in the next month or so.
On the last day, Diana held a humane education lesson at Elandsvlei NGK School, teaching the children about caring for their pets and the five freedoms of animals. Megan hosted an art session – decorating horseshoes that would astound even the most gregarious of sparkle ponies.
With the majority of its committee present, Outreach got down to business with school principal Nicolette van der Merwe about the current challenges the community is facing. Of particular concern is the future of the school, which like other rural primary schools, is facing threat of closure by government. Outreach is assisting with solutions and reassessing its financial support, with a focus on keeping those school doors open.
Special thank you to Outreach’s hosts Diaan Nel; Francois and Nicolette van der Merwe who gifted accommodation for the team of eight for the duration of the tour and to OutCom members Sanet Kirstein and Conrad Lattimer who assisted with the hosting of project partners for the community tour.
– Loz Tanner, Outwitch.
In 2016, the Outreach annual donkey derby took an entirely new path and became a donkey trek of note with Cart Horse Protection Association and Leti Kleyn pulling in for a recce through the farms on and around the R355 in the first week on November.
Finding Jack and Jenny at home proved to be quite a challenge as they were often out on the veld, but after some 1000 kms, CHPA’s Megan White, Diana Truter and Ashley Deelman had inspected 18 equines and recorded a total of 30 donkeys, 29 horses and seven mules.
Equine welfare analysis comprised an assessment of animal’s behaviour, body condition, wounds, lameness and signs of injury and disease and it was found generally that where farmers supported owners, the animals were in better shape. In the Tankwa, donkeys, horses and mules benefit greatly from getting their nutrients from indigenous plants and roaming on the veld in their natural order. However, Megan noted: “The biggest welfare issue remains the harnessing. Almost all the harnesses we saw are beyond repair. Although we did not see many donkeys with wounds, this could be attributed to the fact that the donkeys do not work every day, which gives the wounds time to heal.
All have scars from harnessing; the owners do not have the money or the means to rectify this.
“There is a need for basic farrier training and basic farrier tools. Accessing shoes and nails is also a problem in terms of affordability and availability, since they can only be purchased in Calvinia and Ceres.”
First aid kits and medicines were distributed and explained to owners and plans are afoot (or hoof) to spark some basic farrier training and harness making, with tools and materials in tow. In addition, dogs received food and Christmas boxes full of human goodies for local kids were distributed.
The donkey trek was a great success – finding some local champions to assist with the project in the future and a fabulous opportunity for the Outreach team to meet and re-engage with some of the Tankwa farmers, who hopefully will be less affronted when next asked, “Is this the way to the pink caravan?”
– Loz Tanner, Outwitch.
AfrikaBurn 2013 – it was a cold evening and the red wine along with a camp fire was helping keep the chill at bay – creativity abounded! This was our first burn and within minutes of arriving we were committed burners! We needed to work on how we as a family and a camp could add value to our new family in Tankwa, but more importantly how we help the by adding value and leaving a positive legacy with those that we would leave behind in the Tankwa… thus was born the idea of Pedals for Peace.
Moving around Tankwa Town without wheels becomes challenging! Getting a bike to Tankwa Town even more so!! We took up the challenge of securing bikes, which burners could pre-purchase and we could deliver, to the burn to await collection. The bikes are then used by burners both local and international and in almost all cases gifted back to the camp for the most exciting part of the project! Gifting beyond the playa!! All bikes received back are allocated to projects that have been pre identified and consulted with. These are projects in the region of the Tankwa….
The Objective? To leave a positive lasting legacy with those less fortunate from us who invade and enjoy their wonderful landscapeIn 2014 we trialled the idea and gifted 20 new bikes to Elandsvlei Primary school just 15kms away from Tankwa Town.
2015 has been a tremendous success with 120 brand new bikes being gifted back into to following projects:
Elandsvlei Primary School – 45 bikes
Matjiesrivier Primary School – 30 bikes
Calvinia Cluster Policing – 8 bikes
Sutherland Art Outreach Program – 15 bikes
Tankwa Outreach Projects – 20 bikes
Molteno Aids Outreach – 2 bikes
Our eternal thanks go to all of you that supported the project and bought and gifted your bikes back for distribution. To those who gifted their own new bikes that allowed us to distribute more bikes than we originally planned a big thumbs up. A very very special word to the three young kids who gifted their brand new bikes for the younger kids at the Tankwa schools!!
This project was made possible by the wonderful support of the following contributors to whom we extend our heartfelt thanks and gratitude – Mekor Mazda, Avalanche Bikes, Diamond Back Bikes, Nomadik Tents, Olympic Cycles.
– David Bellairs, Pedals For Peace
Further info about the positive impact that bike donations in the Tankwa:
Today produced the most amazing and unexpected surprise in the form of an email from the Tankwa!
Nicolette is the Headmistress of Elandsvlei School, one of the schools that helped us distribute the bikes to learners and farm staff. She and her husband Francois are inspirational folk doing the most amazing work in the area. Here is her mail and while you are reading it understand that YOU are the reason that we are all able to make the change in peoples lives that we do…. THANK YOU PEOPLE OF TANKWA TOWN!
Hi David and Nickey,
Just had to share.We went to church on Sunday morning at Calvinia. Sunday afternoon on
our drive back we passed a group of members of our community – about 20 of them – on bicycles. We stopped and asked where they are heading. They did a little race yesterday to another neighboring farm about 30km’s from us. It was so pleasant to see the bikes are used to also keep them busy in a positive way, other than drinking on weekends. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me.
Me and Francois decided to organize a race for them on the farm in a few weeks from now. We are planning to participate as well. And give prize money or something for the winner. Thanks again for everything.
Nicolette Brynard van Der Merwe (Head of Elandsvlei School)
Outreach helped take a doctor up to the community of Brakfontein, Elandsvlei and Morgenster, where kids and adults were properly treated for infections and other ailments.
The Mantis project was a huge success at the 2015 Afrikaburn, bringing the Tankwa community to the Burn to setup and walk the Manits from Subterrafuge across the Binnekring to end up at the DMV. Many Burners were thrilled to enjoy the spectacle of a huge Mantis cozying up to Subterrafuge, kiss the Moon and show itself off to Tankwa Town.
A great team of enthusiastic and skilled creative team jumped in and attended all the workshops and further work parties. Daya Heller taught the crew how to make tissue and cane sculptures. Uprize and Annie Le Roux were on hand in the Tankwa to help construct the Mantis with the Elandsvlei community. Kaospilot crew were on hand at the Burn to help construct and walk the Mantis…great thanks to all involved!
The Mantis is a significant creature amongst the communities of the tankwa and we managed to bring this across to the greater community of South Africa. The mantis project will grow every year. We will adds wings and more lights. We will make her walk at our decompression party in June and we will get her to walk at the next art festival in Cape Town.
We’re very proud to announce that this year members of the Tankwa community will be participating in our event as artists, on The Mantis Project, which will consist of a performance piece with a massive praying mantis as the centrepiece.
We took 3 of the KaosPilots project up to Elandsvlei to introduce them and to hold a workshop with Annie le Roux and our Outreach team. Stories about the Mantis were shared and beautiful drawings were made by all.
As part of the project, long time AfrikaBurn artist Daya Heller will give a workshop on cane and tissue sculpture techniques, which will be passed onto the Elandsvlei community in the next few weeks.
23 Feb 2015 – Ryno Botes the young man outreach has helped with at Calvinia high school has been selected for the Boland athletics team… He ran 0.02 faster then anybody else in the district. This is a big wow.
21 Feb 2015 – The new nearly open community centre on the R355 next to padstal.
Plans and fencing paid for by outreach. Building paid by German funders. Library shelves wood from upsetters build by Hein Lange.
50 trees to be planted.
12 Feb 2015 – Outreach picking up 20 cases of Afrikaans books from naspers for 3 tankwa libraries. Thank you to everybody who made this possible.
The Mantis Project is a outreach project on a more community interaction and sharing concept. We will be working with the greater Elandsvlei, Brakfontein and Morgen Ster community.
We have been working on this for about 3 years and finally we have some traction on the ground. We want to build a bus size mantis…the students and builders will the walk the giant mantis around Tankwa town during the AfricaBurn week. It will be build from cane and tissue paper.
Mantis project is on full steam ahead mode….we will be working with the community of Elandsvlei and Cape Town creative crews, including Daya Heller and Annie Brand Le Roux.
February 2015 – Join us for a fun-filled day playing urban golf in ‘fancy dress’ over an 18 hole course plotted through the beautiful and diverse streets of Woodstock, Salt River and Obz. Amazing street art and graffiti is displayed throughout the course and each hole is a unique showcase for the area and the spirit of Afrikaburn. A number of holes are drinking holes to ensure players remain in high spirits!
The event is in support of AfrikaBurn Outreach and NOAH (Neighbourhood Old Age Homes). A donation drop box will be available at registration and any unwanted items and non-perishable food items are gratefully received for the NOAH Bric-a Brac shop and old age homes you will pass on the route.
12 Feb 2015 – More good news is that Hein Eksteen from stonhenge farm has organized through contact in Naspers media 24 a catalog of Afrikaans books for Elandsvlei school and Padstal Tankwa community centre. This is a big score as afrikaans books are not always available. Outreach picking up 20 cases of Afrikaans books from Naspers for 3 Tankwa libraries. Thank you to everybody who made this possible.
27 Jan 2015 – Boerasic park the AfrikaBurn theme camp wrangled by Jomandie Dempers has contributed a generous donation towards the 6 Elandsvlei learners boarding in Calvinia and attending Calvinia high school. Thanks to Lisa Veit for donating a large retro couche for the boys koshuise in Calvinia.
Rob, Sanet and Conrad made a trip to Tankwa late Jan 2015, loaded with goodies for our beloved Tankwa community. One of our most productive trips (all in 45 degree heat), we managed the following:
Huge thanks to the following people for their kind help and donations, Pedal for Peace for donated bikes (David Bellair), Jomandie Dempers and the Boerasic Park theme camp for school supplies, Alex Wheeler for Captain Morgan and Deathrace car bonnet, Mandy, Mia and Daisy darling for Jungle Jim, Brendan Smithers and Upsetters for wood donations… and the huge support from the AfrikaBurn community (as always).
Outreach has supported the Elandsvlei Farm School for the last couple of years, assisting the 26 learners and staff with the following initiatives:
Our community advisers are Hein Lange, Henk van Niekerk, Jonathan Hoffenberg, Grier Schoeman, Up Tize (Willifred Danhouse), Conrad Lattimer and Robert Weinek. Lauri-Anne Jaques Veitch (also known as Dickie) is our financial adviser and whizkid.
Daniella Hooijemans, Sonica Kirsten, Sanet Kirstens, Adetola Okunlola, Helena Sheridan and Louw Sheridan are honorary volunteers.