The Princess Vlei Forum has been awarded Oganisation of the Year in the Southern African finals of the International Association of Public Participation 2014 Core Values Awards. The Awards were announced at a ceremony in Gallagher Estate, Midrand, on the 28th August. Our entry will now go through to the international finals.
This is a great honour, as the involvement of the community has always been critical to our campaign. This campaign has demonstrated that a vigilant, informed and active community remains the most effective guardian of our natural and social heritage. Now that we have won the struggle against the mall, our focus is on ensuring that the community’s voice is heard as the City decides on the future of Princess Vlei.
We believe that this project presents a great opportunity for the City to engage the community in visualising, transforming and managing the space as a nature and heritage park. Ald Belinda Walker has indicated that the City will listen to the community on this, and we are hopeful that they will take community partnership seriously in determining the future use of this important site. In the meantime, we will continue with our process of engaging with local interest groups on how Princess Vlei can be developed in a way that best serves our environmental and human needs now and into the future.
Below are the IAP2 Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation
Sixty teenagers, some inspired educators, some sticky tape and paper, the inspiration of the birds of Princess Vlei, and three hours of intense creativity... All you need to produce five incredible bird inspired puppets to be set flying at our Flight of Dreams Parade on 27 September.
The learners came from Lotus High, John Graham Primary, Immaculata High School and Oaklands High. They were accompanied by Abe Ebrahim, the science teacher at John Graham, and Shafiek Isaacs, who teaches lifes sciences at Lotus High.
The workshop was facilitated by a number of volunteers, including artist, teacher and environmentalist Paul Hendricks, Liesl Hartmann (principal at Frank Joubert Art School), Fabian Hartzenber (art teacher, Frank Joubert), Ayesha Price (principal at the Childrens Art School), music and art teacher Brendon Bussy, environmental educationalist Alice Ashwell, and others from the Princess Vlei Forum.
The learners worked hard, designing and creating giant puppets out of paper, card, sticks and plastic. They were given photographs of the birds that live at Princess Vlei as inspiration.
Alice Ashwell spoke about the birds at the vlei to a small group who were decorating boxes with bird drawings. These boxes will be used to collect views from the public on what should be done at Princess Vlei.
The event was thoroughly enjoyed by the learners, many of whom have few other opportunities for creative expression, and few recreational activities on weekends. In the words of Temia May from John graham Primary, 'I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the day – I like making things, and I learnt a lot about art. I love birds, they are gentle and sweet animals, and I think their lives are very important. They are part of life.'
Her feelings were echoed by schoolmate Cara Lipari: ' I liked building the body and the wings of the bird, it was very exciting. I’ve never done this before. I like all birds, but I like pelicans best.'
Their teacher, Ebrahim Abrahams, said, 'I think that it was an awesome opportunity for the children not only to express themselves through art, but use art to show that they care about birds, their environment and indeed Earth itself. They enjoyed the day so much that they insisted on follow up projects.'
Melanie Czernitzky (Intern Social Worker from Germany) said, 'I really enjoyed the art workshop. I am impressed to see the children working so well together in their groups and having so much fun. Their artwork is of very good standard. I am so happy to have been part of the workshop.'
The puppets will be carried in a parade on 27 September, by these and other youth. The parade is to honour and celebrate the natural life at Princess Vlei, and to celebrate the community victory in stopping the mall. It will be followed by a concert of youth drama and music performances at Princess Vlei. Any schools or youth groups who have drama or music acts they would like to perform can email us as soon as possible.
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.