My World in a Garden - Sister Walls

Sep 12, 2011

My World In A Garden - Sister Walls - Progress

My World In A Garden - Sister Walls - Progress Report September 7th, 2011

During the August Challenge we raised a total of $4,450 from over 60 donors, thanks to each of you. Thank you for your support and belief in what we do.

The total budget for the initial two Vertical Garden Walls is $55,000 and we are working with partners to support us in specific areas through grants and larger corporate partner donations.

The Youth groups in both the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver (Canada) community and the Cradock, Eastern Cape (South Africa) communities have been identified. Most have now participated in and completed our Iziko Labahlali program. The new members of the groups will be going through the program in October (South Africa) and in November (Canada). A little about the program:

Iziko Labahlali (meaning “Hearth of the Community” in the South African language, Xhosa) is a leadership program developed by My Arms Wide Open which provides individuals with mentoring, coaching and skills training.  One of the key approaches is working with youth and young adults to be able to accept and own their story and then use that story to take a leadership role in their own lives and in the community – a positive approach that focuses on creating solutions and seizing opportunities.  It is a powerful non-denominational course that supports gender equality and builds skills in:

  • Leadership
  • Community building
  • Management
  • Coping skills
  • Restorative justice
  • Collaboration
  • Networking
  • Communication
  • Culturally-grounded learning

Iziko Labahlali equips individuals with a new mindset, opening their eyes to the possibilities that surround them, helping them transform from within.  The program focuses on providing learning and skills transfer that enables participants to ignite their passion, define their purpose and help build their community, while understanding and embracing the benefits of a collaborative mindset.  Those who receive training are then able to deliver the course, and they become mentors and coaches themselves.  

This program was adapted from the model Manzimvula (our primary corporate funder) has used successfully in management consulting for nearly 30 years, called the Mindful Action Program.  This is a model of engaging entire companies in discussions about vision and principles, shifting mindsets and focusing on results.

Our next step in our initiative will be to develop the curriculums for the youth groups. We anticipate starting this in November of 2011 working with partners in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In order to keep costs down as much as possible we have approached a number of organizations to donate tools, construction materials and time.

During the period September 26-October 30th we will be on the ground in Cradock, Eastern Cape and Bergnek, Limpopo, South Africa. Bergnek is the intended site for a third wall to be established.

We look forward to your continued support and will be back to update you again after our trip to South Africa.

In gratitude,




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My Arms Wide Open

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Project Leader

Warren Te Brugge

Vancouver, British Columbia Canada

Where is this project located?

Map of My World in a Garden - Sister Walls