I have been meaning to write for a while about this, and hope it will pull on your heart strings! 

Building_1A few months back I visited Karatara outside of Sedgefield where a free 'university' has been started with the aim to provide quality education and business skills to previously marginalised South Africans in the region.The Campus is a business school focused on developing entrepreneurs and future leaders.

Steve Carver, the founder, has a dream to uplift the whole of Karatara &  turn it into a university town. He hopes the project will grow, eventually impacting the whole of the Garden Route - providing tertiary education to those who cannot afford it, and creating a generation of entrepreneurs who will go out and create their own jobs.  He has been given the abandoned old age home in Karatara as a campus by the  Knysna Municipality ...

The Campus is in its first year and is currently providing 40 students, chosen from communities along the Garden Route , with a Foundation Course accredited by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Students were selected on the recommendation of their community leaders and the foundation course aims to hone learners’ skills in Maths, English, IT and Life Skills. Marketing has been added with the emphasis on entrepreneurship, and learners are being exposed to Project Management as an additional skill. The campus is powered by the students rather than a large infrastructure and staff.

It has been open since 18th February 2006 & the run down and completely unfurnished buildings, thanks to hard work and some generous donations, have now got desks and chairs, and a growing library. The students also now have beds (they slept on the floor for the first week), a full-time team from the community of Karatara running the kitchen, a newly planted vegetable garden and an IT room with second hand computers. The Campus has a very small team of 3 dedicated full time staff members and relies heavily on volunteers to assist with teaching and coaching of the students.

Girls_2

Computer_room

In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon we have to change the world.”

Eden Campus is keen to partner with local as well as national and international business.  There are a myriad of opportunities available for businesses to get involved in this inspirational project :

Joesdream_3Sponsor a Student – Sponsor a Student for a term or a year with the option of also mentoring  - R1000 per month

Sponsor a Room – Renovate a Room  on the campus and get naming rights to that room.

Volunteer to come and do a workshop or lesson or lecture part-time.

Students3Become a mentor and guide to a student.

Donate something – funds, equipment, time or energy!

www.edencampus.org  has more info....

Currently the campus is running on miracles, and each month they just scrape through! The vision & potential is epic, and the people/businesses who make it possible will be part of something very special. The students are AMAZING! They have incredible chutzpa and drive. I am honored to have had Eden Campus take my song "Shine" on as they official school song, and have committed to use my contacts to keep the campus flourishing.

Prizes_1StudentsverityThe first prize for me, would be if people/businesses would consider sponsoring a student/s for the next 18 months. It only costs R1000 a month and this would cover their tution, food and lodging. Sponsors will be noted on the website as a sponsor, and you would get sent through their profile and goals so you can see who you are helping. Some of the students are already running their own small PR company as a project, another is fully incharge of the IT room and another student is documenting the campus's growth so that he can become a film maker. These are just some of the dreams that the campus is filled with....