- Establish the WET-Jukskei River, South Africa Flagship program to restore 67km of river and create an integrated waste management program leading to 500 immediate community jobs and skills development program for township communities;
- Establish rel
In December 1997 Kim Kieser, a successful clothing manufacturer and entrepreneur, had a life-changing visionary dream which showed her the state of our rivers and planet at a deep level, and also showed her that anything is possible. The message of the dream was to unite humanity through nature, clean up the garbage and unclog the rivers. South Africa, as in most places in Africa, faces critical water shortages, poverty, unemployment and unmanaged pollution threatening biodiversity and community health. Over the past ten years, through practical implementation case studies and lessons learned, The Soul Foundation, founded by Kim in 1998, has developed a Waterway Restoration and Integrated Waste Management and Enterprise Development Model and has become recognized as an effective trailblazer and leader in its field, influencing behavioral change in society and demonstrating visible transformation.
WET-Africa is a sustainable integrated model for Water and Environment Transformation, developing waterway conservation corridors. The program activities include removing solid waste from the watercourse, water quality testing and bio-monitoring, owner/driver waste and recyclables transport vehicle services, managing buy-back centers, sanitation, water purification, forestation, greening, composting and vermi-composting, eco-agriculture, fruit orchards and return of pollinators, recycling products, nature conservation, biodiversity, eco-market and retail store for eco-products, sustainable energy, eco-tourism including adventure operators, bridle paths, cycle paths, walkways, fishing, canoeing, children's educational adventure programs, field trips for post school learners and Ph.D students, green hospitality bed and breakfasts, tented camps and eateries, river cleaning, integrated waste management, recycling, bank stabilization, de-siltation, producing scientific papers on results; forestation and extensive skills development and sustainable job creation for the local communities taking ownership of the program.
All programs are based on a basic wage-per-person employed and incentive-driven bonuses on measurable deliverables in all disciplines and levels.
In South Africa, 82% of rivers are endangered due to human impacts including solid waste pollution, yet more than 10 million tons of recyclable waste, worth billions of Rand, are dumped annually to landfill and the environment. At the same time, millions of South Africans targeted in the MDG program are unemployed (RSA average 43%), have no income (</day) and suffer extreme poverty, hunger and disease.
In recognition of the work carried out and vision of The Soul Foundation PBO, Ashoka Global Association for Social Entrepreneurs elected Kim as a Fellow in 2003. Ashoka's 'Water Innovations Africa 2008' Initiative led to the Soul Foundation establishing WET-Africa.org (www.wet-africa.org) as a collaborative knowledge-sharing and implementation platform. The aim is to 'change the way business is done' regarding the critical water-related issues facing Africa, exacerbated by climate change and impacting particularly vulnerable, marginalized community groups.
WET-Africa.org adopts a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) to 'water-related issues', crosscutting the social, economic, environmental aspects of the UDHR and MDG program. WET (Waterway Environment Transformation) programs are aligned with the MDG program and other progressive high-level protocols and focus on the poorest-of-the-poor groups targeted in the MDG's.
WET-Africa.org provides the knowledge-sharing and collaborative implementation platform for Partnership Building, Resource Mobilization, Implementation, Dissemination and Advocacy. Our website (www.wet-africa.org) is a widely-viewed platform linking potential Partners amongst Funders, Practitioners, Researchers, Government, Civil Society, Policy-Makers, Business and Communities.Other partners include: Townships such as:
Alexandra - Johannesburg, Gauteng
Diepsloot - Midrand, Gauteng
Zewenfontein - Tshwane, Gauteng
Thembisa - Johannesburg, Gauteng
Soweto - Johannesburg, Gauteng
Residents of Ascot Villas Sandton, Johannesburg
ANGEL INVESTORS (IN-KIND AND FINANCIAL) RSA
Steve and Eugene Banhegyi of Storytelling
The Bateleurs: Aerial Mapping Watercourses
Richard Strever: Aerial Photography
Ithungalesizwe: Project Management
Brylyne Chitsunge: Africa Expansion
SOUL FOUNDATION ANGELS:
Kim Kieser, Margie Kolver, Mike Beea, Daniel Mkhari, Dickson Monare, Greg Steenveld, the Steenveld family, Heather Booysens, Sarah Key, Lettie Mosondo, Frank Kieser, Mr and Mrs. van Herwerden, Steve and Eugene Banhegyi, and the Community of Alexandra Township, Gauteng RSA.
Beahrs ELP Alumni
Ashoka Fellows in Africa/ worldwide.