During a recent visit to Knysna, I had the pleasure of taking a day to step away from the pearl of the Garden route to explore the slowtown of Sedgefield.
The path to this beautiful town was paved with mosaic. Behind all of it was an organization on a journey to greater well-being that wanted to leave none of its people behind.
Masithandane, a well-known organization in Sedgefield Village, has been making a significant impact through its Mosaic Job Creation Project, which is successfully enhancing the charm of our peaceful town. However, this project is just the beginning of what this Public Benefit Organization (PBO) contributes to the underprivileged communities in Sedgefield and its surrounding areas.
The Origins Masithandane was born from the vision of Otto and Celia Kossar, who established Grace Fellowship, a ministry dedicated to doing something beautiful for God. Positioned at the crossroads between Smutsville and Sedgefield, this registered non-profit and public benefit organization serves as a stark reminder of the societal divide between the privileged and the less fortunate.
Serving Smutsville and Beyond Every day, this reminder fuels a team of compassionate and committed individuals who tirelessly provide essential services to the unskilled, unemployed, sick, elderly, vulnerable, and marginalized members of our community. Masithandane’s reach extends beyond Smutsville and Sizamile, the immediate neighbouring areas of Sedgefield, as they also offer support to Fairview, Karatara, Elandskraal, Barrington, and Farleigh.
Recognizing the importance of holistic well-being, Masithandane provides community-based health services, ensuring access to essential healthcare for those in need. Through child and youth care programs, Masithandane focuses on nurturing the potential of young individuals, equipping them with vital life skills and support to thrive in various aspects of life.
The early childhood development centre operated by Masithandane creates a safe and stimulating environment for young children. Through educational and developmental activities, the centre lays a solid foundation for their future success and well-rounded growth.
The organization’s groundbreaking Interactive Mosaic Community Project, launched in February 2008, aims to attract art tourism to Sedgefield while fostering community integration. Mosaics are installed throughout the town, showcasing the artistic talents of local community members. Masthandane serves as the implementing agent, effectively coordinating and managing the Sedgefield Community Mosaic Art Tourism and Job Creation Project. The project enjoys the support of Visit Knysna, Knysna Municipality, and local businesses, who share the vision for community development.
The Interactive Mosaic Community Project goes beyond art and skills development. Community members initially receive practical mosaic work training and subsequently attend business training facilitated by reputable institutions such as the CCDI (Cape Craft Development Institute) and Tsiba College. This comprehensive approach equips individuals with the necessary skills for employment or self-employment, contributing to job creation and economic growth within the community. Moreover, the project promotes practical and financial assistance while emphasizing environmental responsibility through waste product recycling.
Masithandane’s commitment to empowering learners, creating job opportunities, and fostering community development is making a profound impact. By uplifting individuals and communities, the organization is building a brighter and more inclusive future.