Our firsthand experience of working with underprivileged communities has done away with any illusions we may have started out with. And yet, we have emerged more hopeful for the future. Where obstacles stand in the way of meaningful change, we see opportunities for creativity and growth. Where resources are scant, we see potential to use what is right here at hand.
Why The EXPEDITION Project?
‘EXPEDITION’ – journey by a team on a mission of purpose.
‘project’ – implying sustainability, an ongoing endeavour rather than a once off feel-good campaign.
Since 2011 we have travelled 36535km (22701miles) by road across South Africa, visited 353 towns & 155 projects, connected with 4,012 people, been supported by 405 hospitality partners and local businesses and we have planted an average of 1 tree per expedition day. The goal is to meet and understand the challenges communities face. We then connect projects, communities, ideas and individuals with each other, share their successes and help take them one step further with contacts, expertise and funding.
You could say we know a thing or two about being on the road.
“After 8 months of research in 2011, the first expedition was set for 1 January 2012. This 250 day trip laid the foundations for some of the primary towns and projects we would connect with each year.
In 2013, we ventured further, scoping out more towns and projects in previously unchartered expedition territory. The years following would see shorter trips re-visit as many of those towns and projects as possible.
In 2012, we had the privilege of meeting a number of inspiring people and projects like Nourish, Nature’s Valley Trust, Umkhondo, the Amakhala Foundation, the Mogalakwena Group, which have become our core projects. These project visits were made possible by the sponsorship of hundreds of hospitality partners all over South Africa and the overwhelming support of towns and communities from Ladismith to Bray, Hermanus to St Lucia, St Francis to Augrabies. This collaboration of people, places and projects is what we aim for The EXPEDITION Project to build on.
Recently, The EXPEDITION Project has started facilitating a more in-depth partnership with these projects and with it the implementation of a series of two-week trips in 2018 and 6 week trips in 2019.”
Founder, The EXPEDITION Project
In 2012, we lay the foundations of our future expeditions by meeting and analysing projects, towns and organisations all over South Africa. The purpose was to understand how best to run our expeditions and where to re-visit.
In 2013, we ran a conservaton research project for CapeNature as well as connecting with new projects and towns and re-connecting with projects and towns from 2012.
In 2014, South Africa celebrated its 20th year of democracy and held its fifth national quinquennial election for a new national assembly – we asked for help to capture this and more.
In 2015 to present, we revisited some of our projects and towns and began to plot out our primary support areas and routes.