KiA Newsletter: The Brickstar Project
Pierre Reyneke - Project Manager
Since the circulation of our previous newsletter in October last year, the Brickstar Project has been gaining a considerable amount of momentum as we focused our attention on launching the first of three implementation phases.
During the past six months the larger part of our time was spent engaging with the most prominent stakeholders in the project area. This group of stakeholders mostly consists of the local traditional authority known as headmen or ‘induna’. Apart from the fact that the project area falls under municipal governance, this traditional leadership structure still largely takes care of all affairs at community level. The project team needs to get approval from the traditional authority before any project activity can take place within the chosen communities. We are glad to say that the project was warmly welcomed by all the induna’s that we met with.
As 2016 drew to a close, we felt the need to expand our management team. We anticipated the project’s workload to drastically increase as we moved into the implementation phase. After launching a recruitment process we identified a fitting candidate for the role of Project Coordinator. Stephen Nyathi joined our Brickstar team on 1 January this year as Project Coordinator and has since proved to be a real asset to the team.
Furthermore, our work in the last six months included recruitment and training of the first building team, hosting demonstrations as well as the completion of our Brickstar video. We are very excited about our new video and you can view it by following the link below:
The over-all process was successful, and we were able to kick-off Implementation Phase 1, on 1 April. The building team consists of a Brick Master who initiates the brick making, a Quality Controller who evaluates the brick and stove quality, and three Stove Builders who perform the stove installation.
Lisbeth Mashele: Lisbeth Mashele (below left) was one of the first women to have a stove installed in her house during this first implementation phase. She took the opportunity to explain to the rest of her community members who attended the village demonstration how she has benefited from the stove since taking it in use. Lisbeth emphasised two points which particularly stood out for her. Firstly, she explained that preparing her meals on the Brickstar stove caused the whole cooking process to go much faster than what she was used to when cooking on an open-fire. Secondly, Lisbeth told her listeners that she was amazed by the fact that she could leave her left-over food and bathing water on the stove, overnight to find it the next morning in a perfectly heated temperature.
Posted on 28 May 2017
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