‘RuralRevive’ is a medium- to long-term development and community revitalisation project to take shape in Maltahöhe, a settlement that is marred by high unemployment, destitution, pollution and social disintegration – like so many other small villages in rural Namibia that have seen better days.
Approximately 20% of the Wolwedans staff and trainees hail from Maltahöhe and surrounds, creating a connection for us through our team. Situated some 180 kms to the east of NamibRand Nature Reserve, it is our closest village and, therefore, “community”. It is also along the Wolwedans weekly supply route, which is yet another reason why supporting its socio-economic development presents win-win opportunities for everyone.
‘RuralRevive’ will be tackled in partnership with the people of Maltahöhe with initial financial support generously provided by the Social Security Commission Development Fund and the Julius Bäer Foundation.
The first five years of the initiative will seek to achieve the following:
‘RuralRevive’ Project Phases
- Set up laundry facility in Maltahöhe, with economic development potential through job creation and service offering diversification
- Install 50kW solar power capacity to enable energy independence for the Village Laundry. Job creation for the Laundry business will focus on women from the immediate vicinity, with work available on a flexi-time basis to enable team members to manage other tasks and personal responsibilities.
- Wastewater treatment plant for the Laundry, providing safe, non-potable water treated to sufficient quality for use in agricultural applications.
- Vegetable garden & greenhouse project producing fresh, stem-based produce. Gardening skills will be transferred to the local community, conveying the economic opportunities available by supplying the broader Desert Based Economy as well as the food security benefits of establishing and maintaining their own gardens.
- Basic Hospitality Training for Grade 10 & 11 learners at Dabeb Secondary School.
- Coffee shop (followed by an accommodation establishment), which will also serve as a practical training facility for hospitality training.
In anticipation of ‘RuralRevive’ things to come, the Wolwedans Foundation secured two adjacent properties in 2019 with sufficient existing infrastructure to host some of the above developments. There is even a borehole! Existing buildings are in a solid state and simply need a few touch-ups and alterations to get going.
For those interested in additional detail about the 'RuralRevive' initiative, a concept note may be downloaded here.