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Earth Day Sea Point Beach Cleanup

In celebration of Earth Day, which falls on 22 April, we hosted a beach cleanup in Sea Point on the following Saturday (23 April). We were joined by the team from Brooks Hard Setlzer, our gracious sponsors, and the Gugulethu community champions. A great deal of litter, especially plastic, accumulates on the Sea Point beachfront - which is why we will be launching Pristine Pathways Sea Point very soon (watch this space for more info)!

Our thanks to the members of the public who also pitched in to clean the beach. It was a beautiful morning with the Cape Town sunshine out in full glory and we managed to clean 18 bags of rubbish from the beach, leaving an area of 42 000m2 pristine. 

After the cleanup, the Gugs environmental champions enjoyed the afternoon on the beach.

Cleaning 145 bags of waste from Gugulethu

On Sunday 27 March our inspiring Gugulethu environmental champions were at it again. 30 youths from the existing group of community champions were joined by 50 kids from Ukhokho lutsha NPC (a total of 80 kids!) to clean up an illegal dumping site in front of a block of flats. We are so impressed by these youths and also grateful to the community leaders who volunteer their time to not only supervise the children but join in cleaning up the waste.

These impressive volunteers managed to clean up a whopping 145 bags of rubbish from the site, leaving it a much cleaner and healthier place to live for the residents.


Taking the Gugs youth to the Handmade Trust

On 12 March 2022, we took the Gugulethu community champions to a different kind of outing to Handmade Trust. This is a local public-benefit organization in Gugulethu where they inspire and reconnect the public with traditional African craft and crafting knowledge. 30 kids had a fun and interesting morning learning about the sedge used to make these traditional crafts at the river where they grow, followed by an informative class where each person got to weave their own reed mat. The youths were very focused and engaged throughout the morning.

Thank you to the Handmade Trust for the inspiring outing and for providing snacks for the Gugulethu champions as well! They all want to return sometime soon to make baskets!


The children of Gugulethu deserve clean and safe parks!

Those of us that are fortunate enough to live in a clean suburb, with parks that are free of rubbish and rubble may take this privilege as a given, but for some, finding a clean and safe outdoor area where their children can play is a struggle. On 29 January 2022, the Gugulethu environmental champions chose one such park to clean up, for the benefit of the entire community.

The area was laden with rubbish and building rubble, of which the latter is almost impossible to remove by hand. But the youths were not discouraged and worked tirelessly in the heat to clean whatever they could. Thando and Ernest from our Pristine Pathways Constantia project joined in and by midday, the group had cleaned 109 bags of rubbish! After their hard work, the youths enjoyed their choice of lunch, hotdogs, provided by PEC.

We hope that events like these not only help to clean the suburb but also serve to change mindsets in the community about keeping their neighborhood clean and standing up to illegal dumpers.


Wrapping Up The Year By Riding The Waves With The Gugs Youth

On 12 December 2021 the PEC team was pleased and gratified to take the Gugulethu environmental champions on an enjoyable outing to Muizenberg beach to mark the end of an amazing year working together to clean Gugulethu and change mindsets. Our first thank-you goes out to Golden Arrow bus services who provided a great discount on transporting the youth to the beach. Many may think of the beach as accessible to everyone who lives in a coastal town, but the costs of transport prevent many people from enjoying some fun in the beauty of the ocean and beach.

After all of their hard work and dedication, the youths (and adults who coordinate and oversee all of our events) truly deserved it! The cherry on the cake was an epic surf lesson for those that felt at home in the water, generously sponsored by Roxy’s Surf School! Thank you Surf Emporium!! The surfing students were totally stoked, with one of them expressing how the rest of the world disappeared as he rode the waves! We are truly grateful to be able to help bring an experience like this to these well-deserving environmental stewards. They got a chance to more-deeply experience and enjoy the ocean, which also helps to understand the importance of conserving and protecting it.

A delicious lunch was also provided by @HungryLionSA, topping off a wonderful day out. We look forward to another inspiring year with these environmental heroes.


Clean pathways mean healthier residents

On 30 October 2021, 24 of the Gugulethu environmental champions once again gathered to clean up their neighborhood. The passageway between Intshinga Primary School and Thembalethu church was choking in rubbish, which is a terrible health hazard for anyone using it, as well as for the children at the school.

Despite the challenge of the ever-present building rubble, our inspiring volunteers managed to remove 42 bags of rubbish in just over an hour! Each clean-up like this is a great improvement for those living near to or using such an area and often residents join in to help improve their community.

An amazing reward for all of their hard work was a scrumptious lunch provided by Hungry Lion! The youths were very happy to receive such a treat!


World CleanUp Day 2021 On Hout Bay Beach

This World CleanUp Day (and International Coastal cleanup day) we took the Gugulethu environmental champions to Hout Bay Beach to clean up and for a fun outing to the beach. We split into two groups, with the younger youths joining the Sentinel Ocean Alliance CleanUp on their side of the beach. Fishing line, bottles and lolipop sticks were the most common items found.

The older volunteers joined the cleanUp hosted by Ocean’s Alive on the Mariner’s wharf side of the beach. We cleaned loads of litter from the stormwater outlet and then along the beach as we made our way back to the Sentinel side. At a glance, the beach seemed quite clean, but when looking for litter, we found plenty to pick up, with fishing line being the most common item.It was great to join two organizations working so hard to not only clean up our beaches but also educate youths about the importance of conserving our oceans!
It was a beautiful spring day and after the cleanup the youths enjoyed this rare opportunity to spend time on the beach. First, they had a picnic lunch supplied by PEC, rounded off with delicious doughnuts sponsored by Kispy Kreme SA. The doughnuts were a big hit with the youths! Transport is a major obstacle preventing youths from communities like Gugulethu from enjoying time on our beautiful beaches and these community champions reveled in the chance to splash in the waves and enjoy the sand and surf!

Another Successful Clean-Up In Gugs

The Gugulethu Environmental champions gathered again on 6 September to clean up an illegal dumping hotspot beside a main road. This group of inspiring volunteers organizes a clean-up around the end of each month. Since one couldn’t be organized the previous weekend, this cleanup was for the end of August. Although a thorough cleanup took place at this location in September 2020 for World Clean-up Day, a significant pile of waste had built up again. This is why PEC is always seeking ways to prevent illegal dumping.

It is encouraging to hear that a greater cleanup campaign has been running in Gugulethu, possibly partly inspired by the efforts of this group of dedicated youths.Over just 1 hour 20 volunteers removed 50 bags of rubbish and the area was cleared of waste, aside from the impossible building rubble. Afterwards, the youths enjoyed a delicious lunch at Gogo’s kitchen, sponsored by PEC, for their efforts.


July Gugulethu Cleanup, In August

When we arrived at the passage to be cleaned on Saturday 7 August, I doubted we could make a tangible difference on one morning. The amount of rubbish seemed overwhelming. But the Gugulethu community champions are not so easily discouraged. 36 youths got stuck in, removing as much rubbish as they could shift between the masses of building rubble.

The residents neighboring this dumping site came out to find out what was going on, and, encouraged by the willingness of these youths to tackle the rubbish, a Gogo joined in with the cleanup. Everyone toiled and worked together to make a noticeable difference to the layers of trash and building rubble. The number of disposable nappies dumped was certainly very noticeable but did not deter the volunteers.

After about an hour and a half, we removed about 60 bags of waste and, although we cannot remove the rubble, the passageway looked a lot cleaner. It was certainly less of a health hazard! The reward for all of this hard work was a hearty chicken & vegetable curry, proved by PEC and expertly cooked in Gogo’s Kitchen.


Newlands Forest Hike

We at Pristine Earth Collective believe it is important to acknowledge and when possible reward the dedication and hard work displayed by the group of Youths that we work with in Gugulethu. Time and again they volunteer for cleanups in their community, even though it's hard work and often the weather conditions are less than pleasant. They also show a persistent interest in protecting the environment and are helping to raise awareness in their community about this. Our most recent outing with the group was a hike in the Newlands forest in mid-June.

Access to the forest is free but transport creates a barrier to activities like this to these youths, who deserve time to enjoy the beauty of our natural environment. Many of us may take an opportunity like this for granted. But there was so much interest in the outing, that Pamela from The Gugulethu CAN (our community liaison) had to select those who have participated in the most recent cleanups to attend, while we plan another such outing for the remaining group of youths.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and we all enjoyed the clean forest air. The youths appreciated the picturesque river and mighty trees and many selfies were taken with this perfect backdrop. The older boys enjoyed some trail running and were keen to summit the mountain, but since there were some young children in the group, we decided to stop for a picnic lunch in the magnificent surroundings. It was a wonderful day for all and the PEC team are gratified to be able to take these very deserving community champions on an enjoyable outing in nature.


Keeping The Kids Healthy! Cleaning Outside A Creche In Gugs

On 29 June the environmental champions in Gugulethu gathered to clean the area just outside a creche. The walkway to the creche had previously been choking in rubbish due to illegal dumping, but the community rallied to clean and beautify the area, with tyre barriers, tables and chairs. Unfortunately, the culprits then started dumping right outside the creche, creating a health hazard and danger for the children!

Despite the intermittent rain and biting wind the committed youths sifted through rubble to remove plastic, glass, nappies, and other waste. Although the building rubble is impossible to remove by hand, about 30 bags of rubbish was cleaned and the area was leveled. Hopefully, clear safe access to the creche will now prevent the kids from getting sick!

The reward after a hard morning of work was a hearty chicken curry provided by PEC and kindly and expertly cooked by Gogo’s kitchen.


Recent Gugs Clean-Ups

Our team of environmental heroes in Gugulethu is so committed to cleaning up their hood that they get together to do a clean-up every month! On 27 March the youth were joined by some neighbors to clean up a walkway that they use to get to school. Despite the warm weather and hard work, everyone kept a positive attitude. 85 bags of rubbish were removed and the pathway looked much better after they were finished with their hard work!A clear path to school!

On 1 May
the environmental champions gathered once again to clean up a park bordering the community garden in Gugulethu. It was a depressing site before they got stuck in, with loads of building rubble, which is the most difficult dumped waste to remove!

By lunchtime the park was clear and 79 bags of rubbish were removed! The team then retreated to Gogo’s kitchen for some well-earned chicken curry.


The Gugs champions visit the Two-Oceans Aquarium

After the gruelling work of their last community clean-up, and with the amazing commitment to monthly cleans, Pristine earth Collective were gratified to be able to take the Gugulethu environmental champions on a fun outing to the Two Oceans Aquarium. The group of 16 youths ranging in age from 12 to 18, along with 3 adults who help organise and co-ordinate the clean-ups arrived excited on Saturday 13 March 2021.

The morning started with an enjoyable and engaging lesson on intertidal organisms organised by the aquarium in their newly outfitted classroom which allows for interaction with marine animals while adhering to social distancing. The class was both informative and engaging, allowing the youths to touch and investigate the animals they were learning about. The enthusiasm and joy were palpable.

After the class, we were allowed to explore and enjoy the Aquarium in it's full glory. From schools of clownfish to enormous spider crabs and luminous jellyfish, there was so much to see and appreciate. Numerous selfies were taken and some of the children made friends with a turtle. Although everyone seemed to enjoy all of the exhibits, the penguin exhibit was a highlight for some, while others were blown away by the great white sharks.

We hope this visit has helped to inspire a greater appreciation for our oceans and the environment, as well as an understanding of why we need to protect nature from littering and plastic pollution. A massive thank-you to the Two-Oceans Aquarium for sponsoring the visit, and arranging for a lesson on Saturday!


First Gugs Youth Community Clean Up Of 2021

The young environmental champions in Gugulethu that Pristine Earth Collective have been working with have been itching to get back to cleaning up their neighbourhood, which is plagued by illegal dumping. On Saturday 27 February they held their first PEC supported clean up of the year.

It was a successful day. About 13 youths stuck around in sunny and windy conditions to clear up waste from a corner near Gogo’s kitchen, which borders onto the GROW Nonkululeko ECD (Early Childhood Development) centre. In total 44 bags of mostly plastic, paper and glass waste were collected. We did not bag natural and building materials but instead cleared what we could to the side. The weather was not ideal and due to all the builder’s rubble mixed on/into the waste, it was quite laborious work. Illegal dumping of building rubble is a pervasive problem that makes cleaning up an area significantly more difficult.

After the hard work, the youths and volunteers were tired but satisfied with the difference they had made. They were rewarded with a delicious curry lunch cooked by Gogo and supplied by PEC for their efforts.  These environmental stewards are making plans to hold a clean up in their community every month!


Youth Outing Up Table Mountain

Our budding environmental champions from our Gugulethu Youth Awareness campaign have been doing such an outstanding job and have taken such initiative to make their community a happier and cleaner place. 

On 21 November we took the youth on a trip up Table Mountain in the cableway to show our appreciation for their hard work and determination. They also got an opportunity to appreciate the natural environment on the mountain, and to get a different perspective (from such a height!) of the city they live in. It was a beautiful day for all involved and the Pristine Earth Collective Team enjoyed sharing this experience with the Youth. They have risen to the challenges and show great hope for the future Thank you to @tablemountainca for sponsoring the Cableway tickets, and to the Gugulethu CAN for helping co-ordinate the Youth.

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