The Angus Gillis Foundation

The Angus Gillis foundation is an independent charitable trust that was initiated by Kwandwe Private Game Reserve in 2002.

The Foundation invests in the impoverished communities surrounding Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. It has established capacity-building programmes in the areas of education, leadership, cultural and sport, and health. The Foundation is about to embark on a pro-poor tourism initiative that will see the villages in the Fish River area benefiting form income sustainable generating activities.

  • Pro-Poor Tourism:

The Angus Gillis Foundation seeks to promote a pro-poor tourism model, spreading the benefits of tourism in the Eastern Cape and going beyond simple philanthropy. The founders were motivated by a strong belief that the viability of protected conservation areas in South Africa is dependent on the successful stimulation and support of self-sustaining alternative rural livelihoods for the communities living within or bordering conservation areas. In partnership with the Kwa Pontak community on Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, the AGF facilitated the establishment of the Mgcamabele Community Centre which has become a central community development hub housing pre-school and baby and toddler facilities, a community gym, a craft centre, training centre and mini library. This new Centre was officially opened on the 5th March 2010;

  • Self-help Groups:

The Foundation now works beyond the borders of the reserve and Self-help groups form the foundation of our work in communities. These groups have between 10 and 15 members who meet weekly to save and support one another. The purpose of their saving is to start income generation and income retention projects. We have established 40 Self-help groups reaching 529 women all of whom have had the basic training needed to establish the group and manage their savings as well as some health and life skills training;

  • Education:

A key focus of the Foundation’s Education Programme is the provision of early childhood development facilities in partnership with community self-help groups within impoverished rural areas.  Working with four Self-help groups, the Foundation has facilitated the establishment of four community safe park facilities for children (pre-school and aftercare) in rural Glenmore, Ndwayana, KwaPontak and Kalkeni. The facilities provide a safe and stimulating environment and cater for an average of 105 children on a daily basis. In partnership with Department of Education, the AGF centralized local farm schools and with donor funding built a four class-roomed school with onsite teacher accommodation, as well as facilitated the provision of transport for children from rural villages to the school – benefiting 150 children;

  • Positive Health:

The Positive Health programme is designed as an integrated approach to health, nutrition and environment and is geared towards empowering families to take active responsibility in their health and nutrition as well as lobbying and improving access to government services for rural communities. The Foundation has identified natural leaders in all rural villages who are trained as Positive Health Champions to support and promote health in each village. They receive ongoing training as well as the necessary basic resources. AGF have also introduced a weekly Impilo (Health) transport service to enable these rural communities access to urban health facilities. This is a temporary measure whilst we work proactively with the Department of Health to improve their mobile clinic service in the area;

  • Economic Development:

Income generation and retention projects are designed as a natural progression from the self-help group model. Once well established, groups are supported through the process of building their own businesses. We have a number of successful income generation projects within the programme including: Glenmore Community Bakery, Masiphuhlisane Donkey Cart Transport Project, Siyakhula Doll Group and Kwandwe Kraft Packs. Planned income generation projects for this year include: a broiler chicken and egg-laying project and Comfort Creatures soft toy project.

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