To celebrate the commencement of the Pride of Table Mountain project for 2021, the team held a short workshop at the top of Elsies Peak above Fish Hoek on 30 January. The purpose was to review how the trails will run this year with the Covid-19 pandemic still around and to express how good it was to be together again after a long long time.
The Pride Project is an urban based experiential education programme established in the centres of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and Durban.
A consistent, yet dynamic success story it has been the winner of the “Green Trust – Business in Action” Award in June 2002 and the “Cape Times Centenary Conservation Award” in 1998 for its commitment to environmental awareness. This innovative partnership is between the Wilderness Foundation (SA), WWF - Table Mountain Fund and Woolworths. The sustained funding of 70% of the project’s running costs has been achieved through the sale of spring water through Woolworths that carry the Wilderness Foundation logo.
The Pride of Table Mountain project takes groups of approximately 45 - 50 youth from Township and Cape Flats areas for an educational day trail on Table Mountain. These trails are led by Youth Leaders from those same disadvantaged communities, who are trained within the Pride Project. The Project has to date taken over 13 000 youth for a day trail on Table Mountain.
Believing as we do that natural areas relate to people's sense of humanity, our objective is to give people a sense of place in the world beyond degraded townships and urban areas. The Pride of Table Mountain Project gives thousands of youth from such areas, who see Table Mountain from a distance but never have the chance to visit it (nor any first hand experience of nature), the opportunity of this experience. This facilitates an interest in environmental issues and an awareness of the importance of preserving these areas.
The key objective of the programme is to empower youth leaders to lead the trails, initiate the discussions and be role models - these volunteers have become the heart of the project. During the course of the trail Youth Leaders highlight through a participative process environmental and conservation issues. Issues such as water shortage and the need to conserve and manage our water supplies; the importance of fynbos and indigenous plants and how this ties in with water conservation; preserving and taking care of Table Mountain and other natural areas, and the problem of littering and pollution.
The Pride of Table Mountain Project in South Africa has been a consistent, yet dynamic success story. Winner of the “Cape Times Centenary Conservation Award” in 1998, the Green Trust – “Business in Action” Award in June 2002, 2004 – “Cape Times Caltex Environmental” award for the individual youth category and in 2005 - The Cape Times “Caltex Enviro Award” – category education and raising public awareness.