Dateline South Africa: Alumni spread the news about ABCD  


It must have been a serious case of deja vu for Gord Cunningham and Brianne Peters.

The two Coady Institute facilitators found themselves among many familiar faces during an expanded visit to South Africa earlier this fall. Cunningham helped lead a 'train-the-trainers' workshop and a certificate course called 'Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD): The Fundamentals', offered jointly with the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria (Johannesburg campus). Organizations attending the trainers' course will help spread the community-based approach throughout South Africa.

ABCD training participants in Johannesburg, SA.
"We had 47 participants in our certificate course, including Coady '12 grad Jamie Munday and Patricia Ngwerume, one of our Diploma in Development Leadership graduates in 2011," said Cunningham. "Patricia's involvement was supported by a bursary from a company owned by another Coady graduate, Lesley Haynes, corporate social investment manager at LegalWise. Lesley is also a 2011 graduate of our ABCD certificate."

Cunningham co-facilitated the Johannesburg course with another Coady graduate, Sebastian Matthews, ABCD '09 and Ninnette Eliasov, who has worked previously with the Institute's Brianne Peters on case studies in South Africa and an evaluation of Coady's ABCD work in Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, 350 kilometers to the south, Peters was facilitating a learning exchange with 11 graduates in Bergville, an agricultural and tourism centre situated in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

"It was an amazing opportunity for people from very different contexts to share how they have adapted what they learned in the classroom to suit the communities where they work," said Peters, who co-ordinates several ABCD research-for-action partnerships at the Coady Institute. "We were joined by Oxfam Canada (Ethiopia), ICRAF World Agro-Forestry (Kenya) the Philakahle Well-Being Centre (South Africa) and the Comart Foundation (Canada)." 
Coady alumni Solomon Legesse (L) and Paneng Mohlakoana sharing tips on community-led value chain tools.


Peters says participants had their first opportunity to test some new, community-led value chain tools to help smallholder farmers find greater market opportunities in KwaZulu-Natal, which is known as the garden province in South Africa.

List of Coady Institute graduates at the ABCD learning exchange in Bergville, South Africa:

Solomon Legesse (2009/11/12); Paneng Mohlakoana (2011); Mum Nkutha (2009/11/12); Musa Zamisa (2011/12); Melissa Eli (2011); Monika Holst (2011); David Martin (2012); Walter Adongo (2009/11/12); Olani Wirtu (2011/12); Joash Mango (2010/11/12).


Link to ABCD section of this website.
Link to ABCD case studies.
Link to Mobilizing Assets for Community-Driven Development certificate course.