Axium Education is based in the rural village community of Zithulele in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. In terms of infrastructural development and service delivery this area has historically been neglected. The majority of local homes still do not have access to electricity, running water or water borne sanitation. They are often situated far away from roads and are only accessible by foot. It is a challenge for Axium to provide accommodation that appeals to incoming staff members accustomed to urban comforts. We are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of encouraging our staff to experience a more authentic rural lifestyle. The work of staff that rent accommodation on the homesteads of local families is enhanced by knowledge gained through interactions with local community members and the experience of living ‘off the grid’.
Comfortable accommodation in close proximity to Zithulele Village is becoming more and more of a limiting factor to our growing team. We have therefore decided to partner with local families in developing homestay accommodation that finds a balance between the rural facilities and the expectations of long-term staff. As of January 2018 Axium would have established its first homestay accommodation.
Axium will be renting out a portion of land from a local family on which we will then develop houses at our own expense. We are currently fundraising to cover the building expenses of this first homestay. The new buildings will belong to the family and at the end of a stipulated time period after which the family may renegotiate or terminate their contract with Axium, retaining full ownership of the buildings. The local family will benefit from the additional income through rent as well as being able to share some of the facilities we have installed including a rainwater tank and dry compost toilet. The rondavels (circular houses) will also be equipped with a small solar electricity unit for lighting and charging electronics. Once up and running the homestays will be leased to Axium staff and volunteers in order to help cover the costs of building future homestays.
Help grow our work by contributing towards our ‘Homestay Development Fund’.
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