We connect you to the rural town of Memel to make it healthier, more prosperous and a better place for everybody
Twenty years after historic democratic elections in South Africa the rural town of Memel, and the accompanying township of Zamani, bear the scars of poverty and apartheid. Unemployment approaches 75% and the elderly live in uninsulated shacks, despite the frigid winters. Nutrition is poor. The still-segregated schools offered few extracurricular activities, which were only for boys.
Memel.Global was formed to address these pressing issues. Seeing that one program would not be enough, work began in all parts of the community. We’ve begun construction of new housing, we work with the schools, we grow organic vegetables, we provide job training and we support micro-enterprises. Our list of programs continues to grow.
Learn more about Memel.Global
Memel.Global strives to connect the people of Memel with ideas, skills and talented people from all around the world. By selecting international best practices that are most appropriate for this rural South African town, and combining them with the talent and resources already present in Memel, we believe Memel will grow into a vibrant community that provides jobs today and opportunity for young people tomorrow.
Memel and Memel.Global welcome visitors who wish to connect with the community or learn more about the work of our organization. Come and stay in one of the guest houses and enjoy this corner of the Drakensberg mountains. Or volunteer your skills and time to work on one of our programs. Perhaps you’d even like to invest in the community by starting a new enterprise or building a vacation home. We can help guide you in the full range of activities that can help us help Memel.
Apartheid still casts a heavy shadow on this part of South Africa. Memel, with its shops and broad streets was for whites. Zamani, with its metal shacks, dirt streets and open sewers was for everyone else. Today, the restrictions of apartheid are gone, but the town and the township are still separated geographically and economically.
The local government is working hard to break down the separation of the town and township. You and Memel.Global are helping with the introduction of new housing techniques in Zamani, development of garden plots throughout the township, and ways to strengthen the economy so that economics won’t continue to divide the community.
Memel, as the town and township are together known, sits in a lovely part of the Drakensberg mountains, only three hours south from Johannesburg and Pretoria. While unemployment still plagues the town, the area is rich in resources in many ways. Memel is the market center for the many farms that blanket the region, serving as both economic and social hub.
The area also offers many recreational activities, from mountain biking and fishing to hiking. Memel sits just beside a large area of natural wetlands, making it a prized location for bird watching. It hosts a large number of species, including many rare finds.
In the field of health, Memel.Global started with the empowerment of young girls through sports programs, helping nearly to eliminate primary school pregnancies. Extracurricular educational programs were next. And Memel.Global’s organic agriculture and food distribution programs are helping to improve nutrition, as are efforts to encourage residents to grow their own vegetables.
With low winter temperatures, health and wellbeing are improved through the introduction of better housing, both for families and for the elderly. The new housing is built using traditional natural building methods and is based on international cohousing principles.
Job training is an important means to counter high unemployment rates, with Memel.Global offering training opportunities in construction, agriculture, tourism and other fields. Development of small enterprises throughout Memel strengthens the local economy, while simultaneously helping attract visitors to the town.
To build a vibrant economy will require investment in new enterprises. And the economy improves when visitors come to Memel to enjoy its many attractions.
Improvements in health, education, housing, jobs and enterprise development help the residents of Memel directly. And there are also important indirect benefits to other places in South Africa. A healthy rural economy provides opportunities for young people to stay, rather than move to already overcrowded and overburdened urban centers.
And visitors to Memel also benefit from new attractions and a growth in services, including lodging, restaurants and tourist activities. Visitors can also learn and grow by supporting, studying or volunteering with one of Memel.Global’s programs.