Catalysing our own
It is written that the very first miracle Jesus performed was to turn water into wine at a community wedding celebration, and not just any wine – the best wine! This is a story that is personal, and has a lot to say to us about the value of community and celebrating life. It is also a story that is unconventional and challenged the norms of the day. This is a philosophy and approach that resonates with us.
It is time for us to begin to tell our own stories that celebrate life and community by performing our very own ‘little miracles’. We aim to make a difference in the life of individuals one by one, so that they can experience their own ‘little miracle’ in their lives. Teaming up with selected local partners, firstmiracle.orgwill use some of the funds donated from making and selling wines to invest in the lives and wellbeing of individuals and communities in the winelands area of Western Cape.
Your donation and/or purchase of a bottle of firstmiracle.orgwine lets you contribute towards changing someone’s life. Your glass of wine can become someone else’s first ‘little miracle’.
ISSUES WE ARE AIMING TO ADDRESS
Lack of Access to Safe Drinking Water.
iseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses. It is estimated that approximately 90% of the 2 300 deaths that occur every day from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are in children under five years old. In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely contaminated. Feeding our world takes up to 90% of our freshwater withdrawals. When a water project is built in a community, members can often use the new water source to grow small gardens near their homes and secure their own food supply. Self-sufficient households are less affected by conflict, famine or inadequate government services.
Youth Poverty and Unemployment
South Africa has just over 10 million youth between the ages of 15-24, representing approximately 19% of the overall population of 55,6 million people. It is estimated that 70% of all the unemployed people in South Africa were youth. The South African census (2011) found that youth between the ages of 15–24 years face the most difficult challenges in the country’s labour market.In the Western Cape the unemployment rate for youth is as high as 41.2%, with only 27.1% engaged in formal employment. Female youth are more likely to be unemployed than their male counterparts. In addition to the high levels of unemployment amongst youth two out of five youth live in income-poor households, and one in five live in households without an employed adult. Only just over half of all youth in South Africa have completed their matric, matric equivalent or higher. The Western Cape the school drop out rate for youth between Grades 10 to 12 is as high as one in three pupils.
Source: South African Census 2011
Source: Youth Explorer, 2016 Community Survey
OUR SOLUTION (PROJECTS WE SUPPORT)
1. Mini Water & Food Security Projects
We established a partnership with well known local Natie Ferreira and Mycelium Agricultural Enterprises to implement mini water and food security projects in selected early learning and development centres (crèches) in Groendal / Mooiwater township outside Franschhoek.
Ten potential beneficiaries were presented and three crèches were selected to participate in the initial pilot project. Each crèche received a rainwater harvesting system and a small vegetable garden kit to supplement their access to nutritional food and for educational purposes.
2. Youth Training and Employment Program
We have teamed up with the Franschhoek Hospitality Academy and Learning Centre to invest in the lives of young people in Franschhoek through skills development and employment creation.
Franschhoek Hospitality Academy trains and equips young unemployed youth from the Franschhoek area in skills and knowledge so that they can find suitable jobs in the hospitality and wine industry in Franschhoek and the Western Cape region.
HOW IT WORKS
firstmiracle.org is the social responsibility initiative of Black Elephant Vintners. Black Elephant Vintners is a wine company that produces and distributes premium wines from selected vineyards and wineries in the Franschhoek valley (for more info visit: http://bevintners.co.za). The First Miracle Trust is an independently registered trust that oversees the work of firstmiracle.org. The First Miracle Trust is registered with the South African government as a not-for-profit entity, and as such complies with all the legal and financial regulations governing not-for-profit entities in South Africa.
So, how does it work?
Buying Wine with a Purpose
When you purchase a special limited edition magnum bottle of
firstmiracle.org wine, approximately two-thirds of the proceeds of the sale go towards supporting the work of firstmiracle.org, and the remaining third towards the production and profitability of the winemaking process. In this way your funds enables us to ensure the ongoing sustainable supply of high quality premium wine for our firstmiracle.org range, and enable us do a lot of social good in the process.
WHO WE ARE
Raymond Ndlovu (Chairperson). His career and personal development journey has been centered upon the financial services industry. After working in various locations, he moved to Johannesburg where in 2002 he met his to-be business partner and co- creator, Kevin Swart. They co-founded and managed Noah Financial Innovation, a stock brokering firm until July 2011 when the sold the firm. A year later Raymond and family made the spontaneous and bold move to Franschhoek where he teamed up again with Kevin to form Black Elephant Vintners. Besides bringing a host of business skill and wit to the Black Elephant business, he also takes serious his obligations as chief wine taster and self-appointed wine critic.
Kevin Swart spent 23 years in the financial services industry in Johannesburg, South Africa, during which time he co-founded Noah Financial Innovation, a local stockbroking firm. After selling the firm in 2011, he purchased La Petit Vigne boutique wine farm and cellar and the Swart family relocated to Franschhoek in the Western Cape. In a very short time Kevin’s passion for winemaking and the wine industry emerged, and the first vintage of Amazing Grace Cabernet Sauvignon and La Petit Vigne Deep Red Rose were produced in 2012. Around that time Raymond also moved to Franschhoek with his family, and they collaborated in forming Black Elephant Vintners together with local wine maker, Jacques Wentzel. Since then it has been all about making and selling good wine, having a great deal of fun in the process, and hopefully doing some good at the same time.
Jacques Wentzel hails from the Paarl wine-growing region in South Africa where the wine bug sank its teeth into him at an early age. Ironically he was born into a world far removed from vines, having spent his first five years on Robben Island, South Africa’s iconic symbol of political struggle. After completing his schooling, Jacques enrolled at Elsenburg Agricultural College to study Viticulture. After completing his studies he worked at various wine cellars, both locally and abroad, before returning to Elsenburg to further study
Winemaking.It is Jacques’ commitment to delivering consistent high quality, interesting and multi-dimensional wines that completes the picture of the Black Elephant Vintners team. Jacques’ humble approach is both inspirational and endearing. It is these characteristics one will find in his fine wines.
Gary Swart (Chief Operations Officer) studied as an engineer and specialized in water and sanitation. Gary worked for several years in the water and sanitation industry, before deciding in 1999 to gain some valuable experience ‘overseas’ in the charity sector. Gary worked for TEARFUND, a UK- based relief and development organization for 16 years, during this time Gary lived and worked in West Africa, Balkans, Central Africa, before moving to London to head up the International Development department. Gary loves to think of himself as an amateur wine lover and has been trying to justify that through his love affair with wine ever since firstmiracle.org affords Gary the opportunity to combine his love for wine with his experience of the charity sector.
Our Partnership with Cosetteart.com
Cosette Swart, daughter of Darryl and Kristy-Anne Swart, and niece of Kevin and Gary Swart, decided at the tender age of 4-years old, that it was unacceptable that there were poor people in this world. After some discussions with her mom, she decided to begin painting and selling the paintings to raise money for water projects in Africa. Through her partnership with World Vision Canada and Charity:Water she has raised over $10,000. We are very excited to be working in partnership with Cosette and her family. Cosette donated the painting that now forms the artwork for our label, and has also agreed to donate future paintings in support of firstmiracle.org. For more information go to: http://www.cosetteart.com
- Admin, Marketing, M&E (16%)
- Direct Project Costs (84%)