Hospitality has run in the Groenewald family since 1895
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Community Empowerment

Lethoteng Learning Centre founded, within LCC, to focus solely on empowerment through education of children unable to attend school due to unregistered births, etcetera. Tshepo Mabaso, who grew up on IMLA farm, mentored & mothered by Marieta, is one of Lethoteng’s facilitators and a multi-talented presence in Clocolan district.

GET IN TOUCH

IMLA FARM IS FIRMLY ROOTED IN THE CLOCOLAN COMMUNITY

LETHOTENG LEARNING CENTRE (CSI), CLOCOLAN

Phone Marieta 082 568 3643 | Phone Theoline 082 336 3637

Lethoteng (‘at great heights’) Learning Centre aims to become a Corporate Social Investment destination of choice, in Clocolan, and beyond.

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?

Around 100 learners receive education and one daily meal, from Monday to Friday, at Lethoteng Learning Centre (LLC).

We need:

  • Your leadership skills to help us govern and guide the operations of LLC
  • Your experience as teacher to bolster our educational efforts
  • Your funding, to help us fund further infrastructure, furniture & teaching equipment, more meals, salaries for personnel, utilities, and the expansion of our education programs
  • Your donations of school furniture, food, stationery, clothing, shoes, etc
  • Your ideas and creativity to help us formulate our challenges well, and help us help the children, to build the right kind of dreams for themselves, at LLC

LLC currently educates around 100 children from Grade R to Grade 4, partnering with 10 learning facilitators. The Lita-N curriculum has been adopted, which allows mothers and care workers to be trained to facilitate learning.

All of the children are either street children or unregistered children, most of them without ID documents. The age range of the children is from 3 years old to teenagers. None of them are able to access main-stream government schooling. Learning facilitators have been trained in the Lita-N curriculum and First Aid Level One. More courses are planned. Your support will make this possible, sooner. Loitering, substance abuse, juvenile crime etc, have certainly been reduced through Lethoteng Centre.

IMLA Farm supplies food to the learners and teachers at LLC, on a daily basis. The Lethoteng Governance Board, consisting of 6 members, meets at least once every 6 months. Currently, LLC educational and food scheme activities take place at Ford Farm, just outside Clocolan, until a house, graciously donated by Mrs Jennifer Beresford, from France, becomes available for occupation.

Although more than 100 children are attending school at LLC, the need is far greater. We invite you to get in touch, get involved and help us make an ever-increasing impact in Clocolan!

Workforce Empowerment

The IMLA Farm Workforce Empowerment philosophy has developed along the following lines:

  • Commitment to our Creator, the soil, the people on the farm and the greater community, the crops and livestock
  • Build the self-esteem of the team through encouragement to learn & develop continuously
  • Share the IMLA Farm vision with the workforce
  • Continuously improve social security of the team: retirement funding, life insurance, funeral policies, etc

An ex-employee has become a farmer himself, with Jan mentoring him, a testimony to the rapport built and maintained between the Groenewalds and their team.

With IMLA Guest Farm, yet another empowerment angle has arisen for IMLA Farm personnel. Acquiring skills and adding value in the tourism industry will certainly play its role to further empower the IMLA Farm workforce, their spouses and children. Tourism is one of the key growth industries in South Africa.

Brief History

The Lethoteng philosophy regarding community empowerment revolves around statements like:

  • No child hungry or illiterate. In Clocolan, at first, and then further afield
  • Developing people is a formula for success
  • Converting negativity to practical, productive actions helps build lives

Socio-economic conditions are extremely unfavourable in Clocolan, at present. Unemployment, illiteracy and related low self-esteem are rife in and around town. Crime, substance abuse etcetera are unacceptably high. Of course, this creates a dire situation where social healing through education and empowerment becomes of extreme importance.

Lethoteng Community Centre, a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) registered at the Department of Social Development (138-672 NPO) to do something about the situation, involves community members to help direct the focus of LCC.

1988 - Lethoteng Weavers

Marieta Groenewald founded Lethoteng (‘at great heights’) Weavers, to improve the standard of living and self-image of unemployed and unskilled adults in and around Clocolan. 200 women were eventually employed. Mohair products were manufactured and sold. Angora rabbits and goats & sheep’s wool were used during the years. Later, cotton children’s clothes were also manufactured. Lethoteng Weavers had shops in Bloemfontein’s Middestad Centre and Clocolan, with agents in Gauteng and Cape Town. Women manufactured the products on IMLA Farms. Along with the business, a training centre was founded for people from Clocolan and other areas. Men helped their wives by making spin wheels from bicycle wheels and building manual looms. Production and creative skills were transferred through intensive training, including managerial training. Adult Basic Education was addressed to ensure empowerment through a well-rounded package.

1990 - Pre-schools

Jan constructed pre-schools on IMLA Farmlands during the 1990s

1998 - Free State Government

Lethoteng Weavers acquired by the Free State Government & renamed to Free State Home Industries. Today, school clothes are made from this business.

1999 - Children's Homes

With Marieta’s regular Lethoteng Weavers work in Clocolan itself, the plight of the many street children moved her to take action. Started taking soup for some. This wasn’t ideal, because children were still victimised by others. Two children’s homes arose, founded by Marieta, as a result, in Clocolan, and one in Ficksburg. The governance responsibility for these centres was passed on to the respective governance boards, to allow Marieta to focus on other priorities in the community.

2014 - Lethoteng Learning Centre

Lethoteng Learning Centre founded, within LCC, to focus solely on empowerment through education of children unable to attend school due to unregistered births, etcetera. Tshepo Mabaso, who grew up on IMLA farm, mentored & mothered by Marieta, is one of Lethoteng’s facilitators and a multi-talented presence in Clocolan district.