The SA-Thai Slave Heritage Reflection Centre is an Non-Profit Project of Step-Up 4 LIFE
Reg No: IT385/2009 PBO 930024072
The SA-Thai Slave Heritage Reflection Centre based at Asirawan Siam Healing House, is a project involving research, development, media production, networking and motivational speaking targeted at youth to effect healing, build confidence and promote a culture of social contribution, social cohesion and social advancement.
Our aim is to:
HISTORY OF STEP-UP 4 LIFE
Step-Up 4 Life was founded eight years ago to work with youth in South Africa and also to connect them to the broader world with a focus on activating youth especially from communities struggling with challenges rooted in colonialis, Apartheid and racism. The aim was to promote confidence and a spirit of self-help as a community effort through promotion of LIFE-LONG financial giving and social contribution through volontarism. To do this we assisted youth from ravished communities to understand that we are born of a people who contantly had to rise above adversity and that with a better understanding of our heritage of the past we are better able to navigate our present and futures. STEP-Up to the Plate for Life. Step-Up tp Social Contribution for Life.
We worked with schools and school teachers and pupils using innovative programmes to raise money and voluntarism and to see where in their communities would the fruits of their efforts be best used for the greater good. We also worked with young professionals, often the first generation of such, who came from struggling communities and had opportunity to be the first in their families to get a higeher education. We assisted peers while at university or vocational college to band together and form trusts and take an interest in projects within their communities. They would be able to grow those trusts over their lifetimes and in so doing pay-forward with their achievement making a difference in the lives of others. Running through these efforts was promotion of a "YES WE CAN" attitude. It was a hugely successfulTrust whic ran on a minimum of external finance. It was also an effort for young people by young people. The trustees gave guidance and support but the programmes were built and carried through by the youth participants themselves.
Alas as time went by, on the one hand as the movers, shakers and shapers grew older and travelled and got consumed by worke and building their lives, and on the other hand the combination of a lack of funding and the demands on the time of the trustees who were in demanding jobs and often moving around the country, we had to reassess the ability to sustain the basket of projects that we were running. We also had promoted among the youth participating that they had to go off with their learnings and grow their own trusts and programmes.
We were thus faced with closing up shop and most of the Trustees felt that collectively we had done a good job and that this was the time to dissolve the trust, 8 years later. Now while everyone else was busy with re-prioritising in their lives, Patric Tariq Mellet was now retired and working on ways to deepen an understand of our history, heritage and how this could contribute to contemporary struggles and challenges. There was much to be done in research, writing and translating of this into exhibitions, film, and other multi-media means. This part of the efforts of Step-Up 4 Life over the past 8 years could indeed be given a new lease of life, and it was sorely needed particularly now when young people were exploring the past and issues of identity. So he established the SA-Thai Slave Heritage Reflection Centre to particularly look at Cape Slavery, issues of Indentity, Indigene Struggles, and to begining to connect Southeast Asia and the Cape and the entire route of the Indian Ocean Slave Trade. Because of the frequent contact with Thailand and the fact that it is surrounded by countries which wrestle with modern day human-trafficking, and itself only experienced emancipation from slavery in 1905, the focus on starting with Thailand in spreading out to the broader region, made sense. Patric Tariq Mellet also wanted to explore not only the feeder countries of the slave route but explore the building of relationships with the Diaspora of African and Asian decendents of the enslaved and connect South African decendents of slaves to the challenges and solution finding that takes place across the globe.
The Trustees were happy to resign and hand over Step-Up 4 Life to be taken forward with the focus here explained but still with its core philosophy in place. The Masters Office where Trusts are registered was informed of this new emphasis in the work of the Step-Up 4 Life Trust.
The SA-Thai Slave Heritage Reflection Centre is up and running. There are also two publication projects under way and we are participating in the production of 12 mini videos on amazing lesser known historical personalities of Cape Town, for a new museum intiative. We are also working towards producing three Exhibitions for Museums - one on the subject of the Seven Steps in Cape Identity, another on Cape Slavery, and a third one on the Historical links between Thailand and South Africa and the Challenge for both countries in combatting Human Trafficking.
The Trust Deed of STEP-UP 4 LIFE spells out the parameters of the Step-Up 4 Life Trust.
(4.1) The Trust is a non-profit organisation of a public character, established for the sole object of promoting social responsibility, giving and voluntary service, and providing community development support rooted in lessons from heritage, focussing on community development, youth in communities, schools and institutions of higher education. The sole object shall be promoted by means of education and training, publications, media products, workshops, events, programmes and activities which are directed to achieving the Object of the Trust.
In the first 8 years of the life of the Trust our focus was largely on active promotion of social responsibility, giving and voluntary service through promoting youth in communities, schools, colleges and universities to give voluntary time and to raise financial and resource support for community development projects.
Step-Up 4 Life is now focussed on promoting the ethos of social contribution and social cohesion based on building an understanding of the lessons in our history and heritage that can be characterised as ‘Rising Above Adversity’. Our communities have strong roots in Cape Slavery and Cape Indigene struggles, and they continue to face adverse conditions that once were faced by our ancestors. Our youth are wrestling with coming to a full understanding of this heritage and how it resonates with today’s challenges. The Trust meets the challenge of showing how heritage offers the means toward healing and solution-finding whereby social cohesion may be built and social advancement be achieved.
The means towards this end is a core part of the Trusts objectives which says “by means of education and training, publications, media products, workshops, events, programmes and activities”. The SA-Thai Slave Heritage Reflection Centre project operates as a base for heritage reflection, research, and writing that informs publications production, and the production of exhibitions and presentations, film productions and other multi-media products which forwards the overall objective.
New Logo Old Logo
The old logo was largely based on the schools-based programmes that we use to run and was easily used in a versaile way for taking our teenager work forward.
The new Logo encapsulates our African rootedness, as well as our global constituency and tributaries to our heritage highlighting our core inspiration and present day challenge to RISE ABOVE ADVERSITY. The symbols talk to us as descendents of slaves on the one hand we have a global footprint and, as descendents of indigenes the ostritch egg pierced at the top, for conveying water and leaving water safely buried for others to be sustained on long dry journeys, which also left footprints in the sand. These elements represent both STEPS and LIFE. It speaks to LIFE within and LIFE beyond in the world and the universe. Its also symbolic of freedom - the footprint breaks out of the circle meeting ever new parameters neither held captive by place, or time nor boxed culture. The colours represent our continent and the heavens above - the ruddy earth, the sunrises and sunsets and the constellations of stars. Our broad slave roots and our indigenous roots incorporate Africa, India and Southeast Asia as well as our scattering in Diaspora across the globe.
THE CAPE CULTURAL COLLECTIVE AT THE SA-THAI SLAVE HERITAGE REFLECTION CENTRE PRACTICING FOR A PERFORMANCE