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Green Livelihoods

The second L is Livelihoods.

The new focus in 2022 is "sustainable livelihoods".  In our previous "Green Livelihoods" project, and the "Livelihoods Support Unit" that preceded it, there was an element of basic Entrepreneurship training.

However, the news that another 300 000 jobs were lost in the last quarter of 2021 has convinced us to broaden out the entrepreneurship training into any and every sector.


C4L has trained 300 young women and men how to install Solar water heaters on the roofs of homes.  Switching over from elecrical geysers to Solar water heats could be seen as an act of patriotism, given the condition of Eskom.  This one small step for a house is also a huge step in terms of environmental impact.  Because to keep the water in every electrical geyser hot for one year consumes one ton of coal!

C4L's focus on the "green occupations" included:

  • Carbon forestry (i.e. growing Spekboom)
  • Nutrition and medicinal gardening (i.e. growing Tree Spinach)
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Recycling
  • Energy auditing

But starting in 2022, anything goes.  From poulty projects to forest products to on-line counseling to market gardening to tourism, C4L wants to help young entrepreneurs to prosper.


When youth teams come to C4L on "exposure visits", Mayan Tree Spinach is our centrepiece.  But we also like to point out another golden opportunity...

The National Development Plan calls for a 50% density of SWHs by the year 2030.  Currently, there is about 5% density.  So there is a huge opportunity here for green entrepreneurs.

The new President is more inclined to Renewable Energy than to Nuclear ambitions.

For cost reasons, and to reduce waste, C4L prefers the "retrofit" models that continue to use the existing geyser as a water tank - after it is disconnected from electricity.  There are South-African-made products that make this kind of conversion very easy to install.

C4L continues to regard this skill as a huge opportunity for unemployed youth to start a business.  C4L has already trained over 300 youth how to install solar water heaters.


Green Livelihoods

Over the past decade, C4L's has emphasized the "green occupations".  Its ambitions can be reviewed by clicking on the document below - a Calendar that C4L once aspired to.


However, through strategic re-focusing, C4L is now widening the scope of vocations to any and all SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS.  This would include the attached Calendar, but not only...

Document Title Size Revision  
Green Livelihoods Calendar 2014-2015 1.78 MB Nov 10, 2013 Green Livelihoods Calendar 2014-2015

Rooftops Unlimited

ROOFTOPS is a video that captures C4L's tandem interests:

1. installing solar water heaters on the roofs of homes

2. installing gutters and a cistern to capture and conserve rainwater

For ten years now, these have been the focus of C4L technical and enterprise training.  Resource flows are unpredictable so the valumes vary from year to year.  But the Vision remains the same.


How do you eat an elephant?

The answer to this famous riddle is: "ONE BITE AT A TIME".

Grant seeking is somewhat unpredictable, so the volumes in any given year depend on grant funding to provide accredited training to youth.  C4L keeps applying, but doesn not always get the approvals that it seeks.

But that will not stop us.  Even one entrepreneur at a time, and by deploying volunteers as mentors, we will keep going forward.  (Please visit our Volunteering page for more about this.)



Down Memory Lane

C4L remembers...

1. We have now trained around 1500 youth in "livelihoods"-related training.  Mostly in Mpumalanga province.

2. Some alumni have successfully started micro-businesses, for axample in Solar.  Others have found jobs in the formal sector.  Others have used their C4L training to leverage further education and training.  Still others have gone into business or jobs in other sectors, leaving "energy and water" behind.

3. But we estimate that over half of C4L alumni are still unemployed.  How can they be economically active in a country where those without jobs in the whole work force out-number those with jobs?!  That is the reality in South Africa in 2022.  This is deeply disturbing, so wherever possinble we will work with C4L alumni together in search of "sustainable livelihoods".