In 1972 a young man in his final year of schooling read a book called “Summerhill” about a school in England run by a man called “Neil”. And a dream was born….an imagination germinated…….a place for all…. in freedom, with dignity and no discrimination on educational or physical ability.In 2012, 40 years later the young man, now in his fifties, fulfilled this dream… changed it from an imagination to an inspiration. His name is Pieter Holloway. In a small town called McGregor, in the Langeberg valley, he started The Breede Centre. Winding its way from the Worcester mountain for more than a hundred kilometres past many towns and farms, the life giving Breede River feeds many people who come in contact with it. In the same way The Breede Centre seeks to feed those associated with it as beneficiaries, partners and members of the centre. The Breede centre operates from 2 campuses:
- The Breede Centre in Church street housing the Educare centre, holiday ad afternoon activities(age 3 -12), Building craft, Cooking Training and Administration.
- The New Hope Centre (a community centre) that will house Handicraft training( sewing, knitting, crocheting, leatherwork and weaving), Youth activities for 13-18 year olds, Craft workshops, Life skills training, Sport facilities and Social/Counselling support in Partnership with various organisations.
The Breede Centre operates on 6 major principles:
- Firstly, to connect with the children as early as possible – the first 7 years of education are the most important. Currently, the Breede Centre works with 3 year old children to adults. The 0-3 year olds will be added in future
- Educate through the hands to the head – providing a practical experiential approach through hands into understanding and thinking. This stimulates a culture of work, especially crafts. It also allows children and young people with learning and emotional difficulties to be accommodated in the system.
- Stimulate the imagination through stories, artistic activities and creativity – through practical and creative activities, encourage self discovery and creative ideas.
- Educate towards self-employment (there are limited job opportunities in the Langeberg area) and starting it from home.. With a 40 – 60 % unemployment for young people between 15 – 25 years of age, helping beneficiaries to make the mind shift from employment to self-employment. Use the home base as a starting point of self-employment and self-help.
- Each training area is supported by a social enterprise that helps it financially. This teaches business principles to trainees while being trained.
- Work through partnership with other organisations to be more effective and not duplicate efforts