A Grant Funding Agreement

 A Grant Funding agreement was signed last week between The Grahamstown Project and the British Charity, Khanya.

It’s a solid agreement and a wonderful partnership. The Grant money will be used to identify, recruit, and train 3 candidates in work skills, in a carpentry and woodworking context. The trainees receive a learnership allowance and protective clothing. They are responsible for their own food and transport, although Rowan Engelbrecht (aka Rowan Wood) is giving them a lift up to his workshop (The Woodshed), in the Industrial Area.

This pilot has commenced and will run 5-days a week for an 8-month period (1 Nov19 – 30 Jun 20). Khanya’s motto is “building skills for life”. Cheers to that!

Khanya was established by Ade Lusmore (who started working life as a bricklayer), Christina Thomas and friends. Christina has been visiting Grahamstown for the past eight years and volunteered several times at Amasango Careers School. Half of Khanya’s Trustees and many of their donors are from All Saints, Fulham church in London. We are hugely grateful for their generosity and commitment to Grahamstown and look forward to working with them as a team. Cheers to a long and productive partnership!

Ade and Ann Lusmore visited Grahamstown recently. They met the candidates (bought them their protective clothing) and we signed the agreement over coffee at Delizzia’s. It was also an honour to take beer together at The Rat and to host them at The Albany Club for the 32-12. Sorry Ade, had to throw that in mate!

Big thank you to Jane Bradshaw who connected the dots and brought us all together. Such potential for big impact. Three candidates have been identified and started their learnerships with Rowan. Bongani Gqola, Zimasile Tyupu, and Sibosisu Tyupu were all previously members of the much maligned Makhanda Car Guard Club. Not quite so for Sibusiso who was viciously attacked by a mob of thieves shortly before the pilot started. He fought like a cornered leopard and sustained 8 stab wounds. Talita and Jane visited him at Settlers Hospital and the initial prognosis was that he’d be out in no time. Unfortunately, we now hear he has had to be moved to Port Elizabeth. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sibusiso.

In addition to Rowan and Jane the local team comprises Talita Jacobs (Human Capital Development Specialist), Cheryl Fischer (Project Management, Governance & Reporting) and me helping where needed. The training incorporates theoretical and on-the-job work experience. Hard and soft skills. A platform for the young men to build work and career opportunities. Crucially important in a small city with 75% unemployment. Aside from the hard-skills, it is the team’s objective that the young men develop and gain an understanding of a professional approach to working.

Cheers to building skills for life.



Before moving back to Grahamstown in Oct 2017, Graeme was a bank executive based in the big smoke and craziness of Joburg. He has 20 years’ experience in the Payments Industry. He is a Chartered Accountant, has a Masters in Management by Research (MMR) from Wits Business School, and attended an Advanced Management Programme (AMP) offered by INSEAD (The Business School for the World!) in France.  

Graeme is the founder of The Grahamstown Project. It’s simple. He says, “Grahamstown is a microcosm of South Africa. If we can’t get this place to function properly then the whole country is stuffed. Many of the troubles we experience as a country today have their roots here in Grahamstown. it is here where black and white people first engaged in conflict on the African continent. It is here where 9 wars of dispossession over 100 years took place and virtually destroyed the amaXhosa nation. But we are where we are. I don’t have a British passport and the boat-trip back to where my ancestors came from is exorbitantly expensive. Furthermore, this is my home. I am a son of Africa. We must work together to redress the injustices of the past and move as one into a brighter future.”

Graeme is an avid historian, writer, vlogger and public speaker. Like and follow the Facebook page. Join him on a tour. Contact him. He would love that.