“Our journey has followed a calling from this land. The land chose us.”
The Rural Educational Development Corporation (Rucore) was founded in 1991 as a non-profit organisation with a mission of promoting holistic approaches to community development and education in post-apartheid South Africa. At this time, of great importance for Rucore, was a growing awareness of the increasing probability that within the coming decades, human society would face collapse in its economic, social and ecological systems.
Rucore’s founders believed in the importance of establishing ‘centres of learning’ where local innovation could focus on overcoming historic inequalities and where a more inclusive development could be put into practice. Their aim was to connect our land and people with local livelihoods and environmental health, in a way that is learned, lived and replicated widely.
It is from here that the Tlholego Ecovillage and Learning Centre began its life on an neglected 150 Ha cattle farm near the town of Rustenburg (Northwest Province, South Africa), nestled on the western slopes of the ancient Magaliesberg Mountains. Tlholego is a Setswana word meaning ‘creation with nature’- fitting well with our overall mission to restore our ecosystems, create local livelihoods and learn from the gifts of nature.
Over the past twenty years, Tlholego has supported itself through hosting training programs, workshops and events, as well as fundraising for specific projects. The development of community businesses in livestock and organic value added products has developed over the past decade.
More recently, interest in our work has been growing. People are learning of the many practical solutions available that meet everyday challenges from restoring damaged land, water harvesting and growing food in healthy soil, to housing, sanitation and the Ubuntu skills of working together successfully towards a common good.
The Tlholego Ecovillage Camp has been created to introduce activities that stimulate a culture of reconnecting with our earth and spiritual heritage. Building on these connections is our way of returning to a more regenerative relationship with life.