Sobonfu Somé in Cape Town next week!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sobonfu.jpg One of the foremost voices in African spirituality in the West, Sobonfu Somé, will be visiting South Africa from July 8-12, and holding serveral special events here at Novalis Ubuntu.

Destined from birth to teach the ancient wisdom, ritual, and practices of her ancestors, Sobonfu, whose name means "keeper of the rituals," travels the world on a healing mission sharing the rich spiritual life and culture of her native land, Burkina Faso, which ranks as one of the world's poorest countries yet one of the richest in spiritual life and custom.

While in South Africa, Sobonfu will perform her renown "Grief Ritual" on Friday, July 10th at 7:00 PM here at Novalis. A R30 donation will be collected at the door.

Then on Saturday, July 11th at 4:00 PM she will speak about "Intimacy: A Gift from Spirit", during a two-hour talk on how to develop relationships that are in perfect alignment with Spirit, also here at Novalis. Registration is R145. For more information about tickets, registration, etc. please contact Iain Macdonald at (021) 462-6755 or email him at


OVC News: Siyaphambili Orphan Village educates young and old on Human Rights

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Human Rights.jpgOn March 21st, Ndeleka Xameni and a group of caretakers and workers at Siyaphambili Orphan Village in Langa, celebrated Human Right's Day by educating more than 100 children and 25 Gogo's with basic human rights such as the right to life, the right to have a decent home, the right to freedom and equality and right to freedom of association, including the right to participate in culture, the right to food, and the right to education.

While the large crowd savoured a delicious meal, Nokwazi "Ouma" Gogxeka, the chairperson of the Gogo's Support group, told the youngsters "Respect old people. You must listen to your parents and do house chores if you want to live longer. You must at all times look after yourself and protect yourself. You are beautiful and you should remain that. We want you to know that you have rights too. But do not abouse those rights."

It was a fun-filled day as the children showed off their artistic skills by outlining their hands on paper and sticking them on the wall. They also performed drama, and dance, and took part in drumming while reciting their rights. Then they were given a brief history lesson so that they left with an understanding of what South Africa has gone through. "Let us entertain and educate those who come and stay here every day. Children should not feel alienated and should be developed to increase their mental capacity" said Anele Gqasana, team leader and facilitator at Siyaphambili Orphan Village, who has been working very closely with Ndeleka.

Siyaphambili, which means "moving forward", is one of the homes supported by our Orphan and Vulnerable Children's Programme (OVC). They are a true example of an organization that strives to restore the dignity and security of the children by providing a home for them, to give them hope, care security, and protection. This programme has been made possible thanks to the generous donation of the Swedish Government (Forum Syd) through the SOFIA Foundation.


Good and New: The Ubuntu Spirit Leadership Training Programme

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Youth Program.jpgDuring the month of March the Novalis Ubuntu Institute began the development of a new programme we believe is going to rock the youth empowerment world: The Ubuntu Spirit Leadership Training Programme!

This new programme is designed to address the gaps in leadership training of today's youth community leaders. Under the leadership of our experienced staff and a few good volunteers, this new, innovative and revolutionary programme has as its core objective to develop Youth Leaders aged 18-35 into future community leaders who will make a positive and creative contribution to their communities and strengthen the fabric of the South African civil society.

The 8-month programme will provide South African youth with effective, accelerated, comprehensive and dynamic experiential learning that will propel their leadership into a whole new direction, all supported by a networking, mentoring, and coaching component. All of this, during 8 intense months of leadership work that will lead towards the realization of a final project for the participants to add to their body of work.

To find out more about this empowering programme, and to learn how your youth group may benefit, please contact us.


Growing our own Veggies with Kirsten

Friday, May 22, 2009

Permaculture.jpgWhen was the last time you ate an organic salad with vegetables fully grown in your own garden? Here at Novalis Ubuntu, we do just that at least once a month thanks to our Permaculture trainer Kirsten, and the dedicated sponsorship of the Light Center of Kansas.

The Whole Foods Garden project is a part of our Orphan and Vulnerable Children's Programme (OVC) and teaches each children's home how to grow their own food. It is also a project we implement right here at the Institute and a very special part of our everyday lives. As part of the continued training, during the month of March Kirstern conducted two training sessions for our staff and community members: How to start your own worm farm and restore a healthy soil, and How to Grow your Own Food. Here's a picture of Kirsten speaking about the importance of mulching the top soil in order to allow the moisture to stay on the ground.


Cafe Geneve goes Wireless and gets a Facelift!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

cafe-geneve.jpgOur very own Cafe Geneve, named after the coffee shop in Durban where the idea of the Institute was first conceived by Dr. Ralph Shepherd and a few friends 25 years ago, recently got an upgrade and is joining the digital revolution by offering our members and patrons wireless internet.

We are working very hard to bring you a fully functional tea/coffee shop where you can enjoy a delicious meal while mingling with other Novalis Ubuntu friends and find out what's cooking at Novalis - all this as you savour a delicious cup of Coffee or Tea while you check your e-mail. Stay tuned for more news in the coming weeks! In the meantime, stop by to say hello, enjoy a cup of coffe or tea, and -- why not? -- surf the web!


Member Spotlight: Jilla Benneyworth

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jilla BenneyworthStarting with this ePollen, each month we will be featuring a special Novalis Ubuntu member, and collect some of their impressions about what it means to be a member of the Novalis Ubuntu family. This month our spotlight is on our member Jilla Benneyworth.

Jilla has been an active member since 2005. As she explained during her last visit to the Institute "I'd wanted to join Novalis Ubuntu for many years but was too timid. Now I am pleased I did because my experiences there have enlivened and enriched my life!"

Jillas's group, the PASSION Knitters, found Novalis Ubuntu the perfect home to hold their "Shining Light" ceremonies, which gives out scarves that they make to people they admire for the way in which these people light up the lives of those in need. "We have learned something about the many ways Novalis serves our community, enabling us to focus our work, where we can make a difference", she said. This coming Friday Jilla's PASSION Knitters will donate 30 garments or blankets to Cape Town and Suburban Clothing Guild.

But her work doesn't stop there. At her home, she and her pal Mindi Baldwin have initiated KREATIVE KALEIDOSCOPE, a monthly group gathering that brings to its U3A members a new topic/activity each month. This month they will present a DVD called 'WATER' based on Dr. Masaru Emoto's work. For more information about the PASSION Knitters and KREATIVE KALEIDOSCOPE you may contact Jilla at (021) 794-6243. We are very proud to have Jilla Benneyworth as a member. Her life is an inspiration to us all!

To find out how you can support our mission and become a member of the Novalis Ubuntu Institute please visit our membership page.


Looking for a venue to host your upcoming workshop, class, conference or event?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

ConferenceIncorporating a live art/music/cinema venue, conference rooms, bookshop and internet cafe bar, the Resource Center is a dynamic and versatile location suitable for a variety of events including classes, exhibitions, talks, workshops or other educational, musical, spiritual and creative events.

We offer flexibly priced Conference packages for groups of 15-70 people starting at R155 per person! (includes Venue Hire with Standard Equipment, coffee/tea with biscuits on arrival, mid-morning tea/coffee break, a delicious lunch and a mid afternoon tea/coffee break). We also offer professional sound, lighting, projection and presentation facilities and box office support to help ensure your event is a success. (Read More)