Promoting the capturing and integration of indigenous people’s (San specifically) values into community leadership development

By NatalieRDS | November 28th, 2011

The way of life that has guided and sustained the San – one of southern Africa’s original indigenous groups – is under threat by the effects of social, economic, cultural and political marginalisation and land loss. Previous work conducted with the San has shown that the wealth of indigenous knowledge that they possess can aid in the development of other disadvantaged communities.

While much investment has been placed into programmes focused on income generation, health and education, little attention has been paid to the development of San leadership, both within their own communities and the larger structures that represent them. One of the challenges experienced by the San is the inability to translate their traditional leadership values into modern contexts that still represent the values of all 13 different language groups existent among the San.

The overall goal of this project is to assist the San in leading both within their communities and the various organisations that represent them. This is in an effort to enable them to play a larger leadership role at various modern levels so as to become an example to other marginalised societies.

This goal will be achieved by implementing three objectives. First, indigenous solutions to problems faced by the San, and other southern African indigenous communities, will be documented and shared. Secondly, this indigenous knowledge will be applied to leadership structures and organisational management. Finally, materials aimed at enabling the San to form concrete communities of practice which build, and sustain, leadership at community and organisational levels will be developed.


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