Konsortium-Merino is determined to make a difference in the new South Africa, where social and economic challenges are knocking at the door. The company is committed to the upliftment of its employees and their community in the hope that they will grow, empower themselves and eventually make a meaningful difference in their own societies.
Konsortium-Merino relies on their employees - most have been working with them for years. The team believe that every individual in our business has their own unique talent which should be nurtured and developed, enhancing each member’s self-worth and happiness. That is why we have the sheep experts, the AI team, marketers, and many others.
Most farm staff have little or no education at all. Konsortium experienced this within own ranks and set about trying to find a way of improving skills and self image. In 2008 we started with the adult education of 30 employees, who are improving their linguistic skills at their own level and pace.
They are enrolled in the Media Works multimedia ABET programme. Each farm has its own computers with programmes for reading, writing and arithmetic and is even able to accommodate a deaf-mute employee, with the aid of sign language. The Konsortium partners have appointed Lizaan van Heerden, a qualified primary and remedial teacher, as the facilitator. She visits the farms on a regular basis to support and assist the pupils.
This project has many challenges. Each individual is expected to be responsible and self-disciplined as a large part of the work is undertaken on their own. They can all manage the computer and work on the programme designed for the level which they are trying to qualify for. The Konsortium partners are required to give them off on the two days in the month on which the facilitator comes. At present they are only being taught literacy, so that each one will have the opportunity to read, write and communicate fluently. The aim is to then introduce arithmetic and eventually skills development so that our workers can grab at the opportunities coming their way in the future.
The lessons also include Amos literature - Christian programmes which have been specially designed for farm workers, to discuss faith and share knowledge from the Bible. The main focus of the Konsortium is on life skills, resulting in emotional maturity, self respect and self empowerment. “We are committed to follow this route - sharing time, knowledge and money, striving for a better New South Africa.” Together, we learn more!
Sponsorships and donations
As part of Konsortium’s commitment to the creation of opportunities and upliftment in their local communities, they readily give donations to emerging farmers, schools, sports teams, agricultural colleges and deserving institutions. Stud rams and ewes, slaughter stock, rugby jerseys, netball clothes, tog bags, petrol for school tours and other donations, form part of Konsortium’s investment in their rural districts.
Konsortium directors, John Luscombe and Gawie van Heerden, were approached by emerging farmers in Richmond and Victoria-West, to act as mentors. Although this undertaking is still in its teething stages, they are being assisted with the purchasing and hiring of ewes and the use of rams. The Richmond farmers already have lambs weaned from this system.
Furthermore, they will be given advice and assistance regarding farming practices, veterinary care and veld management, amongst others.