Aspect Africa understands the needs of volunteers while simultaneously focusing on empowering Community-Based Organisations to become more resilient and forward-looking in terms of resource use and land management. Aspect Africa has over 23 years experience with volunteering, travelling, community and government projects and of everyday life in rural communities bordering protected areas like Gonarezhou in Zimbabwe, and the Kruger National Park in South Africa. These experiences have led to the understanding and belief that Community Based Organisations should have ownership of a project from the beginning, and benefit from the start financially.
Financial independence for Community Based Organisation is paramount to Aspect Africa and forms one of its main guiding tenants.
A little about Vince, Aspect Africa's Director
Vince had his first experience in Africa in 1995 when his first volunteering stint took place where Stanley uttered those immortal words ‘Dr Livingston I presume?’, Ujiji a small fishing village in Tanzania. After travelling around Tanzania and Kenya; climbing Kilimanjaro, falling out of a mango tree, getting malaria, swimming the Indian Ocean, witnessing the great migration in the Serengeti, Vince has since been Africa bound one way or another.
In 1998 after getting his degree in International Relations, Vince headed to Omdurman and Khartoum, Sudan, for a year as a volunteer teacher. From there Vince travelled down through Africa by public transport; Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Southeastern Tanzania, on the banks of Lake Tanganyika. Getting the travel bug Vince also travelled though, Swaziland and Lesotho. In the summer of 2001 Vince headed to the UK, when he decided to move to South Africa on a semi-permanent basis which led him to set up Friends of Mutale in 2009 and to the community of Bennde-Mutale, in Venda the ‘Land of Legends’, a world within a world in South Africa.
Since 2009, Vince has run Friends of Mutale, a UK charity, which has raised funds to build a community centre, which housed a a creche, funded the set up of a recycling centre, and homework clubs, Vince has advised various community development boards over this period, consulted for CESVI (an Italian NGO) in 2013 to 2014 where he advised on waste management project across the African Ivory Route. Vince has also helped fund and organise trips for over 1000 children into the Kruger National Park, organised the first cross-border schools football tournaments in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, and many other interesting community projects.
Most recently Vince has helped with the creation of a sport for social development project across 16 primary schools in 2 countries, South Africa, Zimbabwe, World Parks, World Cup and has managed to secure a partnership with Coaches Across Continents a global expert in education outside the classroom through sport.
Vince lives in the UK but continues to have an active role in the area through helping with funding by writing grants for community-based organisations in the region, and providing volunteers to assist with the sport for development project, World Parks, World Cup, which is now a registered South African NPO in its own right and run by a board made up of local members.