Amy Biehl Memorial
Amy Biehl was a young American Fulbright Scholarship exchange student who studied at the University of the Western Cape in 1993. That same year, she was tragically stoned and stabbed to death in Gugulethu township by young supporters of the Pan African Congress who were later granted amnesty through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In remembrance of Biehl, a non-profit organisation, the Amy Biehl Foundation, was founded in 1997. Its mission is to “weave a barrier against violence” by focusing on social, cultural and economic empowerment through its many programmes and, in so doing, restore hope and dignity to disadvantaged communities.
The foundation empowers youngsters to become future leaders and entrepreneurs in society by providing educational and cultural activities that offer them healthy alternatives to crime, drugs, sex and negative influences by unlocking their creative talent.
Testament to the success of the foundation’s work are two of the young men who were convicted of Biehl’s murder and granted amnesty. They now work for the foundation and represent a living embodiment of values such as forgiveness, reconciliation and tolerance, which the foundation strives to teach the youth of Cape Town through its work.
The foundation’s mission is to curb violence among the youth through a holistic approach to community development in socio-economically disadvantaged communities in and around Cape Town. The foundation believes that empowered youths are not likely to commit violent acts that rob others of their human rights.
The Amy Biehl Foundation offers visitors the opportunity of taking part in cultural township tours. The half-day tour starts from the Amy Biehl offices, 7th floor, 1 Plein Street, Cape Town, at 12h00 (including a traditional Xhosa lunch) or 14h00 (excluding lunch). Guests are informed about the Amy Biehl story, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, apartheid and more, before seeing some of the foundation’s work. A drive to the township ensues, passing the Amy Biehl Memorial site, and on to the schools where Amy Biehl programmes – creative and fine art, drama, marimba, brass instruments, violin, guitar, recorder, choral singing, HIV/AIDS peer education and prevention, traditional, modern and contemporary dance, ballet, beading and sport – are taught. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the children and their teachers and participate in the various activities. The half-day tour costs R250 per person.
The full-day tour starts at 09h30 at the Amy Biehl Foundation in Cape Town. Visitors hear Biehl’s story, learn about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and see some of the work done by the foundation. A trip to the township follows, passing the Amy Biehl Memorial site and other places of interest en route. In the heart of the township the tour visits organisations that promote fair trade of African crafts, before moving on to the only golfing facility in a South African township, the Amy Biehl Golf Driving Range. After a light lunch, visitors are taken to the Amy Biehl Greening and Environmental Sites and schools that teach Amy Biehl Foundation programmes. Interaction with teachers and children is encouraged. The full-day tour costs R360 per person.
- Website: http://www.amybiehl.co.za
- Physical Address: Gugulethu
PRINS & PRINS DIAMONDS MUSEUM OF GEMS AND JEWELLERY
This unique museum project takes visitors on a journey from when diamonds first began to form three billion years ago and their 150 km journey to the surface, following the unique path of South African diamonds from their origin in extinct volcanoes to the deposits along our coastline. Learn about unique and rare gemstones, and see how jewellery has changed through thousands of years. The story about South Africa’s mineral wealth is told, not only for diamonds, but also for our Platinum and Gold deposits.
This cultural village aims to remind us of our origin and serves as the reservoir for African knowledge pertaining to nature and traditions, giving us an opportunity to celebrate who we are through music (wonderful sounds from live bands) or from its’ distinct fineness of cuisine, topped up with African (local) arts and crafts.
Hot summer sun, extra long days and warm nights, sun-kissed skin and time to spend with loved ones; summer in Cape Town is the ideal time to get outdoors and enjoy getting closer to the spectacular nature that is within minutes from the bustling city.
Diamonds were formed three billion years ago by molecular-changing heat of around 1 300 °C, deep within the Earth’s crust. If you didn’t know that, then you have not been to the Cape Town Diamond Museum.
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