Refirement Story : Anne Timms – by Bev Moller

Anne Timms~1I am a firm believer in the power of tapping into the collective wisdom of a community to strengthen what’s already there. If I could empower  only one person’s life per day, it would touch and empower a family by capacitating them with skills and knowledge

Love at first sight – or a gradual progression?  Great love affairs are the reason we dream, breath and get out of bed in the morning.

Anne Timm’s love story spans 25 years, and she lives it out daily, in the communities she partners with.  When chatting to Anne, her passion for making a difference in one person’s life and her belief that this will impact their families, is the reason she pulls back the covers.

“I fell in love with community work when I first began assisting communities in writing proposals to unlock funds for their projects.

Inspire, educate, empower is her living logo.  This highly energetic business accelerator and passionate community builder, is as colourful as the Townships she Prettifies.

In 2012, the concept of using bright colours to stimulate creativity and innovation, was ignited from Anne and Kobus’s creative partnership;  and so Prettify your Township exploded in a profusion of colourful love.

The Prettify your Township model is a self-sustainable one.  Teams of volunteers are mobilized over weekends to paint Day Care Centres identified by the Community, in bright cheerful colours.

This all embracing NPO Model,  affords partnering volunteers the additional privilege of interacting with the community – playing with children, establishing libraries, planting vegetable gardens, donating food and toys, renovating or upgrading the Day Care facilities and even helping to run workshops.

Any funding received from volunteers or corporate sponsorship, is used to purchase resources and to upskill caregivers and parents in Early Childhood Foundational Development, thereby preparing their children not just for school, but future success.

The ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) model, is the foundation for all projects Anne initiates.  It proves her firm belief that communities already have the necessary assets and answers within.  Her task is to identify and mobilize the communities to drive their own developmental processes.

The Chaneng Business Centre where local people were trained over a period of ten year, to build and run their own successful business centre, is tangible evidence of this.

Anne is known as ‘ Mother’  to many and her mentoring of 50 Gogos and their grandchildren by using specific Early Childhood Developmental tools to learning important skills through play, is one of her favourite memories.

It comes as no surprise to hear that Anne was nominated and was the runner-up, for the 2013 Feather Philanthropy Award.

Even with the many awards and accolades Anne has received, she remains a humble person who would much rather talk about her exciting future projects, than herself.

So what does the future hold for her in her fabulous fifties and beyond?

“I don’t believing in retiring but will continue to build multi-cultural and multi-generational bridges.”

Being the dynamo she is, instead of slowing down, she seems to be accelerating her community building projects.

Her latest initiative is to once again mobilize volunteers who will partner with her in a Pilot Project to empower 130 unemployed ladies.  These ladies will not only be  taught  ECD skills  to teach their children, but in addition will also learn income generating skills such as  needlework, knitting, crocheting, financial skills, woodwork,  gardening, thereby increasing  their earning potential and their ability to provide for  their families.

In addition to this project, her (ABCD) Community Building skills are now being sought as far afield as Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia where she has been invited to present and facilitate the ABCD programme in partnership with an NGO, in these countries, later this year.

When asked the question, ‘How do you start impacting a community?”

Anne’s candid reply was, “It’s simple “‘Just do it!’   Find a group of people, whether through a church, school, local NGO’s and volunteer the wealth of skills, knowledge and know-how you already have, and begin to capacitate other people.”

There’s no reward quite like it!!!”

 

Should you wish to contact Anne, her details are annet@iburst.co.za

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *