CareTakers is a collaboration between STEPS and SANBI, two organizations that meet at the interface between human society and the natural living world. The project is driven by a growing recognition that ordinary people need to be savvy about the importance of Nature in providing a habitable living space, and to become actively involved in taking care of it.
Care of nature can only happen if there is deep understanding of what it is and the way it works . Films produced for CareTakers are intended to provide information about the different components, processes and geographical variation of biodiversity in South Africa. But more importantly, they aim to illustrate how ordinary people are rising to the challenge, and are serving as role models for a viable future on planet Earth.
STEPS (Social Transformation & Empowerment Projects) is a non-profit organization that, for the past eight years, has been using socially relevant documentary film to educate, campaign and empower. It specifically functions as an entity for the development of communication projects that give a voice to marginalised and disadvantaged communities. Its primary mission to date has been to run an extensive outreach programme across Southern African using documentary films to explore and stimulate interest and concern for all aspects of HIV & AIDS. To achieve this, it has developed its own methodology of facilitated screenings that are planned and implemented to reach specifically targeted audiences. In order to run these sessions to best effect, appropriate facilitators are specifically trained to stimulate discussion around the chosen film material, and to identify issues that are within reach for responsive action.
STEPS collaborates with other independent filmmakers in the production of relevant material, and the training of young, aspirant filmmakers.
SANBI (the South African National Biodiversity Institute) is a statutory body whose mandated focus is on South Africa's national biodiversity heritage. The organization is best known for its national network of botanical gardens, but its responsibilities include scientific research, knowledge management, policy and planning, as well as human capital development through education and empowerment.
SANBI's partnership role in this project is to facilitate the flow of biodiversity knowledge in the creative process, and to guide the choice of topics to coincide with national and global priorities. It also expects to make extensive use of the products to influence stakeholders in the mainstreams of society. In so doing, SANBI will serve its mandate and its mission to "...champion the exploration, conservation, sustainable use, appreciation and enjoyment of South Africa's exceptionally rich biodiversity for all South Africans".
CareTakers has been made possible through the generous support of National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.