The Masiyembo Association aims to serve its Members by:
- Building a community of nature guides, outdoor facilitators, therapists and artists to provide peer-to-peer support, endorsement and feedback through a Participatory Certification System (PCS).
- Giving greater exposure and credibility to the work we do, the essential services we provide society and the ways that our combined work benefits quality of life – both human health and our care for the earth.
- Creating a unified message to amplify our voice in emphasising the need for more South Africans to experience wellbeing by meaningfully connecting with their natural heritage (incl. Parks and Reserves).
Please first read this page below as it outlines our:
- Ethos (Philosophy, Principles & Practices)
- Membership Types
- Membership Expectations
- Membership Benefits
The Masiyembo Ethos comprises 3Ps: 1. Philosophy; 2. Principles; and 3. Practices.
We invite Members to apply these in their unique way to the Experiences that they offer through the Association.
Our Ethos is also our 'pledge'. So your 'pledge' or responsibility as a Member is to do your best to uphold the "3Ps".
The Masiyembo's Association's Mission is to co-create:
1. Rich opportunities and experiences for people to find meaning and wellbeing through nature - for the benefit of society, humanity and, ultimately, the future of earth. #NatureForAll
2. A dynamic peer-driven standard (i.e. Participatory Certification System) for facilitated nature experiences that allows people to reawaken, remember and rediscover their connectedness with all life. #RememberOurNature
The Masiyembo Association aims to achieve the above by :
- Leveraging a diversity of skills, networks, and expertise to benefit and enrich the lives of a diversity of people, especially South Africans.
- Offering a variety of nature-immersive experiences (e.g. walks, trails, bush camps and discovery journeys) that embrace the Masiyembo Ethos through the PCS.
- Facilitating peer-to-peer collaboration to synergise knowledge exchange, funding opportunities and access to relevant resources, while building a sense of community and camaraderie among Members.
- Engaging in joint advocacy with unified messaging around society's need to: i) remember our roots in nature; ii) rediscover our belonging with earth and each other; and iii) recognising the vital importance of nature to all aspects of human wellbeing.
- Committing a share of the Association's/Member's time and proceeds from offerings toward facilitating experiences for disadvantaged communities to support personal health and social cohesion.
- Shared vision
- Trust & Integrity
- Learning Process
There are many practices that could constitute a Masiyembo Experience. However, in principle:
- We encourage embodied (somatic) engagement with our natural surrounds. We invite slowing down and opening up the senses to allow for rich meaningful experiences.
- We believe in learning with nature, not only about nature. We embrace symbolic and animate nature as mirror, medium and medicine for holistic wellbeing - for people and nature.
- We advocate that nature connectedness is fundamental to public health and for cultivating a personal ethic that engenders care and concern for earth and all life.
Currently, there are three Membership types:
- Endorsing Member: For Members that do not currently offer an Experience and may not be a guide/facilitator but endorse Masiyembo's philosophy and advocacy and may wish to support in other ways (e.g. PCS implementation, in-kind, financially).
- Offering Member: For Members offering one or more Experiences listed with Masiyembo and are active in ‘peer-reviewing’ other Experiences as required through the PCS. They are automatically an Endorsing Member as well.
- Organisation Member: For an Organisation offering one or more Experiences through Masiyembo and/or that wishes to support Masiyembo at a greater level (financial or in-kind contributions).
In order to be an active and contributing Member, the Masiyembo Association requires that Members agree to support the Masiyembo Ethos (3Ps outline above) in principle and in practice. Members genuinely desire to see the Vision and Mission statements fulfilled and wish to be a meaningful part of that process.
The Association also requires:
1. Engaged participation
Members are urged to participate in the PCS, specifically:
- Development of processes and procedures guiding the Association and maintaining its integrity;
- Site visits: evaluation/feedback of other Member’s offerings;
- Administration: documenting/confirming/certifying Members upholding of Association standards;
- Marketing & Advocacy: providing relevant input/materials to support media, marketing and public communication.
2. Financial contributions
Members will need to come together in 2020 to discuss an agreed fee/dues tier system going forward.
Presently, and in light of COVID-19 financial impacts, the Acting Coordinator suggests that Member contributions (i.e. registration fees and annual fees) are waived for 2020.
We do however kindly ask that any listed Experiences booked through the Masiyembo Association in 2020 contribute min. 5% of their client fee (i.e. revenue from the Offering) to the Association, in support of our core services and Charitable Fund.
Toward the end of 2020, all Members are then invited to reflect on how the Masiyembo Association supported them during this year, and make an appropriate donation according to either the perceived value of the service or what the Member is able to give at this time.
We support the idea of a "Gift Economy" - as long as everyone feels they have satisfactorily benefited.
We anticipate - and intend to deliver - the following benefits for Members:
Opportunity & Exposure
- Your Biography featured on the Masiyembo website / media
- Your Offerings featured on the Masiyembo website / media and featured articles with Masiyembo’s media partners
- Your Offerings - images, reflections and reviews – featured on Masiyembo social media (e.g. Instagram)
Feedback & Best Practice
Your Offerings are constructively peer-reviewed to support continued personal growth and best practice in your work.
Your Offerings are endorsed and certified by a network of peers and clients to give greater credibility and validity to what you do.
Your Offerings support others in having meaningful nature experiences and deepening connection with life.
Unified Message & Amplified Voice
- Your voice is shared: you are not alone in championing the importance of nature contact and connection for wellbeing.
- Your ideas, words and actions are amplified by having access to Masiyembo media channels. You feel empowered.
- You feel validated in the public sphere about the importance of what you do and why it matters for people and planet.
Networking & Community
- You can join Member Gatherings: virtual Zoom link-ups and in-person Masiyembo Gatherings [when permitted again]
- You receive “CampFire” : a periodic compilation of recent news, musings and stories from within the Masiyembo network.
- You feel genuinely supported by and connected with a diverse group of wonderful people restoring our shared relationships with life.