The benefits of the Time Travel method in Community Building

Community building is broadly a process where community members come together in order to take collective action and generate solutions to common challenges. The work is addressing the community needs and knitting society together at local community level to deepen democracy.

Researching local stories and sites brings to fore life during historical period and needs of that time. Comparisons are then made between the past and present to address and understand current community challenges, thus contributing to building communities based on justice, equality and mutual respect. The Time Travel method uses the historical perspective to achieve this aim within the school curriculum, while simultaneously addressing community needs.

The Time Travel method involves changing the relationships between ordinary people and people in positions of power. It is the only method known to engage the community irrespective of status. It starts from the principle that within any community there is a wealth of knowledge and experience which, if used in creative ways, can be channeled into collective action to achieve the communities‘ desired goals. Within the South African young democracy, social cohesion is a critical building block and the Time Travel method is an excellent way to achieve this objective.
The contributions of the Time Travel in Community Building are:

• Capacity building through training and creating awareness.
• Lobbying and advocacy to have identified sites registered as heritage sites
• Developing partnerships with schools and community structures and other stakeholders to achieve
community needs and programmes
• Economic contribution though job creation in implementing Time Travels, from facilitators, seamstress,
and security.
• Preserving and promoting heritage and culture.
• Restoring dignity, promoting tolerance and social cohesion
• Support learning
• Development of tourist sites through recorded and registered historical sites as identified by the community.

Gulshera Khan, Port Shepstone Twinning Association, Chairperson Bridging Ages South Africa