Thursday, 17 November 2011

Festive Season: 2011 - Birth of a New South African Tradition

Original Writer Anonymous - Adapted By Vivienne Schultz

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide South Africans with monstrous piles of cheaply-produced goods; merchandise that’s been produced at the expense of South African labour (not to mention the Earth’s resources, accompanied by huge amounts of pollution). This year will be different. This year South Africans will give the gift of genuine concern for other South Africans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift-giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by South African hands.

Yes there is! It's time to think “outside the box,” people! Who says a gift needs to fit into a Chinese-made box, wrapped in Chinese-produced wrapping paper, taped with Chinese tape, draped with a Chinese ribbon and a Chinese gift tag?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut – right? How about a gift certificate from your local South African hair salon or barber?  What about gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car serviced? How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the South African working guy? Small, South African-owned shops and car washers would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates. Are you one of those extravagant givers? Fine!  Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway paved, or the lawn mowed for the summer, or games at the local golf course.

Let’s watch what labels we buy!
There are a trezillion owner-run restaurants - all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about half a dozen breakfasts at the locally-run restaurant? Remember, folks, this isn't about big national chains - this is about supporting your home town South Africans with their financial-lives-on-the-line to keep their doors open.

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for Mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day. Or, a gift voucher for a pedicure/manicure/facial at your local beauty salon. Or, you could give of your time to the elderly and offer a foot massage or a manicure or do some shopping for them? Hand them a card with what you can offer.

this is the new South African culture!
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running. OK, you were looking for something more personal? Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves; they make jewellery, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes. Contact a local handyman to do something special for someone who’s been wanting those pictures hung up or that paint job sorted out.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and leave your waiter/waitress a nice tip. How about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre? Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? If you have that much money to burn, rather sub contract Amajobjob crafters and artisans (x beggars) to produce you something local or utilise the sprucing sisters.

You see, this season shouldn’t be about draining South African pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about our precious country, encouraging South African small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other South Africans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

You could also give our recent book Dependency to Dignity. 2011 Schultz V, Buys A. Order from

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Review of Book for Occupational Therapists

Book Review: From Dependence to Dignity – The A2B of Community Development

This is the practical occupational science book that OT's have been waiting for; shedding light on the root causes and answers for the hard questions about clients' poor volition, slow progress, abdicating of responsibility, poor compliance to treatment and regression the moment they are discharged from treatment. It is an easy to use guide and tool that is essential for OT practice. The principles in this book are particularly effective in development work with disempowered individuals and communities, but can also be applied to any therapeutic situation where clients are taught new skills.

For OT's working under tremendous time restraints, with limited resources, oversubscribed patient loads and disempowered individuals needing maximum assistance, it is so easy to get on with the fastest & easiest treatment regime and forgetting about the golden therapeutic tool that makes OT's, OT's. This book sheds new light on the tremendous therapeutic potential of activities and reiterates the fundamental competitive advantage of Occupational Therapists - the unique skill of understanding occupations and understanding the person in relation to the task. This book promises to reignite every OT's passion for using tasks for maximum holistic impact and steering away from becoming a mere counsellor or physiotherapist.

In Part 1: Understanding Empowerment and Its Threats, the authors take a systematic look at 5 elements that lead to dependence, disempowerment and poverty. They describe these elements by using the "fly in the ointment" analogy where the "flies" contaminate the "ointment". The "flies" are politics, poverty perpetuating cultural traditions, poor parenting, perpetuating practitioners and poverty. The pots of "ointment" which the flies are contaminating are volitional development, education & skills development, and optimum conscience development. This part is essential in understanding the root causes of the problematic behaviours we have to deal with in our clients, such as passivity, dependence and reactive behaviour. In understanding these root causes, it will give every OT the hope and the competitive advantage to tackle these issues head-on and also to expend time and resources more effectively.

The authors use the invention and components of the light bulb to explain the concept of sustainable change in Part 2: A2B History and Philosophy. It touches on different models that have influenced the development of the A2B model, amongst which a strong influence is the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability. It further describes the fundamental social entrepreneurial principles that the A2B model is built on.

In Part 3: Transformative Elements for Sustainable Change, the authors describe the attributes of a Transformative Provocateur (or Social Entrepreneur), who is the type of therapist who effects sustainable change in their clients. The authors further elaborate on practices that perpetuate dependency and lead to disempowerment. The good-natured personalities of many OT's prevents them from embracing a tough-love approach and results in many unconsciously perpetuating the very problem they are trying to cure. It is crucial for every OT to examine him/herself and spot and rectify potential perpetuating behaviour. In this part of the book, the authors also discuss how the Pareto Principle can be applied in combination with the A2B model to manage large caseloads and impact the greatest number of clients in the midst of limited time and resources, which is an essential skill that every OT with an oversubscribed case load needs.

Part 4 provides a detailed description of the six A2B Occupational Intelligence-levels and the assessment tools to determine a client's Occupational Intelligence-level. Each level comes with a detailed explanation of the characteristics of clients’ emotional and cognitive functioning on that level. The authors also provide tools for analysing and adapting tasks to fit to each Occupational Intelligence-level. Detailed steps are given to describe the task and client assessment process and the use of a good task-man fit in order to develop poor, disempowered people from being A-level dependant, passive consumers of welfare, aid and hand-outs to being B-level socio-economically active, independent entrepreneurs who are capable of supporting themselves, their families and their communities. In this part the authors takes the sting out of activity analysis and presents the golden thread of OT practice in a fresh light and easy-to-use format. 

The A2B eco-system of change is dealt with in Part 5. This explains the creation and management of a milieu supporting and driving sustainable change. In this part the authors give detailed practical examples of tools and techniques used to maximize the therapeutic potential of the A2B Eco-system of Change. Boundaries and discipline strategies are also discussed. Examples of essential programme structuring are also provided.

Part 6 challenges OT's to form power-partnerships with the civil-, public- and corporate sectors to work together to overcome socio-economic problems that are simply too large for OT's to effectively deal with on their own. In fact, the only solution that the authors propose, that will help the majority of South Africans to change from dependency to dignity, is if all sectors apply the A2B methodology within their own eco-systems and join hands across sectorial borders to the benefit of all involved. This alone will advance South Africa into an equipped, equally empowered, entrepreneurial driven nation.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Calling All "Change-Activists"

If you are truly fed-up with the lack of your employees performance; if you are fed-up with corruption and the lack of ethics in the workplace; if you are fed-up about everything and everybody around you being stuck; if you are fed-up with the never-ending, quick-fix hand-outs that keeps communities dependent; if you've had your hand bitten by those you're trying to feed; then get From Dependency to Dignity: The A2B of Community Development, now in it's second, polished run.

Also return to this blog frequently for updates of upcoming workshops.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Our A2B web-site ( is being updated. If you want to volunteer with us, keep checking back until you see a link or info on volunteers on it.
Click on the image below to enlarge it.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

"From Dependenct to DIgnity: The A2B of Community Development"

The book by the internationally recognised social entrepreneur, Vivienne Schultz and co-author Anneke Buys is ready to be ordered.
Read the Review on our Pages link.
Send an e-mail to and ask for an order form. The book costs R230.00 incl postage.

So, What's all this about Volition?

Volition describes a person’s inner force, intrinsic motivation and willpower that impels all action and behaviour. This action or behaviour results in the creation of a tangible or intangible product of a particular quality as described on one of the six A2B OI-levels. This score will indicate whether the person is dependent or independent or entrepreneurial in his participation.

Volitional development describes the process by which a client’s internal willpower and intrinsic motivation for action is developed in the vulnerable protege. This process is facilitated by the transformative provocateurs (or parent in the case of a child) and the aim is to develop knowledge, skill, emotional control, internal locus of control, values and beliefs. Volitional development is one of the most crucial components of childhood development which, if matured by the time of reaching adulthood, enables an adult to reach maximum independent participation, self-reliance and social entrepreneurship competencies.

Volitionally broken describes a person who is understimulated/under-developed or hurt in his volition. He has very low or no willpower and his intrinsic motivation is too low to ignite appropriate and competent actions that lead to independence. It can also describe a person whose negative anxiety levels are too high and blocks the volition.

To learn more how to develop someone's volition, order the book "From Dependency to Dignity: The A2B of Community Development". (See the separate post on how to order your copy).

List of A2B Workshops

See the page on our workshops that we present. These workshops promise to bring REAL SUSTAINABLE CHANGE into your life and into that of all professionals, social workers, therapists, community workers, socio-economical developers, NGOs, NPOs, CBOs, small business owners, business managers, corporate conglomerates and the government.
The photo shows how previous workshop attendants learnt how, “work is natures best physician and essential to human happiness”. Galen 172AD

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A Succes Story from Tshepo

Tshepo participated in the A2B programme in the early 2000's. Before he started he was a down-and-out victim. Today he called Vivienne out of the blue to say "hi" and to give her feedback on his life. He works as a marketing specialist for a big company and is happily married with a family. He told Vivienne that two of the most important things that he remembers and values enormously is being taught about "truth" and that no one ever believed in him before he joined the programme. The A2B programme has a zero tolerance for deception, lies and manipulation of others. This value has become the foundation in his life and which he spreads to others around him. He said that Vivienne, as the A2B provocateur,  "mothered" him with tough-love, believed in him and pushed him to reach his own greatness to such an extent that today it drives him forward and contributes to his self-belief,  abilities and his responsibility to make a difference in the lives of others. His motivation for moving forward and achieving great things now comes from his switched-on internal volition. Material needs and desires such as the ubiquitous desire for "bling" & smart cars, etc in Africa no longer drive him. Tshepo is one of the hundreds that have participated in the A2B programme who now lives a successful, independent life. 

Meet Vivienne in person

Vivienne will be a guest speaker at the Innovation Summit. Meet her there on 30 Aug - 1 Sep 2011.
Visit for more details.

From Dependency to DIgnity - The A2B of Community Development

Only a few more weeks before this book is launched. Pre-order your copy for R200.00 excluding postage from

Read more about Anneke Buys who is co-author of the book. 

Thursday, 30 June 2011

What's an Oxygen Thief?

Community workers with the oxygen thief style are nice, bleeding-hearted
people who are generally liked by all. They try to be popular and good cops. However
because they want to be politically correct and self-preserving, they don’t stick out
their necks to fight for change. They perceive the empowerment process as being
friendly, huggable, listening, participative and enquiring. In keeping peace and
loving his neighbour (who might also be disempowering himself and many others)
he feels safer than when engaging in the perceived volatile world of a change agent.
The oxygen thief is very keen on doing things FOR their clients, because it is
the quickest way and the way of least resistance. It’s easier for them to just feed
the poor. Oxygen thieves take up space and resources in community development
projects, because they achieve nothing more than a self-esteem boost for being the
good guy and the giver, instead of producing real change in those who need it. The
oxygen thief is characterised by a general indifference and un-opinionated stance
on empowerment, since taking a stance and applying tough-love will lead to conflict
with which they cannot deal. Just as much as an overprotective nice mother raises
spoilt-brat “monsters”, so does an oxygen thief.

All About the Victim Mentality

Victims are always substantiating or justifying why things are wrong and why
they cannot achieve outcomes. They blame their limited resources, too much work,
too little time or overly demanding clients. They play the blame game rather than
taking responsibility for their role in keeping their clients dependent. Victims blame
external circumstances for the failure of their intervention, for example: “It’s because
I work for the government and they have no money that I can’t do my work properly.”
Community workers with this mentality fail to see the range of available alternatives
and resources. Sometimes victims simply play the blame game and are not interested
in solutions. Remember, however that certain victims simply don’t have solutions or
“know-how” and after a long period of frustration they just give up all hope of finding
tools that would work. At this point negativity sets in and the victim starts shifting
blame instead of taking responsibility.

The victim is an excellent role for community workers to play to hide their own
shame, inadequacies, frustration or hurt. Complaining is used to justify failure and
becomes a placebo that soothes them into feeling better. However, it comes with the
cost of being further bitten, dominated and stripped of the power to take charge of
the situation.

Book Review: Dependency to Dignity - The A2B for Community Development

Read the review on Dependency to Dignity - The A2B for Community Development. (See its link under "Pages") The book has thrown down the gauntlet and is challenging all professionals, social workers, therapists, community workers, socio-economical developers, NGOs, NPOs CBOs, small business owners, business managers, corporate conglomerates and the government to break the chains that are dragging South Africa and her people down a vast black hole of disempowerment. 

The book is currently in production and ought to be available within a few weeks. Send us an e-mail if you are interested in ordering it and we will inform you when it has arrived.


What do you think of this picture? Well, we have some more controversy up our sleeve. 

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