Could you raise your children in the Great Karoo?
Here’s what it takes to leave the Big City and join the Karoobewoners.
Here’s what it takes to leave the Big City and join the Karoobewoners
Wide open spaces, with plenty of fresh air, offer an idyllic setting for children to play and use their imagination, far from the confines of modern city living.
For many of us, that’s the kind of life we dream about for ourselves and our children. But it doesn’t have to be a dream.
In the Karoo, it’s becoming a reality for more and more families, as proved by Karoobewoners, the popular KykNet documentary series produced by BrightRock.
The legendary South African heartland offers all the benefits of a “country” lifestyle, while allowing people to earn a successful living.
We’ve grown used to working remotely during lockdown, adapting our lifestyles through heightened connectivity and new business practices.
In this new world, it’s becoming common for people to escape the pressures of large corporations and city life, and seek a more relaxed and meaningful lifestyle in the Platteland.
Raising children in small towns can mean a big adjustment, with many challenges alongside the benefits.
Children are inclined to spend more time outdoors and should be encouraged to do so, as it forms a fundamental part of their growth and development.
But challenges can arise when it comes to schooling and social engagement with other children.
A balanced and well-rounded education is vital to children’s development. In remote areas, boarding school or home schooling may seem daunting, but they are completely manageable options for parent and child.
While there are many excellent boarding schools in South Africa, fees can be exorbitant. Travelling costs, extramural activities, and pocket money quickly add up. Proper financial planning is crucial.
Healthy social integration with other children can be attained with planning and forethought. It’s not uncommon to find families nearby with children of appropriate ages for your children.
Playdates and sleepovers in the Platteland may require more planning than usual, but it can be done, setting the scene for long-lasting friendships.
Healthcare in remote areas, far from good doctors and hospitals, may also be a concern. It’s vital to learn the options available and be prepared at home, especially with the risks that come with outdoor living.
While the challenges may seem overwhelming, you’ll find that families in smaller communities are accommodating and helpful, welcoming newcomers as their extended family.
When in doubt, seek advice from those around you, and make meaningful connections with your neighbours and community members. The community spirit is one of the main attractions of the Platteland lifestyle.
With proper financial planning and security, and a willingness to adapt, the dream you have for your family can become a happy reality.
Change can be daunting. But the attitude with which you embrace and tackle these change moments and challenges will make all the difference!
*You can learn more about the joys and challenges of life in the countryside on Karoobewoners – a series made just for you by BrightRock – on Tuesdays at 21:00 on KykNET, channel 144 on DStv.