South Africa: Investing in slum communities
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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?
In one of the most violent slums on the outskirts of a notoriously violent South African city, a community group reached out into one school to support and comfort girls who were victims of violence. This modest beginning has since grown to include more schools, programmes for boys to give them hope of a life outside criminal gangs, careers guidance, vocational training, a soup kitchen, and support of overstretched and underfunded local clinics. This partner was already stretched to capacity when Covid-19 lockdowns hit like a thunderbolt, shutting off transport links to parts of the city where many people were employed in minimum wage jobs.
This NGO has appealed to us for help not only for their own work in schools and immediate poverty relief, but also on behalf of medical facilities like that pictured below.
This shipment will include school furniture, stationery, computers and other equipment, clothing, shoes and household items for the most vulnerable in the community, and medical/ office furniture & equipment, electrical appliances, linens and computers for the medical centers.
Mapula (on the right) is a gifted student but had always assumed that attending university was an unattainable dream – in her family’s 6 metre square shack there was not even space to study, let alone money for books, classes or transport.
Through one of our partner’s projects she received career guidance and assistance in applying for financial assistance. She is now studying for a Bachelor of Education at one of South Africa’s top universities.
This shipment will include goods to support more students like Mapula in achieving their goals and escaping poverty.
The government provided funds to build and staff this clinic as well as providing essential medicines , but there has been very little funding for furniture and equipment.
There are 42 medical staff serving a population of more than 800,000.
Our partners have appealed for help in providing equipment for this and 2 similar facilities in their area.
Baking and cooking classes provided by our partner are a good basis for young people wanting to start their own business in a district where few people have cooking facilities at home.
A local street in the area where our partner works.
Population: 57 million
Largest city: Johannesburg (pop. 9.8 million)
There are 3 capital cities – Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative) and Bloemfontein (judicial)
South Africa has the most unequal income distribution in the world, with a Gini coefficient of 63. There are 11 official languages. isiZulu is the one most commonly spoken in homes and English is the lingua franca of commerce and administration.
Covid-19 lockdowns have reversed many of the economic gains made over the last two decades.
Sources: CIA Factbook, Wikipedia.
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