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Education & Enrichment

Community Development Fund, Greater Kruger

By April 12, 2016October 9th, 2023No Comments

Help us improve basic levels of education, develop skills for community members and kickstart income generation.

Project located in Mpumalanga, South Africa
Project focused on Education & Enrichment

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The Greater Kruger region of South Africa experiences severe unemployment, poverty, high rates of HIV/AIDS and a lack of basic education. Despite tourism being the biggest income stream to the area, most community members do not benefit from this tourism, largely due to the lack of education, skills training and access to information to allow them to apply for jobs. This lack of education and resulting poverty leads to a threat to the natural wildlife and environment through habitat encroachment and endangerment of the local communities.
The cycle of poor education, poverty and health issues create an environment in which communities struggle to escape. The youth in the area receive limited education from under-resourced facilities which limits their ability to get jobs and create a stable income. This further contributes to the unemployment in the area and an increase in poverty levels.
As a first step, the Community Development Fund allows The Happy Africa Foundation to provide assistance and guidance as we start our assessment to better understand the issues. It allows us to have a more open approach to our work and measure what actions have the most impact as we get to know the community better.

Our Community Development Fund will be used to improve basic levels of education, develop skills for community members and kickstart income generation. Education about conservation, environmental protection, heritage and sustainability is also important in the development of knowledge and skills to increase income opportunities and reduce negative impacts to the environment.

Short Term Impact: Without basic education, the youth in the Greater Kruger area are limited to what they can achieve. Assessing the issues and addressing areas of concern such as the basic levels of English, Maths and Science will provide the children in the local primary schools with the necessary skills to further their education. Our partnership with African Impact allows volunteers to assist teachers with providing the necessary support to those children who are struggling and provide homework and reading assistance.

We are working to develop conservation education classes to help the children understand the importance of protecting the environment and to limit the threat to the local wildlife, as well as improve the safety of their communities. We want to foster a greater understanding of the environment and an interest in its protection with a view to this as a potential area for employment.

As a partner with the local communities, self sustainable income sources have been identified as a great need with the notable levels of unemployment. The aim is to establish a community hub with communal vegetable gardens to sustain and support community members and their families to grow their own produce and generate income from the sale of extra produce. Once established, the community hub can then expand to include rearing chickens for income as well as skills and craft development programs to provide additional areas of income potential.

Long Term Impact: To improve employment opportunities for young people, education is essential, particularly English, Maths and Science. By assisting local primary schools in these core subjects with our education support program, we can build a stronger foundation for the future of the students involved.

With the high levels of poaching and loss of habitat for wildlife, the development of a conservation education curriculum will equip the students with an understanding of the environment and their role in its protection. It will also provide them with a better understanding of the job opportunities available from the protection of the environment and the surrounding wildlife.

The community hub will provide local attendees with the opportunity to increase their capacity to generate income to sustain themselves and their families whilst also providing an area where the community can collaborate to develop new opportunities for the members.

These 3 areas will most likely grow into individual long-term projects as we learn what has the most sustainable impact and works in the local community.

Bushbuckridge Local Municipality is one of the five constituents of Ehlanzeni District Municipality in Mpumalanga. The region has over 500,000 residents and most are Tsonga- this is the most largely spoken language – followed by Northern Sotho. Basic services such as running water and sanitation and health care are all under developed in this rural area. The main sector of income is through community (government) works and agriculture.

Many people live with family or extended family in basic housing and the level of education is low. From the last census, 18.6% of the population aged 20 years and above had no formal schooling. Although rates of Primary School attendance are improving, further and higher education in the area remains a challenge. This also corresponds to the high unemployment rate sitting at over 50% of the population.

We are currently working with the Tribal Authority to assess possible sites for the proposed community hub that will provide the most convenient location and required space for the community’s needs.

We are developing our relationship with the teachers and community leaders to identify areas where we can offer the most assistance and provide opportunities for the self-sustainability of the community as a whole.

We are currently in the fundraising process.

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