Empowering Communities

Family Empowerment, Zululand

By July 1, 2016 October 14th, 2019 No Comments
The aim of the Family Empowerment project in Zululand is to work alongside vulnerable families to improve their circumstances in a variety of ways. Assistance on this program could come in the form of healthcare support, educational enrichment or improvement of living conditions. 
Some of the families we assist are on the fringes of society, with little or no support from government or private sector services. The families in the program may have problems such as food insecurity, inadequate housing, and lack of access to healthcare. Typically, individuals in the program have difficulty acquiring documents to ensure they receive government services (like ID books and birth certificates), making it impossible for them to receive disability grants or child benefit grants. Many are in need of programs such as reading and writing courses, HIV/AIDS education, and support groups, and the families usually consist of many orphaned children. Through our Family Empowerment Project and with the help of African Impact volunteers we aim to tackle these issues.

Our aim in our Family Empowerment Project in Zululand is to empower families by finding solutions to the unique challenges they are facing. We set short-term and long-term goals for each family to work towards. These goals could include getting the children registered for birth certificates and enrolled into school.

Through African Impact Foundation we can give them positive encouragement and the support they need to make steps to become self-sustaining. With our donations we can provide them will the tools and resources to make changes to their own lives.

We have seen life changing sustainable improvements in the families we are assisting. These include:

• Support with applying for the correct government documentation, in order to be able to enroll children into school.

• Putting children on nutrition plans, allowing us to monitor under nourished children and assist with Nutri-shakes and E-Pap.

• Supplied children with uniforms in order for them to start school.
• Built beds, and donated mattresses.

• Created a garden and donated seedlings, educating them on how to grow and sustain a garden and have access to nutritional foods.

• Constructed a safe and hygienic toilet

• Supplied JoJo tanks to collect safe drinking water.

• Provided basic English lessons to one particular older sibling who has now secured herself a job!

• Built a brand new garden for the Khumalos

• Helped with CV building and furthering job opportunities

• Provided home assistance to wheel chair bound family members

• Collected medication and provided clinic assistance

• Provided educational support in exam periods

We will continue to:

• Provide weekly educational support to help children with school work due to their late admission.

• Collect water in the dry season, preventing children walking huge distances after school.

• Create nutrition plans for particular children.

• Provide clinic drop-offs and medical support when necessary.

The province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on the east coast of South Africa and borders the countries of Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. As its name suggests, it is the birthplace of the proud Zulu nation. Still ruled by the Zulu royal family, the rural areas of KZN maintain a very traditional way of life. Sadly, the population of KwaZulu-Natal has been devastated by the effects of poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. A staggering 40.2% of people in the province are estimated to be infected with HIV, and about 10% of these have full-blown AIDS.

Khula Village
Khula Village, situated just five kilometres outside of the coastal town of St. Lucia in KZN, is home to more than 13 000 people. Many of the villagers are either farm workers, employed in the local town of St. Lucia or work on government programmes. Although still a fairly new settlement, this ever-developing village has a clinic, a primary school, a high school, various créches and many community buildings and shops. Building renovations are carried out constantl, which gives true meaning to Khula”s IsiZulu name, which means ‘growing’.

According to local non-governmental organisations, an estimated 60-80% of Khula’s population is infected with HIV.

Ezwenelisha Village is set in the beautiful rural landscape of the East Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, about 10 kilometres outside of St. Lucia. A genuinely traditional, rural village in the heart of Zululand, Ezwenelisha is home to a warm and welcoming people and itsname means ‘a new world’ in isiZulu.

The rural layout of the village means that residents’ homes are located far from the community’s clinic, schools and shops. Many houses are built by the government and are fair-sized concrete structures that provide good shelter. However, travelling is difficult because of a lack of reliable public transport, and as a result many people aren’t able to secure jobs in the nearby town of St. Lucia. The overwhelming majority of Ezwenelisha’s households do not have running water and people still have to walk to the nearest river or pond to gather water for drinking and cooking.

The majority of Ezwenelisha’s inhabitants work in the nearby sugarcane and pulp and paper industries. The community’s proximity to various agricultural industries means that it is both home to and frequented by migrant workers. Unfortunately, this makes the area particularly susceptible to high HIV/AIDS rates. Like Khula, it is believed that approximately 70-80% of the community’s population is infected with the virus.

After helping a small family secure governmental documents, enroll in school, start a vegetable garden and begin improving their lives, they were successfully able to move to a new village, and enroll their children into a new school. This success is what the Family Empowerment Project stands for and we are so proud of them. Therefore we are now in the process of assessing new families for our project.

Through the help of Induna, the local chief, we have been supporting different families throughout the St. Lucia area with immediate, short- and long-term needs since 2015. The aim is for the families to flourish which could be, but not limited to, attaining employment, sending their children to schools or registering their families to get National Registration Cards.

  • 2018: The Family Empowerment Project continued to support the families with school uniforms, stationery and repairs and resources where necessary. Additionally, many repairs in houses (such as rooves and floors, fences for security) were undertaken for multiple families.
  • 2019: We will continue to fundraise to support the families and programme while working with the local Induna to identify new families to support.