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Social context of the area

We feel it is important to give you some more background information about the working environment of Sisiza Ukusiza and the Sithand’Izingane Care project. The Sithand’Izingane Care Project is located in the middle of the triangle: Tsakane – Langa Ville – KwaThema in the East Rand – Johannesburg. There is much more to tell to you.

Langa Ville started as an informal settlement, without any services. There was no water, no electricity and no roads. In recent years, this gradually improved. Now there is access to water, there are public toilets and a paved roads. Also there is a brand new shopping mall as part of the plan to upgrade the township. Als the soccer stadium and the multi purpose centre recently opened their doors. But unfortunately, there are still a lot of problems.  The population is growing so fast that there are no exact figures available. The latest Sensus in South Africa in 2012 indicates that approximately 270,000 people are likely to live in this area, but actual figures could be up to 750,000 or more.

There are hardly any facilities in this area and sports or youth centers are scares. Children have very little room to play. Young girls become teenage mothers and drop out of school. Others are experimenting with drugs or alcohol.

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As a result of high unemployment rates, many households are struggling to keep their head above water. Adults are sometimes depressed, frustrated and angry. Alcohol and drugs distract from the -day to day- problems and are widely used. This leads to more problems such as high crime rates, increased domestic violence, rape and abuse of children and women.

Unfortunately, the majority of women are still economically depending on their husbands or fathers of their children. Sanitary facilities are available but for communal use and people struggle to maintain proper hygiene. Infectious diseases are still common. In addition, many residents are infected with HIV / AIDS, leading to even more problems. Free medication is available, but there is still a big taboo on the illness.

The government is doing big efforts to improve local circumstances, but it sometimes feels impossible to resolve. The vicious circle continues.

Despite the social scenario described above Langa Ville is a great place with potential to develop into a loving and organised community. People take charge and wonderful initiatives and projects are started. The community and the people take care for each other.

However, at this point in time, many people struggle for their -day to day- needs, and there is still a long way to go. …

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