Impande helps children and youth from vulnerable backgrounds in southern areas of KwaZulu-Natal and northern parts of the Eastern Cape, South Africa, are given opportunities to develop their capabilities and talent. Impande builds and develops kindergartens, schools and special institutions in an area that was very badly affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and where unemployment, poverty and weak family structures still dominate the social landscape. Impande’s philosophy is to create substantial and lasting social change with limited resources. Impande does not provide emergency assistance, but supports grassroots projects anchored in the local area. The mainstay of work is voluntary professional efforts in Norway. So far, Impande has delivered about 50 institutional projects. Approximately 500 grassroots projects aimed at children and youth are registered within the organization’s defined focus area. Among these 500, there is still considerable need for different types of support that lift children and youth out of fundamental care and stimulation deficiencies. The work is supported through fundraisers, corporate support, funds and donations from individuals.
Impande’s Focus area is in the Ugu district. The Ugu District is located on the south coast of the state of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
Approximately 722 000 people live in the area. The coastline is the white man’s Riviera and further inland is where the black population lives. The longer you move from the tourist and industrial areas of the coastline, the more poverty you will find. It is for various reasons this district of South Africa that has been hardest hit by the HIV-AIDS epidemic.
The following statistics show two striking features:
- The population is very young, for example we see that that about 50% is under 20 years old.
- The level of education is relatively low, while a large number of young people during the coming 5-10 years will go out of high school without finding themselves anything to do.
Against the backdrop of this statistic and the general social conditions of the Ugu district we can point to some major challenges:
- How do we ensure the young have work after graduation? Failure to obtain jobs for the new generation will form the basis for unemployment, radicalization, crime and rebellion.
- How to reduce the number of early pregnancy in girls? This is a big problem. Approximately 50% of the girls in high school have already had one or more children before they have completed Grade 12 (high school). A great many of their children grow up without the necessary care and stimulation they need to thrive.
- How can we build basic institutions and develop the competence of employees in kindergartens and schools? In many places there does not exist such institutions or they are in very poor condition.
- How to strengthen and develop the family as a social cell? The family as a social cell has disappeared in the black population. Half of the young people in high schools do not know who their parents are, or do not have contact with their parents. See the article: First Steps to Healing the South African Family. South Afican Institute of Race Relations
- How to reduce violence? Violence is a major problem in South Africa in general and in the Ugu district in particular. Women and young girls are particularly vulnerable. 25% of the girls/women report that they have been raped one or more times in their lives.