Why development cooperation in South Africa?

 
Reality full of contrasts

Wonderful people of different races and a unique species-rich nature, full-bodied wines and delicious fruits, natural ressources  … and the 2010 football World Cup. This is one side of South Africa.

The world highest rate of AIDS infections, third world poverty for half of the population, highest crime rate in the cities and townships, illegal immigrants from all over Africa and the aftermath of the Apartheid in every township. This is another part of South Africa. This is the side where the children that we want to help are living.

 

Apartheid and the mistakes in the following years

Until 1994, Apartheid reigned. Blacks and coloured (i.e. about 90% of the population) were displaced and had to live in townships and homelands, without rights, without education, without infrastructure. Going out was only allowed for work. Since the end of Apartheid in 1994, South Africa has made a lot of progress in political, social and economic areas. The building-up of the political and the social basis have accomplished important successes, but big mistakes have been made (wrong decisions in the energy sector, the growing Aids problem which was ignored, exaggerated positive discrimination, deficient social politics, corruption,...).

 

Poverty and HIV/Aids

On the African continent, South Africa is with no doubt the most developed country, but the majority of the population could not participate in this development. The discrepancy between rich and poor is still enormous and the two major problems, poverty and HIV/Aids worsens the situation. Orphans and the kids from the townships are the most exposed. Numbers are tuff, as shown in the following few examples:

  • 13% of the population live the very comfortable life of an industrilised country.
  • 60% of the population live the harsh life of a developing country.
  • 36% of the population does not have access to electricity or running water.
  • 30,9% of the population live with less than USD 2 per day.
  • Only half of the children born get registered, complicating access to social services.
  • More than 1 million school-aged children do not attend school because they are undernourished, because the next school is too far away, because they lack the financial resources or because parents or grandparents have not received any education during Apartheid.
  • The HIV-infection rate lies above 20%. It is estimated that more than 50% of all deaths are caused by Aids, in the range of 15 to 49 year-olds. This percentage represents an alarmingly 71%.
  • A whole generation of parents is disappearing. Remaining are 1,2 million orphans living in children's homes, looked after by their grandparents or living on their own.
  • Schools ask for tuition fees in South Africa and school uniforms are mandatory. Without help from outside there is no "education to escape poverty" but only "no education because of poverty".

 

Why do we help these children in South Africa?

We would like to offer to the healthy and the sick children the chance to break out of this vicious circle. We want to help them to get a fair chance for a balanced nutrition, health and education. Because we believe in Naledis, the stars. We wish that they too can enjoy the beauty, the happiness and the love that they are giving themselves. Because it is their right.

 

Get out of the vicious circle

Without help the vicious circle formed by Aids and poverty will continue to spin and tear the children down. This generation of children that are suffering today because of poverty and HIV/Aids can only be saved from outside, by getting a perspective in their life. Finding their own independent way of life as an adult and a full member of society. We cannot save the world, but we concentrate our efforts through our projects on particular groups and want to help these children to have a better life. In the hope that they will be able to offer their own children a better start. This is a cooperation and development work with real and measurable goals.

Interesting information, backgrounds and explanations can be found here:

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