IMPANDEs focus is UGU district which is located on the south coast of the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa.
Approximately 722,000 people live there. The coastline is the white man's Riviera, while the black population lives inland. The amount of poverty greatly increases as you travel from tourist and industrial areas. This is among several reasons that this district in South Africa has been hit hardest by the HIV-AIDS epidemic.
The statistics below show two striking features:
- The population is very young. For example, we see that that approximately 50% are under 20 years old
- The educational level is relatively low, while a large number of young people in the coming 5-10 years will leave high school without finding something to do
Based on this statistic and the general social conditions in the Ugu District, we can point out a few large challenges:
- How to find work for the young people after they have left school? If one does not succeed in obtaining jobs this new generation will become open to bad influences, radicalization, crime and rebellion.
- How to reduce the number of early pregnancy in girls? This is a big problem. About 50% of girls in high school have already born one or more children before completing Grade 12 (high school). Many of their children are left to very poor care.
- How to build basic institutions and develop competent employees in kindergartens and schools? Many of these institutions are absent or in very poor condition.
How to strengthen and develop the family as a social cell?
The family as a social cell has disintegrated in the black population. Half of the young people in secondary school do not know who their parents are, or have no contact with their parents. See article: First Steps to Healing the South African Family. South Afican Institute of Race Relations
How to reduce violence?
Violence is generally a big problem in South Africa, and Ugu district in particular. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable. A quarter of girls and women report that they have been raped once or several times in their lives.