Our organisation has been operating in Makhanda/ Grahamstown (South Africa) for over 20 years in the field of community health and in addition since 2016 also facilitating community development.
Focus areas of community engagement:
- Community health: Basic eye care (eyesight & retina scanning), HIV counselling and testing, TB and STI screening);
- Community Development: Asset-based community-driven development training which is a strength-based approach to local growth and includes entrepreneurial skills development, project follow-up, Siya Sonke – intervention research on socio-economic change at household level;
- Siya Sonke Child and youth development: Child safety, life skills, tutoring, leadership, training in asset-based thinking and project development & management skills;
- ‘Khanya’: strength-based health-prevention activities (workshops) at local High-Schools
- 2,250 individuals (focus groups: Women, children & youth).
Recent success/ achievements:
- Health Testing Services: reached over 1,950 individuals in 2018: out of 65% of all testers were adolescents.
- The Raphael Centre plays a leading role in introducing and training Asset-based Community-driven Development (ABCD) in Makana: ABCD forms a model for strength-based sustainable community development which is gaining traction within government, corporate sector and academic sector as a key strategy to promote economic and social transformation in South Africa. It gives power back to communities to harness their strengths and to push for a transformative agenda. Asset-building policies have been used to build the middle class in a few OECD countries already.
- Asset-based Community-driven Development & Siya Sonke project:
Siya Sonke started in 2017 and will last until 2021. It involves a core group of 40 families from Joza township community in Makhanda and reaches out to their social networks. We have worked with the adults and their children of the Siya Sonke families (two generations). Here, have reached 117 individuals. 88 of them are our direct partners and 29 are further family members living in the same households. Among the direct partners are 42 adults and 46 children and youth. Social networks from the adults are individuals which were nominated by our Siya Sonke partners. They were further family members, colleagues, friends and neighbours. The annual reach is here 50 to 90 people. The social network of the Siya Sonke children and youth include their peers through the Primary and Secondary Schools which they attend.
Since its inception, we track and record progress made through Siya Sonke, using outcome mapping, baseline questionnaires and individual narrative, to see if our approach has potential for meaningful local change at a grassroots-level: When Siya Sonke partners started working with us, most were relying on welfare grants and reported feeling lost and despondent. People have since become aware of their assets (the leverage they actually bring into their own situation), and started using and investing in them. So far, the significant changes are personal: self-acceptance, self-confidence, trust and a sense of togetherness. This came through asset-awareness and knowing how to pursue aspirations (knowledge about planning, budgeting and business development). Learning partners have formed five entrepreneurial groups to support each other in establishing their businesses. Among Siya Sonke partners, 38% could increase their household income so far. The children and youth’s attendance in our activities has been steady. They are very committed and have shown great engagement and interest. There are reports which show improved school performance and the trend has been very promising.
We need assistance:
We are urgently looking for donations for our Khanya – Project this year.
It is part of our ‘Siya Sonke’ intervention and engages peer groups of the Siya Sonke youth. It aims at declining local school-dropout and teenage pregnancy rates through informed health choices. It forms an innovative model where strength-based strategy is combined with health prevention.
The total project budget is R75,000.00 Rand.
Name: Raphael Support and Skills Development Organisation Name of Bank: First National Bank Name of Branch: Grahamstown, C.P. 232 Branch Code: 210717 Account Number 62485302823