Willowfontein is Ward 14 of the Msunduzi Municipality, Mgungundlovu District, in the province of KwaZulu Natal. It is 13 square kilometers, with an estimated population in 2020 of over 17 588 people. It is peri-urban including some rural areas, within a reasonable travelling distance from the city of Pietermaritzburg. According to the census of 2011, youth aged 15 – 24 years make up 23% of the total population, 48% of youth have completed high school. In this population age group 38% of females have given birth. KwaZulu-Natal is at the global epicentre of the HIV epidemic, and in the Mgungundlovu District specifically, there is an HIV prevalence of 20% amongst 15 to 49 year old inhabitants in 2016. Unemployment in this area is high. The official unemployment rate amongst youth (15-34) in Msunduzi Municipality, of which Willowfontein is a part, is 43%. However, for youth, aged 19 to 25 from particularly under resourced and impoverished households, 94% are unemployed. Poverty impacts directly on the living conditions of children, a General Household Survey in 2012 showed that 35% of African children live in homes where the main source of income was government grants. 32% of African children lived in homes “where money ran out to buy food” in the past 12 months. The last two years has compounded the impact of poverty on households. Covid, the looting and unrest in July 2021 (17 000 people lost their jobs in Pietermaritzburg alone) and the recent flooding have all taken its toll leaving vulnerable households more vulnerable than ever
Dlalanathi is based in Pietermaritzburg, KZN and work in the surrounding rural and peri urban communities. They position all their work within a community development model to increase the community’s capacity to respond to the psychosocial support needs of children and families affected by trauma, poverty and loss. Their approach involves intensive work in a specific geographical area; the funding from EMpower will be used specifically for programmes implemented in Willowfontein.
EMpower's first grant to dlalanathi will support 572 young people (aged 10-24; 77% female) to improve mental health, resilience and well-being; increase their knowledge and understanding of SRHR; and develop core life skills. In addition, 132 adult stakeholders will be engaged leading to increased support for young people in a small community. Lastly, the grant will support dlalanathi with succession planning and longer-term financial sustainability.
Primary Location: Pietermaritzburg
Funded Since: 2022
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