Khayelitsha, township in Cape Town
Khayelitsha is the second largest township in South Africa with an estimated 1.5 million residents.
I went to Khayelitsha with a non-profit, CHOSA (Children of South Africa) that works on sustainable development in the township. They provide grants for residents to start schools, subsidize school fees, fund orphanages, small business loans and more.
Like other townships in South Africa, problems include:
-lack of medical resources to address preventative care as well as the TB and HIV/AIDS epidemic
-high rate of poverty
-lack of infrastructure, most of the shacks and homes don’t have electricity and there’s a huge problem with the kerosene lamps falling over and burning down entire sections of the community
-abandoned children, both orphanages we visited had about 20 kids staying in two bedroom homes
CHOSA’s end goal for all of the projects they support is for them to become self sustainable.
People living in the townships now were most often sent there by the apartheid government as part of the countries segregation. Townships were removed from education, healthcare, emergency services, socioeconomic opportunities for over 50 years. Now, 20 years into democracy the recovery process is just beginning.