As part of our community conflict mediation (CCM) programme, that focuses on strengthening and capacitating grassroots communities to address their issues through, community dialogues, partnerships, collaboration and mobilization of community resources – Africa Unite was invited by the Weert Rotary Club in Netherlands to present a water and sanitation project for Europe Township in Cape Town. For the past 5 years, Africa Unite has rolled out the CCM programme in Europe which is one of the most impoverished black communities in the Western Cape. Through its young people/human rights peer educators that are trained on human rights and conflict mediation, Africa unite developed a community profile, established relations with key stakeholders in the community, facilitated a series of community dialogues and assisted to follow up on some of the outcomes of these dialogues.
It did not come as a surprise to us that the issue of water and sanitation is critical in Europe and the community identified it as an area that needed urgent attention. Diarrhea, water borne diseases, rats, lack of drainages, lack of toilets, lack of safe space for children to play including the deteriorated community hall amongst others are some of the daily struggles of Europe Township residents. A number of recommendations were proposed by the community during our dialogues and Africa Unite has partnered with various government and non-state actors to address some of these challenges. As part of our awareness programmes in Europe Township, Africa Unite works with children and parents in a programme called Singamakalipha which focuses on the holistic child’s growth through various psycho-social support activities and with youth in our Human Rights programme where we have capacitated over 20 youth in this area to lobby and advocate on water and sanitation issues on behalf of their community.
Following this background, on the 12th of June 2019 Africa Unite presented a proposal on how Weert Rotary Club can partner with Africa Unite and Europe community on a sustainable project that can address some of the pressing water and sanitation issues. The presentation was done at local hotel in Weert in the presence of over 30 Weert Rotary members including their chairperson.
The presentation of the proposal was well received and a few questions of clarity were asked and responded to immediately. The proposal was also preliminary accepted and Africa Unite is looking forward to partnering with Weert Rotary club in Europe Township. The Rotary club members were also impressed with the general work of Africa Unite and expressed their desire to work more with Africa Unite on other projects.
Africa Unite would like to thank Weert Rotary Club for giving us the opportunity to present this possible partnership.