Profiling pilot sites for the Goelama Project of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund S&T has an on-going relationship with the Fund. As reported in the last edition of Phatlalatsa, Nobayethi Dube and David Everatt evaluated the 'Winterveldt Alliance', a youth development project supported by the Fund, while Jowie Mulaudzi is currently managing a scoping exercise for the Fund focusing on provision for children and youth at risk.
The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund is about to begin piloting its 'Goelama
Project', which targets orphans and vulnerable children through innovative
community support and economic strengthening strategies. The pilot phase
will be conducted in ten pilot sites located in four provinces.
David Everatt was approached to provide detailed profiles of the municipal
areas where the pilot projects will be implemented, using available material.
The Fund needed demographic information for the municipal areas in general
as well as specific age cohorts. It also needed information on food security,
HIV prevalence, civil society structures and so on. The data collection
phase was an eye-opener as to the availability of information required
for planning and design.
The Municipal Demarcation Board website is a very rich data source, with
demographic, poverty and other data available at Ward level. Complemented
by Gaffney's local government yearbook, we were able to glean a considerable
amount of what the Fund needed. Even here, however, it was impossible
to access data on the 14 to 35 age cohort. This is the official definition
of 'youth' in South Africa, but Statistics SA and others continually fail
to provide data for this cohort.
On the other hand, we could not find any local-level data regarding key
issues such as food security, the presence of non-governmental organisations,
HIV/AIDS prevalence, and so on. Moreover, a number of state agencies and
government departments are less than willing to part with information
about the location and progress of their programmes at local level, or
other important information. And, of course, researchers are expected
to pay for information - such as Census '96 age cohort data - already
paid by us through our taxes!
Despite the information gaps and blockages, S&T prepared detailed
profiles of the pilot sites for the Goelama Project, which promises to
be an important intervention in the youth and HIV/AIDS arena.