Within Mgwenyana valley the traditional area of Amasame and its four villages form the focus for this develop.
Many people here depict their lives as difficult. The main problems described are not enough or no clean water and a lack of toilets. The area is typically very poor, as many rural communities can be with unemployment levels estimated to be at least 70%. This leads to, too much despondency amongst the younger members with many becoming involved in alcohol and drug related crime and violence.
There is great reliance on money for food with many people excluded from the Government grant system dependent on family support to provide just one meal a day. There is a desire and willingness from many in the villages to grow their own food but little attempt is made because of a lack of knowledge, unfenced land and a belief that there is not enough water available. The food they do grow is maize and only one crop a year.
There is a cycle of illness that is perpetuated by a lack of healthy food and clean water. There are high levels of morbidity with diseases such as dysentery, cholera, TB and HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS has much stigma attached to it in these communities. People with the disease often become imprisoned in their homes for fear of what the community will say and this often stops them attending the clinic for treatment. This and the lack of clinical home visits leave many people without adequate and effective treatment of the disease.
Work on this new project only began in March 2010. It has enormous potential to improve the social capital of the area. The traditional leadership recognise that things must now change, that socially it is no longer acceptable for people to be without clean water, sanitation and a safe home. Additionally there seems a strong desire within the community itself for change, not just for their own lives but particularly for the youth in the community.
Much work and ultimately action within the community is required to improve the lives of each individual through
the processes of responsible social leadership, community participation and stakeholder partnerships that have been
tried and adapted at CART Sicambeni. All these ingredients are a prerequisite for sustainable positive change.