This is a peri-urban area and a traditional “Black township” on the edge of New Germany. Almost everyone who lives in the area is poor, and some live in abject poverty: we work with many child-headed households (there is no adult in the house because he / she has died – usually of Aids), in many others the bread winners have Aids and are too sick to work, or simply have too few skills to be employed. The predominant problems in this community are poverty, Aids, unemployment and lack of economic opportunity, crime, drugs, domestic violence and rape.
CAST formally partnered with KwaDabeka Baptist through an existing partnership between the church and Westville Baptist which began in 1970. CAST currently runs programmes in all four departments. Relief Services has 84 beneficiaries receiving food parcels and clothing for resale to earn extra income. The Health Screenings facilitated by CAST in 2017 and 2018 also benefitted many in this community who were not aware of their risk of developing Diabetes and have since improved their nutritional habits, and in more severe cases, referred to the local clinic for further treatment.
Seventy children are enrolled in the Education and Child Development programme which provides Early Literacy classes for learners in the foundation phase, as well as after school tutoring and Homework Clubs. Many more children from the community also attend the annual Holiday Club held at the church.
52 youth aged between 14 and 19 participate in the Sport and Youth Development programmes which include girls’ and boys’ basketball and soccer teams; and the Resilience programme which has been incorporated into the Life Orientation curriculum at Sthokozile High School. These youths also attend the annual boys’ and girls’ camps.
44 people, many of whom are also recipients of Relief Services, have undergone training to develop business skills that will enable them to start up and run their own businesses. This is part of CAST’s aim toward holistic development that ensures people are equipped with the skills to manage different aspects of life.