Where We Are: An Overview
To have a better understanding of Helping Hands and what our organisation is doing, it is important for us to first give you an understanding of the circumstances and geographical area in which we operate.
Helping Hands is situated in a rural settlement on the north coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal, one of the nine provinces in South Africa.
South Africa is home to 3.5 million orphans under the age of 18. Two million of these are as a result of HIV. Kwa-Zulu Natal has the highest percentage of orphaned children – 23 % of the nation’s total.
The community is in the uMkhanyakude Municipality, a municipality that is generally characterised by isolated rural communities with high levels of poverty. The most significant land use is subsistence agriculture, and dispersed settlements, plantations and agriculture are found throughout the municipality.
It is in areas that have been severely impacted by the AIDS epidemic in South Africa, which has resulted in many orphans, child headed homes or grandparents looking after many orphaned grandchildren.
The area has also been impacted by poverty and has an extremely high rate of unemployment. It is a low resourced area in terms of government resources.
There are very few functioning social services, and even fewer quality services, that would have made life simpler and more comfortable.