In a nutshell
The Seriti CWP Social-Health-Education Initiative aims to increase the level, diversity and quality of social, health and education sector anchor activities within the Community Work Programme (CWP), in partnership with local stakeholders. The vision is to create cohesive communities, establish safer schools and shape resilient youth in local communities.
What we do
The South African government has tried to deal with the challenge of high levels of violence and crime through national policies, strategies and programmes, stipulating that institutionalised structures need to be established for citizens to participate in planning and executing initiatives promoting community safety. The Community Work Programme (CWP) – contributing to public welfare and social services, while giving access to a minimum number of regular jobs at grassroots level – is an essential government programme enabling residents to contribute greatly to community development. To unlock the potential and greater levels of participation of CWP in the field of violence and crime prevention and community safety, the CWP Social Health Education Initiative (SHE Initiative) has been developed.
In 2013, the Seriti Institute - as the provincial implementing agency of the CWP in Gauteng - and the GIZ Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention (VCP) programme formed a partnership to strengthen and implement measures against youth violence, and incorporate these as well as crime prevention and community safety projects into CWP processes and work plans. In 2014, Phaphama (NGO) joined the cooperative partnership, adding the schools-based Youth Mentorship Programme as a new stream of activity. Through the flagship programme Football4Youth, SAFA joined the partnership in the beginning of 2014.
How we do it
The Seriti CWP SHE Initiative promotes a systemic process that integrates three key themes:
- multi-stakeholder collaboration,
- emphasis on organisational structures and
- training and capacitation of local participants.
Through multi-stakeholder violence prevention workshops, safety needs are identified and community responses channelled into action. This brings about closer cooperation between CWP and other community stakeholders. To improve collaboration between aligned stakeholders, organisational structures are established, or when they do exist, strengthened. Through increased capacity and training, CWP site managers, CWP participants and other stakeholders are helped to organise and implement useful work in the social, health and educational sectors. Since young people are most at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence, the SHE initiative places an emphasis on learners in schools and youth within the community.
The initiative is currently established in four CWP pilot sites in Gauteng: Erasmus, Kagiso, Randfontein and Westonaria. To increase the initiative’s outreach and impact, a more comprehensive model, implementing manuals and standards, is being developed. It lays out the necessary steps and the tools to be used. Ideally the initiative would be implemented at all CWP sites and municipalities throughout South Africa.
What we have achieved
Key local and provincial departments in Gauteng have been integrated to explore alignment possibilities of the CWP with the current School Safety Strategy and other relevant existing structures such as the Community Safety Fora. In Randfontein and Kagiso, CWP multi-stakeholder workshops on systemic violence prevention have been conducted with relevant local stakeholders such as SAPS, Youth Crime Prevention Desks, NGOs, CWP and key municipal and provincial departments. This led to improved communication and mutual understanding of the interventions of the various stakeholders and their collaboration. In addition a Geographical Information System (GIS) was utilised to collect CWP and safety data for visualised and evidence-based safety planning. Six CWP participants were trained on how to utilise GPS devices to capture relevant information related to CWP and safety. Furthermore CWP safety perception audits were conducted in partnership with SAPS, Youth Crime Prevention Desks, CPF and the municipality whereby over 200 community members were engaged clarifying perceptions and experiences relating to safety and enquiring what changes they would like to see within their own communities.
In the context of the CWP SHE Initiative, two anchor activities, the Football4Youth and the Youth Mentorship programmes, were set up to be implemented in the pilot sites. Through the Football4Youth programme, up to 112 coaches at all four sites will be trained to provide approximately 700 children and youth with football and life skills. Within the pilots, the Youth Mentorship Programme will train approximately 64 CWP participants as school mentors, who will in turn empower 240 learners to identify and carry out school-based activities related to violence prevention and school safety.
The Seriti CWP SHE Initiative encompasses a detailed Impact Evaluation Protocol. The impact evaluation is used to gain insights into the implementation of an intervention, for accountability purposes and to determine whether an intervention had a positive effect on individuals, households and communities and whether this effect can be attributed to the intervention.