Social development is an integral part of Working for Water, affecting all operations of the programme. The Social Development thrust is aimed principally at poverty relief, but it also seeks to optimise benefits in general. The programme’s targets are as follows:
- Create of jobs per annum, for previously unemployed individuals.
- Allocate 60% of these jobs to women.
- Allocate 20% of the jobs to youth (persons under the age of 23 years).
- Allocate 2% (minimum amount) of the jobs to disabled persons.
- Ensure every worker receives a minimum average of two days of training per month.
- Ensure every project has a functional steering committee.
- Ensure every worker receives an hour of HIV-AIDS awareness training per quarter.
- Ensure every project allows for access to childcare facilities
Working for Water is committed to the integration of HIV/AIDS awareness into the everyday activities of the programme (through literacy and First Aid) with both a workplace and a community focus. A peer education approach has been adopted whereby individuals are selected for their capacity to encourage HIV positive persons to participate in the programme, as well as for a willingness to interact and work with HIV positive and negative persons regarding the issues of HIV/AIDS.The Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa (PPASA) is a partner of the Working for Water programme in the Eastern Cape. The association actively engages in skills development, training, and awareness creation of communities in health issues, hygiene, environmental health, inoculation, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and menopause. The partnership makes a visible difference and there appears to be a decline in teenage pregnancies, rape and alcohol abuse.
Creative, non-threatening approaches to AIDS awareness are adopted by the programme, with drama, song and poetry competitions and exhibitions. The development of skills and confidence in people is critical in creating an enabling environment and allowing them to protect themselves.
Childcare for the children of workers is critical both in terms of protecting the safety of children and releasing women into the workforce. A partnership with the Department of Welfare assists in the setting up of crèches in rural areas.
Two years ago, WfW identified training in HIV/AIDS as crucial. With access to over 20 000, often in higher risk groups, WfW set aside a R1 million budget to launch a national awareness programme. While most regions are doing some training this has not been adequately coordinated. The employment of an HIV/AIDS coordinator will address this and strengthen efforts in this area.
Following the high incidence of unwanted and unplanned pregnancies in Working for Water projects, WfW joined forces with the Planned Parenthood Association and UNFPA to provide reproductive health care training and support to workers.
NICRO Ex-offender Re-integration
This project, operated in partnership with the Department of Welfare, serves to re-integrate ex-offenders into society. Currently, it is a pilot and involves 350 participants.
A pilot project that aims to facilitate savings schemes by, and for, workers in the Working for Water programme.