Vuvulane institutional

Vuvulane institutional

Date: July 25, 2013
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Knowledge is power. Before Gender Links’ intervention, the Vuvulane community was not aware and empowered to break the barriers about Gender issues. Now, their well being is taken to a new level.

The intervention of Gender Links has brought about an immense flow of information, awareness and empowerment to the people of Vuvulane, especially the women. It has broken barriers of bad cultural norms and financial dependence to a great extent. Attitudes and values towards gender equality have changed, and people at the community level and in working environments have become more gender sensitive.

There is available evidence that portrays that as the town council of Vuvulane, we are striving for the best to help the people in our community. There are beneficiaries who benefit from the projects provided by the council.

The council has helped us a great deal through the provisioning of the shelter (market for us to trade), for example. The place is very safe; there have never been any break-ins since it started operating. There is a safe locking system and the area is one that is lucky as it is not crime infested.

The market place has running water and toilets for males and females. This is very much commendable. The council also provides condoms in public areas, so that the community takes them for protection against STIs, especially HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies. The place is frequented by school children, and we have found that some are sexually active. Though we don’t encourage this behaviour, we do encourage everyone to practice safe sex, and think that providing condoms is an important council initiative.

The only shortcoming towards the good deed of the council is that it could only put the market structure in place, but cannot get the public transport operators to pass by the market place, thus reducing the number of customers visiting the market. Another reason is that being in the sugar belt region, some of the vendors are usually employed albeit seasonally to work in the sugar cane fields. In this way there are few vendors left at certain times of the year. The choice of goods decreases during such times, leading people to buy elsewhere so they will get everything they need at once.

“From rags to riches” is what I usually speak of in our council. This town has moved towards gender equality from literally primitive and barbaric norms of behaviour to one that now strive to gender tolerance. We have done this with minimal finances, but active dialogues. As an agricultural area, Vuvulane is faced with an influx of people coming for employment opportunities, and one can only imagine how hard it can be for people from different backgrounds to achieve a common goal. The council is nonetheless still striving for more sensitizing of the community, to be in line with the 28 targets of the SADC protocol on gender and development by 2015.

Basically, the world our community is in is one of challenges, so yes we have many challenges but the worst of all is financial constraints. One strategy the council uses is giving support to survivors of GBV which in turn gives a clear message to the community that we do not tolerate violence. Assisting survivors is very hard without proper finance as some need transport to and from hospitals and police stations, not to mention counselling.


Beneficiaries from the council’s projects

Sibongile Hlatshwayo

Sibongile owns a stationary shop in the market complex.



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