Social Development => Institute

The Van Wyksdorp Institute

Why a Vanwyksdorp Institute?

The legacy of Apartheid includes the breakdown of family structures, unemployment, high levels of alcohol and drug abuse, widespread violence and despair. This process of marginalisation has led to the disintegration of especially Coloured and Black communities, where youth in particular are deprived of positive role models.

It has also excluded them from the education and employment opportunities that will enable them to develop to their full potential.As a result they appear to have turned to crime in increasing numbers and ended up in forms of correctional institutions, with disastrous results. Many of their alleged crimes is of an economic and petty natures.

The plight of these children is currently highlighted everywhere: in the media, parliament and civil society and is therefore a very topical subject.The main thrust of the process of transformation of South African society from apartheid and inequality to democracy, has been the restructuring of the imbalances with regard to the provision of services and resources in South Africa. This process of transformation, however, has had an adverse effect on the South African society where socio-economic problems like unemployment, poverty and crime remain rife. There is also evidence of an increase in the number of children awaiting trial in South African Prisons.

This appears to be directly related to the links between anti-social.”The South African Constitution provides for the protection of socio-economic rights, including the rights to housing, health care, education, food, water and social security. These rights have not contributed meaningfully to the development of a large percentage of the youth in South Africa. The Constitutional Court has already stated that socio-economic rights should not exist on paper only:Socio-economic rights are expressly included in the Bill of Rights; they cannot be said to exist on paper only.

Section 7(2) of the Constitution requires the s tate “to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights” and the courts are constitutionally bound to ensure that they are protected and fulfilled. The question is therefore not whether socio-economic rights are justifiable under our Constitution, but how to enforce them in a given case. This is a very difficult issue which must be carefully explored on a case-by-case basis. The youth, as the next generation, will play a key role in making these rights a reality, and the Vanwyksdorp Institute will promote this. They must accordingly be included in finding a solution to the challenges faced by South Africans.

Development is also about embracing the challenges of the future and to this extent helping the youth deal with their current realities and preparing them youth to deal with future challenges are crucial. The youth is accordingly in need of more dedicated and systemic development interventions, which our project activities are aimed at. Our interventions at the Vanwyksdorp Institute are aimed at mental, spiritual, social and physical development.

Interventions pertaining to the underprivileged youth have often short-term, focusing on the negative aspects of the youth and have been without significant impact. The Vanwyksdorp Institute wants to make a long-lasting and systemic impact on the youth in the Kannaland municipal district by focusing on activities to gain their trust and attend to their basic needs. We realize that in order to ensure a long-term impact on the youth; a long-term investment is require that takes into account the needs of the youth at various levels, including, mentally, physically, socially and economically.

This require gaining their trust and by building strong relationships which would result in a better understanding of their needs and ambitions. This will enable us to determine more suitable interventions that are appropriate to assist the youth in their developments to pursue their dreams.

Directors of the Vanwyksdorp Institute - Chairperson Vernon Gibbs-Halls

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