Why there’s a need for more change in SA communities

South Africa is a country that we all love, but inequality is undeniable, and by the World Bank’s estimate of 2018 South Africa is the most unequal country in the world.

Within a 2km radius of one another for example, you can find two communities whose average annual income varies from R14 600 to R225 000. Between those same two communities, 82.2% of the one’s population have access to internet while only 28.4% of the other community can access information through the web. SA is also a country where only 10% of the population have a qualification higher that matric and where only 38.9% of the population is employed.

This might just look like a bunch of stats, but every stat is a story. What this says about South African communities is that there are different needs in different communities across the country – no matter how close they are to one another geographically. Local leaders have a powerful role to play in identifying the voids and obstacles in their communities and finding ways to address them.

One young woman who is taking the fate of her community into her own hands is 26-year  old Vhahangwele

Charity Munyai from Folovhodwe Village in Limpopo. Vhahangwele, a trained biokineticist, runs a non-profit organisation that provides study material, pays school fees and distributes sanitary pads and shoes to young girls.

She founded the NPO Mbeu Community Development Project in 2015 because she wanted to ensure that

her community was not forgotten. “Taking into consideration that we are situated deep in the Niani area, we decided to come up with something that will empower our youth academically,” Vhahangwele told the Limpopo Mirror earlier this year. “Young people are our future leaders and as such, they need support to be able to realise their educational potential.”

With the heart to equip and empower the youth of their community, Vhahangwele and her team has hosted several successful career exhibitions, fun walks and supplied students with study guides. They also delivered more than 1000 sanitary towels to girls in the Niani area because many girls miss school when they menstruate if they don’t have the proper menstrual products.

Vhahangwele has personally raised enough money to fund the university application fees of ten students. But this year, as one of News24’s 100 Young Madibas and one of HP’s changemakers, she will receive R50 000 worth of products and cash from HP to help her achieve more of her goals.

HP believes that education is key in improving the lives of people in local communities. Through working with partners like the UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change, Black Girls Code and Women Deliver, HP is committed to bridging the gender digital divide through technology-enabled learning opportunities for women and girls. HP believes that addressing these disparities has the potential to help unleash tremendous potential and growth.

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