Sir Lowry’s Pass village is a small, very poor community in the Western Cape that has been largely forgotten. The people here struggle with many of the same issues we find in other townships in South Africa. The lack of education as well as the alcoholism and HIV/AIDS problem have contributed to very high unemployment numbers. We have about 40% of our adults without jobs.
Housing and sanitation are huge issues. It is not uncommon to find a family consisting of between 5 and 8 members spanning over 3 generations all living together in one shack (informal housing made predominantly of wood, cardboard and corrugated iron). Many of the mothers are single parents and often there is only 1 breadwinner in the family. Needless to say, most of the people in our village are barely surviving.
Those of our adults that are employed are mostly seasonal workers. This means that while grapes and apples need to be picked on nearby farms, they are earning. The rest of the time, they are not.
Whether the mother is working or not, we experience a lack of parenting in our village. Each mom can only put into her children what she received while growing up. She cannot give what she does not have. A lack of effective parenting means our children are largely unsupervised and ill-equipped to deal with peer pressure. Issues like drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership, crime and teenage pregnancy are wide spread. The academic results are poor and the future appears bleak. Every mother wants her child’s life to be better than her own but too often history is repeating itself.
The Sir Lowry’s Pass Community Empowerment Project was established because there are many of us who want to make a difference in this community. Please partner with us!