Target Communities

SLOT’s Head Quarters are based in the province of Kwa  Zulu Natal which has the largest concentration of indigenous people in South Africa, the highest levels of poverty, unemployment and is also the centre of the country’s AIDS pandemic.

Why Edendale?
Edendale is situated in Pietermaritzburg which is the capital city of  Kwa Zulu Natal,
Is an area of 14000h (bigger than Monaco and only slightly smaller than Luxemborg.)
It is the home to  500 000  people which constitutes  half the city’s population.

The average persons income is ZAR12 000 per year which  translates to about £3 a day. National Statistics indicate that most of the poor are living on ZAR7 a day  (less than a pound a day!). 47% of the total population are unemployed and 70% of population are under the age of 28.

Why the focus on youth (aged 18-35)?

Unemployment:
Youth are at the centre of the unemployment crisis.
A prominent local newspaper, The Mercury reported [10 November 2010]: On the country’s devastating unemployment rate stated that;
more than two thirds of young black people under the age of 35 have never had a first time job and are therefore effectively unemployable
70% of youth in Edendale are unemployed and most of them have given up all hope of ever having a job. They are bound by poverty and lack of opportunity and can’t see a way forward without help. Lack of hope and desperation often  forces them into lives of crime. Unemployment is one of the root causes of rampant violence and crime in South Africa.

HIV / AIDS:
The HIV/AIDS pandemic is tearing the nation apart.  20% of SA’s population (mainly youth) are infected.  Youth are either infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.  Kwa Zulu Natal  is the nations HIV/AIDS capital.  Youth are the ones most affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic  and are also mainly responsible for the HIV/AIDS orphan population which is growing at an estimated rate of half a million children annually.  Many children have grown up as  heads of their homes with huge responsibilities on their shoulders.  By helping them to become economically able,  one is in effect helping the whole community.