South Africa has the largest economy in Africa. While enormous progress has been made in many areas after the end of apartheid in 1991, the black majority has not benefited from progress made. Daily life in the country is marred by violence, poverty, unemployment, a lack of educational opportunities, an extremely low life expectancy and, above all, the HIV/AIDS epidemic. With 2.1 million AIDS orphans, South Africa has the most cases of HIV infections worldwide.
We promote HIV/AIDS information and prevention programmes to prevent new infections, particularly among young people. Additional projects aim to curb violence against children. An important objective is combating poverty in rural regions. Our self-help group programme has proven highly effective in this environment.
- Most black South Africans still live in poverty.
South Africa has the largest economy on the continent. It has an outstanding infrastructure in urban areas, a world-class financial sector, large reserves of natural resources, and a highly developed legal system. Since the end of the apartheid regime, over one million homes have been built for vulnerable populations. Today, more people than ever have access to clean water.
But a large proportion of the majority black population still lives in poverty and has no access to some public services. Schools attended by black South-African youth tend to be less well equipped. Teachers are poorly trained and many children do not complete primary school, which virtually guarantees them a life of poverty. One out of four South African children between the ages of 5 and 14 has to work. Working children are predominantly from back communities.
With 5.6 million cases, South Africa holds the sad world record for the most HIV infections. 2.1 million children are AIDS orphans.