Walmer Township

Trip Start Oct 01, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, March 4, 2005

Walmer Township ( Gquebera )

At first the idea of taking a tour of a township bothered me. I wondered how I would feel if tourists came to my home and photographed my poverty. But then I found a tour that put the money back into the township (still think less went in than he actually said). So I decided to go.

Walmer Township in PE is the oldest and the only one to successfully resist the group area act. The area itself is 4 sq km and holds nearly 60,000 people. Most residents live in run down shacks and conditions that make Canadian homeless people look like millionaires. The area is turning around but at the moment it still holds an 80% unemployment rate.

The highlight of the tour was with out a doubt Xolelanani Youth Project. It was designed to help Walmers youth learn life skills and keep them away from drugs, sex and crime. Because of the high HIV/AIDS rate in South Africa there are hundreds of orphans that can not feed or look after them selves. Xolelanani is a sanctuary for children to come eat, play and learn in a safe environment. Currently there are 80 kinder garden students involved that receive care on a daily basis. 12 of which are on full scholarships to receive an education out side the center. The project itself is struggling to make ends meet and relies on donations from tourists and people that visit the center. I have posted the address for anyone that cared to become more involved.

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