Helenvale Recycling Initiative Challenge

The HERI Challenge selection process resulted in representatives from five different areas (Die Gaat, Helenvale proper, Barcelona Ext. 3, Extension 12 and Extension 5) as separate and distinct neighborhood in Helenvale, Ward 13.

It was also recognized that Helenvale has the highest levels of violent crime in the province and at least twice as high in the metro as other areas. With over 25 000 residents, the area has a very high level of household density of 10-15 people per home/property (primary and informal residence) and owing to severe social problems with drug and substance abuse, proliferation of organized gang and drug trade, high levels of reported petty crime, chronic infrastructure underinvestment and high school drop-out levels amongst youth and low educational attainment with only 9% of population has matric or high qualification) and with an average 80% unemployment rate.

As such the project owners correctly assumed that although a microcosm of most failing communities, that there are positives to come out of the area with HERI participants coming through the selection process as an indicator, but that there was still high levels of mistrust, age gap in terms of experience and low levels of insight within the areas owing to safety concerns restricting movement.

The CAM was used as a catalyst for positive personal reflection and insight through the HERI process and as such aimed to achieve the following:-

  1. Provide participants with insight to their own community;
  2. Gain skills in working within groups to compile and present finding;
  3. Create positive relations amongst youth and the elderly in the community;
  4. Identify positive and enabling assets within the community;
  5. Consider leveraging these into possible opportunities;

The CAM process was also used to introduce and familiarize participants with the approach and spanned only one day including a 3 hour ABCD introduction session facilitated by Ikhala Trust’s Mrs Bernie Dolley.

Owing to the focus of the HERI project around recycling, the limited aspects to the ABCD model was done only as an exercise and therefore as a value-adding component that needs to be incorporated as future reference to larger processes within the area depending institutional support for greater community participation.

Download the full report here.