Thursday, March 29, 2007


I made a trip to the Soweto Township this morning, and we walked through Motswaledi, euphamistically known as an "Informal Settlement," which was established in 1993. There are about 20,000 residents here living in corrugated iron shanty houses that have no electricity, although there is access to safe, clean water at various central points in the camp. After a week of talking with South African teens about improving their prospects for the future, it was sobering to see the conditions that these preschoolers are growing up in. There is a preschool in the settlement, but the nearest primary school is a thirty-minute walk away. Children who attend there are required to wear uniforms (which are expensive) and to purchase their own books, as well. It is late autumn here, so not terribly hot, but the heat inside the metal shanty was stifling. I can only imagine that when it is cold, it is terribly cold, as well.

A sobering finish to my stay here in Johannesburg.

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