A central aspect of CHOSA’s work with our partners is community accountability. CHOSA assists communities and community-based organizations with assembling Boards of Directors, holding Annual General Meetings, and integrating community members into the work being done to support orphaned and vulnerable children. Mandela Park Community Crèche (pre-school), founded by the Mandela Park Children’s Committee, exists to provide quality early childhood education to the community’s poorest members. Because it was founded with the community’s needs at heart, it is crucial for them to remain central to the pre-school’s operation.
Over the past several months, CHOSA has been working with Mandela Park to increase the efficacy of their committee, and to ensure that they are allowing the community to hold them accountable in terms of finances and services to the children. This proved to be a challenge at first, but recently Mandela Park has seen a great deal of growth in this area. A greater sense of accountability has been developed between the crèche’s executive committee and the community, and the voices of more community members are being heard, influencing the direction of the crèche.
The recent improvements are a hopeful sign of things to come. A committee meeting last month, for example, was attended by approximately 80 community members and is a true sign of growth and community investment. Those in attendance gave their input regarding the way forward for the crèche, and how to make the meetings themselves more interactive and relevant. CHOSA is hopeful that this growth will continue as Mandela Park Community Crèche works to provide hope for the children in their community.