Strengthening Support for Rural Communities: A United Nations Collaboration with the House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders
15 June 2023
By gaining insights into the challenges faced by rural communities, the United Nations can better tailor its support to address their unique needs.
On Tuesday, June 6th, a significant meeting took place between the United Nations and the chairperson of the House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders, alongside his executive committee. The primary objective of this meeting was to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of rural communities regarding harmful practices, well-being improvement, and rural development. By aligning efforts, the United Nations aims to ensure that development reaches every corner of society.
Understanding the Needs of Rural Communities: The meeting provided a platform for open dialogue and knowledge-sharing between the United Nations and the House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders. By gaining insights into the challenges faced by rural communities, the United Nations can better tailor its support to address their unique needs. The discussions focused on various aspects, including harmful practices, rural development, gender-based violence, men's health, and the empowerment of traditional leaders and rural women.
Areas of Collaboration and Support:
Awareness and Dissemination of Information: The United Nations expressed its commitment to supporting the oversight committee on initiation by disseminating and raising awareness about legislation governing traditional initiation practices. This includes sharing information on the 'Eastern Cape Customary Male Initiation Practice Act, Act No 5 of 2016' and the 'Customary Initiation Act, Act No 2 of 2021' to provinces and local areas.
Community Awareness Campaigns: To combat the dangers associated with illegal or unregistered initiation schools, community awareness campaigns will be developed and supported in rural areas. These campaigns aim to educate communities about the legislation governing initiation practices and raise awareness of the potential risks involved.
Empowerment of Rural Women Traditional Leaders: Recognizing the crucial role of rural women traditional leaders, efforts will be made to empower them in championing issues related to rural development, gender-based violence, women's economic empowerment, and addressing harmful practices. By providing support and resources, the United Nations aims to enhance the leadership and influence of these women in their communities.
Stakeholder Engagement and Action Plans: The United Nations will support the convening of relevant stakeholders to facilitate discussions and develop a comprehensive plan of action to address harmful practices, including death in initiation schools and gender-based violence. By bringing together key actors, sustainable solutions can be identified and implemented effectively.
Men's Health Awareness: Technical assistance will be provided to develop awareness campaigns focused on men's health, particularly mental health. These campaigns will encourage men to seek preventative healthcare services, including testing and treatment, ultimately promoting overall well-being within rural communities.
Inclusion in the District Development Model: The United Nations will advocate for the inclusion and participation of rural communities and small businesses in the District Development Model. By ensuring their representation and involvement, the model can be more inclusive and better address the specific needs of rural areas.
The collaboration between the United Nations and the House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders marks a significant step towards supporting rural communities in their development journey. By focusing on various areas such as awareness, empowerment, stakeholder engagement, and health promotion, the United Nations aims to create sustainable solutions that leave no one behind. Through collective efforts, it is possible to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals living in rural areas and build a more equitable and prosperous society for all.