A follow-up to the previous post:
Itipini (meaning ‘dump’ in Xhosa) is a location that YASC has been sending participants to for years. The area is built on an abandoned city dump, and hosts several hundred people who would otherwise be homeless. Residents literally live in shacks. Services offered at Itipini include a medical clinic and various youth development programs.
Below is a picture of Itipini from 2007:
Two weeks ago, word spread that the community had been demolished. For whatever the reason, the police decided to go-ahead with decimating the community, even though none of the residents were equipped to handle living on their own means.
Below is a picture of Itipini last month:
In addition to the demolition, the South African government shut down the clinic and community centers. It appears that Itipini is being eradicated.
Karen Langley, current YASC participant at Itipini, has been keeping people informed on her blog. I encourage you to follow along.
I also ask you to remember fellow YASC participant Jared Grant. Jared was preparing for a year at Itipini, but is being reassigned to an undetermined location. My heart goes out to him, Karen, and all those affected at Itipini.
"Thinking about this today has made me aware that more than once this year, I have probably unknowingly complained about something that someone else has thought was an incredibly ridiculous thing to complain about. Maybe something like asking for my own cup that I wouldn’t share seemed like an incredibly spoiled thing. It makes me wonder if we might all be a little less dramatic about all the going-ons of our lives if we lived with a little less material possession. What kind of deeper appreciation for life might prevail if we all experienced a bit of scarcity of necessities every once in a while."
(taken from Karen's blog, posted on May 17th, 2012)
If any news comes my way about this process, I can be sure to pass it on to you!