Beyond the tin walls

Last week I visited two outreach programmes in Khayelitsha with some of the folks from work. We also stopped by at the world famous Vicky’s B&B. Vicky told us how rare it was for locals to visit, and how great it was we’d popped in.

I think it would be wonderful if people from “privileged” backgrounds made the effort to visit townships. It would do so much to dispel the common misconceptions that many have. The exuberant, bustling communities of Khayelitsha is a far cry from the grimy chaos that many people believe the township to be.

Visiting Learn to Earn, an NGO that provides training and skill development to the unemployed, was really inspiring – it shows the motivation there is amongst people to overcome the challenges they face in their circumstances.

The council has also embarked on a tree-planting and road repair project. Workers have been contracted to clean up litter, and big green containers have been provided every hundred metres or so in the informal settlement areas for residents to dump their rubbish.

Khayelitsha is far from perfect, and there’s a long way to go for living standards to be improved. It’s exciting, though, to see that there is change, and that this change is set to be a lasting one.







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2 responses to “Beyond the tin walls

  1. Excellent photos. Do you know anything else about Learn to Earn? As in it’s success rate or what not?

  2. amatthews

    You can find out more about Learn to Earn at As far as I know their success rate in finding employment and creating opportunities for their students is something phenomenal. They won a gold award from the Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust. For more info, check out

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