The Community of Harare are actively involved in co-creating the development which has taken place through VPUU initiatives and partnerships. As an area experiencing high unemployment, the facilities allow for economic activity and the community to be part of a broader development of economic strategy. As a result the community showcases how development can take place in partnership with the broader community and the leadership.
The focus in Harare is on activation of facilities and public spaces through joint events with social crime prevention partners and other VPUU components. VPUU work in this area has been in progress for 10 years now and so the VPUU exit strategy needs to be most advanced and implemented in Harare. There is an intense focus on youth activation and safety. Youth and Lifestyle Centre activities have been launched and are led by a local Youth task team. With the objective to reach high risk, older Youth, it offers a variety of alternative programmes such as Open Mic, Poetry and Dancing Nights. The Neighbour Hood Watch is working with local safety partners to strengthen their presence in the area.
Formalised engagement with leadership group, dissemination of programme information and managing the process of incremental improvement of the neighbourhood is key in Harare. Strong relationships with local leadership structures and community partners assist in supporting, maintaining and ensuring smooth processes in the area. The SNAC is active and meets on a regular basis. The local leadership committee has endorsed and started skills development programmes.
The vision of VPUU’s Community Operations and Maintenance approach to Facility Management is to have safe, clean, well maintained and regularly used facilities that are sustainably managed in partnership with communities and local institutions. VPUU values the meaningful involvement of the local community in setting policies and quality standards, and in helping to manage the facilities so there is a greater likelihood of community ‘ownership,’ a sense of pride and citizenship, security and care.
Dedicated staff live in the facilities to help with facility management and basic maintenance and cleaning. Community Delivery of Services (CDS) means local people help with a range of services – from volunteer tasks like facility guarding to paid work like landscaping or live-in General Worker. Achieving financial sustainability of facilities is an important goal for VPUU and it requires getting dependable income to maintain what is built.
Recommendations from the Khayelitsha Commission of Enquiry into the functioning of the police provide a guiding framework to VPUU. Youth development programmes to promote social, cultural and sporting events in public spaces thereby improving quality of life and perceived safety. A local safety partnership has been supported and funds have been secured from Department of Community Safety for dedicated Neighbour Hood Watch for the area. They have strong support from local businesses. The support of the CoCT is desired. Support to victims of violence will continue through Mosaic in future.
Effective monitoring and evaluation systems are developed to track progress against agreed programme’s activities and set targets. Local capacities are strengthened to support programme’s implementation and build resilient communities. Strategic sessions are held regularly to reflect on achievements, challenges and lessons learnt. Progress on implementation is shared with programme’s beneficiaries, partners and funders at agreed times through progress reports. Tools are developed to keep local communities and members of the public informed on programme’s activities and progress against set targets.