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Our Community: Kylemore

We recognise:

  • human dignity
  • the right to meaningful childhood
  • the right to purposeful life
  • personal contribution
  • responsibility for one another
  • whole person, whole community
The Simonsberg overlooks the little rural town of Kylemore

The Simonsberg overlooks the little rural town of Kylemore

Kylemore is a previously disadvantaged rural community outside Stellenbosch in South Africa. Although a well-established community, with a remarkable level of generic skills and individual talent, it is still economically vulnerable: 60% of adults are unemployed, and the village is socially deprived of community facilities.

With a population of 4000+ people, the community is largely dependent on seasonal jobs as farm labourers during the harvest season. For the rest of the year, unemployment is rampant and few are able to support themselves through personal endeavor. There is no industry of any kind in this little settlement, and employable skills are limited.

School leavers find no employment here, and often there is no money even to travel to town to look for a job. High-school graduates have no access to formal tertiary education, mostly due to financial constraints, and the lack of formal trade-skills training at high school further limits employability. Although they leave school highly motivated, their lack of skills predisposes them to disillusion or unemployment in the job market.

Social infrastructure is limited to: a primary school, a high school, churches, a municipal clinic, and a crèche, and aftercare centre established by Imbali Western Cape. There is no library and no sport facilities as entertainment for the younger children.

Despite the deprivation and economic hopelessness, the largely Christian community are devout churchgoers, with no less than seven churches. Nevertheless, drugs and alcohol are a constant concern, and inevitably many families live in a state of relative hunger.

As far as the parents are concerned, there is clearly both a major need to increase the employability levels of all the people in the area, through access to skilled and semi-skilled training, and the need to create local jobs and entrepreneurial expertise and opportunities within the valley.

In the meantime, many children require nutrition, and all need recreational and educational upliftment opportunities to improve their quality of childhood, and general chances for success in life.

As Imbali, we have initiated and established a number of ongoing projects in this community, mainly benefiting the children. The responsiveness of the community to the opportunities created, has been most rewarding, responsible, and enthusiastic.

We invite you to join us in improving the quality of childhood for all the young people of Kylemore… to give nurture, to create hope, and to generate opportunity.