Men at work: men on the side of the Road. South Africa
Training course and job placements improve quality of life for road side labourers. It’s a familiar sight in South Africa: hundredsof men standing alongside the road, waiting to be hired for casual labour. An estimated 100,000 people per day can be found seeking work this way. With unemployment at 45 per cent, their wait is often in vain. Men on the side of the Road works to improve the job prospects and quality of life on the roadside labours. A registration system assesses the skills of individuals as they wait for work. Training courses and job placements are offered to enhance employability. The project has also started tool-lending scheme to enable the unemployed to set themselves up in various businesses. Some 50,000 new and recycled tools have been donated so far in response to a public campaign-tools in poor condition are repaired by the unemployed themselves. Those who remain without work are encouraged to improve conditions at the waiting sites by building roadside toilets, shelters and wells. The achievements of the project have been recognized by the United Nations which awarded Men on the side of the Road its AGFUND prize for 2003.
Newsweek, September 12, 2005.
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