• alfredvdmerwe

More than just a plan - a dream made reality

Updated: Mar 13, 2020

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams – Eleanor Roosevelt.

One such dream that is being made a reality is that of Lungisisa Indlela Village (LIV), an organisation aimed at providing Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) with the type of home environment that they need to be happy, healthy and positive contributors in the South African context. Founded by Tich and Joan Smith (LIV International Founders) with their flagship village located in Durban as a precedent, the LIV Village model has proven a success brought about through by collaboration and a spirit of giving.

Whilst South Africa has a plethora of socio-economic issues, including poverty, unemployment, sub-standard or lack of education in some communities, spatial challenges which marginalise the poor, a slow-moving public service system, corruption, crime etc in recent months the spotlight has been on the impact of these ills on the most vulnerable, namely women and children.


Children - that is, people aged 17 years and younger -make up nearly 40% of South Africa’s population (Statistics South Africa, 2012b). These numbers indicate that, overall, South Africa is home to a relatively young population. Furthermore, a huge segment of the national population comprises of children that have lost at least one parent. A study done by Katherine Hall and Winnie Sambu, of the Children’s Institute, highlighted that there were 3.1 million orphans in South Africa in 2015. If we take into consideration vulnerable children, the 3.1 million rises to 5.2 million OVC in SA and this number increases by 12 000 children per month. They further pointed out that the poorest households carry the greatest burden of caring for orphans, close to half (46%) of all orphans are residents in the poorest 20% of households.

Despite the number of social protection and security strategies and interventions aimed at addressing the need of the children, communities in South Africa still struggle to address the needs of OVC. It is in this sphere that organisations such as LIV Village, other Not-for-Profit (NPOs) and community actors can play a bigger role.


Inspired by the work done by LIV, Ms Lara Kruiskamp (founder of LIV LUKHANYISO, Makhanda/Grahamstown), embarked on a mission to provide the same type of healing and healthy environment to the disadvantaged youth in her hometown of Grahamstown. With specific land requirements, the extensive process of looking for a suitable site began. After numerous options, it was advised that the most suitable land for the proposed village would be Makana Brick land. After meeting with a member of the Makana Brick Board, the above portion of land was donated to LIV LUKHANYISO by the Makana Brick Board of Directors for the purposes of a LIV VILLAGE.

Subsequent to the above, the LIV team has set about getting the site ready for development, with the first step being the submission of an application for subdivision submitted to the Makana Municipality for consideration. Going forward, the LIV team intends to submit an application to the local authority for the correct land use rights as well as the necessary environmental and services capacity submissions that will enable the legal and sustainable functioning of LIV LUKHANYISO.

The envisaged LIV LUKHANYISO development will consists of 64 Homes for Foster Mothers and up to 500 children, an Early Childhood Development Centre, a School grade 1 – grade 12, Health Care Centre, Sports Facilities, a Multipurpose Hall / Church, Village Square and Trade School for skills and economic development, Staff and Volunteer Accommodation, Agriculture Project, Recycling Centre and a Conference centre.


A missing link in addressing the plight of OVC, is the involvement of corporates and professionals in the built environment (town planners, architects, engineers, environmentalists, developers, etc.). Often our involvement is in the form of a cash contribution to NPO’s or community actors, or on Mandela Day, visits to one of these organisations, giving of donations or assistance in some manner, be it painting a wall or fixing a fence. However, in the space we are in (built environment), with the skills we have, we have the opportunity to get actively involved and do much more – and we encourage more professionals and corporates to do exactly that.

CITEPLAN has partnered with LIV LUKHANYISO to make this dream a reality and so can you. Should you wish to learn more about this project click here or contact Istell Orton at istell@citeplan.net or Lara Kruiskamp at lara@liv-lukhanyiso.com

Author: Istell Orton

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