Summative Report: Learnings from Participants' Reflections on the Strengthening Urban Violence Prevention Through the Community Work Programme (CWP) Project
Reflecting on the participants’ experiences, it seemed that the project had both strengths and weaknesses in its different phases. Related to the training, participants reported increased knowledge, changes in their attitudes and personal lives as well as feeling more equipped to deal with some of the social challenges they experienced in their communities. Simultaneously, although many participants felt empowered, it was noted how an increased sense of empowerment may have been subdued by the seemingly immovable contextual challenges encountered in their communities as well as their own homes. Some of these challenges require much broader collaboration between citizens, business and government departments at local, provincial and national levels. However, CSVR also noted a sense of togetherness, group identity or social cohesion amongst participants, where they felt that they could work together to affect positive change. This was also noted when reflecting on project implementation, where participants felt that they were increasingly being recognised as knowledgeable or resources within their communities - an outcome that was especially important in communities that continued to struggle with the lack of health services, primarily due to colonialism and apartheid and secondarily due to issues of service delivery post-1994.