Sustainable Community Involvement in the Indlovu Project


Mission Statement

The goal of this project was to encourage community engagement in the redevelopment process of Monwabisi Park by increasing interest in the Indlovu Project and improve responses from outside agencies. We also sought to establish multimedia communication as a sustained practice for understanding and advancing community interests. The project was sponsored by the C Section Street Committee of Monwabisi Park.


  • Establish photography as a sustainable community initiative.
  • Develop the community co-researcher program to contribute to and sustain redevelopment efforts.
  • Document community members’ thoughts on redevelopment including issues, concerns and opinions.
  • Facilitate contact with outside agencies to establish community involvement programmes in Monwabisi Park.


In order to best serve the needs of the community, redevelopment efforts should include meaningful community input. Community participation is worthwhile and can help improve the living conditions of low-income communities(Bolnick, 2004). Community involvement can help identify different perspectives on issues related to redevelopment, create the conditions for open and constructive discussion, and devise a decision making process that leads to consensus or to publicly acceptable outcomes. There is also a moral need for having feedback from the people whose lives redevelopment is changing. Redevelopment isn’t only about the physical changes of building new houses or new toilets. It is also about giving community members more opportunities and education so they can continue to grow as individuals and a community.

Methodology and Analysis

Our team used a variety of methods to attain our project objectives. Our main interactions were with co-researchers, community members hired to work with WPI and the Indlovu Project to aid in redevelopment. They were able to give us insight into life in Monwabisi Park and connect with community members. We conducted in-depth interviews with the co-researchers to better understand local views. We then used story boards to help document  and express key themes in redevelopment planning.  With the help of the co-researchers, we videotaped interviews with MWP residents. We also trained co-researchers in practical skills such as camera and printer use in order enable them to to continue running the photo shop. We learned about many of the real challenges facing members of a poverty-stricken community and how these challenges can hold people back from advancing in life. Overcoming these challenges prompted an initiative to contact outside organizations. We visited with False Bay College, Good Hope Campus to learn more about programmes they may offer to Monwabisi Park.  Read more about our methodology here.


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2009 Communications Team Executive Summary [PDF 1.2MB]