Act 1 Scene 4

Putting Plans in Motion


The storage building by the WaSH facility in Mandela Park. It is a rainy and relatively cold day in the informal settlement of Langrug. Additionally, there is construction to put in new pipes under the road right outside the facility, so there is no water running in the facility.



The WaSH teams travel together out to Langrug, planning for a four hour day of work and making plans for longer working days in the coming week. Scott and Steve also visit for their weekly meeting.


Cast of Characters


Rain and Construction

The van approaches Langrug but as we get closer, we turn down a different street than usual. The construction for putting in the water main has rerouted us to take other roads. It appears the most direct route to get to the facility is now available but as we get closer, we see construction still blocking the entrance to the facility. We get out of the car and walk up the short distance to the facility. With the construction so close to the facility, we hope that water will return soon. Mama Poto is the only one at the facility when we arrive. We are without Sizwe as he got a ride with Scott and Steve. Mama Poto begins sweeping up some of the trash outside but after a few minutes, we all move into the storage bungalow near the facility to get out of the rain and cold. Mama Poto is with us for a few minutes but soon leaves to find more community members. While she is gone Sizwe arrives with Scott and Steve. Sizwe then proceeds to try to find Mama Poto. After several minutes, Sizwe and Mama Poto return and some community members have also joined us, though not as many as usual. We are ready for the meeting to begin.

Getting Started

Getting Started


Planning for the Future

We begin the meeting by agreeing to talk loud, because there is construction outside, making it hard to hear what is being said. As a result some information from the meeting may have gotten lost in the noise. Sizwe then asks the question to the community members of what they would like to see done in the next six weeks. They say the top priority is starting a kiosk, and they would like that done as soon as possible, even in the next few weeks, before the Savings Group is fully established. The WaSH teams talk a little about the logistics of it, but we agree to plan to make the space and get the initial inventory while WaSH-Biz works to establish the Savings Group simultaneously. In addition, the second thing the women who came to the meeting would most like to see is the aftercare programme developed, but they focused mainly on the physical aspects of it like playground elements that could be placed outside the facility or soccer balls and other sports equipment to store at the facility that could be signed-out like a library book.

From there the discussion moves into redecorations and renovations for the facility. The brief conversation includes talking about painting, and Mama Poto insists on no white paint as well as painting over the currently white areas because they are hard to clean and show dirt easily. Additionally, the topics of a sign to help market the facility and a fenced border around it come up. The fenced border would make it very distinct from surrounding areas and would also prevent children from falling into the surrounding grey water channels, which are two benefits identified by Sizwe and community members.

From there, Sizwe brings up making further plans for the week and figuring out which community members are in which groups. We make a piece of paper with the two lists of people’s names on it. The WaSH-Biz team will include Zodwa, Amanda, and Kholeka and the WaSH-Serv team will include Alfred, Mama Ntlikithi, Siyanda, and Nomahala; Mama Poto will be on both teams. Scott introduces Hendri, who is from the municipality, and says he has a lot of knowledge. He could be very important to us. Soon Sizwe has to leave, but we continue working with the big paper and planning for the coming week.


Big Paper Fun

Once Sizwe left, the community and the WPI teams get down to business making a plan for each day of the upcoming week. We and WaSH-Biz lead the discussion by writing the remaining weekdays on 2 big pieces of paper. On Tuesday, WaSH-Biz plans to meet with the majority if not all of the Savings Group to create a constitution and outline the objectives of the Savings Group, in addition to creating a list of goods for the kiosk. On Wednesday, a day we normally work from the lodge, HealthPromoters should be coming to Langrug to do an intensive workshop with the community. We will attempt to attend, but it is uncertain if this can work. On Thursday the plan is to split into the two teams. We will work to brainstorm ideas for the aftercare programme and to talk about the HealthPromoters programme. WaSH-Biz plans to clean out the storage bungalow and the caretakers office, which will probably need help from us, meaning their plans will be pushed off, and to make a list of construction supplies for converting the caretakers’ office into an office and kiosk space. On Friday,we want to make more definite plans for the afterschool programme, and WaSH-Biz is considering a trip to the store and continuing cleaning the outside to prepare for decorating. Once the plans have been made, we establish a meeting time of 10 AM for everyday, except Wednesday, which will be decided later when we hear from Health Promoters. This will hopefully make sure that more community members can attend and that we can avoid wasting time at the beginning trying to find and organise everyone. Additionally, we collectively assign one community member for each day who will be in charge of reminding community members to show up and will call them or find them if they do not.

For the second big paper activity, we brainstorm ideas for decorations. For the outside we talk about painting and the community tells us they want various colors and they want a lot of people to help with painting. They agree that many signs to help market the facility and to describe the services offered would be helpful. Additionally, we talk more about the fence and decide to do a tire fence, where we bury tires halfway, so half the tire sticks up and the tires above ground are lined up to create a fence. We would then invite children and others from the community to help us paint and decorate them. For the inside, some of the ideas we come up with together include a clock, paint for the walls to make signs and remind people of health habits, and painted footsteps on the floor leading from children’s stalls to the sinks. Additionally, Nobathembu shares lots of ideas for children’s activities with us including a programme with a flexible pick-up time because some parents work late, and healthy, affordable snacks at the kiosk. She tells us she thinks this programme will be different than others! Because of her experience as a principal of a crèche, she will be an invaluable resource for our aftercare programme.





Overall, we had a productive day of planning. Sizwe’s input on making plans for a week at a time seems like a very good idea. It created a motivation for the community members to come, and it helped our team know more specifically what to do when we got there so we will use our time more effectively each day. Also, everyone seemed very excited about the coming plans for painting and decorating, as well as the shopping for the kiosk supplies. It is a little unclear how we will fit in with the kiosk, seeing as it is mostly business-related, but still related to health and services. Overall, the group seems very excited and motivated to do hard work!

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