Mission & Objectives


Our project focused on promoting improved health, education, and wellbeing in Langrug by working with the community to expand the vibrant social space in the WaSH-UP Facility. In the process, we explored and worked amid the complexities of unpredictable working relationships in informal settlement communities. To accomplish our overall goal, we pursued five objectives.


  1. Connected with the community and stakeholders to develop personal relationships in order to identify and learn about the most urgent social and health issues in the community. To connect with the community we used get-to-know-you activities such as making and decorating name tags, playing rugby, and sharing photos of family and friends. Once we felt comfortable with each other, we interviewed our co-researchers about health, education, and wellbeing (HEW) needs in the community and they identified HIV/AIDS, STIs, alcoholism, illnesses from grey water, and children not having a safe place to play as the most important HEW problems in their community and several other less urgent problems including obesity, domestic violence, and heart problems.
  2. Identified programmes and community projects to address common health, education, and well-being problems previously identified. Working with our co-researchers we decided to address the problem of children not having a safe place to play after school by creating an aftercare programme in the WaSH facility. Additionally, a community library created a safe and inviting social space in the facility, opening the doors to addressing HEW needs. We collaborated with the local organisation Health Promoters which provided training to members of the community, including our co-researchers and the Mandela Park facility caretakers, on important health topics like HIV/AIDS, obesity, and nutrition.
  3. Worked with the community to develop models for running the programmes and to create a dynamic social space at the facility. We worked with the community to develop the operations of the aftercare programme and the community library and recorded the information in the manuals. Additionally, we made some renovations to the facility to help create a more inviting and vibrant social space, suitable for an aftercare and community library.
  4. Cooperatively implemented programmes in the community and noted the successes and challenges of the programme. The programme was implemented in the community and struggled to run for a few days due to a variety of factors, the most significant of which was complex intracommunity and cross-cultural dynamics. However, by working to address these challenges, we established a system of working with one another that led to a fully functional aftercare and library the following week.
  5. Reflected on the challenges of Shared Action Learning and reported new insights into community relationships. After identifying team dynamics as an issue, we had many difficult conversations with community members and tried to work through some of the problems we were having. Additionally, we contemplated the success of SAL in informal settlement communities and the important elements of making it successful. We recommended ideas for future project sites and helped advance the role of SAL when working with communities.