The Letsema Programme
Organised caregivers, communities and practitioners partnering with government and business to co-produce services for young children.
The future well-being of young children lies primarily in the hands of their communities who actively and collaboratively learn and organise to strengthen their own capabilities and resourcefulness, enabling them to more effectively engage with government and business to co-produce the vital services that young children and their caregivers require for their well-being.
The Letsema Programme is an existing working collaboration, in the Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal and the Freestate, between dozens of grassroots caregiver groups supported by networks of NGOs of the ECD Learning Community.
The Letsema Approach
The Letsema Programme combines the best of community development and rights-base approaches, while avoiding their pitfalls, going beyond limited self-help and simplistic rights-based advocacy and protest to more co-creative engagement with government and business to co-produce services for young children.
ECDLC members in Limpopo
Golang-Kulani, Khanimamba, Thusanang Trust, Thukakgaladi, SEP, Segomonene, Faranani, Light of Mercy.
ECDLC members in the Freestate
Tshepanang HIV/AIDS Project Centre, Sekhutlong HBC, Save The Children (Freestate), Diketso Eseng Dipuo Community Development, Lesedi Educare
The current approach – “Service Delivery” to young children
The government’s “delivery model” sees citizens as entitled tax-paying consumers and voters, receiving services from representative local government and state-subsidised NGOs, coupled with an ingrained welfare system of grants which, while life-saving for many, further entrenches dependency and passivity.
But the State and NGOs do not have the capacity to adequately “deliver” the services communities need and are particularly failing young children. Infant mortality and malnutrition are back to the levels experienced under Apartheid. SA has had roughly 7000 service delivery protests per year for the past 5 years, the most of any countries in the world. Clearly a different approach is needed.
A different future
Based on the approach used by the housing federations in South Africa, we see that it is possible for communities to mobilize and engage the State in more positive ways with fruitful results.
The real work: Unlocking the resourcefulness, leadership and initiatives of communities to learn from each other, better do what they can for themselves and from this to seek co-producing relationships and initiatives with government and business.
Letsema, as a programme of the ECD Learning Community, began in Limpopo in 2011 with seed funding from the Bernard van Leer Foundation. It is coordinated by the Community Development Resource Association.
Further funding is required. For more information please contact Nomvula Dlamini - firstname.lastname@example.org