Atlantis's Community News

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

The semi-urban community of Atlantis is located 45 kilometres from Cape Town. The community was named Atlantis because the Atlantic seaboard provides a scenic background.

Homes in Atlantis are constructed from brick, cement, or wood. However, the poorest families live in a shantytown, sleeping in unstable dwellings made of wood, corrugated iron, or plastic. Summers are long and dry, and winters bring little rain, so homes are vulnerable to fire, threatening children's safety and security. One third of the population lacks an adequate food supply, and many families go entire days without eating a healthy meal.

During South Africa's former apartheid regime, Atlantis was the target of an economic plan called Industrial Decentralisation Policy, where people of mixed race (black and white) were uprooted from their homes and relocated to Atlantis. The community became an industrial centre as companies responded to economic incentives to move there.

However, in the 1990s, incentives began to dry up and many businesses pulled out or collapsed, eventually plunging the community into unemployment and poverty. The search for jobs was futile, and many people did not know where their next meal was coming from. Disillusionment and hopelessness set in, giving way to alcoholism, drug abuse, gang activity, and crime.
Child Protection
  • 1 child parliament is empowering young people to advocate for their rights and participate in community decisions
  • 24 survivors of abuse received support to help them cope with trauma and recover
  • 30 young people are participating in community decisions and advocating for the protection and wellbeing of children
  • 312 community members learned about child rights and protection issues to help ensure children's safety and participation
  • 59 children survivors of abuse received support to help them cope with trauma and recover
  • 18 teachers learned child-friendly teaching methods to improve the quality of education for children
  • 2,500 children are developing vital language and motor skills, setting a solid foundation for their education
  • 20 schools received classroom tools and resources to create a safer and stimulating learning environment for students
  • 698 children are getting extra help to improve their reading and writing through camps and classes
*Results achieved from October 2017 to September 2018
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Help educators and parents to encourage children in their studies.
  • Provide schools with access to computers and research technology and information.
  • Support early childhood education programs to give children a good start.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Promote nutrition, such as through supports for household gardens.
  • Educate community members of all ages in basic health awareness, good hygiene practices, and the prevention and treatment of common diseases.

To combat the spread and stigma of HIV & AIDS, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Encourage churches to become more involved in helping those impacted by HIV and AIDS, and to reduce the stigma associated with the disease.
  • Educated community members about preventing the spread of HIV, and about the treatment measures available.

Child Protection
To ensure children and youth enjoy a safe and protected environment, World Vision will work to:
  • Educate community members on children's rights.
  • Establish leadership and peace-building programs that offer young people an enriching living and learning environment.
  • Engage youth in dialogue and awareness on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

Economic Development
To ensure parents in Atlantis can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Encourage basic agricultural development, including the establishment of community gardens.
  • Help people start small businesses by providing training, tools, and support.

Explore Atlantis

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Atlantis

One of the biggest challenges to ensuring quality education in Atlantis is instilling values and discipline among children. Gang violence and drug abuse create a disruptive learning environment for students. Many parents have not had the opportunity to go to school themselves, so it is difficult for them to realize the value of an education and encourage their children to attend.

While education is free up to Grade 9, many parents cannot send their children to school because they can't afford the minimal fees for maintenance and school supplies. Young people interested in postsecondary education do not usually have the opportunity to go because they do not have access to resources, such as computers. Improvements in infrastructure and technology would allow children to be more competitive with the other students in South Africa.

Health Care
Poverty and lack of knowledge about nutrition and sanitation pose serious risks to children's health in Atlantis. Diseases such as tuberculosis are widespread, and substance abuse is rising. Long wait times at health care facilities discourage people from having regular checkups, and many illnesses go untreated as a result.

There is a lack of knowledge in Atlantis about the transmission of HIV, as well as a good deal of fear about the stigma associated with the disease. This often discourages people from learning or revealing their HIV status, which is in turn a deadly silence that puts others in the community at risk.

Economic Development
With the departure of many businesses from the area, there has been a dramatic increase in unemployment. There are few local job opportunities. There are some employment opportunities in Cape Town, but high transportation costs prevent people from seeking work there. Seasonal farm work is available only occasionally.

Most Atlantis residents lack the financial resources to start their own businesses, which could empower them and their families and contribute to their community. As a result, many people are on welfare and their children are growing up in a cycle of poverty.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Atlantis, South Africa is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.