In 2009, the Mandela Park community came together to fight the scourge of poverty in their community. As the Mandela Park Backyarders, they mobilized firstly around housing issues such as illegal evictions, corruption in housing allocation and the unjust sale of community land to private developers.
But that was not enough. Many community members realized that while they were fighting for land and housing for their families, their children were not being taken care of.
While there was already a number of daycare centers in the area, they were all for-profit which meant that they were unaffordable to most community members and did not focus on the children's education.
After having a number of mass meetings, community members decided that they needed to start their own daycare center which they called the Mandela Park Community Crèche. In January 2010, with the support of CHOSA, the community opened their first daycare and pre-school.
All teachers, who were elected directly by mass meetings, received equal pay and, with the help of the elected Children's Committee, the community itself became the ones in charge of making the initiative a success.
Sometimes the community will make mistakes but because they are in charge of their own children's future, they will learn from these mistakes and be able to move forward. CHOSA is committed to making sure that development remains democratic and accountable to the community.