Many children disadvantaged from birth
The population of Johannesburg amounts to more than 3.7 million people. Johannesburg remains a deeply divided city. During the Apartheid regime, it was divided into eleven municipalities: seven of them inhabited by white people of whom 90% were self-sufficient, whereas four were inhabited by black people of whom only 10% were economically independent. In the past decades, the city´s population has increased sevenfold. Nowadays, two thirds of the inhabitants live in poverty, 72 percent of them are black. Ennerdale now belongs to the 11th administrative region, mainly inhabited by black Africans, has a very low income level, and 70 percent of its settlements are informal.
Many of the children born here are disadvantaged from the very beginning. They grow up in poverty under precarious conditions. The criminal and unemployment rates are high, and many do not have access to education. These children have a short life expectancy and are more likely to suffer from illnesses and dwarfism. Not only is their physical, but also their mental and cognitive development endangered, which again leads to violence, aggressions, crimes, drug abuse and family disruptions. Children growing up in poverty suffer from social marginalisation and discrimination and find it hard to develop self-confidence. If they do not receive any support, their problems grow worse once they become adolescents.