For projects initiated, sponsored and/or implemented by individuals.
Reinforcement of voluntary work in the community.
The Winning Project:
The Men on the Side of the Road Project (MSR).
(Selected winner from 31 projects).
Mr. Charles Maisel.
Catholic Welfare and Development.
“The Men on the Side of the Road” are those unemployed people who stand on the side of the road daily waiting to be picked for casual work.
There are more than 180 sites in South Africa where 20000 unemployed people stand on the side of the road and wait for daily jobs.
The project aims at helping those who stand on the side of the road to participate in their own economic development, through small business skills, technical skills, and entrepreneurship skills for self-reliance. It also aims at advocating them and working on their inclusion in the Department of Labour job training programmes.
The Beneficiaries of the project are the unemployed people, between 16—60 years of age, who stand on the side of the road daily for prospected employees.
The project was founded upon the initiative and efforts of Mr. Charles Maisel, on the basis of the fact that, those people are totally ignored by unions, government, and NGO’s. The South African government works mostly on a macro-economic level such as foreign investment to deal with job creation. However on the micro-economic level there is very little job creation. This is visibly seen by “People who stand on the side of the road” everyday. The project was, therefore, founded to help the men on the side of the road in their daily straggle for living. It provides them with rehabilitation and training programs as well as access to drinking water, toilets and shelter to protect them from sunshine, cold and rain they are exposed to in different seasons of the year.
In addition to the aforementioned programs and services the projects provide its targeted group with labour law information and information about how to have their rights.
Many social welfare and development interventions dismiss men as the problem, while Men on the Side of the Road, clearly identifies the men as part of the solution. Considering that the majority of the men on the roadside are sole breadwinners of families, when success is achieved major spin-off is accrued to families and the community.
This initiative is considered to be pioneering and hits a raw nerve in social development, as civil society has not come to terms with this phenomenon nationally.