Slovo Community Youth Desk

Slovo Community Youth Desk

Slovo Park is an informal settlement located about 7 kms west of the Johannesburg CBD, between Crosby and Coronationville. In October 2020, a team of young people from Slovo Park met to discuss the challenges that confront their community and established the Slovo Park Community Youth Development (CYD), with the support of The Barefoot Facilitator. After workshopping and mapping the community’s problems, it became clear that the many challenges would require the Slovo CYD team to take ownership of their space and not rely on government support.


In light of the numerous challenges, including crime, waste management, teenage pregnancy, food insecurity, youth unemployment and lack of sanitation, the team prioritised projects that would catalyse an improved quality of life in Slovo, while progressively tackling the community’s issues. Since its inception, Slovo CYD has activated the community to volunteer and take part in its transformation, as well as driving a shift in mindsets and outlooks.


The project demonstrates the power of collaboration in making small, impactful changes and shifting the dependency culture often found in informal settlements.


What has been achieved

  • Development of a community garden whose fresh produce is harvested and sold by the team.
  • The revamping of an existing container (painted and windows repaired).
  • Establishment of the digital skills hub, with Wi-Fi that enables the community to access employment and skills development opportunities.
  • The repair of toilets and communal taps, which no longer leak, and the installation of 10 flushable toilets – Johannesburg Water still needs to undertake sewer system repairs.
  • Stipends provided to the Slovo CYD volunteers who worked on the upgrades, and later shared with additional community volunteers who came on board to assist.
  • A sense of pride in the community solving its own problems.
  • Various donations received from the Barefoot Facilitator (a laptop), Sunny Morgan (solar panels for the container) and other donors (trees, books and seeds).
  • Ongoing education of the community about the importance of taking ownership of and protecting infrastructure.
  • The development of computer literacy skills through the digital skills hub.


Alignment with IUDF

  • Inclusion and access: empowering the youth who initiated the project, used their own skills to make the upgrades, and attracted more volunteers (growing from four to nine).
  • Governance: encouraging active community involvement to ensure the infrastructure is maintained and up to standard.
  • Spatial integration: making the community more liveable and functional, by connecting to social services and work opportunities through the digital skills hub.
  • Growth: using vacant land in the community to start a food garden, whose produce can be a source of income for the unemployed.



Government: Joburg Water

Civil Society: Community of Slovo Park

Business: The Barefoot Facilitator

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