DOCKDA Rural Development Agency

Cape Town , Western Cape

DOCKDA's vision is a world where rural women and men are equal and active citizens. DOCKDA's mission is to build transformational women’s leadership & networks of community organisations to change the lives of women and men in rural areas.

DOCKDA achieves the vision and mission through four programmes, the Women's Leadership Programme, Girl's and Women's Right to Health and Equal Education Programme, Wellness and Food Security Programme and Gender Based Violence Programme. Programmes aim to support community based organsations to respond to the needs in their communities of human rights, social justice, inequality and sustainability.

DOCKDA supports the community programmes of rural community based organisations in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District of the Northern Cape surrounding the town of Kuruman. Rural women are often marginalised and formally unemployed while working tireless hours as home based carers, early childhood development workers and advice office workers without stipends or an income. Coping with gender inequalities that manifest through HIV and AIDS, gender based violence and economic disempowerment; the need to support local women community based organisations is crucial to sustainable change in these communities.

The Women’s Leadership Programme has a two-pronged focus: capacity building of local community based organisations (CBOs) and individual leaders through the Asset Based Community Development approach and micro-grantmaking of both monetary grants and grants in the form of goods and services to the CBOs.

The Girl's and Women's Rights to Health and Equal Education Programme seeks to assist girl's and women to overcome the physical barrier to education and attend school with dignity and confidence during their menstrual cycle. The distribution of reusable sanitary items is paired with ongoing discussions with learner, educators, parents and community based organisations (CBOs) and community members regarding fundamental ideas about gender roles and the challenges female learners face in obtaining a full education.

The Food Security and Wellness Programme aims to enable community based organisations (CBO’s) to provide a sustainable source of vegetables to the vulnerable patients that they serve. Due to a lack of food in many rural communities, many HIV and AIDS patients default on their treatment. DOCKDA’s community based organisation (CBO) partners that serve as home based care providers identify patients that need a regular supply of healthy food, especially vegetables.In order to help meet this need, DOCKDA developed the Food Security and Wellness Programme to help provide our CBO partners with the necessary resources and knowledge to create and maintain food gardens.The gardens provide a sustainable source of vegetables for the home based care providers’ sick and vulnerable patients as well as other malnourished people in their communities.

The Gender Based Violence Programme aims to strengthen the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) and to provide awareness and education to learners, educators, parents, community based organisations and community members of both genders on what GBV is and how to stop it. The South African constitution guarantees to all its citizens the freedom from all forms of violence including gender based violence, but sadly many of the residents of the John Taolo Gaetsewe district are victims of daily abuse.Research has shown that many women do not report or seek care after abuse because violence is seen as a normal portion of life in rural areas (Palermo, Black & Peterman).The knowledge of unlikely reporting paired with low literacy rates in the district spurred DOCKDA to intervene. One of DOCKDA’s aims is that through both physical infrastructure and the dissemination of information some of the most vulnerable members of rural communities, women and children, will be safeguarded against GBV while the mindset of normalising gender based violence will be eliminated.