Integrated Rural Development
Sustainable rural development is at the heart of Mvula’s mission. Since our founding in 1993 our commitment has been to improving the lives of rural communities in South Africa through facilitating people centred development.
From Mvula’s perspective, successful rural development must result in an improvement of conditions and opportunities for rural residents in the political, social, economic and cultural spheres. Development must deal with vulnerabilities to achieve sustainable rural livelihoods. The overall approach should be based on an appreciation of sustainable livelihoods.
Mvula has built up a rich store of experience in rural development, and good relationships with rural communities. It has made huge contributions to rural water supply and sanitation, as well as debates on policy and implementation.
Mvula has regional offices managing programmes that are already part of rural development: sanitation, water supply and general Institutional and Social Development (ISD) functions. Mvula’s strength is its experience in ISD. Mvula has the trust of communities, and is very familiar with the circumstances and needs of rural communities.
Supporting community development projects demands high skills from the supporting agent, in a difficult environment. Success is impossible without community participation, premised on the understanding that communities are responsible actors looking after their own livelihoods and managing their own, often finely balanced, risk structures on the basis of local knowledge and in acknowledgement that the consequences of mistakes can have very serious consequences for them. These are skills that Mvula has developed over its history of involvement with and support for rural communities in dealing with their water and sanitation challenges.