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The Church's relationship to the agency of the assets of people living with HIV/AIDS in rural South Africa: a case study in Marapyane Community, Skilpadfontein.

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This thesis explores the relevance of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) as a development strategy with people living with HIV/ AIDS. Contemporary development theory suggests that the assets and agency of the poor are crucial in any development process, and these ideas are important in ABCD. Many commentators have noted the relationship between HIV/AIDS and poverty, and that community development is a key response to this. The question therefore is whether ABCD is still appropriate and relevant in a situation in which HIV/ AIDS undermines the assets and agency of the poor. The research takes the form of an in-depth case study in Marapyane village in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. The findings of interviews with a series of key informants helps to gain an overview of the impact of the pandemic in the community, and the study then draws on interviews with nineteen people living with HIV/ AIDS. It notes the range of assets that they have access to, and argues that the ABCD approach to community development is still relevant and appropriate. At the same time, however, it notes a range of important factors that need to be established for the ABCD approach to succeed. The research encouraged PL WH to work towards one goal, the community has to stop discrimination against PL WH, and PL WH have to be included in all processes of community development. The use of skills that are among PL WH need to be encouraged and supported by the community, PL WH are called to connect with other local institutions in order to work together for the benefit of all members of the community. Local institutions are encouraged to contribute resources that will work to empower the capacity of PL WH so that they can be able to fulfill their development dreams. PL WH are to have a clear agenda and well-organized strategy that can eradicate poverty effectively. PL WH are also encouraged to consider the land as their main resources and basic asset that can be utilized in poverty alleviation and avoid unnecessary urban migration as much as they can use. But the Thesis looked the agency of PL WH not those who are already sick who need care, this means that early test will also be considered as another way of contributing in the effectiveness of the ABCD.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.