Åmål and Bergrivier, South Africa

Culture as a path to development

The municipalities of Åmål, Sweden, and Bergrivier, South Africa, have several common challenges. Our mutual focus is the high unemployment rate in our municipalities. Together we will focus our Inception phase and project planning around the target group “unemployed young women and mothers with unfinished high-school education”.  There are many young children within our municipalities that are not exposed to books, arts and crafts etc. until they start preschool/school. We want to study the potential correlation between these children and the young mothers. One way of reaching part of this group can be through their children through cooperation with family centres and children’s departments of libraries. For many years, the public library in Åmål, has worked closely with activities that have promoted reading and extra-curricular development together with accumulating knowledge and experience that serve them professionally. Bergrivier municipality has great strength with its 14 libraries and many experienced officials. They have extensive experience in dealing with tough challenges such as poverty, hunger and exclusion.  In order to ensure that human rights are integrated into the project, we will use the 2030 Agenda, the Global Goals and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the basis for our planning.