Urban Age Award 2012 Kapstadt
On 19 April 2012, the 5th Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award was presented in Cape Town. The winning project Mothers Unite received the prize money of 750,000 ZAR.
The extreme geography of Cape Town has allowed the city — separated, disconnected, and volatile — to continue growing rapidly within its old Apartheid pattern. The projects that applied for the Urban Age Award in 2012 showed that steps were indeed being taken towards addressing the stark contrasts and inequality rife in the post-Apartheid landscape of the city, and evidence a strong common desire for positive change.
The record 254 initiatives which applied for the award were spread evenly across the townships of the Cape Flats, with a high concentration of NGOs based in and around the City Bowl. The projects focused mainly on soft infrastructure in response to urgent needs — feeding, child care and education, violence prevention, promotion of youth and the arts, skills training, job creation — and tended to engage tentatively with the built environment, with the exception of a larger number of urban agriculture projects. The jury was impressed by the diversity and calibre of the citizen groups engaged in addressing the city’s diverse urban challenges.
The award and its prize money of 750,000 ZAR finally went to Mothers Unite. Founded in 2007 in a mother's home, Mother's Unite offers a refuge from social insecurity, gang culture and violence for children aged between three and 15 in a marginalized community.Now operating from a self-built container village, it caters to 120 children, offering meals three afternoons a week, as well as a variety of educational and creative activities in partnership with various developmental and educational institutions. These include computer literacy, food cultivation and first aid skills.The project infrastructure has grown to encompass a library, kitchen, food gardens, yoga/training room, playground and administration office.