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Encouraging Transformation in Mfuleni: An NGO’s Influence on Health Citizenship
AdvisorStiles, Erin E.
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Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) pride themselves in facilitating positivechange within local communities across the globe. For anthropologists, they provide valuable sites for understanding community empowerment, societal change, and definitions of welfare and human rights. This ethnographic study examines how Community Care Workers at Afrika Tikkun, a child and youth development and primary health care NGO in South Africa, establish a sense of health citizenship for community members within the township of Mfuleni. By working predominantly with the primary health care employees of the NGO, observing and participating in their interactions, and conducting individual and group interviews, I explore how certain services provided by the NGO empower community members to become active participants within the community. Furthermore, this thesis reveals how health is situated in a grassroots, activist framework in order to influence democratic transformations in the “new” South Africa.