Wits Rural Facility and the Department of Home Affairs joined forces to bring desperately needed identity documents to the most vulnerable people in deep rural areas. Between August and October 2004, the Agincourt Health and Population Unit (AHPU), working in partnership with the Acornhoek Advice Centre, facilitated Home Affairs and Social Security services into 22 villages, assisting more than 8000 people. Supported by a donation from Bristol Meyers Squibb designated for increasing access to social grants for orphans and vulnerable children, 15 volunteers were trained and compensated to implement the campaign.
The volunteers mainly took applications for ID documents and birth certificates, according to the procedure prescribed by Home Affairs. Communities were informed about the process before the implementation to ensure good participation. During this time, 5570 persons applied for ID documents for the first time, while 379 reapplied. 2140 birth certificates were issued. To date many people have received their ID documents and birth certificates. In a follow-up to the campaign, the establishment of a Municipal Task Team on orphans and vulnerable children has been proposed to facilitate similar campaigns over the whole of Bohlabela District.