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The Northern Cape is sparsely populated with vast distances separating towns and villages. Its northern reaches are characterized by semi-arid dune country and extreme temperatures that soar to an average 40°C (100°F) in summer and drop to 0°C in winter. Although seemingly inhospitable, this region is home to a number of villages, some as far away as 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the nearest main town, Kuruman in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district.
Due to the geographical isolation many of these rural villages lack service delivery for basic necessities such as water, electricity and sanitation. These forgotten about communities cope with challenges resulting from high rates of unemployment (over 50%), HIV and AIDS (27.5%) and crime. These obstacles paired with low rates of literacy (28%), secondary education completion (20.6%) and economic growth (< 3% in 2014) lead to socio-economic issues that impact the most vulnerable portions of the population, women and children.