Assailed as we are by scenes of pain and suffering it is easy to wonder that life in Africa does not crumble completely. Perhaps the reason is the strong family ties within communities. It's difficult to travel around Africaroads are bad, and motorized transport is unavailable to most people. Thus most people stay near the places they were born. The "extended family" remains a reality for most Africans, and in the absence of national health care and welfare is the main support system for the vast majority of the population.