The ‘Why’ behind our work…
Many South African township communities are being torn apart by the effects of poverty, violence, mis-education, drug abuse and gangsterism. Youth growing up in these conditions long for positive role models, academic support and guidance but too often this cannot be found. Frequently, they drop out of school, get caught up in gang activities and fall into a life of crime.
Under-resourced and under-financed township-based youth After-school Support Programs across the country aim to assist these youth but face a daily struggle to do so. They have the heart and the drive to make an impact in their communities, but lack the tools to successfully bring about this change. Well-meaning inspirational community change agents become disheartened, despondent and disillusioned due to their ongoing, uphill, losing battle.
Below are a couple of youths commenting in their own words on their experiences in the township:
“It's so hard, you have no idea how hard. It used to be nice, but now it's scary. I don't know what's going on, I don't ever feel safe. You just can't stop the gangs, can't go anywhere alone because I don't know what they'll do to me” –Lloyd age 16
“This year I just went to buy some cool drink for my family, and when I was in the shop at the till a robber came in behind me with a gun and said he'd shoot me if I moved. I was so lucky he didn't shoot me when he let me go” –Mmeli age 16
Or watch the video below to hear from Lihle what its like growing up in the townships of South Africa.
Learn more about ‘our approach’ to addressing these challenges.