LifeXchange - What does it take to change a life?
What gives someone a hunger for change? When does someone begin dreaming again? What gives us renewed hope? What would it take to believe that we are capable of leading the life we really want to, deserve and were purposed for?
In many cases, it just takes one person to really believe in you before you do so yourself. But for most of us, unconditional acceptance and love is vital before we can truly begin transforming on the road to fulfillment and personal success
So what do we do? LifeXchange focuses on holistic, sustainable, transformation of youth-at-risk, through the ‘holistic life mentoring process’ aka HLMP. We use extreme sports and adventure activities to make initial connection with these troubled youth and from there facilitate the development of one-on-one mentorship relationship where these extreme sports and adventure activities serve as an opportunity for shared learning experiences between mentor and mentee. We also assess and evaluate everything in the individual young person’s life to determine where “they are at” and what is required in what areas of their life to change their life story turning it into a success story. We’ve had gangsters become dive instructors, drug lords become qualified tour guides, street drunkards and ‘fighters’ become designers. Their stories continue to amaze us and although these are all the big successes we can boast about, we see success in these young people’s lives daily.
To make it more visual and tangible there’s a great 8min DVD you can also watch on our home page www.lifexchange.co.za which is about one of our guys from Ocean View. It paints a great picture of who we work with and in what environment.
We have 64 young people in LifeXchange and the money received by you will go towards placing more youth-at risk, like Ricardo, into our LifeXchange process. These are not just faces, but young adults whom we can share with you their stories, their journey, their walk towards change and it will be thanks to your investment in their future.
Youth Unlimited has recognized that football opens a great opportunity to develop lives beyond football. A large number of youth are passionate about the sport, and we can reach these youngsters by using football as a tool to draw them into other developmental programs. This program has been named Siyaphambili, which means, “we are moving forward”.
Football teams currently earn points only for the games they play within their leagues. With the proposed Siyaphambili program, “bonus points” are awarded to teams for completion of community service and personal development courses.
Community development includes clearing of rubbish within the community, caring for community gardens and helping those in need. Personal development courses include both vocational skills and lifeskills. Recognized development courses will be offered within the respective communities. At the end of the football season, teams will be ranked according to both the number of Siyaphambili bonus points earned and the number of league points earned through playing games. The top teams of each association will compete in the tournament and have the chance to win prizes, funding, and the opportunity to be scouted by major football clubs.
Siyaphambili is always seeking sponsors to support the program in any way. Our typical needs include:
- Tournament prizes for winning teams
- Funding to expand and improve the project as well as assist with administration of the event
- Publicity for the program and the Siyaphambili program
The HUB Cape Town
There are many people in the greater Cape Town area who are social changemakers and are trying to make the world around them a better place. Many of these individuals and organisations have even posted to this web site today.
However, good intention can only go so far, and many such changemakers operate by themselves because they do not know about all the others out there working in similar fields such as social development, urban agriculture, etc. This leads to inefficiencies as different people try to solve the same problems without collaboration or economies of scale.
The HUB Cape Town solves this problem by providing a physical space where likeminded individuals can come together. The HUB provides workspace for social changemakers and organises regular events which bring people together to meet and collaborate. Through working together, the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts and efficiencies are gained. This is absolutely critical in a resource- and money-poor environment like South Africa where the need is so great and the stakes are so high that we cannot afford not to collaborate, and collaborate quickly and efficiently.
Our web site can be found at http://capetown.the-hub.net/public/index.html.
Morning Star Children’s Centre
Dear Imogen and Friends.
Morning Star is a day care centre for children infected with HIV/AIDS. The aim of this facility is to alleviate the children’s suffering, as well as their families.It all started with 8 Children and now has over 405 children who have passed through their doors in the last ten years,94 of which are fetched from their houses daily and then provided with meals, clothes and medication as well educational activities and love.
They receive donations from overseas mainly and this is essentially what they rely on to keep themselves open.
A new branch in a neighbouring township was also opened in 2008.
The services that they provide at current are:
-Schooling to Grade 2 level with experienced teachers.
-Support Group meetings for the parents and families providing counsel and advice for HIV.
- Monthly food parcels that are distributed to the children’s families’ house. Currently there are 113 being delivered monthly. They contain a few essentials to get through the month.
-Tshedisanang Women’s Project where women infected with HIV/AIDS make beautiful clothing and embroidery to and make a living from it.
There are many other services that have gone unmentioned that Morning Star provides.
I really feel that they are a great project in the Free State that deserve all the funding they can get in one of the most affected regions in S.A of HIV/AIDS. They have 125 Children on a waiting list and only extra funding will be able to provide Morning Star with the opportunity to help them.
=) I hope you feel as passionately about them as I do.
We are an NPO based in Hermanus (on the other side of the mountains from Somerset West), and we provide health, education and social welfare services throughout the local Overstrand Municipality – this covers a distance of over 150km along the coastline to some very isolated and marginalised communities. Our core target groups are orphans and vulnerable children, as well as people living with HIV/AIDS. We reach these beneficiaries through our Children’s Circle of Support programme, in which we provide daily meals and after-school care/activities for children who are severely affected by poverty or who have no adult caregivers. Another ofour biggest programmes involves providing home-based health care to individuals who have been discharged from clinics and hospitals (a large number have HIV/AIDS) and still require ongoing care and support.
Perhaps the most exciting development within our organisation right now is our new Parenting Worx programme, which addresses the breakdown of the family structure that has been worsening over the last few decades. The programme works with pregnant women and parents of young children to create an environment in which strong, healthy families are promoted and parents are taught parenting skills that have been lost through the generations.
Being based on the “other side” of the mountain we find it far more difficult to access funding than organisations closer to Cape Town. There is a limited funding pool within this town and region, and state grants do not come close to covering the costs of our essential services, especially our Children’s Circle of Support programme. Our financial management has been given a clean audit from the departments of Health and Social Development and you will be able to feel confident that the money is spent transparently and appropriately.
One of the children at Sakhumzi Centre
Sakhumzi is a Non-profit Organization which provides a home for destitute children in the Mfuleni area, a township 25 km east of Cape Town. Its humble beginnings originated 35 years ago when Amelia Poswa took in her first homeless child. Almost immediately Sakhumzi took on a life of its own as more and more abandoned children found their way into Mama’s Amelia’s home and Mama Amelia’s heart.
Over the years many hundreds of children have been provided with more than just the basics of food, shelter, clothing and education. They have been blessed with the love, guidance and attention that’s so essential to growing children if they’re to lead normal, healthy lives and become productive members of society.
“What makes me happy,” says Mama Amelia, “is to see a safe, happy child. My calling is to look after children because that child is the future. At the time I never knew it would go on for so long. I started with just a few and in no time there were 15, 20 – just as if it was waiting for someone to say ‘I can do that!’.
“When a child comes here from a broken family, where the mother doesn’t want her, the other children welcome her. We know what that child is going through. That child needs someone to take the place of her parents, who can give her a home, with brothers and sisters that can cuddle her and help her forget about what happened and get on with life”.
“Once they finish their schooling, some of our children remain at Sakhumzi to help with the day-to-day running of our home, while others attend local career training colleges, if and when funds are available for this. Some are fortunate enough to obtain employment soon after leaving school, but jobs are scarce. No child leaves Sakhumzi until he or she can fend for themselves”. Today, Sakhumzi provides a loving home for 95 children and a crèche for almost 150 preschoolers.
The Homestead (Projects for Street Children) is a registered Non-Profit Organisiation and has section 18A tax status in South Africa. We have been established since 1982 and have a simple mission – “to help Street Children reconstruct their shattered lives.”
The programme, which has become a model for similar projects in South Africa, is based on developmental principles. Because there is no single solution it offers a continuum of projects, both on and off the streets, which address the needs of street children and their families and through which the children can grow towards competence and self-confidence in their lives.
From street work and intake shelters, through more settled residential and educational care, to family reconstruction services, we get children off the streets and help them rebuild their lives and their futures. We have also developed projects that aim to prevent children at risk from coming onto the streets.
It is difficult work, intensive, sometimes heartbreaking, but kids are resilient and “hope” is the watchword.
“Belief in the human spirit transcends all reason…. and flies beyond the frail fingers of our knowledge”
The Homestead Projects for Street Children
Driving through the City of Cape Town it is sadly very hard to ignore the many boys begging on the streets. These boys have fled their poverty-stricken and broken home environments in search of a better life. What they find unfortunately is an invisible existence plagued with substance and physical abuse, hunger and neglect.
The Homestead is a non-profit organisation that has operated in Cape Town for over 28 years and has been recognised nationally and internationally for their best practice four-phase model used to rehabilitation street children. Their mission is to help street children reconstruct their shattered lives, and become confident contributing citizens of our nation.
They do this in two ways, by focusing on each individual boy’s pursuit of education, and by working towards family reunification. By doing so they work not only with the boys, but with their families too
The Homestead has also recognised the need for preventative services as well as curative, and now run a series of early intervention programmes which seek to prevent children from resorting to life on the street, where they are robbed of a childhood and dignity, and much of the developmental damage is done.
The Homestead are currently fundraising to build their very own child and youth care centre in the heart of Khayelitsha. They aim to create a safe space where the boys will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own futures and actions, and empower them to become valuable members of their communities.
Each boy that will reside at the centre is back in mainstream schooling, have big dreams and most are succeeding at the activities in which their talent lies. The Homestead enables these boys to have a second chance, and then gives them the opportunity to individually take ownership of their lives and build their futures.
Kid with sapling, ready to plant his first tree.