The founder’s vision is to move to the township (find out more about why we want to move to the township) and establish a children and youth center in Lethabong, Mamelodi east. Therefore HOPE Recovered is raising funds to buy a property in the area and is looking for strong, long-term partnerships with individuals, organizations and corporates to establish this center.
HOPE Recovered’s goal is to establish a safe haven where children find healing and develop a sense of belonging.
Dream with us about a center in the township where children and youth
- find healing from past trauma;
- get opportunities to discover their talents, gifts and passions;
- are under constant supervision and receive the necessary attention;
- get assistance with their school work;
- have the opportunities to learn new skills;
- develop character, discover who they are and their purpose in life;
- spend time with their friends and have fun.
This will indeed fuel the pursuit of their dreams. Imagine the impact a place like that could have not only on each individual but also their families and the community as a whole!
Focus Area for a children and youth center
Our target area is the very east of Mamelodi, Pretoria (South Africa) – the informal settlements Kopanong and Lethabong in Pienaarspoort/Mooiplaats/Donkerhoek. There are no recreational opportunities for children and youth in the area. A soccer ground, the dusty streets, shebeens (pubs), and churches are the only opportunities available. HOPE Recovered focuses specifically on children and youth/young adults (including the unemployed, school dropouts, teenage/single mothers).
There is only one primary school and one secondary school in the area. HOPE Recovered has identified an ideal property for a centre between those two schools.
The need for a children and youth center
With the current state of the economy, children and youth are more than ever in dire need of a safe space. Many parents are working longer hours to make ends meet, leaving children and youth unsupervised (find out more of what life looks like in the township).
Reasons for the need of a children and youth center:
- Unsupervised and unengaged teens - Many teens are on their own afterschool with no parent or responsible adult around and with nothing to do and/or nothing expected of them.
- Teens engaging in at-risk and destructive behaviour - Research demonstrates that between the hours of 3pm and 6pm, youth are more likely to be unsupervised and participate in or be exposed to at-risk behaviours, substance abuse and crime.
- Teens do not have an appropriate place to socialize - “Hanging out” is a normal and healthy part of adolescence. It’s a time when teens have a developmental need to identify with peers and with adults. They are also seeking knowledge and skills. If a community doesn’t provide a healthy option for teens they will find their own on the streets.
- Lack of activities specifically for teens - Reaching and engaging teens is challenging. Activities and programs just for teens are rare. While teens may present challenges, they desperately want to be included as a part of our community.
- Teens want responsibility and leadership roles - Teens want to learn, connect and experience. They have a biological drive to identify with others and gain experience and mastery. If a community doesn’t provide healthy opportunities, youth will find them among peer groups whether they are healthy or not.
- To be proactive - We need to take a proactive approach to keeping kids safe. We can’t just sit around waiting for something bad to happen before we take action. Numerous communities have seen decreases in youth loitering and violence with the opening of teen centers.
Current and past programs of HOPE Recovered
Due to COVID19 children are not able to attend school. For this reason HOPE Recovered distributed teaching and learning material that gives learners the opportunity to study in small groups. The learners are encouraged to ask for assistance if needed. They are accountable for their own learning and use of the material provided.
Since 2018 HOPE Recovered organises a Christmas Party for the beneficiaries the organisation has been working with during the year. At this fun day, children learn about Christmas, why we give gifts, the gift of God and every child receives a Christmas gift.
HOPE Recovered’s first program was the Holiday Reading Club. With the help of volunteers, we conducted the week long program during school holidays at local primary schools. It helps children with the basics of reading English. We taught children in small groups through games and activities. It shows the children that reading can be fun and that they can learn it too. Due to COVID-19 this program has been stopped and is now integrated in the Library for Children.
Kids Club took place every second Saturday during school terms in Mamelodi east (Kopanong/Pienaarspoort). It was a 2 hour program for primary school children. The goal of Kids Club was manifold. First of all children need to be kids and play. Through different games and activities, the children are exposed to different opportunities to explore themselves, discover their talents, their passions and develop new skills and abilities. Finally the main focus of the fun program is the story time where we introduced the children to the Christian faith so that they start building a relationship with Jesus Christ. Unfortunately this program was discontinued due to COVID-19. The Library for Children integrates some parts of this program today.
Education is a crucial tool to bring change in a community. Nelson Mandela once said: “Children of today are the leaders of tomorrow and education is a very important weapon to prepare children for their future roles as leaders of the community.” So let us place this weapon in the hands of our children.
In order for the children to be able to read and understand the word of God, HOPE Recovered established a Library for children in the township. We have seen the children struggle with reading. Reading is fundamental to learning but also in nurturing their relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
At the library children get the opportunity to play and stimulate their minds through games and activities. Furthermore they get assistance with reading and are able to borrow books.
Youth Discipleship is a fundamental part of the centre. Here, a solid foundation for the lives of the participants is laid on Jesus Christ. At the same time we form their character as we guide them into maturity and adulthood. They discover who they are and especially what their purpose is. Through Bible study and practical activities, participants will put their knowledge into practice and gain leadership experience.
Programs still to be implemented
The Children and Youth Center is a place where dreams are born and come alive. We strive to provide a broad variety of programs. The main goal is to show them the love of God, teach them responsibility and independence, help them discover their passions, talents, and gifts as well as keeping them away from the streets, pubs and bad influence. HOPE Recovered will invite professionals from all walks of life to teach different skills, facilitate courses and trainings for unemployed and interested people from the community. HOPE Recovered will offer year-round enrichment programs, skills development and leadership training to at-risk youth. Therefore our services will include:
- Skills development and trainings (permaculture, computer literacy, cooking & baking, Robotics, …)
- Career planning
- Motivational speakers
- Fun and entertainment
- Counselling – to overcome their past (loss, abuse, neglect, ...)
- Feeding program – nutritious fruits and vegetables from our own garden will keep them healthy
- expand the library for all ages
An afterschool program designed for primary school children will focus on lifting the level of education – in particular English and Mathematics. They will get homework assistance, extra support with English and Mathematics, hear bible stories and enjoy other fun activities together. To maintain good health and ensure proper development of the children, we hope to be able to provide a nutritious meal for each child and offer counselling where necessary.
An ideal property has been identified. The organisation intends to buy the property and establish a children and youth center with a vegetable garden that can feed the children and youth at the center. Hence HOPE Recovered needs to raise close to R10m for this property.
This 5.78ha function venue and guest house is ideal for functions of all occasions. The 16 bedroom 4 star guest house accommodates up to 44 guests and includes 4 bush lodges. Furthermore the large function hall with built in bar, serving stations and a DJ corner - all with granite tops, can entertain up to 150 guests. The hall also has guest toilets and a big serving kitchen with stainless steel equipment, a separate main kitchen with catering equipment, small office, cooler room and freezer room. A stunning Chapel with wooden deck is built over a small pond with water features. The accommodation has family rooms, double guest rooms, honeymoon suites and bush houses. The property has 3 boreholes to water the lush scenic gardens, a diesel generator, ample parking for guests and a piece of land that is just waiting to be develop further.
Potential of the property
There is enough space to establish a vegetable garden and small orchard. There is also room for your company to set up your own skills-development workspace, or whatever you have in mind to uplift the surrounding impoverished community.
What makes us different
HOPE Recovered's goal is not to build its name or reputation. Without a doubt HOPE Recovered was initiated by God to build HIS Kingdom for His glory, for His honour and for His praise. Hence, HOPE Recovered is not about the founders, its staff or volunteers. We are an instrument in God’s hand to build His Kingdom in unity with other organization, corporates, and individuals. In particular the focus of the organization is on the Afterschool program and Youth Discipleship groups. Close relationships are the key to a successful accomplishment of our mission (find more to this topic in the following posts: sustainable poverty relief, the gospel and poverty). Therefore a children and youth center close to the beneficiaries is of utmost importance.