There are approximately 13,250 children living in 354 registered Child and Youth Care Centers (CYCCs) across South Africa, as well as an unknown number of children living in unregistered centers. The majority of these children are placed in such facilities because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. According to the Children’s Act, placement is intended to be temporary (for up to two years), in which time both the children and their families are meant to be offered therapeutic and psychosocial support towards overcoming their difficulties. The reality, however, is that many of these young people stay in care beyond these two years, and at 18, if they have not returned to their family of origin, they require support to make the transition from state care back to their community. While legislation calls on CYCCs to offer transitional support to the youth leaving care, there are no guidelines and most CYCCs lack capacity.
Mamelani was established in 2003 by a small team of community development workers. The crew gained their experience at The Homestead Projects – the well-known home for street children in Khayelitsha – where they realized that many homeless young people they worked with had grown up in care. Mamelani’s primary programs include a health program and the Youth Development Program, which provides learning opportunities and guidance to young people who have grown up in Child and Youth Care centers. Mamelani’s approach combines personalized support and life skills training to aid young people in the program develop a support system, and transition out of care into adulthood.
EMpower’s Current Grant to Mamelani Projects
EMpower’s 7th grant to Mamelani will support the organization as it expands its capacity to assist more young people transitioning out of care and into adult life. The grant will strengthen the organization’s Child and Youth Care project by creating a network of collaboration among practitioners to address gaps in provision. In this grant, Mamelani will strengthen its communications and digitize its Monitoring and Evaluation system.
Primary Location: Cape Town
Funded Since: 2012
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