Many young people living in South Africa townships are plagued by a sense of hopelessness. Growing up in impoverished communities with a lack of opportunities, insufficient services and inadequate support, they struggle to build a future for themselves. For example, in the Western Cape, the unemployment rate for young people under age 25 is 48%. Family and school-based violence remain high and gangsterism increasingly affects young people, particularly at school. Gangs provide a form of replacement to a dysfunctional family and community structures, which is problematic because there is a strong correlation between drugs, violence (particularly sexual abuse) and gangs (whether youth gangs or organized criminal gangs). Diepsloot Township, which shares many characteristics of Khayeltisha Township, is the township that accounts for the highest per capita murder rate in Johannesburg.
Amandla Edufootball (AEF) was founded in 2007 to address the needs of youth in one of Cape Town’s most violent and impoverished townships, Khayelitsha. Through its award-winning Safe-Hub model, Amandla provides young people with a positive way to spend their time and supports them to develop the self-confidence, core life skills and motivation needed to pursue their future goals. Lessons on and off the field educate youth about health risks such as drugs, HIV/AIDS, early pregnancy, crime and the importance of regular school attendance. The AEF fair play system and life skills training helps young people develop important life skills such as teamwork and anger management. In March 2015, the Western Cape Government in South Africa awarded Amandla the first gold Ministerial Excellence Award in recognition of its Khayelitsha Safe Hub. The organization also won its second ISPO Award in Sports for Social Awareness in 2015. In June 2015, founder and Director Florian Zech was awarded Germany’s Medal of the Order of Merit, the only federal decoration awarded in Germany, which recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions to social progress. In 2017, he was selected to be an Ashoka Fellow.
EMpower’s7th grant to Amandla EduFootball will help develop, pilot and integrate a new framework to strengthen the organization’s ability to provide much needed psychosocial support to the young people it works with across their Safe-Hubs.
Primary Location: Cape Town
Funded Since: 2010
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