Young people in Johannesburg’s Hillbrow, Berea and Yeoville often live in overcrowded, substandard accommodation and are regularly exposed to high levels of violent contact crime, neglect, poverty and volatile domestic lives. Many are refugees or asylum seekers who had fled in conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other African countries and have experienced trauma. On average, youth in South Africa, experience 8 ‘highly traumatic’ events each year. Compounded over time, these could lead to young people in the country developing emotional conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, dysthymia and depression- conditions that compromise their ability to regulate behaviour, engage positively with peers and achieve at school.
FWI is a small organisation, based in the old city of Johannesburg, which provides a safe space for young people living in poverty or in the streets, young migrants and asylum seekers and those who are in trouble with the law. It combines boxing with an integrated youth development programme which focuses on Fitness (body weight training, running and boxing); Food (offering healthy food, cooking classes and nutrition support); Friends and Family (creating a positive peer culture); Feelings (psychosocial and educational support); and Fun (play). FWI was set up in 2006 by former boxed Anton Gilmore and child protection and neurodevelopment expert Luke Lamprecht and initially operated as part of the Teddy Bear Clinic’s Diversion Programme for youth in trouble with the law. It now provides a holistic package of support to equip young people with resources required to optimize their development physically, emotionally and academically. Although it is one of the few organizations that focus on the boy child they are also running a girls programme called Nirvana. Both Anton and Luke continue to be involved and have recently been joined by Sherri Errington, a research psychologists, who works to document the impact of the project. FWI is a member of Fight for Peace’s alliance and has been trained in its methodology.
EMpower's 2nd grant to Fight with Insight (FWI) will to support marginalised young people in South Africa. Some of the funds will support 352 young people (43% female) to improve their physical and mental health, their sense of belonging, social network and core life skills to feel safe and protected, and more confident; continue to assist the organisation to support six young leaders to manage and implement programmes across the Childrens’ Gym and Youth Gym for the 352 young people. The remainder of the funds will support the Nirvana project to assist 22 young women in skills and leadership development, and support 102 girls and young women to increase self-confidence and feeling supported
Primary Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Funded Since: 2021
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