Crossroads is one of Cape Town’s oldest ‘informal settlements’ set up in the early 1970s when a group of workers were told to move out from a white farm nearby and move to ‘the Crossroads.’ It has a rich history of social and political mobilisation as well as resistance to apartheid. Despite significant improvement over the years, its 36,000 - almost exclusively Black African - residents still face a range of development challenges. Unemployment affects 44.5% of the population; only about a quarter of residents have completed Grade 12. The average income per household is $287, mostly a mixture of part time employment and social grants, with 6 to 9 people per household.
Ikamva Labantwana Bethu (the future of our children) is a small grass-roots organisation based in Crossroads (a community squeezed between Cape Town Airport and Nyanga) which recruits university students, trains them as tutors and provide primary school learners (Grades 4-7) with homework support, Saturday tutoring sessions and holiday programmes. It then helps place them to high impact secondary schools to ensure they advance and achieve their educational objectives. The programme was founded and ran by Siviwe Dlukwana who grew up in Crossroads and still lives there. He is a very competent leader with an inspirational personal story and a commitment to his community. He has managed to grow his organisation from a tiny operation in one school to a growing and more sophisticated programme with links to other NGO’s and government.
EMpower’s 1st Core grant to Ikamva Labantwana Bethu is to support the development and piloting of a mental health curriculum for the general afterschool programme, including training staff on mental health programming for young people. In addition, this grant will continue to support the organisation’s girls only programme (started through EMpower support with ELC funding) provided to 80 girls in Crossroads. The programme aims to keep girls engaged in school through academic support, building their confidence and knowledge of relevant life skills, and making space for them to engage gatekeepers (teachers and parents) on issues relevant and important to them.
Primary Location: Cape Town
Funded Since: 2022
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