Global Reach: Grantee Partners

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Mamelani Projects


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 is probably the only organization in South Africa that has designed a comprehensive approach to preparing youth who have grown up in care to transition to adulthood and to a fully independent life. Established in 2003 by a small team of young community development workers who gained their experience at the Homestead – the well-known home for street children in Khayelitsha - where they realized that many of the homeless young people they worked with had grown up in care. Mamelani’s approach combines personalized emotional support and education with life skills and the development of a network of relationships on which young people can call for support.

Current Grant:

EMpower’s 6TH grant to Mamelani will assist the organization to provide transitional support to 57 young people (26 females and 31 males) preparing to leave care. The grant will also support Mamelani in building the capacity of 7 Child and Youth Care Centers and 1 Cluster Foster Care Program to develop and implement their own transitional support arrangements. Finally, the grant will support Mamelani to continue its engagement with policymakers at the provincial and national level.

You can support our work with Mamelani Projects and our other grantee partners.

Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.