Global Reach: Grantee Partners

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 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.


Current Grant: 

This is a one time (exceptional) post sunset grant to Mamelani will support 50 young people in transition, including improvement in mental health and resilience and core life skills. In addition, the grant will support an in-depth organisational audit and programme review.

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

Connect with EMpower

Stay up-to-date on the latest EMpower news, highlights from our grantee partners, upcoming events, and more.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Make a Difference with EMpower

Our Board Directors and the Leadership Council underwrite all of our Management, General and Fundraising expenses, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering marginalised young people.

Make a Donation

See more ways to make a difference