Established in 2016, our project for out-of-school youth in conflict with the law continues to flourish. Under the leadership of Herman Witbooi, up to 25 youngsters attend a daily full-time programme which aims not only at keeping them off the street and out of trouble, but also at developing literacy and numeracy, social and emotional skills and at providing them with technical skills which can lead to employment.
The change in some of the youngsters has been remarkable. Boys who were withdrawn, secretive and emotionally troubled have transformed into confident young adolescents who have discovered their own self-worth and dignity and have hope for the future. Essential support has also come from Intern Daylon Pienaar who works alongside the boys every day and is a role model for them.
Skills training has focussed on carpentry and the youngsters have learned to produce bird feeders, dog kennels, foot stools, tables, trays and picture frames. They take their work regularly to festivals and carnivals where sales have been brisk. They have also planted a varied succulent garden and are propagating plants for sale.
They and Herman are now given responsibility each year for the design and construction of the set for the end-of-year Giant Puppet Show and they form the Stage Crew for the show