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Transforming juvenile offenders in South Africa



An elite soccer-based programme impacting marginalized soccer players to fulfill their God-given potential on and off the field.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

South African prisons are infiltrated by prison gangs called the number gangs. These gangs use violence and sex to abuse young juveniles in prison. Juvenile offenders have little choice but to join these gangs which in turn teach them violence, abuse and further criminal activity. This creates a vicious cycle and juveniles often reoffend on release and 85% return to jail.

How will this project solve this problem?

Hope Academy continues to be one of the most effective rehabilitation projects in SA. The Academy selects talented football players from all the prisons in the Western Cape and transfers them to Drakenstein youth prison. Once accepted into the Academy where they are housed in one communal cell the juveniles go through a rigorous one year program developing each juvenile holistically. The juvenile is mentored, his family recieve home visits, coached weekly and placed into an education program.

Potential Long Term Impact

The Academy has zero tolerance for gang activity which has seen gangsterism decrease rapidly in the prison preventing rape and physical abuse. This has had a positive impact on 25 inmates we work with directly and an indirect impact on the 600 inmates in the prison. We have also had thousands of children visit the academy and receive education on the negatives of crime and prison. Each offender we rehabilitate impacts his peers, family and community once released - impacting many.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $5,003
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $44,997
Total Funding Goal: $50,000


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Project Leader

Ben Marais

AIS SA Director
Pretoria, Gauteng South Africa

Where is this project located?

Map of Transforming juvenile offenders in South Africa
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