Dear Friends and Supporters,
We trust you are all well. We want to update you on some exciting things happening with the Hope Academy project in South Africa.
Once again thanks for supporting this project and making it possible for us to reach some of the most poorest and marginalised youth in Africa. I will try and keep it brief!
1. Our prison project has grown tremendously this year. The prison authorities have become more and more excited about the program and have started to oversee some of the administrative and coaching duties of the Academy. Recently we have had many young men released from the program and we are following them up in the communities. This is an area we are looking to develop more as these young men need support and encouragement the most when they are released. Currently 27 boys have been released since we began in 2008. 3 are studying, 9 are employed, 9 unemployed, 1 we have lost contact with and 5 are back in prison. Unemployment is a big factor with 85% unemployment in the townships and cape flats, add a criminal record and you can imagine how hard it is for these boys to get jobs, even the most determined boy can become disillusioned. This is something we want to work further on next year through supporting the boys in the communities more. We have a reunion on the 15th of October for all the young men who are released, it should be a great time together. However, when you get a phone call and hear one of our graduates say he has passed his Level 3 in Electrical Engineering and wants to give back to his community it makes what we do so worth it.
2. Also we have launched our new website. Please check it out as it will give you more of an idea of the Hope Academy project and how you can support us further. www.aishopeacademy.org.
3. We have developed a strategic business plan that will enable us to develop twenty football Academies in disadvantaged communities across Africa by 2020. If you would like to see this or believe you know people who want to make a significant difference in the lives of many young children then please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Finally please check this video on youtube from our Soweto Academy this gives the story of two of our young children in the Academy - it shows the reality of our situation and how the Academy is so essential in raising the aspirations of disadvantaged youth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTO8oBXyFcU
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There is so much more to share but I appreciate you are all busy people, please feel free to contact us if you want to find out any more about the Academies.
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AIS SA Director