In South Africa we are working in one of the most dangerous gang lead townships. Many parents are unemployed, leaving an increase in gang recruitment across all ages. Since COVID School has dropped to part time leaving the children on the streets for longer. IGNITE is a community lead project that provides a support network for children in the community. Currently 127 children attend and get a free meal, often the only food they get, support with homework and play games/sport with our team
This community is very hard to reach and due to safety issues many support workers fail to offer support. 80% of the children in the community live with their mother due to the fathers involved with gangs or crime. unemployment is at it's highest and since COVID the school now only provides part time education to the children. These children often go hungry as there is no support. There is also no after school activities to engage them so they are recruited to gangs for a sense of connection.
A few of the locals in the community do not have much themselves but value their community and the children and have taken it upon themselves to start an after school club, this project is woking with them to build a sustainable project that provides a meal, mental health, sports, homework support and other key engaging activities to keep children busy and part of something other than a gang.
Long term we will register the local community members so that they can seek government and local funding and work with them to find a sustainable source of food and materials so this project can grow and help even more children in the future in their community and neighbouring communities.