Nomathemba is just one of many extraordinarily brave young people who are transforming their lives against all the odds. I am proud to share with you that the team at the Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP) directly helps over 1500 vulnerable children and youth at risk every year. They do this by providing:
- safe shelter, support and protection for young people who travel long distances in the hope of a new start
- classes and vocational skills training for young people who have dropped out of school
- basic life skills training for the extremely vulnerable who are caught in cycles of crime and drugs to survive
- partnership programmes with companies that provide jobs for the youth who graduate.
Many of the youth were born into lives of extreme poverty through no fault of their own. No one chooses to be born into a life of poverty, a life with no safety net, no one to trust or rely on, sometimes with the streets as your only home and no guarantee of food or water every day. It is a constant fight for survival. This is no life for a child and no child should be forced to live in such dangerous circumstances.
I am always humbled by the hope, courage and determination of the young people who arrive at our door.
Many arrive with just the clothes on their backs. Some are immigrants from neighbouring countries who have made it here having suffered tremendous hardship. Every single person who comes to our door is looking for a second chance. They dream of a better life and firmly grasp every opportunity that is offered to them.
There is nothing more precious in life than hope. Our own beloved and sorely missed leader, Nelson Mandela, said: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Children are our most precious asset and it’s our duty to do whatever we can to care for them and give them hope for better futures.
We need your help.
Our team have put together a list of the needs that are priorities for us and we would greatly appreciate it if you could help us by donating whatever you can to try to bridge these gaps.