Hub shields Diepsloot youth from evils
By NALEDI MODISE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – MOST of them were either toddlers or not yet been born when one of the most prominent figures in football legends, Oliver Khan, was active but some 2 000 youths here are poised to benefit from an initiative launched in partnership with the retired German keeper’s Foundation.
The Diepsloot Safe-Hub, funded by premier hotel and leisure group, Tsogo Sun to the tune of R4 million, will give the youngsters from Grades R to matric, regular access to a safe environment for facilitated sports, arts, life skills lessons, personal development, accredited training courses – and the opportunity for a better future.
It is envisaged the facility will keep the minors from the twin evils of drugs and crime as well as better their school performances.
Unveiled at Muzomuhle Primary School in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, it has been built by AMANDLA EduFootball in collaboration with the Oliver Kahn Foundation and Tsogo Sun’s flagship entertainment destination, Montecasino, as part of its corporate social investments initiatives.
This is the first Safe-Hub in Johannesburg and the third in South Africa after two located in the Western Cape.
AMANDLA is an international Non-Profit Organisation and owner of the internationally acclaimed Safe-Hub model, whose mission is to create safe spaces that bring together the power of football and learning to empower youth and change lives.
“The Safe-Hubs provide a comprehensive, integrated set of youth development services in collaboration with the local community, using football as the key driver of engagement and retention.
Each Safe-Hub acts as a multi-purpose community hub where people can access a range of education, health, accredited training and enterprise development services, providing a viable and attractive alternative for young people to get involved in positive activities.
At Safe-Hubs young people are encouraged to explore their individuality, build a core set of values, and strengthen their ability to deal with the challenges they face in life.
At AMANDLA’s two other Safe-hubs, research suggests the programmes resulted in a reduction of 44 percent in crime and violence within the Safe-Hubs’ catchment areas and a 49 percent improvement in maths and English school results.
“Our experience and research tells us that we cannot achieve sustainable impact in marginalised communities without in-depth collaboration,” Florian Zech, Founder of AMANDLA EduFootball, says.
The new Safe-Hub in Diepsloot will offer a wide set of youth development activities, and will incorporate a range of existing programmes that Montecasino is already running in several schools in Diepsloot. These include athletics, chess and arts.
“The new Diepsloot Safe-Hub is a perfect fit for our CSI programmes, which focus on the long-term holistic development of individual children, including life skills, talent identification, education and leadership through the various sports and arts programmes,” explains Shanda Paine, Tsogo Sun’s Group CSI Manager.
Montecasino General Manager, Glenn Joseph, explains the reason Diepsloot is beneficiary out of other equally-deserving areas.
“Diepsloot is on our doorstep, it is home to many of our staff members and is a focus area for many of our CSI initiatives,” says Joseph.
The easy accessibility of Diepsloot from Montecasino also provides Montecasino and Tsogo Sun head office staff members with opportunities to volunteer at the safe-hub.
Muzomuhle has been chosen as the ideal site for the Safe-Hub as Montecasino has been working with the school, offering various programmes, for more than four years.
Joseph says the school governing body has always been positive and enthusiastic about the partners’ involvement.
He points out the school is also the biggest and oldest in Diepsloot, with more than 2 300 learners from grades R to 7.
Its central location makes it accessible to young people from around Diepsloot.
Key appointments have been made, including Thobekile Buthelezi, who is manager of the Diepsloot Safe-Hub.
Servest is providing security services while a major corporate is considering establishing a computer laboratory.
– CAJ News
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