Developing youth into jobs. That’s how they describe their ‘Cradle to Career’ approach at Afrika Tikkun, a B1G1 project in South Africa. Begun in 1994 with a vision to alleviate poverty, Afrika Tikkun soon realized one of the most effective ways of doing this was to focus on future generations by developing much needed services for children and youth now.
“Every child deserves a fair start in life, but South Africa’s township children are at an immediate disadvantage due to factors beyond their control. In order to break the poverty cycle, certain basics are necessary,” Gael McKenzie of Afrika Tikkun told us. “So we have three core programs to provide those basics – Early Childhood Development, Child & Youth Development, and Skills & Enterprise.”
Equipping special needs children for school
7 year old Sanele Massingue, who joined Afrika Tikkun in 2010 when he was just 3. Sanele has multiple disabilities and needs the help of a wheelchair to sit up. He was placed in the Children with Disabilities class, and his development has been progressing well since then. In fact, at the end of 2013 Sanele graduated from the disabilities programme and with the help of Afrika Tikkun facilitators, he is now one of the very few children with disabilities to be placed into a special boarding school in Kagiso.
“Sanele’s case is very close to our hearts as we have watched him blossom over the years,” Gael McKenziereported. “We at Afrika Tikkun are confident that Sanele has started his Grade One well equipped and school ready.”
Supporting their dreams
18 year old Nyiko Ngobeni is one of the many success stories from Afrika Tikkun’s programs. He lost his mother two years ago and had to start fending for himself. Afrika Tikkun got involved and started offering learning support, nutritional support and family support. Nyiko passed his Grade 10 in 2013 and is now continuing his education. Recently he became a prominent member of the triathlon team at Afrika Tikkun’s Wings of Life Centre, and ended up representing the Centre at the Nevada Triathlon in Las Vegas!
“I want to become a lawyer”
And there’s 19 year old Sakhele Xorile is another young South African whose life has changed because of the organization. He says that “Afrika Tikkun teaches us to be disciplined; they give us advice and help us see a better future in our life. I want to become a lawyer to stop crimes in the communities because this is not right; we need to teach others how we must live.”
Afrika Tikkun has six Centres of Excellence in South Africa and many more success stories to tell – all of them listed here. As a B1G1 project, they’re having a major impact on the lives of over 17,000 children and youth in the South African townships – from Cradle to Career!
You can find out more about Afrika Tikkun’s projects here: