There are approximately 13,250 children living in 354 registered Child and Youth Care Centers (CYCCs) across South Africa, as well as an unknown number of children living in unregistered centers. The majority of these children are placed in such facilities because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. According to the Children’s Act, placement is intended to be temporary (for up to two years), in which time both the children and their families are meant to be offered therapeutic and psychosocial support towards overcoming their difficulties. The reality, however, is that many of these young people stay in care beyond these two years, and at 18, if they have not returned to their family of origin, they require support to make the transition from state care back to their community. While legislation calls on CYCCs to offer transitional support to the youth leaving care, there are no guidelines and most CYCCs lack capacity.
Mamelani is probably the only organization in South Africa that has designed a comprehensive approach to preparing youth who have grown up in care to transition to adulthood and to a fully independent life. Established in 2003 by a small team of young community development workers who gained their experience at the Homestead – the well-known home for street children in Khayelitsha - where they realized that many of the homeless young people they worked with had grown up in care. Mamelani’s approach combines personalized emotional support and education with life skills and the development of a network of relationships on which young people can call for support. Mamelani Founder Director Carly Tanur who has led the organization for 15 years announced that she would be stepping down in the autumn of 2017. Mamelani’s Trustees have drawn up a transition plan to allow for recruitment of a new Director to come on board in July 2018) allowing a three month period during which Carly will work alongside her replacement. Since so many of the organization’s donors and supporters are personal contacts, it is likely that Carly will remain for a further three months to assist with fundraising. Gerald Jacobs, Mamelani’s Program Manager and an important leader both in the organization and in the field, has applied for the post and appears to be a strong candidate. Finally, Operations Manager, Monika Edwards, who has also been with the organization for several years and is a competent administrator as well as a psychologist, remains.
EMpower’s 6TH grant to Mamelani will assist the organization to provide transitional support to 57 young people (26 females and 31 males) preparing to leave care. The grant will also support Mamelani in building the capacity of 7 Child and Youth Care Centers and 1 Cluster Foster Care Program to develop and implement their own transitional support arrangements. Finally, the grant will support Mamelani to continue its engagement with policy makers at the provincial and national level.
Primary Location: Cape Town
Funded Since: 2012
Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.