A Pinelands non-profit that focuses on youth development and community health is appealing to the public for funding support as it resumes its programmes for the year.
Mamelani helps young people who have to move out of children’s homes at the age of 18 by supporting them for up to three years with mentoring, education support, internships and accommodation. It also holds workshops to help communities deal with HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, gender-based violence and chronic diseases related to stress.
Programme manager Charlene Hill said the organisation had celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, and it had published a book, Our Stories, describing the experiences of some of the young people the organisation had helped.
“This book highlights their remarkable ability to sustain themselves after leaving child and youth care centres,” she said.
This year the non-profit is aiming to integrate more youth into its community health programme.
“We appeal to the business community and corporates to join us in partnership as we persist in our commitment to community development,” Ms Hill said.
Freca Male, 23, learned about Mamelani through mentors who visited the children’s home where he stayed.
“Many of the young people who had left the children’s home joined Mamelani’s programme and returned to share their experiences with us. They spoke about Mamelani’s assistance in education, cooking skills, food support, internships, and overall adult life skills. Intrigued by the opportunities, I applied when the mentors presented the programme to us,” he said.
Mr Male, 23, said he would not have been able to become the personal trainer he is today without the support of Mamelani.
“They haven’t just assisted me realise my dream but they’ve been my cheerleaders, my backbone, and my family… Even after graduating from the programme, I still find myself drawn back to the mentors. Mamelani isn’t just an organisation, it’s a community. I encourage everyone to have a look at the work they do and find ways to get involved.”
Visit www.mamelani.org.za for more information.